"'Colonial Like Ourselves': The American Influence on New Zealand Fiction, 1934-65"

Lawrence Jones
University of Otago
Department of English

Deep South v.2 n.1 (Autumn, 1996)

Copyright (c) 1996 by Lawrence Jones, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the New Zealand Copyright Act 1962. It may be archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that the journal is notified. This consent does not extend to other kinds of copying, such as copying for general distribution, for advertising or promotional purposes, for creating new collective works, or for resale. For such uses, written permission of the author and the notification of the journal are required. Write to Deep South, Department of English, University of Otago, P. O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand.
American Influences, 1930-45

Douglas Stewart, acknowledging the influence of the Auden-Spender-Lewis-MacNeice group on his contemporaries, the Phoenix and Caxton poets, regretted in 1938 that the influence had not instead come from Walt Whitman and other American poets such as Amy Lowell, Carl Sandburg, Hart Crane, Robert Frost, Allen Tate, John Crowe Ransom, and Conrad Aiken (a very diverse group indeed). He agreed with the Phoenix and Caxton writers that the Georgian mode was outworn, but he preferred the individualistic American ways of renewing poetry:

In America, the indigenous growth which could have infused new life into the Georgian anaemia flourished in isolation, and has today the strength and individuality for which the Spender-Auden group are still seeking in vain.[1]

The American influence was by then beginning to be evident in New Zealand writing, but in prose, not in verse. It would be some years before the influence of William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson, Robert Lowell, Robert Creeley, and others would be felt in New Zealand poetry. In the meantime, the American short story writers and novelists, especially the social realists of the 1920s and 1930s, were providing models. Four years earlier, A.R.D. Fairburn had called for New Zealand fiction writers to turn to such American models:

I know of no living English writer whose work I can read as a New Zealander. On theother hand there are several Americans who make me feel at home in the society they deal with: I should hate it, but I should understand it.
Fairburn felt that New Zealand novelists should make a transition into native rather than colonial-derivative writing parallel to that which Mark Twain had made in America in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, for their cultural situation was similar to his:

Unless he is prepared with Hector Bolitho to become, with care and application, an English novelist, the young New Zealand writer must be willing to partake, internally as well as externally, of the anarchy of life in a new place and by his creative energy give that life form and consciousness.
Thus, 'from the point of view of the New Zealand writer, Huckleberry Finn is the most important novel ever written', and the most relevant contemporary model is perhaps Ernest Hemingway, 'a true American, a colonial like ourselves, and closer to us than any Englishman. (I am speaking of my own, post-war generation)'. [2] In 1936, writing from England, Ian Milner similarly decried 'our dangerous habit of "living on England," intellectually and culturally, as well as economically', and observed that 'if we are looking for similarities of social atmosphere and temper we are more likely to find them in Hemingway and some of the younger American novelists than among contemporary English writers'.[3] Two years later, in 1938, Eileen Duggan, writing for an American audience, remarked in passing that 'Our modern fiction shows American influences because wigwam approximates to whare amd mole-skin to dungaree in pioneer experience; because the art of Europe goes to America as that of Athens went to Rome; and because of the natural appeals to the direct, colonial type'.[4]

In these same years, Frank Sargeson was quite independently arriving at his own version of Fairburn's dictum. He was finding that 'the kind of Galsworthian prose style' that he had used in his first, unpublished novel, his version of the 'more or less formal language of the English novelists' that had traditionally been used 'to deal with the material of New Zealand life (and in my view that was colonial life)' was not really appropriate.[5] Just then (in J.C. Squire's genteel and Georgian London Mercury, of all places) he discovered a story by Sherwood Anderson, 'Small Town Notes':

It was just some observations about a very ordinary person living in a very ordinary little American town and the doubts he had about this and that, how he went to bed feeling very troubled, and how he was interested in a certain girl but was too shy to speak to her and so on. And it was all a way of writing that to my mind had never been done before. Perhaps I didn't understand at that moment that Anderson was a real successor to the Mark Twain of Huckleberry Finn, that he was carrying on something. I got so excited over this because it related to my experience of New Zealand.[6]
In his enthusiasm he wrote an essay on Anderson for Tomorrow in which, describing Anderson's method, he really described what was becoming his own:

