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Courage Day 2020

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[00:00:00] Well, kilda Tato it's lovely to see everyone in person. This is the first time we've been able to have an in person meeting for some time now. So welcome, everybody. It's really lovely to see you. But yes, it's my great pleasure to welcome you all here today. This was officially the day after carriage day. Because that's the the 15th of November. We're celebrating it today because this is the the timing for our usual branch meetings. So I'm delighted to to welcome first Mandy Hager, who's the president of the New Zealand Society of authors. And she's going to talk to us a little bit about courage day. Mandy's a multi award winning writer of fiction for young adults. And she's she's won many awards, including these storylines Margaret Mahy medal for lifetime achievement and a distinguished contribution to New Zealand's literature for young people. And after Mandy spoken to us, we're going to hear from our special guest, Dr. Christopher Burke, and he's going to talk to us about James courage. So I'll introduce Christopher a bit more later on, but yes, welcome. And I'll hand over now to Mandy 10 Makoto Makoto Makoto keturah calm and haga aho. Normal Amati Cafferty. It's really lovely to be here and see people in the flesh. One of the things that I really treasure about NZD se is our connection to pin International, which works to support human rights of writers around the world. hints we have an empty chair that recognises there, there are some writers who have been imprisoned for the writing that they do or are actually no longer alive. So we won't mark that today. And we also mark that by carriage day. However, yesterday was also the day of the imprisoned writer, which is an annual International Day to recognise and support writers who've resisted repression of the basic human rights to express how they feel freely, and to stand up to a text that made the right to impact against the right to impart information. So every year, the pin international picks five or six writers to actually just highlight what's going on around the world, but also to look at what's happening internationally. So last year, the Committee to Protect Journalists, for instance, said that 49 journalists were killed doing the jobs [00:02:50] and 2019 2020 and another 37, so to speak, that have been called for what the return. So this year, there are five writers that they've chosen to highlight, and please forgive me for my pronunciation of the names in advance. So and this public, a journalist pellowah, who is from Peru, who's currently facing a criminal defamation trial in Lima. If she's convicted, she'll face up to three years in prison and her 2015 book that she co authored, which expose sexual and physical abuse within the Catholic Church. She's now got defamation suits from all sorts of organisations that rescue going to jail. Iranian lawyer and poet said Hey, boss makani has been banned from leaving around in 2019, only two years after returning to the country after living in Sweden for several years. She was sentenced to prison several times for reasons tied to her activism. In August, she was sentenced to a year in prison for signing a petition against police brutality. To kill Turkish critic of Arabic. Erdogan. Osman Kal Ivana has been imprisoned for three years. He's briefly released in February, and then was put back in jail. Last year, the European right of human rights ruled that his initial arrest was politically motivated. Chinese wigger poet and editor chiman girl are what was sent to a reeducation camp in July 2018. According to local media, he worked for the state owned publishing house in a digital book about Chinese leadership, which they allegedly disliked. Therefore, he is now being reprogrammed. The Ugandan author caca Winsor rucola bus Asia novel The greedy barbarian is seen as critical of the Ugandan president and his family. He was arrested on September of this year entertained for several days, accused of inciting violence and encouraging sectarianism. He's currently free on bail, but has to chicken with authorities to that sorry 200 kilometres from his home every week. So these are the kinds of things that writers around the world are facing is the current turmoil in the US shows us human rights and democracy are fragile mechanisms to protect civil society and can be overturned by one election or coup. It's important that we always keep vigilant even in a relatively stable democracy like our Ted our, we may think we are immune to such human rights abuses and harassment. But the truth is actually somewhat more complicated. So I'm stepping out of my head of interest a president and I'm now speaking is the sister of investigative journalist Nicky Hager, whose work has shone a light on duty political dealings and criminal activity within our defence force among a range of other issues. After the publication of his book hit and run, which outlined the killing of civilians in Afghanistan by our essay is in which proved material materially correct, and a subsequent official inquiry. Police illegally searched his bank accounts has Trade Me accounts as a New Zealand accounts, then waited till I knew he was out of Wellington for the day before arriving on meth at his house. Waking his daughter making her dress in front of a police officer in case she was trying to hide evidence, then pulled his house apart searching for evidence of his sources, which are actually protected under law. They illegally cloned his computer, as well as removing it in his daughter's laptop just before she was due to start a university exams, and will not allow me when I arrived to observe them as they searched to check that they stayed within the law. Later, they were found to have operated illegally, and were forced to apologise and pay compensation. But he's not alone and being treated like this. There have been several cases where government contracted investigators have illegally spied on protest groups here, breaching their privacy and right to protest. So I asked that we don't just pay pay lip service to our support of writers human rights, but that we actively demand these rights are protected both here and overseas. In the words of Thurgood Marshall, an American lawyer and civil rights activists, where you see wrong or injustice or inequality, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy, make it protected, and pass it on to your eye. Thank [00:07:40] you. Thank you very much, Mandy, for reminding us of why we're here today. And how we can't be too complacent here in New Zealand either. So it's my great pleasure now to welcome Dr. Christopher Burke, who's an historian, and Wellington based public