Part of the impetus behind this blog is to underline moments of unfulfilled potential in the overlooked literary output of this country. When that potential is couched in a body of irredeemable dreck the question of whether the author is capable of raising a point worthy of examination will always linger. All the more so when the writing in question is wholly lacking in original ideas such as the piece from which the following excerpt was taken.
The piece as a whole is reflective of the received and unexamined cultural logic that informed the author stitched together without any deep thought to produce a vacuous puff piece for the economic potential of the colony and the work ethic of the colonists. It is as a transmission of unmediated cultural currents that the excerpt is interesting. Hidden amongst the ignorant stereotyping and just so stories vaunting European superiority lies a method of reading the character of an emerging culture that is worth a moments consideration.
The New Zealander of the future.
New Zealand Illustrated Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 11, 1 August 1900, Page 26
These aspirational examples are both more productive and nuanced than the conclusions the author draws from his reading of the landscape, which boil down to nascent exceptionalism in their most generous reading and vapid cheer leading for New Zealand industry when assessed coldly.
Had the article been written by someone with a focus on poetics and not on economics, perhaps something worthwhile and coherent could have been made from it.
birgit- begad, there’s a word that doesn’t crop up in everyday conversation.