He will say enough to set your imagination working, and have you looking for the page where he will return to the incident and fill in the gaps that he has deliberately left you wondering over. . . . Some writers demand little more of you than that you read. But Anderson expects you to be susceptible to suggestion and implication, to eke out his imagination with your own.
Such a technique he saw as relevant to the materials of New Zealand life, for 'Anderson has lived his life in an environment similar to our own, raw and aesthetically hostile'.[7] Sargeson found in Anderson the model for his use of the first person naive (or at least not fully articulate) narrator, the appropriately vernacular style, and the understated structural irony that characterise such stories as 'A Good Boy', 'An Attempt at an Explanation', 'An Affair of the Heart', 'The Making of a New Zealander', or 'White Man's Burden'. [8] And it was just the sort of model in the Twain tradition that Fairburn had advocated. Sargeson believed that the kind of answer he had found to his problems might be relevant to other New Zealand writers, and began to erect it into a general theory. In 1938, in reviewing an issue of New Directions that contained three of his own stories, he complained that because of 'the natal cord that still ties us to Great Britain' and because of the 'disastrous' influence of Katherine Mansfield, 'American literature has not had the influence that is should have', that New Zealand writers have not often enough turned to 'the American books of several generations ago to find the starting points for our own literature'. [9]

Seeing both the relevance of American writing to New Zealand conditions and the lack of attention to it, Sargeson set about being a conduit of influence. This is especially evident in his correspondence with A.P. Gaskell in the early 1940s. Early in 1942, seeing in the Listener a story of Gaskell's that resembled his own work ('The Picture in the Paper'), he wrote to him, observing that 'It looks as if you've been reading my stuff, but maybe I'm flattering myself', and encouraging him to go on writing. [10] Immediately he began to push Gaskell towards reading Anderson, sending him some samples of Anderson's work, and then defending it as 'only apparently artless' and really preferable to 'the arty artfulness of Hemingway', about whom Gaskell was enthusiastic (and on whom he was to model 'Tidings of Joy' and 'The Big Game' in the next year).[11] By early 1943 Gaskell was sending Sargeson 'The Cave', clearly modelled on the Anderson of 'Death in the Woods', and Sargeson was having second thoughts: 'Maybe I've done you wrong in influencing you with Anderson. . . . You begin by imitating and only after much struggle learn to be like yourself'. He was worried that the story was a bit flat, that Gaskell had not succeeded in getting in the emotion by implication as Anderson had done.[12] But he went on suggesting American models, and a year later was pointing to Theodore Dreiser's autobiographical Dawn as an example of how to handle the sexual frustration of which Gaskell was complaining. [13]

Among other writers a half a generation younger than Sargeson who came to gather around him in the early 1940s, G.R. Gilbert was independently influenced by the style, tone, and structure of William Saroyan's stories, and Sargeson encouraged him to develop in that direction (and to turn towards the novel). Sargeson commented to Gaskell that Gilbert 'sometimes writes like Saroyan (without having read him much)'[14], and David Ballantyne in reviewing Gilbert's Free to Laugh and Dance described him as presenting 'his version of New Zealand life - through Saroyan-tinted glasses'.[15]

Meanwhile in England, John Mulgan, who had been very attentive to the Auden group, especially for their politics, was quite independently also seeking out American models for his prose in his one novel, Man Alone, in the late 1930s. In a letter home he referred to his book as 'Hemingwayesque',[16] and the evidence is everywhere in the book - in the laconic hero, in the 'men without women' atmosphere, in the stoic male values, and, most strikingly, in the prose style. The repetition and variation that Hemingway had learned from Gertrude Stein and the parataxis and the use of vernacular that he had learned from Anderson appear in Mulgan's prose in such a passage as the following piece of interior monologue:

