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I have come to the end of doubt
And to the beginning of the knowledge of self;
I have described a circle round the earth
And reach my starting place,
And I am ready for that which awaits me there.

............................Charles Brasch, The Quest.

This exhibition celebrates the life and legacy of Charles Orwell Brasch (1909-1973), the Dunedin-born man who formed much of New Zealand's artistic and literary tradition by his twenty-year editorship of Landfall, New Zealand's premier literary magazine. Brasch was also a patron of the arts, offering support and encouragement to many artists and writers. He was also a fine poet, producing six volumes of verse, translating poems of Russian, German and Indian poetry, and writing a memoir, published posthumously in 1980 as Indirections: a memoir 1909-1947.

2003 is Charles Brasch's year. An exhibition has already been mounted at the Hocken Library, and the University of Otago Press is preparing a publication on him, due out in October. In addition, after a thirty-year embargo, his extensive collection of papers and correspondence at the Hocken Library is now available.

Brasch's library of 7,500 volumes and his collection of art works (461 pieces) are extant. His papers at the Hocken Library detail many aspects of his life, his thoughts on other artists and writers, and trace his own development as a writer, poet and editor. A selection of books from his library, and a selection of journals, correspondence, photographs and pictures have been used to highlight his life, his achievements and his legacies. By utilizing these works, some for the very first time, it is hoped that further knowledge, understanding and appreciation is gained of this very important New Zealander.

Harmonizing my starting place: Charles Brasch, patron, poet and collector.

4 July to 31 October 2003
de Beer Gallery
Special Collections
University of Otago


Charles Orwell Brasch 1909-1973

Charles Orwell Brasch


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