Friday, August 09, 2013

It is better to be able neither to read nor write than to be able to do nothing else.

Life underwater. Clifton Beach, June 2013.

Once Were Warriors, Alan Duff: Very dark, very gritty. It's a far bleaker portrayal of life for marginalised Maoris in modern New Zealand than the successful film. Domestic violence, urban violence, poverty, drugs, alcoholism, unemployment, gang warfare, rape, physical and mental abuse, suicide, gender, identity, race and culture are just a few of the subjects explored in gritty fashion. I'm not sure whether reading this is more akin to getting punched in the face or kicked in the guts. One of the two, anyway. A-.

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, Stephen Crane: Urban grit, 1893 style! Originally refused by all publishers because of sexual frankness, it might seem tame to the modern eye but remains shocking enough. C+.

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