Charles Brasch: Journals, 1938–1945
|Author:||Margaret Scott (editor)|
Transcribed by Margaret Scott, with a Dramatis Personae and annotations by Andrew Parsloe, these are the journals of an intelligent young man, just thirty when they begin, living through the Second World War in Britain. In journal entries that quickly become a daily habit/necessity, he struggles with relationships, what part he can play in the war effort, what he should do with his life, whether he should return to New Zealand … and creates a moving and always interesting document. Hundreds of people appear in these pages – especially emerging writers and artists, both British and Kiwi – usually as visitors to London, and he finds an important friend in Colin Roberts. Charles Brasch (1909–1973) was a major figure in New Zealand’s cultural life of the mid twentieth century – a poet, patron and founding editor of Landfall. His books included several volumes of verse, a collection of essays The Universal Dance (1981), a memoir Indirections (1980), and an edited volume of work from Landfall (Landfall Country, 1962).
Rachel Barrowman’s ‘Finding “a Home for the Spirit”’ discusses the journals as an exploration of ‘identity and self … during the restless war years’. When Brasch resolved to return to New Zealand at the end of 1945, it was ‘part of a cultural mission: to make his contribution to the development in New Zealand of a mature … literary and arts culture’.
Charles Brasch (1909-1973) was a major figure in New Zealand's cultural life of the mid twentieth century - a poet, patron and founding editor of Landfall. His books included several volumes of verse, a collection of essays (The Universal Dance, 1981), a memoir (Indirections, 1980), and an edited volume of work from Landfall (Landfall Country, 1962). Substantial contributions have been made to this work by Margaret Scott, Rachel Barrowman, Andrew Parsloe, Marilyn Aitcheson, Alan Roddick, Wendy Harrex and Fiona Moffat.