That's a hell of a thing, he thought, and a way to treat me. That's a hell of a way to end a partnership. That's the end of the little run that was going to settle me nice and dry and comfortable on a farm here and marry me off to one of these girls. That's the end of that all right.[17]
A style less like the polite traditional English style of Mulgan's father'sSpur of Morning (which John Mulgan saw through the press in England in 1934) would be hard to find. Bertram, reviewing the novel in Tomorrow, linked the title to Harry Morgan's dying speech in To Have and Have Not, and commented that the book 'owes more than its title to Hemingway' and is 'an attempt to apply to this country the technique of bare realism of which Hemingway is the modern master, and John Steinbeck the inheritor'.[18] Milner later confirmed the Hemingway influence, remarking that when he knew Mulgan at Oxford in the 1930s 'John admired Hemingway as a writer and as the creator of a machismo-charged hedonistic lifestyle that in some ways he sought to make his own'.[19]

Not all New Zealand prose writers in the 1930s, however, were ready to jump on the American bandwagon. Jane Mander answered Fairburn in 1934 in an article in the Press., stating that 'if it were only a matter of an attitude of mind to life and its material' she would agree with him, but 'good writing means the fine use of one's own language, and our language is English and not American'. [20] Sargeson, of course, would have disagreed, and he even implied in 1953 that the American writers provided a channel through which aspects of the English tradition became more relevant and available to New Zealand writers when he found that the 'ghost' of George Eliot may 'have come via America. . . haunting the pages of writers such as Anderson Hemingway and Farrell before moving on to New Zealand'. [21] Dan Davin, who drew on Sargeson's advice in putting together the first Oxford anthology of New Zealand short stories, differed with him in 1949 over the question of American models:

He [Sargeson] believed that the conditions of New Zealand made it obligatory for its writers to look to colonial America for patterns and prototypes, to Mark Twain and to Sherwood Anderson or the Sinclair Lewis of Main Street. I thought them too provincial, too deliberately limited in range and style, too subordinate to their material: one should learn from every time and place and literature, then turn to one's own experience and apply whatever lessons had seeped down into one's subconscious. [22]
In his first novel, Cliffs of Fall (1945), Davin had turned to Crime and Punishment for his model, but in his short stories, especially those dealing with the Connolly family, he turned to a book as caught up in provincial realism as anything of Sherwood Anderson's, Joyce's Dubliners. Joyce in fact provided a useful model for several writers, as Gaskell probably modelled 'The Fire of Life' on 'A Little Cloud' and 'Purity Squad' on 'Grace' and Ballantyne was unmistakably to model 'And the Glory' on 'Counterparts' in 1948. Sargeson himself, of course, was to model the first part of'When the Wind Blows' on the first chapter of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man , as he humorously confessed to Gaskell ('a sort of Portrait of the Artist - frightful to think that I have my Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake still ahead of me').[23]

As these writers turned to Joyce's presentation of a provincial society, so Roderick Finlayson turned to Giovanni Verga's stories (in D.H. Lawrence's translation) of 'tribal' Sicily as the model for his Maori stories in Brown Man's Burden.:

These stories, unlike anything I had read before, were written in a spare style, quite without sentimentality, but strong and vivid in their piercing simplicity. Here was my model.
It was not as if he were choosing Verga over Hemingway, for he had not yet read much Hemingway:

My contemporaries, it seems, were influenced more by the Americans. Only after finishing the stories in Brown Man's Burden did I have the great pleasure of reading Sherwood Anderson, and after that Hemingway's stories, although I had read his To Have and Have Not.[24]
Finlayson implies that his choice of a Sicilian model was the result of his being a literary 'lone wolf, ignorant of the world of writers', and it is probable that it was Sargeson who finally introduced him to Anderson's work, for he met Sargeson through D'Arcy Cresswell several years after discovering Verga.[25] It is significant that his chosen model was, like the American writers and like Joyce, distinctly different from the prevailing English norm and was provincial rather than metropolitan, for that was what the Americans offered his contemporaries - an alternative more appropriate to the materials of New Zealand provincial life.

