The genesis and development of landfall and its influence in relation to the culture of New Zealand and the Commonwealth
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All the research and development of the following dissertation has been made possible by the award of a New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship (1970-1972) tenable at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. The spirit in which the Scholarship is awarded is one of mutual understanding between Commonwealth countries, as a first step to better international understanding among all countries, and it is sincerely hoped that this thesis will, in some small way, contribute to the spirit of friendship and cooperation that exists between Canada and New Zealand. It is my opinion that no two Western countries have greater common interests; in peacekeeping and peacemaking; in trade and non-alignment with military blocs; in standard of living and quality of life; in relations between ethnic minorities and powerful majorities in sovereign states: and I believe that our histories have led us in comparable cultural, social, and political directions.
The original goal that led me to pursue doctoral studies was to present a major comparative study of "the social and literary mythology" (ideas discussed by Northrop Frye in Fables of Identity) of Canada, New Zealand and Australia. The comparative aspect of this goal is now planned for a future book. The extensive and rich documentation of the story of New Zealand, available in the many city, provincial, university and private libraries throughout the country, has made the confines of a Ph.D. thesis hard to determine. As a result, and in order to choose a suitable and original topic, the thesis has been confined to a discussion of post-war New Zealand literature and culture as presented in the quarterly Landfall under its first editor, Charles Brasch (1947-1966).
The Introduction to the thesis explains the approach towards the topic: "The Genesis and Development of Landfall and its influence in Relation to the Culture of New Zealand and the Commonwealth." The term "Commonwealth" has been alluded to so that the thesis can be regarded in terms of the future comparative study. I believe that the term "Commonwealth literature", as accepted at the Conference on Commonwealth Literature held in Leeds (9-12 September 1964); can be used for the time being as a premise for comparative study.
The chapter on historic influences on Landfall is a survey of intellectual periodicals that developed out of the radical years of the Depression. A discussion of Charles Brasch and editorial policy arose from the comment by E.H. McCormick that "the periodical is best approached through a consideration of its editor".