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Post-War New Zealanders ~ Not An Intellectual People

[  Anyone who ponders the origins of our collective cultural psyche might find this of interest.  No offense intended.

h / t : Chris ]

 

Aspects of New Zealand culture were not a feature on the 1953  royal tour.

[ The Royal Yacht ~ The S.S. Gothic …  …  yes, it really was called that.  ]

The Queen saw no local plays or films, visited no galleries, read no New Zealand novels.

https://i0.wp.com/2.bp.blogspot.com/_-3nqyPcQz_M/TMZ1AW2QiqI/AAAAAAAAANE/lgZCn77I2CQ/s1600/queen+on+train.jpg?resize=461%2C357&ssl=1

In 1953 most New Zealanders did not think of themselves as a highly cultured people.

https://i1.wp.com/www.aucklandartgallery.com/media/vernonImages/1991-2000/1999_7_18.jpg?resize=461%2C347&ssl=1

Not surprisingly, intellectuals, feeling ignored and isolated,

painted a less positive view of their fellow nationals.

Appalled at the suppression of civil liberties in the 1951 waterfront industrial dispute,

https://i0.wp.com/m1.ikiwq.com/img/xl/pVLd4zogPl2k7RtfS4ZkTb.jpg?resize=461%2C336&ssl=1

writer Bill Pearson left the country to pen a fierce portrait of New Zealanders as ‘fretful sleepers’,

a people who were puritanical and repressive,

given over to small-town prejudices and a hypocritical concern for respectability. 3

Others, such as Robert Chapman and Phoebe Meikle,

attacked the separation of gender roles;

and novelists such as Janet Frame, Ian Cross and Sylvia Ashton-Warner

presented an unhappy picture of a society where creative individuals were repressed and race relations poor.

Foreign commentators too began to criticise New Zealanders.

[ … ay ? ]

In The fern and the tiki (1960) a visiting American, David Ausubel,

argued that New Zealanders suffered from an authoritarian education

https://www.nzetc.org/etexts/Cyc02Cycl/Cyc02Cycl0200a(h280).jpg

which created a repressed hostility beneath their calm exterior.

 

His analysis was not well received.

 

Read the rest here

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