By 1940 American social realism was being perceived by younger New Zealand writers as relevant to their purposes. In Spike, the Victoria University annnual of that year, the editor commented that the stories submitted 'had a flavour, if not a rank aroma, of William Saroyan and Dos Passos', and went on to praise writing that was 'redolent of the class struggle and the famished lust of the dispossessed'.[26] The next year, Frank Gadd (married to Sargeson's sister and in this instance probably echoing Sargeson's views) commented that Hemingway was too often seen as the model for vernacular realism - 'Given a modern story in which the conversation is at all in the vernacular, there will always be somebody to credit him with its ancestry' - when Anderson might be the true progenitor.[27] Clearly the American influence was being felt and discussed.

By 1946, John Reid, a conservative young Catholic academic critic, was complaining about the generally irreligious influence of American social fiction on New Zealand writers of the 1930s and 40s, although he rather uncharitably thought that that influence was 'on the wane ... as the result of intimate contact over a considerable period with the very representative members of the United States Pacific forces'. He detected 'the unmistakable stamp of Hemingway' on Man Alone and the 'predilection for the sordid from Sherwood Anderson' in Sargeson's stories. He further complained that in Sargeson's work, as in Hemingway, Faulkner, and Steinbeck, the primary character type was the Natural Man 'who, though he may have vague impulses not wholly in the animal category, is merely a highly developed animal seeking happiness in the fulfilment of his natural impulses or finding unhappiness in their frustration'.[28] Coming from the opposing viewpoint in 1948, John Reece Cole, another member of the Sargeson group, affirmed that 'The gradual emergence of distinctive writing in this part of the world has affinities with the American development'. He widened Hemingway's famous comment about Hckleberry Finn to claim 'all modern colonial literature' comes from that book, and went on to criticise Davin for the 'rhetorical, artificial' style of his stories that deviate from the Twain-Anderson vernacular mode.[29]

The Postwar Writers

The younger writers, born in the 1920s, who began after World War II to work in the space cleared by Sargeson and Mulgan and further developed by Gaskell and Gilbert were as attentive to American models as their elders had been. Some were influenced Sargeson in this regard, but in the main they searched out their own models. The teen-aged Ballantyne, in contact with Sargeson but looking for his own mode of proletarian writing, wrote a parody of Saroyan in the New Triad in 1942 and in an essay for Art in New Zealand pointed to Saroyan, Richard Wright, Erskine Caldwell, and Steinbeck as useful models for proletarian writing.[30] That same year he read James T. Farrell for the first time (No Star is Lost, from the Danny O'Neill series), but it was not until 1944 that he 'switched' to 'the Farrell wavelength'. That year he read Father and Son, Studs Lonigan, Fellow Countrymen, and A World I Never Made while he was writing the first draft of the novel that would become The Cunninghams. His other reading for the year also had a strongly American tinge:

I also in 1944 read Thomas Wolfe's huge Of Time and the River, John Dos Passos's huge USA, Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, Forster's Howard's End, much Simenon, much Saroyan, Carson McCullers, Eudora Welty.[31]
Encouraged by Harry Roskolenko, who was visiting Auckland on his way to Australia, he wrote to Farrell in 1946, beginning a long and full correspondence that ultimately led to the Vanguard Press, Farrell's publisher, bringing out The Cunninghams in 1948. Ballantyne in 1947 had got Sargeson, Finlayson, Cole, Gilbert, Maurice Duggan, and Greville Texidor to sign a letter protesting against the banning of Farrell's Bernard Clare in Canada. The so-called 'North Shore Group' was clearly keeping up with developments in American fiction. Ballantyne's allegiance to his American sources was wryly acknowledged by Oliver Duff in his review of The Cunninghams in 1949, when he complained that although the novel's picture of New Zealand was 'true' it was 'still coarse', and he implied that this was because 'the style is as American as the production. It is a picture of New Zealand by a New Zealander working with an American brush'.[32]