servant. And he wrote his doctorate on the life and literature of James carriage. So it's a great pleasure for us to have him here today to talk to us about James coverage. [00:08:24] Joe Dakota, Christopher Burke, Tokugawa, thank you very much for having me here today. So as Janice mentioned, I have written my PhD on James courage. I am a historian, but in some ways, my research itself is now historical. So it was from 2012. So do bear with me if some of these details are sort of coming to me, somewhat organically. But it's really nice to be here today to talk to you about, I think one of my great loves and passions, and I'm super excited to share it with you all. So terms of the the title for today, I just want to explain something of the meaning behind the title today. So remembering James courage, I guess this comes from my awareness that despite his cultural, I guess, significance, and his popularity during his lifetime, particularly before the publication of his novel, a way of love, much of what we know of, of James courage as overheads, has been lost somewhat over the decades. And an important part of gay activism, I think in New Zealand has been remembering who he is, and restoring to memory, not only his works of fiction, and there are several of them, I think that we should all be so excited to have within our heritage, but also his life. So I want to do both of those things today. So what I propose to do and not very proposing because that's what I'm going to do is speak to you I guess in three standard I'll begin, just by very briefly tracing something of, I guess purges life, a way of showing what one what one homosexual pre liberation life may have looked like. This is a subjective history, this is the experience of an individual, but an important one, and then we'll move to discussing something of the substance, I guess, within two cultural zones. So you Zealand and London being the two places that encouraged spent most of his time. I think this is important because I certainly as a as a gay male growing up in New Zealand, I was well versed and thinking of, of New Zealand's past as being an incredibly violent and repressive history for any minority. But what I think is so exciting and so important for us to celebrate as New Zealand is actually that New Zealanders, like James, a self affirming homosexual did find ways to live satisfying lives. And not only live them, but to write about them as well. And then I'll conclude not by talking about all of his works, which is always the temptation, I think it's something I would have done at the start of my PhD, when I had learned those lessons, the hard way, I will speak to you only about a way of love, which is his novel, which was of course, censored in 1961. And explained to you I guess, the process by which James went about publishing the novel, and that was quite I think, a personal ordeal for him. And, and also to look at some of the aspects of those novels, which I the other novel, which I think are of interest in and of themselves, these are the the messages that he was able to publish within the limited scope available to him as a as a writer. And I should just emphasise, as I mentioned, that most of this material comes from my my PhD thesis, where I asked a lot more intensively questions about what it was like to be a gay New Zealand, before the years of liberation before this idea that we could all come out and live publicly open, in theory, at least, gay and lesbian lives, which is obviously something that is not necessarily the case for all of us today. So just in terms of colleges backgrounds, James was born born to a remarkably affluent family in Kingsbury. [00:12:36] His father, Frank was a sheep farmer. They had large holdings near amberley, in a sheep station called see down, that's North Canterbury. And there's material maternal grandparents, particularly his grandmother were of huge significance to him. These are the pictures. Her husband died early on, and she was quite unconventional lessons that she stayed on the farm and continued to farm. But she was an entirely bohemian woman, a great lover of literature. And for someone, I guess they're a really important role model someone for for James who sort of stepped out of social conventions of the day, and use literature in a way to inspire and to empower. Interestingly enough, on James's paternal side, his grandmother on his paternal side was also significant. And some of you may also know her name. So that's Sarah Emilia courage, who in 1896, published a book lights and shadows of colonial life that was based on series, colonial diaries from the period. And that caused a huge stir stir in the community. My understanding is that only eight copies were ever produced, but that it made the neighbours so incredibly are right that they were all destroyed. It was only in the 1970s, that that copies of that of that manuscript were reproduced in any great number. Interestingly, enough, purge doesn't really talk much about her, possibly because she died before he was alive. But certainly he was aware of her of your life and Oscar contributions. He was one of five children and encouraged writes quite openly and to some embarrassment for his family, about the domestic life of the carriages. He describes it as being Riven with domestic tension between his parents. In saying that, though, courage was able to find a really vibrant and this is really interesting, I think, a vibrant group of outgoing, lively, dramatic and artistically quite inclined men and women of his age to associate with and he appeared in some local dramatic productions including those put on by night. Amash and others really enjoyed that I think we can say. And as they grow older, some of these relationships certainly were of a sexual nature. And this is demonstrated in his archive. Just moving on to his schooling period. This is actually a very difficult period in his life. He was almost certainly sexually harassed at school, particularly at Christ college, and his diaries do indicate that he was sexually violated at least once by at least one boy. And this was obviously greatly distressing for him as an individual. And he was unfortunately also sexually assaulted by a paternal uncle. And this experience is reflected and recorded in one of his breakthrough pieces. A short story called My uncle Adam shot a stag actually do recall that this may sometimes be in English syllabuses in New Zealand, I think it is studied sometimes in high schools. But what but what what it won't reflect is the fact that it records this encounter. And so, the stag in the story stands in for, I guess, a innocent and in vulnerable situations at which his uncle in the context of the novel is in the process of causing great violence to it, it is quite