There is an otherness, a separation not just of geography, about this tiny village bounded by hills east, south and west, with the sea to the north coming down a narrow neck of rocky burnt coast. (I like that English domiciled word, village, though it’s rarely used about the New Zealand rural landscape). Our latest Mann Booker Prize winner, Eleanor Catton, says she included place in her novel The Luminaries as a character. For her it was the West Coast of the South Island, but Port Levy feels like that; a presence apart and yet entwined in human living. Daphne said Catton’s remark was probably speaking against publishing wisdom whereby writers outside of the US cannot write local because Americans do not want to read novels set outside of their own navels. To which Daphne said, I hasten to add, ‘fuck em, myopic bastards, and outside Twain, Fitzgerald, Cheever, Ford, Updike, Plath and Tartt, what authors have they produced of any good anyway; they’re welcome to rot in their own words as if the rest of the world doesn’t exist.’ (She had Harper Lee on the list, but changed her mind, saying her black characters were cardboard cut-outs.) I am unqualified to speak to this, but I miss my bookish talks with Daphne. I miss Daphne, period.
** A Giovanni postscript:
Regarding Giovanni Tiso's post referred to above, an excellent post about the mundanity of modern surveillance in the Internet age, I couldn't resist a comment. Giovanni's response is significant, and able demonstration of why Left based societies always flow with blood, ultimately, on the double standard. [Apologies for the formatting which will be lost.]
You might find the remainder of the debate in Giovanni's comments section interesting :)
@mizjwilliams He is not concise. The irony is that Mark's review of Overland would probably be too long to run in Overland.— Philip Matthews (@secondzeit) June 25, 2015
@secondzeit And yet, not a word about the fiction section...— Jolisa Gracewood (@nzdodo) June 25, 2015