[Christopher Isherwood & W. H. Auden (January 1938)
Think in this year what pleased the dancers best
When Austria died and China was forsaken,
Shanghai in flames and Teruel retaken,
France put her case before the world: 'Partout
Il y a de la joie.' America addressed
The earth: 'Do you love me as I love you?
- W. H. Auden. "In Time of War" XXII (1938)
1938, for W. H. Auden, was marked by Hitler's Anschluss [integration, connection] (read: invasion) with Austria, the ongoing Sino-Japanese war, the final brutal stages of the Spanish Civil War, but also the continuing blithe naivety of the European and American democracies in the face of all these threats ...
I guess any objective summary of our year 2010, seventy-odd years later, would have to include - on the positive side - the miraculous rescue of the 33 Chilean miners on October 13, the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest on November 13, and the fascinating Wikileaks revelations (thanks to the courage and vision of Julian Assange and his colleagues).
We'd also have to record, unfortunately, the Haitian earthquake in January, the Pacific tsunami in February, the escalating tension between North and South Korea, the appallingly mismanaged BP oilspill in the Gulf of Mexico, and - closer to home - the Christchurch earthquake in September, and the terrible mining tragedy at Pike River in November.
Under the circumstances, it seems a little frivolous to compile a checklist of our own year of events and achievements, but this has been a very full year for us - as for so many other people. Who knows? You might even get a chuckle out of one or two of the items below:
- 31 March:
[Jack reads at the launch of Dieter Riemenschneider's bilingual German-English NZ poetry anthology Wildes Licht]
- 4 July:
[Jack finishes compiling A Gentle Madness, a bibliography blog which lists his 15,000-odd books both by category and position on the shelves]
- 15 July:
[We receive copies of Bravado: A Literary Arts Magazine 19, for which Jack was the guest fiction editor]
- 1-2 September:
[Jack attends the nzepc's Sydney Poetry Symposium]
- 11 September:
[Jack discusses NZ poetry with Paula Green at the Going West Books and Writers Weekend, a propos of her new book 99 Ways into NZ Poetry, co-written with Harry Ricketts]
- 22 September:
[Bronwyn and Jack launch the Pania Press edition of Michele Leggott's Northland at her Inaugural Professorial Lecture]
- 23 September:
[Launch of Jack's short story collection Kingdom of Alt at the Alleluya cafe
(together with Alex Wild's novel The Constant Losers)]
- 28 September:
[Bronwyn's PhD graduation]
- 6 November:
[Bronwyn's One Brown Box exhibition opens at Objectspace]
- 17 November:
[Preliminary launch of the new edition of Kendrick Smithyman's Campana to Montale (together with Scott Hamilton's edition of Smithyman's Selected Unpublished Poems)]
- 16 December:
[We receive copies of 11 Views of Auckland (to be launched in early 2011)]
Dear Jack & Bronwyn,
I believe that, on the evidence here, you could and should appropriate the moniker Creative New Zealand.
Bless my polyester socks.
It sounds as if you've been pretty creative yourself this year ...
Good luck with the new book!
Further to your post... Here's a fine article by Gordon Campbell on Wikileaks.
Given that I lamented (in my 2009 interview with Tim Jones at Cordite) the Clark stance on GM crops, I note that the US has been pressuring European governments on the same issue.
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