The stunning debut of the repairing of a life, by Leigh Davis (Otago University Press, 2010), 216 pp., $39.95
Our stock of available reality not only has been more or less stopped being added to, it is rapidly shrinking, and what remains of it also is becoming costlier. The stunning debut of the repairing of a life by the late Leigh Davis is one of those increasingly rare books that not only dares to but succeeds in augmenting our stuff of life. It is a humbly ambitious work of wide scope and deep integrity. If, as Wittgenstein suggested, the ethical is fundamentally a question of an individual’s attitude when regarding the world-as-it-is, Davis’s book is quietly powerful enough to prompt the reader to question perspectives informing their own normative outlook. And it is in this regard that Davis’s The stunning debut can be considered the finest long poem published by a New Zealander since Smithyman’s Atua Wera.