disturbing when seen in that light. Following his childhood in New Zealand, he migrates to England like mini Zealanders. However, it's fair to say that New Zealand remains a cultural anchor for him in many ways, and he writes compulsively about New Zealand and continues to associate with New Zealand friends whenever he can. He returns to New Zealand on the once per two years in the 1930s, while suffering and recovering from tuberculosis, which seems to be a New Zealand literary affliction, for many, certainly following that particular route. But his mental health is never is never completely Well, he experiences three complete mental collapses as he as he describes them during his lifetime. The thirst precipitated by these violent sexual encounters, but the most significant in 1950, when he is actually made a volunteer patient at a private medical facility in London. From this point, I courage is constantly under the care of psycho psychiatrists, he undergoes psycho analysts, like many men of his age, and plus. [00:17:34] And he essentially withdraws from public life to some extent, this is a not though, in my opinion, a indication of failure by any means, in my opinion. And we'll see soon that courage published many of his novels, in the context of this great mental affliction. So in my opinion, it's a it's a real personal triumph for someone struggling with mental illness, that not only does the affliction become an outlet for coping with that mental illness and making sense of their past, and their futures, that that able to be so successful. So courage was essentially a novelist. These, the the novels he successfully published in this period of his life, almost all as I say, I sit in New Zealand, or preoccupied by New Zealand. And what I could not believe when I began to delve into these stories, not only my PhD, but as a young man, I sort of stumbled upon this man. It's almost like a gaydar. I think for some, for some people, you you encounter a name and you wonder, gosh, that just feels gay a little bit. It really does. And so you kind of read the biography a little bit. And then you start reading these stories. And one by one, they kind of present to you something which you recognise, and which was quite overtly communicating ideas, which I could relate to, I guess, is one of the intended audiences. Many of these novels, of course, aware of love being the the most obvious exception, approach homosexuality in coded and partial ways. And we will talk about that, in terms of what that might look like. But courage also produced some really important and quite impressive stories which appeared in places like landfall and the English story, and in American periodicals periodicals as well. He was an occasional dramatist, which is really interesting, I think. He had two plays, presented in Oxford, including a wonderful story, which is recorded in new country, a posthumous work released by genre books. About two men living on an isolated sheep station, they are in love, and they don't realise it until quite late in their relationship, when one of them realises that the other is dying of tuberculosis, and of course, it's a great crisis. He also produced a wonderful play called private history. It was a story about two homosexual boys who are in love and in a boarding school, and the stories in the process of being revealed and interrogated by the powers that they. And there are wonderful images within his archive which record what that looks like. And that, and that show only ended because of blackout restrictions associated with World War Two. So it was was looking quite successful for courage at the time. By far, his most successful of course, is the youngest secrets. This tends to be the novel that you'll find in [00:20:40] bookstores in New Zealand or secondhand bookstores, and it was reprinted I think, in the in the early 1970s. The story was a boxer study Book of the Month selection, and it stood to have sold well over 100,000 copies in its first print run and was sold in both Hard and Soft copies. So while he published what has published the decree, it occurred only in the in earnest at the onset of Early Middle Age, courage actually very quickly became one of our most significant writers, and one of the most successful when no Marsh awarded Frank sargeson, the Mansfield Literary Award, she considered at that stage that only Janet frame, and James courage could approach Frank sargeson in terms of esteem and critical output, I think is really interesting, considering his relatively modest profile today. culturally speaking, though, of course, and the reason why I'm here today, I think a way of love stances is the most important cultural contribution. And I will show you later later on about exactly why. It's a story of unapologetic love between a younger and an older man. And it is certainly, as far as I'm aware, New Zealand's first published homosexual love story, in terms of novels. And courage intended for it to be set in New Zealand, but was not able to kind of load both barrels of the gun, I suppose, with homosexuality and the New Zealand city, he felt that it was probably something he should not do the censoring of a lot of a novel in 1961, while not expected for courage, and he was prepared for and many of his friends were in the process of, of, I guess preparing themselves to for this to support him, had a hugely detrimental impact on him as an individual. And we'll look at that shortly. Despite the support of friends and well wishes, he really never truly regained his literary voice. And he died soon after, at the age of 60, from a heart attack. That novel was very this final novel was very much a return to the code of narratives of his past, and was very much preoccupied with the kinds of despair mental difficulties he was now assailed by almost completely in his private life. So that's a visit to pin motion. In terms of how we know what we know about James, the reason why we do with the exception of, I guess, some correspondence files, and some probate material elsewhere, is the wonderful archive, how that Hawking collections done and the need in there is extensive correspondence with some of the most important writers of the period, both in New Zealand and overseas. There are wonderful and candid photographs, many have an intimate nature, and also just quite beautiful, quite frankly, really interesting to see postcards cartas has, has clipped out pictures of hot men from newspapers, I guess it's kind of like the equivalent of looking at someone's harddrive and special files, they might like to keep secret, but somehow have found their way into into the archive manuscripts, which I think is wonderful. It's a wonderful way to see how someone changes story ideas as they go along and also negotiates those