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The Spike or Victoria University College Review 1935

Short Story

Short Story

The Literary Society held this year a verse and short-story competition. Entries for the latter were judged by Professor G. W. von Zedlitz whose remarks on them were as follows:—

"Although there were only six entries, it proved difficult to assign the first place, as none of the stories was without merit, and those merits were of very diverse character. The story Grey Rat had a very pleasing freshness and spontaneity, and was by no means ill-written, although full of small faults through carelessness.

"The Priest of Diana shows imagination in plenty and a real gift for writing; but I could not give first place to a story so unintelligible. There is no harm in leaving the reader guessing, but the possible guesses must not be unrestricted in number. Besides, a Naomi Mitchison may write fancy tales of the ancient world and get away with it, but it does take some knowledge of the ancient world.

"The merits of the remaining stories were of a more conventional order. Kaplin has a good idea somewhat too conscientiously worked out—too much foundation for the superstructure—and also raises grave doubts as to its psychological possibility. The language of this story and of Justice largely consists of well-worn word groupings. Kowhai Flood and Wedding Eve achieve the feat so difficult for all writers of representing human beings that give an impression of real existence, therefore, in spite of the great promise shown by several other stories the first place must go to Wedding Eve."