Everything’s Something in Place by John Geraets (Titus Books, 2019), 326 pp., $42; Contents Under Pressure by Gail Ingram (Pūkeko Publications, 2019),86 pp., $25; Lay Studies by Steven Toussaint (Victoria University Press, 2019), 108 pp., $25
John Geraets’ Everything’s Something in Place: Writings 1980–2015 is in many ways a celebration of the survivor’s right to write history. He gives us what he would like to be professionally remembered by: literary criticism, poems, general essays, anecdotes that are part of New Zealand literary history.
It is not a scholarly biography, however. Geraets revises essays published over a period of some years, to the extent that much of the material floats unattached to any identifiable date. This is fine – he alerts us in informative introductions that may well be the most recently written content, though he doesn’t specify. He reveals his journey from being a ‘lapsing Catholic’ (sounds continuous) to a ‘direct engagement in Vipassana and Buddhist life principles’ (sounds staunch). His first encounter with Zen is written as a travel diary, doubly attractive to me for not mentioning Alan Watts. [Read more…]