Browsing second-hand bookshops

Bruce Mason reading aloud from one of his plays, 1940s

New Zealand literature in the 1940s and 1950s

I browsed second-hand bookshops during lunchtime today and looked at the NZ literary shelves. Picked up Denis Glover’s collection of ARD Fairburn at Smith’s. Followed up tonight with a bit of surfing and found this rather nice site, with some beautiful black and white photos (RAK Mason above) and interesting articles – such as the one this links to which places the book I bought today in context:

The 1930s saw the emergence in New Zealand of a new breed of writers, whose work usually embodied a reaction against established ideas and conventions. Often these writers were influenced by recent trends in literature overseas, notably modernism; and by social and political events such as the Depression. A growing, if narrow, sense of nationalism was expressed, focussing on the dilemma of Pakeha who still looked to England as ‘Home’, but increasingly identified with New Zealand through ties of kinship and daily experience. Some major literary figures of the thirties, including short story writer Frank Sargeson, poets Allen Curnow, A.R.D. Fairburn, Denis Glover and R.A.K. Mason, and Glover’s printer associate Bob Lowry, remained active in the 1940s and 50s.

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One thought on “Browsing second-hand bookshops

  1. certainly mind blowing to find,after all these long years,that Rex is a relative of mine/with creative juices like myself that flowed to the end. Ive yet to read his work/poetry etc. but hve seen his graphics. the web is certainly a magical thing/getting us all connected SOMEHOW. . . thanks for your efforts to make things like this happen. . .chow