ideas with the publishers and I do write about that in my thesis. But by far the most exciting thing for me, and I think for New Zealanders up there with his literary output, these wonderful diaries. So courage started writing diaries from the age of 16, which is, I think, just such an incredible gift to leave for the world until he died at age 16. And these are almost uninterrupted. And to make it even more exciting these are these are candid into these are interesting, and these are incredibly well written. And I think quite frankly, that these for them to even to survive if we understand the historical context, as a tribe. If these had fallen into the wrong hands, they would be the object of blackmail and legal recriminations and certainly a significant scandal for a quite significant family living in New Zealand at the time, I think. I was also incredibly lucky and privileged. I think for the reasons I've just described. These were under embargo. So I was incredibly lucky to be able to look at these diaries just as they came out of embargo and I had intended to look at a zillion writers as part of my PhD. And I fell in love with these diaries unfortunately, out of time. And so I spent at least a year reading and transcribing all 14 of his diaries and loving every moment. As far as I'm concerned, these are a national treasure so courage is New Zealand's I don't have time to net fully what car does New Zealand I guess looks like but I think we can interrogate these images [00:25:30] with some interests. So I do want to focus mostly on car just illusory Korea. But what I want to draw our attention to as many New Zealand right arm historians have been off late and quite successfully. So is the question what we have presumed about day lives and in all sorts of minority histories in New Zealand. This idea that repression is something uniform. Something which despite the best attempts at resisting we simply cannot resist is simply not the case. So brokerages have suggested his personal archive and personal documentation, documentation show that this was not a life that was completely repressed, he was able to access and to enjoy the social and intimate company of men of men of his own age. Yes, has he had, he had incredibly negative sexual encounters with other people, but he was able to find positive sexual experiences here in New Zealand. These artistically minded New Zealand is in this period and 1920s, many of them who are also artists in the process of finding themselves, most of these people at their time would have described themselves as diverted rather than homosexual, which in some ways, is quite helpful and productive for courage. So this idea of inversion, which has been promoted in the works of, for example, Richard devoncroft, eating and in carpenter and others, associate artistic identities with what we will come to know as homosexual identities essentially. And, and what we see here, I think, is courage, very much living an embodied sexual identity along those lines. So he had at least one significant male liaison and friend and his youth, a boyhood friend called Ronnie, he lived in Anima, which is near Mount somas, where his grandmother lived. And that relationship is actually memorialised in more than one story. And you often do see that migration of, of lived experience into creative output, including and I would love you all to read it, if you can find it. I'm pretty sure it's also in a new country, a wonderful story called a guest at the wedding, which is a kind of gay love story, which is in the Congo and Stewart island of all places and very much memorialised on their love for each other, which is not always an easy love. But I think quite interesting. So despite sexual violence and trauma occurring elsewhere in his life, courage did find outlets elsewhere, which I think is really great. And I think this explains the, what I would describe the three dimensionality of New Zealand and much of his fiction. So it's not just repressive, but it's not just liberating. It's a bit of a mixture, a difficult mixture of both kinds of experiences. It's a place where natural freedom, freedoms and personal nourishment are available, if you know where to find it. And you can get away from pesky prying eyes, essentially. So if I can just describe some of these images for our listeners, what we are seeing here I think is very much this kind of Article artistic, playful abandon, which obviously courage was able to enjoy in the safety of his own friendship group, his own intimate group. So we have courage, I think dressed is Pocahontas from memory. He does describe it. He's wearing a wonderful ensemble, including It looks like a feather. He's got a wonderful knit shawl. I'm pretty sure those are supposed to be opera glasses he's holding in the first image. This is before talking and ripples drag race. So this is a more organic image that we're probably seeing these days. And I really do enjoy the the sunflower, I think he has attached at the back of of his wonderful outfit in the middle of rural New Zealand, which I think is fabulous. So that was New Zealand. But what about London, and this is so I want to share today. Some of these excerpts from encourages diaries. [00:29:41] This is very early on encouraged his arrival in England. He's on his way to Oxford, but I think I just read this again, for our listeners. I think you'll see or sense his excitement because London does provide something that New Zealand can't really provide at this point, and this exemplifies it. So he says Can't you imagine the London streets in the dusk, full of lights and hiring people and men in the gutters trying to sell you bananas, all is for boys. And then further in the glowing theatres, in the lighted signs of Piccadilly Circus, most engineers, some of them and somebody flying past in an opera head, and just around the corner coming on a bigger, one side of his face, a great red scar, drawing with coloured chalk on the pavement, the illuminated Words To Live. And I think that he is ready to live at this point. And so I do write in my thesis and elsewhere, that that while New Zealand was nourishing in certain ways, what it couldn't provide as this kind of urban excitement, this kind of cultural fermions. Although he finds it in small scale ways, it's something that which he has to wait to, to encounter in London. I also think it just shows and as I've been saying, the incredible lyricism of his private writing as well, in some ways, he can be much less restrained in this in this vehicle of expression. He can say what he wants, hopefully no one reads it unless he wants them to. And, and so I guess this means much less negotiation he needs to worry about. The other thing, of course, that London can provide probably more readily