Saturday, March 03, 2007

Fight! Fight!

Last year I advertised the launch of NZ Gothic, an anthology of Kiwi writing 'from the dark side' that included poems by regular Reading the Maps infiltrators Jack Ross and Olivia Macassey. A cheeky young tyke from Christchurch named Paul Alan Wood gave NZ Gothic a rather tepid review in a recent issue of the Listener; Jack Ross has struck back with a review of the reviewer that recalls the rebuke he gave to Paula Morris on behalf of his friend Tracey Slaughter in brief #33.

Jack obviously believes that a faulty review in a mass-circulation publication like the Listener is a serious thing, and that it is only fair that the advent of blogging should allow aggrieved scribblers the automatic unmediated right of reply to misguided critics. But Jack isn't simply whingeing - he makes some interesting points about the editing of NZ Gothic:

Of course the book isn’t complete. It never had any aspirations to be (as I understand it, at any rate). Wood is more on the money when he remarks: “The book reads like what it is: a collection of conference papers – personal enthusiasms in fancy dress to entertain peers, with dubious connections to a theme and a few reprints from elsewhere.” Yep. And? Your problem is …? True, it certainly is “a mixed bag.” But then it did originate in a conference...

Any issue of a journal is in a sense an anthology, and after a stint editing brief I can heartily agree with Jack that an anthology needn't - and sometimes simply can't - be an integrated, harmonious work. You can choose a theme, but you can't write the friggin' contributions for them, Paul.

Rumour has it that comrades Ross and Wood are going to resolve their differences in a constructive fashion by slugging it out at the Wine Cellar next Tuesday night. I'm betting a round of beers on the mean-looking guy with the glasses...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like ross.

he can transform.

12:57 am  
Blogger Jack Ross said...

Actually I've had some quite constructive correspondence with Wood since my review-of-a-review was written, so the fight remains what it always was, a figment of the overheated imagination of our worthy but dubiously veracious Maps ...

12:40 pm  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home