The ethics of fiction: Representations of New Zealand history in the poetry of Chris Tse and Airini Beautrais, and how an author's sense of self affects the story
Mead, O. F. (2020). The ethtics of fiction: Representations of New Zealand history in the poetry of Chris Tse and Airini Beautrais, and how an author’s sense of self affects the story (Thesis, Master of Professional Writing (MPW)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14040
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14040
The landscape of contemporary literature and film is saturated with interpretations of recorded histories and events. We have passed them down through generations—orally at first, written recordings when we had the comprehension and means to do so—each representation changed a little bit more by the time it reached us. But contemporary literature also draws from recent history, helping both reader and author to understand the contexts in which they exist. The resulting texts inform, and in turn are informed by, our cultures, ethnicities, religions, values, geography—all contributors to the sense of self with which we interpret fact and fiction. This thesis looks at the representations of events within New Zealand history found in the poetry of Chris Tse and Airini Beautrais, considering these events through the specific lens of each author’s culture and identity. From the murder of Joe Kum Yung in 1905 and the death of anarchist Neil Roberts in 1982 to the multi-layered history of the Whanganui region, each collection illustrates how an author’s sense of self can alter history. Tse’s How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes and Beautrais’ Dear Neil Roberts and Flow: Whanganui River Poems are examples of the impact of an author’s voice on historical fact, and reinforce a need for accuracy in the poetry genre in the context of New Zealand history and literature. As poet James Brown asks: is verse the future of history?
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses