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Descrizione dell’editore

How is it that Greville Texidor, a relatively unknown English writer, has managed to join New Zealand's literary canon? Widely travelled, Texidor was not a citizen of this country. She lived here from 1940 to 1948 and committed suicide in Australia in 1964. Yet Vincent O'Sullivan's definition of a New Zealand short story as 'one by a born New Zealander, by someone who has chosen to live here, or by a writer who has written specifically from or on New Zealand experience' (1) neatly covers most of Texidor's fiction. Even so, only a fraction of her work reached publication in New Zealand during her lifetime: 'Home Front' (1942), 'An Annual Affair' (1944), 'Anyone Home' (1945), and 'Elegy' (1945) confirm their New Zealand extraction when they reflect Texidor's dissatisfaction with the provincial lifestyle she found uncongenial in Northland and Auckland; the novella, These Dark Glasses (1949), although not set in New Zealand, was, like the stories, written in this country and published with the help of Frank Sargeson. As I will illustrate, Texidor's reputation was shaped by Sargeson fostering her talent, and characterises one side of the New Zealand response to her fiction. The mainly disapproving reviews which her novella received when it was first published defines the other. But it is what Sargeson identified as the 'visual quality of a very high order'-' in her fiction that best explains Texidor's posthumous reputation and continued presence in the canon if one takes 'vision' both literally and metaphorically. Following the tradition of the existential Men Alone created by Sargeson and John Mulgan, many of Texidor's characters negate the old verities. Yet Texidor's characters sustain a bleaker perspective of the human condition, and through them she has added to this country's literature an implicitly existentialist world-view which has established its own niche in the canon. Despite Texidor's brief stay in New Zealand and her slender output, in the last fifteen or so years her fiction has been more widely criticised, collected and anthologised by literary commentators than it ever was during her lifetime. Both Lydia Wevers in The Oxford History of New Zealand Literature in English and Patrick Evans in The Penguin History of New Zealand Literature discuss aspects of her fiction. Wevers locates Texidor's narratives 'at a kind of intersection between the rural, puritanical New Zealand ... and the "outside" world'.: Implicitly commenting on what I will later interpret as Texidor's existentialist worldview, Evans focuses on her outsider's perspective:

Professionali e tecnici
1 gennaio
University of Waikato

Altri libri di JNZL: Journal of New Zealand Literature