Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Thanks to everybody who came to see me at the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival. The talk I gave in the auditorium of the public art gallery was based on this blog post about the Great South Road's refugee history, but my words were complemented by Paul Janman, who discussed his recent return journey down the Great South Road to the fortress-town of Kihikihi and his efforts to photograph the relentlessly bombarded volcanic landscape of Wiri. Our fellow scholar of the road Ian Powell took these photographs of proceedings. Caroline Barron chaired the event, and put a picture of my struggle with powerpoint technology on instagram.

I had some marvellous conversations with audience members in the foyer of the gallery and on the boozy edge of Aotea Square. Some of the members of the audience had travelled from towns like Te Kauwhata and Huntly; a few had talked and drank with me and with Paul Janman on our walk up the Great South Road last December.

My interlocutors offered new research leads and new inspiration. During my talk I'd described the communist outlaws who hid their printing press in a South Auckland cave until it was discovered by two small boys; afterwards, in the gallery foyer, I met a woman who believes that those boys were her brothers.

Now that I've gotten Tonga and the festival out of the way, I'll be giving my lecturing tongue a rest for a while and getting on with some overdue essays and reviews, while keeping an eye on the road.

[Posted by Scott Hamilton]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your writing is banal your ego is huge.Time to take these bad blogs down and get a real job. Start supporting your family, put food on the table. Oh sorry, you have an enslaved woman to do that. Face it you will never make it as a writer.Man up and be a real dad to those kids.

11:23 am  
Blogger Richard said...

You should delete all anonymous comments and spam, Scott. I also suggest comment moderation as Jack has on his blog. You are not getting useful comments from the anonymous people, as any attacks on you need to have a name and spam is annoying. It seems that there are fewer comments but via comment moderation and control (filtering) you can keep relevant comments. You have twitter for other things.

That is what I would do if I received ones such as the one above: or had as many as you get. I had to unsub. from a lot of annoying things, even relatively 'benign' things as I was wasting too much time.

All the best with your projects. I myself support your work and your writing I consider some of the best I have read of current writers, essayists, poets, critics etc So ignore anyone who is jealous of your considerable abilities and the work you have done in history, art crit., your own creative writing, and the social and political comments and blogs. Many in Tonga for example are inspired by such as yourself and Michael Horowitz.

10:40 pm  
Anonymous Scott Hamilton said...

Yes, I just saw the anonymous comment, Richard: pretty odd. Comments on blogs have declined in quantity in the last few years, with many commenters migrating to twitter and facebook. I think that's a pity, in many ways, because those sites are less accessible than blogs. Often quite animated and interesting comments threads about important issues uncurl in semi-privacy on facebook, with only folks who are part of a circle - of work colleagues, or friends, or relatives - getting to read the debate.

8:56 am  
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