Duggan, another younger member of the Sargeson group in the 1940s, was more catholic (and Catholic) in his reading and diverse in the influences he took on board, Joyce (and later Samuel Beckett) being the most important. However, he also read and was influenced by the American writers of the 1930s. In 1944 he wrote to Texidor that he was reading Faulkner, Anderson and the proletarian stories of William Carlos Williams,while his first published story, 'Machinery Me' (1945) bears the marks of Hemingway. The cool external observation, the laconic dialogue (with the speakers not identified), and the paratactic syntax are right out of Hemingway, while the narrator makes a Frederick Henry sort of gesture in walking off his 'deadly monotonous' job (he has been reading A Farewell to Arms but ironically is up to only chapter XII by the end of the story).[33] The Hemingway influence Duggan shook off in a Hemingway fashion (reminiscent of the way Hemingway shed the Anderson influence with 'Torrents of Spring') with a parody in 1947, 'Conversation Piece'. The story is a dialogue between the crass Art Passaway, author of such works as 'Here and Now', 'Sinner Take All,' 'Siesta,' 'To Shave or Shave Not,' and 'Good-bye to Radius and Ulna', and Bertha Ramshorn, in the dining-room of their Montana ranch-house. Obviously (perhaps too obviously) Duggan has Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn in mind. Passaway announces that he has finished the final draft of 'Monotonously Tolls the Little Bell', exults in the safaris and fishing trips it will finance, and reads aloud the final paragraph, a parody of the end of For Whom the Bell Tolls, to the ecstatic Bertha, whose most enthusiastic remark is "HOLLYWOOD".[34] Hemingway thus exorcised, Duggan was later to turn to a range of much more verbally lavish American models, including Henry James in "The Depostion' and in the unfortunate and unpublished novel 'The Burning Miss Bratby', and the unlikely combination of Herbert Gold and Vladimir Nabokov in 'Along Rideout Road that Summer' (the overblown, digressive, vernacular first-person style and the father-son relationship seem to have been influenced by Gold's 'The Heart of the Artichoke', which would probably have first become available to Duggan in the collection Love and Like in 1960 when he was first conceiving the story; the wide range of exhibitionist literary references and, even more striking,the direct addresses to an imaginary jury were clearly influenced by Lolita, which he read in 1960, borrowing an [illegal - the book was banned in New Zealand] copy from the radical physician and social gadfly Erich Geiringer).[35]

As is attested by his early short stories (collected in 1963 in A Piece of Land) and his first novel, Maori Girl (1960), Noel Hilliard responded to the influence of the American writers of the 1930s right through the 1950s and into the 60s.[36] However, new influences were being felt in the late 40s and early 50s. In Parson's Packet, a bookseller's compilation of reviews that circulated widely in the New Zealand literary world in these years, existentialist-flavoured fiction and statements of Cold War moral realism were most prominently reviewed, while left-wing thirties-type proletarian writing of the sort that Hilliard valued was definitely out of favour. Next to reviews of Camus and Orwell and The God That Failed were ones of Saul Bellow's The Victim and The Adventures of Augie March (the latter by Sargeson), Lionel Trilling's The Middle of the Journey and The Liberal Imagination (both by Fairburn), and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man (also by Fairburn). Fairburn went out of his way in his review of the Liberal Imagination to single out Trilling's attack on the simplicities of Anderson. The social realism of the 30s was entering that dark cloud of critical disapproval from which it has scarcely even yet emerged.

