Joel Gwynne


On her departure in 1920, the novelist Jane Mander described New Zealand as ‘a positively exciting country’ (Belich 335). On her return in 1932, she lamented ‘the barren wastes of Victorian philistinism’, the ‘brain-numbing, stimulus-stifling, soul-searing silence’ (335) of colonial provincialism. Ironically, her grievances were expressed in a year that witnessed the birth of the vibrant literary journals Tomorrow and Phoenix; journals that would soon establish their reputation as preeminent voices of contention to a cultural landscape described by Frank Sargeson as ‘The Grey Death, puritanism, wowserism gone most startlingly putrescent’ (quoted in King 255).



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