Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays on place from Aotearoa New Zealand edited by Ingrid Horrocks and Cherie Lacey (Victoria University Press, 2016), 222 pp., $40
Extraordinary Anywhere consists of sixteen essays, a ten-page introduction jointly signed by the editors, and a response essay by Martin Edmond: 222 pages of prose in all.
Edmond writes that in order ‘to investigate something properly we need … archives, dreams, memories’. That was expressed in another way some decades ago by the American author Wendell Berry, who suggested that ‘we have to know where we are before we know who we are’ – in other words develop a sense of deep culture, human or otherwise. An individual, he is saying, needs to explore the physical, historical and ‘storied’ environment of a place before he/she can truly place themselves there. We can use either of these statements as parameters with which to consider the contents of the volume, because they suggest a movement beyond the superficial from the essayist. [Read more…]