However, the Anderson influence was to go through yet another set of permutations, beginning with Ian Cross's The God Boy , like The Cunninghams first published in America (in 1958). New Zealand readers might have been excused for assuming that the major influence on the book was Sargeson, with Anderson perhaps received via that channel, but Cross has made clear that he discovered Anderson for himself and went directly back to that source. He commented in 1962 that he felt 'a strong sense of kinship with a group of American writers' because they 'share the same problems and the same experience as a colonial people'. The writers that he pointed to specifically were Anderson, Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and Ring Lardner, and he went on to note their origin in Huckleberry Finn. As for The God Boy itself, he traced the origins of its first-person vernacular narrative method to 1954, when, a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, he saw the television version of Anderson's 'I'm a Fool' (with James Dean).[37]

The God Boy was not quite the end of the line for Anderson's influence, but it now came through Cross or, negatively, in reactions against his work. Cross followed that first novel with a similar one, The Backward Sex, in 1960, again using the first-person vernacular naive narrator. Norman Harvey used the same method in his Any Old Dollars, Mister? (1963) and Ronald Hugh Morrieson used a virtuoso version of it in his The Scarcrow of the same year. Duggan's 'Along Rideout Road that Summer' also of that year, was partly a response to Cross's book, more a subversion of it than an imitation of it. Maurice Shadbolt in his 'Summer Fires' in Summer Fires and Winter Country ( also published in 1963) played the conventions straight, but the novel that he began that year, Among the Cinders (published in 1965) started as a parody of 'the childhood-adolescence nonsense' and 'the unnatural naturalism of the confessional novel'.[38] However, like Joseph Andrews, it developed from a parody into a straight novel. It was even praised by some critics in America and Germany as an antipodean Huckleberry Finn, and, in Germany at least, became a bestseller. Its most recent, revised edition drops the metafictional and parody elements (as had also been done in the earlier German translation) which were its original raison d'etre.

Hints of the Anderson-Twain mode were to appear again as late as 1968 in Ballantyne's Sydney Bridge Upside Down , while the Hemingway version of the mode, which had appeared in Gordon Slatter's very vernacular A Gun in My Hand in 1959, surfaced in a more conservative form as late as 1967 in Ray Grover's Another Man's Role. However, Among the Cinders is the appropriate place to end this account: it shows on the one hand that the conventions of the mode had by 1965 come to seem too conventional and were thus vulnerable to being parodied and discredited, but on the other hand in its odd history it also demonstrates their continued power. Certainly for over thirty years those conventions of American social realism were one of the dominant factors in New Zealand fiction, as significant in the invention of an 'indigenous' New Zealand prose fiction as the work of the Auden-Spender group was in the invention of an 'indigenous' New Zealand poetry.


[1] D[ouglas].S[tewart],' 'Uncle Sam's Lyre,' Bulletin, 29 June 1938, p. 2.

[2] A.R.D. Fairburn, 'Some Aspects of New Zealand Art and Letters,' Art in New Zealand, June 1934, pp. 216-17.

[3] Ian Milner, 'Thoughts in England,' Tomorrow,, 28 October 1936, p. 10.

[4] Eileen Duggan, 'New Zealand in its Literature,' in Selected Poems, ed. Peter Whiteford (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1994), p. 125.

[5] Frank Sargeson, Sargeson (Auckland: Penguin, 1981), p. 223.

[6] Frank Sargeson, 'Conversation with Frank Sargeson: an Interview with Michael Beveridge,' in Conversation in a Train and Other Critical Writing, ed. Kevin Cunningham (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1983), p. 161.

[7] Frank Sargeson, 'Sherwood Anderson,' in Conversation in a Train, pp. 15-16.

[8] See my 'A Personal Response: Once is not Enough - On Re-reading Sargeson,' in Barbed Wire & Mirrors: Critical Essays on New Zealand Prose , second edition (Dunedin: University of Otago Press, 1990), pp. 55-59.

[9] Frank Sargeson, script for radio review of New Directions in Prose and Poetry and Design 1938 and New Writing, Alexander Turnbull Library, MS432f.450.

[10] Frank Sargeson, letter to A.P. Gaskell of 17 February 1942, Alexander Turnbull Library, MS4243 f.1.