than, than New Zealand, I guess sexual opportunities, not just not just sexual opportunities, but intimate opportunities in the broadest sense. And courage had several committed relationships. I feel like we could we could call him a serial monogamist but with forays on the side every now and then, but his by, by far his most passionate and, and long lasting, enduring love was with this man, Frank Frank fleet. So they meet on the Cornish Riviera Express, which sounds like a fantastic place to meet someone, I'm assuming probably in the first first class dining card, perhaps, I have no reason to think that but I like to wonder. And that was in 1929, or 1930. They began an immediate passionate love affair. And that only ended in 1932 when Frank unfortunately needed to return to Argentina. And then the romantic twists that I wasn't expecting because I'm kind of reading the diaries as I'm going through them. Courage does not let go. It's different weeks later, he bought a steamer and he goes to when Assad is to get him back. Supposed to be a fantastic story to see in a New Zealand feature film one day, I hope that someone out there would agree. If I can just read this quote, just rather fabulous. I think you'll sense his excitement. A new lover in such a gentle, beautiful, affectionate creature named Frank colour dark, age 25 height, six foot one inches weight I asked him this 182 pounds 13 Stone, nationality father, Argentine mother, Cornish and athlete and handsome. One of the sweetest creatures I've ever known with something so touchingly, lonely and childlike in him, that it makes tears of gentleness start to the eye, a very passionate lover he calls me and soft Spanish Blanco he or white and gold. So beautiful. While the relationship was never to return to the romantic conventions we might think of in terms of a lasting committed relationship, and wildcards diverse successfully Wu's Franken and giusta seem to come back with them to London. In fact, he marries and has children. Their relationship continues, they continue to love one another. Frankly, spins intimate time with them when he visits London even with his family, which I think is of interest. They certainly both continue to enjoy sexual encounters with other men quite unproblematically to a degree, but you can see here that he does feel some some deeper pains at this time. And courage even remembers him in his will when he dies several decades later. Importantly, in some ways, he is regarded I think, you know, as a as a partner as the lover of his life. [00:34:28] And here, in this quote, we see that hear you since that the two months, Frank and I lived together two years ago with a happiest period of my life. The intolerable burden of my loneliness was eased my need of him and his love for me brought me an extraordinary peace and pride. Everything was as it would have indicated the liaisons I have had since had been purely physical, and has given the unhappiness and disgust encouraged while he is quite fond of the occasional soldier and sailor is real Ideal i think is a monogamous, committed relationship. And I End Domestic commitment in that context. And and that is reflected in many of his stories. As the decades went on, and as his Lizard Lizard career began to take off, courage plays an increasingly important role though, in London's literary and artistic community. Despite his mental disappears of a very difficult middle age, he continually corresponded with a number of New Zealand leading artists and intellectuals, Frank sargeson and Charles brash especially, but others are bound and we see this in his surviving correspondence files. They include Darcy Criswell, who he did not agree with in terms of, I guess, a six word outlook they had very little in common and dusty would come over and ask for money and suggest that they go and pick up various unusual muscular types around London, which he wasn't very interested in. Others include Robin Hyde, Ursula Bethel, Douglas, lavon, eh, McCormick, and still others, such as James K. Baxter. Courage also provided financial support to the likes of Janet frame at the urging of both brash and sargeson. I'm sure one of many, though he sounds because of his own mental afflictions, he couldn't really be there for him more in terms of meeting with their offspring to mentor her or give her advice. And my thesis, I argued that courage was an important social hub for these individuals, particularly for young writers and artists and intellectuals who arrived in London with few resources, either social or material, far from a drain on on his psychic resources, though, when he least needed it. What I found interesting from his stories, and from his archive, is the fact that these other relationships that save his life, and we see that constantly in his private narration, particularly the author's Margaret and not Margaret, but basil Dowling and his wife, Margaret, they were hugely important. bezeled was one of the Caxton poets, I'm sure you know, and rather infamous himself as a pacifist and as someone who was jailed for his beliefs, so in many ways we could talk about him on a day like today. While at least one sister Patricia lived in nearby sorry, it was always to the darlings into people like him that he would retreat when he was threatened mentally, or by physical unwellness. And I think that's very interesting. And we see that here. He's writing to Charles brush and he says that he's gone to the to the darlings on afternoon which is one of England's brightest and fishes. They had tea on the days of grass in the garden among poppies and Lukens bezel looks pale and tired, poor man, but Margaret was brown after a week in Cornwall, we sat on the deck chairs and a chocolate cake and sandwiches like a New Zealand picnic. Rather, I hope the tea would taste of the Lucas smoke. I had been in one of my worst depressions and this is what I'm talking about. My Bane, but I managed to cheer up and talk we spoke of you. And he talks about denisovans Harbour probably being full of pet highs at the time. I think you sense here that he's doing this, he doesn't really want to leave the the safe space of his of his apartment in Hempstead, but he's continually induced to do so. And he is all the data for it, which I think is is quite beautiful. [00:38:27] Moving to his literature, what we see encourages, archive, in his correspondence in his diary, is an early commitment to actually really pushing back on what he considered to be unnatural norms which are met by all of us, regardless of difference. And you see here in the story, except that he considered that there was to be no distinction made between what he says, I suppose, sexual relationships with both inverts. That's his underlining, not mine. But that, that these are relationships