Thursday, 3 November 2011


Have looked up Allen Ginsberg's Howl: it seems particularly congruent with our times, despite being
written in 1956, according to Wikipedia. 

Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose
             blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers
             are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a canni-
             bal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking
Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows!
             Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long
             streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose fac-
             tories dream and croak in the fog! Moloch whose
             smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!
Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch
             whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch
             whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch
             whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The good and the bad

I have read a tremendous amount recently, shall be adding the books by and by, as must get back to my own writing.

At the moment am re-reading Julian Barnes' prize-winning The Sense of an Ending.  The main feeling at the end of the first reading was of something incomplete. Everyone else seems to have understood the book without difficulty, but I did not, though I consider myself to be a careful reader. I have  missed something, so started again. It is not unpleasant to do so. To say that JB writes well would be an understatement.

I received The Parihaka Woman as a gift. The author is Witi Ihimaera. The review in the Dominion Post was positive.
I had to stop reading it somewhere in the middle - when an act was described so terrible and so cruel that I could hardly breathe. Until then, I'd managed to overcome my reluctance: this was due to what I perceive as an unevenness of style - quotes from other works and documents, dialogue between Maori written in English with a Maori inflexion. A sentimental flavour, two-dimensional characters. Off-putting.

I had wanted to read the book to know more about what happened at Parihaka. I don't know if that act actually happened or not. I don't know if the heroine truly existed or not. I am not happy with your book, Witi.