[11] Frank Sargeson, letters to A,P. Gaskell of 2 March 19042, 30 March 1943, 14 April 1942, Alexander Turnbull Library, MS4243 f.1.

[12] Frank Sargeson, letters to A.P. Gaskell of 30 January 1943, 9 February 1943, Alexander Turnbull Library, MS4243 f.1.

[13] Frank Sargeson, letter to A,P, Gaskell of 11 January 1944, Alexander Turnbull Library, MS4243 f.1.

[14] Frank Sargeson, letter to A.P. Gaskell of 7 March 1942, Alexander Turnbull Library, MS4243 f.1.

[15] David Ballantyne, review of Free to Laugh and Dance, Weekly News, 26 August 1942, p. 21.

[16] John Mulgan, letter to Alan Mulgan, 21 March 1939, quoted in Trixie Te Arama Menzies, 'John Mulgan: A Man You Can't Kill,' Journal of New Zealand Literature 8 (1990), 74.

[17] John Mulgan, Man Alone (1939: rpt. Auckland: Longman Paul, 1980), p. 118.

[18] James Bertram, 'John Mulgan: Between Two Wars,' in Flight of the Phoenix: Critical Notes on New Zealand Writers (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1985), p. 38.

[19] Ian Milner, Intersecting Lines: The Memoirs of Ian Milner, ed. Vincent O'Sullivan (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1993), p. 154.

[20] Jane Mander, 'New Zealand Novelists: An Analysis and Some Advice,' The Press, 10 November 1934, p. 17.

[21] Frank Sargeson, 'One Hundred Years of Story-telling,' in Conversation in a Train, pp. 75-76.

[22] Dan Davin, 'Three Encounters Thirty Years Ago,' Islands, 21 (March 1978), 303.

[23] Frank Sargeson, letter to A.P. Gaskell of 26 February 1945, Alexander Turnbull Library, MS4243 f. 3.

[24] Roderick Finlayson, 'Beginnings,' in Beginnings: New Zealand Writers Tell How They Began Writing, introduction and notes by Robin Dudding (Wellington: Oxford University Press, 1980), pp. 66, 68.

[25] Roderick Finlayson, 'A Very Serious Person,' Islands , 21 (March 1978), 215.

[26] Unsigned editorial, Spike, 1940, p. 7.

[27] F[rank] G[add], 'Ernest in Arms: O who Was Hemingway's Mother?,' Book 2 (May 1941), n.p.

[28] John Reid, Creative Writing in New Zealand: A Brief Critical History (Auckland: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1946), pp. 58-64.

[29] John Reece Cole, review of Dan Davin, The Gorse Blooms Pale, Landfall 6 (June 1948), 148-49.

[30] David Ballantyne, 'Cold Pie and William Saroyan,' New Triad, March-April 1942, pp. 4, 20; 'Outlook for Writing,' Art in New Zealand , September 1942, pp. 9-10.

[31] David Ballantyne, 'An American Influence,' Islands 31-32 (June 1981), 41.

[32] Oliver Duff, 'A New Novelist,' The Listener, 1 April 1949, 10.

[33] Maurice Duggan, 'Machinery Me,' in Collected Stories , ed. C.K. Stead (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1981), pp. 32-35.

[34] Maurice Duggan, 'Conversation Piece,' in Collected Stories, pp. 45-47.

[35] See C.K. Stead, 'Correspondence,' Journal of New Zealand Lit erature 9 (1991), 135.

[36] See my 'The Persistence of Realism - Dan Davin, Noel Hilliard, and Recent New Zealand Stories,' in Barbed Wire & Mirrors, pp. 32-33,

[37] Ian Cross, 'The God Boy,' Journal of New Zealand Literature 8 (1990), 6-10.

[38] 'Maurice Shadbolt Interviewed,' The New Zealander 30 July 1968, 19.

Write a letter to The Editor. The authors of the work in the journal would appreciate your feedback, so take a moment to write to us if you wish to comment on or respond to anything you have read here. Write to: deep.south@stonebow.otago.ac.nz