capable of love and in relationships, which should be regarded as being legitimate. And he does suggest that, that this is the law which is unwritten and senseless. But this is him in his in his mid to late 20s. He has already written several stories by this time, which are dealing with these sorts of issues. He considers himself, I guess, in the vanguard of authors that will resist those norms. And he does so in I guess interesting ways. If we were to generalise about his made his main modes of narration. He had already had, I guess, some very significant disappointment with disappointment with publishers. Such as TS Eliot that had read some of his early stories and rejected them because they were simply too over about homosexuality. So he developed over time, the ability to talk about homosexual issues in ways that he said his homosexual readers would would read and understand this is pre aware of love. So to do that, we will engage themes, which we would recognise from our own lives. But these are protagonists who don't quite understand yet. This is the protagonist of the young have secrets, for example, who is observing other people's sexual identities and beginning to understand his own the other fantastic literary technique he uses, and I, and again, you since before he even tells you, but he does confirm this in his archive is what I've called the female signal character, and I'm sure I've stolen that from someone else. But I can't remember where I've taken that term. But you see, this confirmed I think, in in a letter, he writes to a friend called Jim Harris. This is about his, his novel desire with that contains, what a surprise your sweet little gave me such memories, those days at Modesto springs, wherever they may be, and you were to a big manly form. Of course, I loved every moment of it. But mother hush must never know. I've hardly recovered yet. Read my other book, desire without content and find out what it really is to become a woman. Yes, my sweet I mean, it, you mean know nothing of us girls. And he acknowledges that many of his female protagonists in his stories are supposed to be seen as, as essentially him as as homosexual characters. But he knows he can't quite get away with it just yet. He writes, to James courage and to Charles brash, and he starts explaining in 19, in the 19, mid 1950s, that he now intends to, I guess, spread his wings somewhat, and write more openly about these kinds of stories. He was aware, I guess, of his limited agency lift available to him. But I think he had seen overseas that there were examples where people were beginning to press those boundaries. And he begins, I think, to make a gamble. And that's exactly what happens. So in order to really get a way of love off the grounds, and to ensure that it is able to be published, courage needs to step through a number of revisions to his story. So originally, he had intended the main protagonist of a way of love to be utterly sexually repentant. He's supposed to be someone that you don't like, he has indulged in the worst kind of, I guess, sexual indulgences, he has lived to middle age now. And he is no longer able to, to love or feel love. That wasn't appropriate. According to the publishers of those times, it's not really something which was seen as [00:43:11] I guess a possible he was also forced to change the book's title a number of times. So it was originally named, the name is spoken and then in private, and he was also forced to to pay back on the sexual content, which he had hoped to, to show quite respectively, to two audiences. And I think quite critically, the stories, resolution eventually changes as well. So courage had originally intended for Philip the younger of the novels to homosexual protagonists, to leave Bruce for Maurice and then his own age, but under pressure from Cape courage, revised the final sequences of a story. So after a violent struggle, essentially, he has to back down and, and agree that Phillips should marry and he uses the word inoculate, inoculate himself against the life of dissipation, and loneliness, which is, I think, something that he wanted to suggest about that kind of lifestyle. The other thing he needs to do is show that ultimately, in order to make this possible, that this was going to be a story of respectability, and this is what we're seeing here. So Bruce is the the main protagonist, and rather they sexually unrepentant. He's someone who's who's to stoic, who's respectable, who does not pick up the bodies at local bars. Although he has, but he acknowledges that he leaves ashes in his mouth. He has a jaw which is inherited from a young man's father, and he has a backbone as hard as a plough handle. These are all insertions I think in the later depictions which find their way into our way. of love. But the triumph of way of love is that he is not completely repressed, as I've suggested. He finds ways to, I think, talk quite productively about sensuality and intimacy. So here we have a quote from a way of love, and it's describing his one of his first encounters with Philip. He describes the centre of the hyacinth, which is an association long held with day histories associated with the lover of Apollo hyacinthus and suggests that it was strong on the close date and no less disturbing them before. This is not the first time he smelt it. It describes Philip as having a young face, tigerish, baffled, and that skin had raised his own, so that depictions of bodily contact, we just don't go that next step, we don't get to hear what happens next. He also writes, I guess, about the physical context and other and other ways he talks about the arithmetic want the kid to think it's quite beautiful. He talks about holding his body against him, these are convulsions, but his body is sturdy. Again, quite restrained. There's no sexual passion as such, but still, I think, quite, quite artistic. And this is my favourite one, describing kissing Philip. And these might be the sorts of sections that got him into trouble with New Zealand audiences. I tilted up as faced Philips mouth tasted of darkness and freshwater, and the rind of some healthy fruit not yet ripened by the sun. So aware of love, despite his editorial interventions, remains unrepentant in ways which spoke more fully to courage, his own sexual and intellectual outlook, it's actually not a failure. It's it's quite the opposite. His intention was to show homosexual relationships as legitimate, mutually supportive, and by forcefully rejecting the overt criticisms of the heterosexual elite. And this sense respectability, which we've seen, was much more than a mask. It was a way I guess, of eliciting sympathy, and engaging with his audience, particularly a lay audience. The construction of a respectable homosexual relationship