Stories Without End: Essays 1975–2010, Judith Binney (Bridget Williams Books, 2009), 424 pp., $49.99
i.m. Dame Judith Binney, DNZM, FRSNZ,
How the Land Lies: Of Longing and Belonging, Pat White (Victoria University Press, 2010) 239 pp., $35.00
Kingdom of Alt, Jack Ross (Titus Books, Auckland, 2010) 240 pp., $45.00
What this added up to could be described as negative romanticism: subjectivity identified by being uninterested in winning sympathy or affection; meaning declaring itself to be uninterested in conclusions, especially transcendent ones; a presence revealed in its preference for distorted mirror-images over face-to-face disclosure; an honest preference for sleight-of-hand over ‘honesty’; and, most importantly, the poet’s liking for fictions, unreliable science, a certain droll impassivity, a relish of coat-trailing narrative, a love of the playfully esoteric.