allowed a depiction of intimacy that could be seen as egalitarian, which I think is really interesting, and accordingly, perhaps even praiseworthy, it's something legitimising putting the novel in social and cultural context, this isn't the story of gay activism, which we'll see in decades afterwards. These are not the strident demands of a group of people who at times called for the, the eradication of the nuclear family, the collapse of of, of accepted marriage norms, etc. This is a group of people who are asking for something quite different. [00:47:52] These are stories of an earlier period, which simply asked for worthy homosexual types, unfortunate means others were excluded, to be given the space and legitimacy to live respectable private lives without fear of attack and ridicule. But still, these assertions are radical and highly challenging for their own time. And this is one of the reasons why courage is attacked. And this is emblematic very much of, of the fact that while the the ending of a novel isn't is really exciting, in terms of what he hopes to do, he does not apologise. This is this is Bruce. These are years which he learned, they both learned much together. And, and he refuses to renounce that love. The impact of the books intership, though coming three years after the successful publication of the novel, certainly undercarriages sense of achievement. This is obviously something he had attended to do for for several years, we see that in his letters. And that tended towards it has already deteriorating mental state. And this is reflected here and his interior life. Interesting enough, I heard just this morning, I think on a podcast. This is courage writing during the winter of 1963, that this is the most severe winter in 300 years in London. And so someone's like the elements are conspiring with with courage, his mental state here, and he continues to reflect on his New Zealand background, and it's now something which he associates with guilt as something which provides him shame. He had hoped to move back to New Zealand but now has changed his mind. He writes here about his memories of killing small birds. He writes here, I think also of gender chain. He was trying to be a man, but he never was one. So I mean, these are quite troubling. lines. Of course, I'm friends wrote with alarm, even while mounting a defence of courage is novel in places like landfill and others. Those tended to make him more embarrassed. He wished people would stop talking about it, essentially. He was doubly embarrassed by the fact that this criticism had come from New Zealand. I don't really have time to talk much more than that. But I also don't want to end, I guess on an unhappy note. So, rather than end on that note, I think what I want to do is emphasise the real and considerable impact the novel had on colleges readership, many of them homosexual New Zealanders who followed karges, Korea with a particular interest for years, because they did what I did when I was reading his novels, they detected those stories, they resonated with readers, the censorship of a way of love in New Zealand, and this is quite, I guess, profoundly impacting Puckeridge resulted in all of his novels being withdrawn from from circulation, it suggests that others who now detecting those resonances, and we're now reading them differently. But the interesting thing is, and we know this from the fact that I didn't want to show this right away, I want to let you see it, because it's so funny. Was that, that, that, that readers was still finding their stories, we're still reading about them, and we're writing to him. So along with these wonderful friendships with the Dallas and others that were not actively involved in his care, and, and, and his emotional maintenance, he lives with them while he recovers from his heart attacks. He receives fan mail from all over the world, but from New Zealanders in particular. And there are wonderful stories of New Zealanders who go to the local libraries. This is before the censorship, you know, wherever love is in New Zealand, for for three years before it's put before the chief sensor by the police. And they go to the libraries. And they they see that they're supposed to be three copies of a way of love. But they're all Out on loan, and a right to courage. And they say I wonder who else in the small self in town, maybe reading these stories, this is resonating with a number of people. I'm not saying they're all homosexual by any means that but they must be allied to have an interest in such stories. And this did make a big difference to courage. It's difficult to calculate the exact effect we may have had on as a readership. I guess I haven't seen any memoirs is really which have talked about the significance of his readership. It's only in these letters that are that I've been able to detect them. But it's clear that from the correspondence that many originated and work cited by the notion that one of New Zealand's most significant writers of this period, was able to, for want of a better word to come out to, to, to affiliate and to associate with these kinds of stories, and they knew what that means. [00:52:37] So he became a role model, I think, in some ways, our version of an Oscar Wilde for people of this period. So if I can just end on this wonderful little excerpt, I think you since some of the abandoned and the Euro reference that these these correspondents wrote with. So this is what he says to Charles brash, something's arrived in the mail. And unfortunately, before I start this, unfortunately, the card doesn't survive, I would have been wonderful to say I would have loved to have seen it. And enormous self made Christmas card came yesterday from a man and McCargo, who describes himself as a display artist, the card painted shows Santa Claus reading away of love with avid but astonished interest, while almost falling off a pile of books, mostly my own by the titles. The cognate is two by three feet and cost five and three by a post. There's fame for you, and all from the cargo and Zealand adorable. [00:53:47] Questions. That wasn't my notes, but the notes are on the floor at the time and I couldn't reach them. It's a good question. Thank you. So the question was, how did colleges materials arrive to the Hawking library? I guess two things I want to mention about that cheaply. Charles brush. child's brush, I think recognises his literary and cultural significance, chiefly as a writer, and I think Frank sargeson was of a similar mind. brushos has been quite a significant amount of time in London, around this period, and was, I guess, a major force in ensuring that they weren't destroyed but that they were recognised as being important. So in conjunction with his digital as well, which was his sister, Patricia, he ensured that Patricia agreed that they could be returned to New Zealand, if with some, what's the word restrictions? My understanding is that that those restrictions chiefly applied though to the not the manuscript material, but the direct But many of you will be aware that in writing or putting together a collection of best mates, I think it was by Peter wells, one of the first collections of, of gaming's writing in New Zealand. They, the executor of as well also declines permission to reprint anything from colleges literary archive as well, which is a shame. My view on that though is, rather than, I guess a sign of homophobia, necessarily, it may have been out of defence of someone had already been the subject of severe critique of severe criticism, and, and perhaps may have been wanting to kind of, I guess, protect his memory. I haven't seen any assertions one way or the other. There are there are letters from Patricia to Charles brush in relation to those steps being taken. But I have wanted over the years. [00:56:04] I was wondering about the timing card, Bill Pearson. I can't quite remember when it was published. I know. He was in London as well, wasn't around around the same time or different. [00:56:16] This seems to be a refuting my master's thesis. This seems to be actually that's a fascinating conclusion. there's a there's a remarkable burgeoning of of rising in this period by a number of our most significant New Zealand writers, Bill Pearson included Frank sargeson, being another dusty Criswell being another who are who are operating, I guess, in that more sideways looking literary approach. Certainly, Bill Pearson is someone he corresponded with, but I can't quite remember I feel like it's the early 60s or late 50s. But very much of that generation, a slightly different mode and carriage is criticised for his mode. He writes in very genteel ways. He also receives correspondence from people, for this reason, accusing him of being a woman that only a woman could write with this much emotional sensitivity, which I think is quite remarkable. He, he found it quite entertaining. So it These are stories which read quite differently from the social realism of writers such as Pearson And, and such as, [00:57:35] like the equation between the side but reading his early stories with the young boys. And advice taught me that courage is quite unique in that he writes out of the sort of squat, ah, cracy and wealthy families, often very literate. And I think it's very hard to find another New Zealand writer who writes sensitively about their background. [00:58:04] Well, I certainly haven't read anything else, which approaches that material in that way. And I'm certainly aware of other historians writing about its importance, in that sense, is a reflection of that period and neck and that, and that community of people, I suppose, actually, the only other person I can think of is his grandmother. And I haven't read his her 1896 manuscripts in depth, but they do share, certainly a fascination with cultural norms, with ways of life with almost an an osteon fascination with the patterns of behaviour, which people take for granted, and are they legitimate and secure, but you are quite right as well. His protagonist, Walter, is someone that we continually see from the 1840s onwards, the story I mentioned, Uncle Adam short stick, his name is Walter blackistone, I believe, and he reappears in almost all of his New Zealand stories in some way, shape, or form. It's just really interesting. [00:59:25] Do my notes on the floor for the prohibition talk, so supported most by his family, particularly at the point of his most serious mental breakdown, when he retreated from public life for all intents and purposes. Prior to that, he worked as a book manager of a local bookstore in London quite a significant one, I forget the name of and he also was, he was hoping to contribute to the war in the 1940s. What was but was considered medically unfit may have had flat feet or something along those, those lines that was able to be a fire Warden during the war. He took, I think, quite a lot of solace from the fact that he was able to engage in everyday life, particularly during a state of crisis. But on the same flip side, I guess On the flip side, once he was no longer able to be that that's something which becomes a source of shame and grief for him, that he feels he becomes, I guess, almost parasitic and needing to live off his family's effluence it's something he does struggle with this almost the, the gendered nature of, of New Zealand masculinity and the Association of Aveiro active masculinity. And this idea that we need to work to safeguard and augment and construct these solid identities, something that he finds quite troubling. [01:01:11] Love [01:01:15] withdrawal, and that is my is my understanding. Yes. So the question was, I guess the sequence of events that occur after a way of love. And there were, I assume the directions given, which resulted in the extraction of remaining stocks of his books for sale, I suppose it's possible that they were just seen as being associated, I guess, perhaps I'm, I'm thinking too highly of these people, in the sense that I've assumed that they were at least to read them to know, but it's possible, they were just like these are culturally contaminated ticks, we just can't know for sure. Let's remove them just in case. What I didn't say though, is in place, maybe a few if you have the opportunity, when you're next in a in a significantly sized New Zealand, secondhand bookshop book for copies of James carriages, books. And what you'll find is many copies of James carriages books from this period. So again, that suggests to me a continued circulation of texts, despite official efforts to control and withdraw and repress that suggests to me, men, women, perhaps even formally exchanging stories, and we all know what happens when you censor a novel. It doesn't necessarily repress or discourage, it encourages and invites. And perhaps that's what we're seeing in some of these. These these leases, and we would have seen more of had tarded lived long enough to be correspond with [01:02:52] Chris Farah, just like say a huge thank you for coming along to talk to us today. And I think when I first heard of carriage day, I thought it was just about the courage of the press writers, but but to hear more about this very courageous writer himself, and how he thrived and survived in in repressive times and this wonderful legacy that he's left behind that you have revitalised for us and and drawn to our attention. So thank you so much for doing this for bringing him to life. And this is this just a little Thank you. So thank you very much.

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