Victoria University of Wellington Library. He is falsely accused of a sexual offence against the boy and goes to gaol. As Peter Simpson notes in his review of Millar’s biography of Pearson , ” Fretful Sleepers is a trenchant study of the drive to conformity in New Zealand”, while Coal Flat embedded “within it the social analysis informing Fretful Sleepers , but focusing on characters and events in a small West Coast coal mining town based on Blackball where Pearson had briefly taught school and worked in a mine “. The Australians were far from docile in their reaction to the proposed anti-communist bill. Only with the passing of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill in did Pearson timidly and tentatively begin to come out of the closet, but by then it was too late to revive his thwarted creativity. Reviewed by Matt Bowler

Heinemann Educational Books , , Auckland. This experience later provided the setting and many of the characters for his acclaimed social realist novel Coal Flat Only when things go visibly wrong does he recall his right to question the authority and change it. As Pearson explained it:. Can means may in New Zealand. I felt they should have done something about it.

As Pearson explained it:. Posted by Jason at So he is suspicious of politics — the anti-conscription campaign and the Stockholm peace petition were suspect not out of fear of communism but because the man who tries to stop sleeperz drive to war is reminding everyone of the moral responsibility he gave away with his vote. His essay Fretful Sleepers is a scathing and sharp indictment of New Zealand society.

After Coal Flat he never wrote any more fiction. Anna Kavan ‘New Zealand: A figure who was at the centre of New Zealand’s literary and academic world in the s and 60s and yet today remains a slightly peripheral player.


It might be reversed and come to mean power is permission, might is right. Paul Millar proves to be just the man for the job.

It seems we are the most fertile testing-ground for legislation dreamt up not by the National Party but foreign diplomats: In this article I have to steer between two dangers, each represented by previous assessments of ‘the New Zealand character’.

He has shrugged off responsibility and wants to be left alone. In the army I re-thought my position and concluded I could no longer logically object to fretfful service. The New Zealander delegates authority, then forgets it.

Strangely enough there has been less of this nostalgia about England. He was a homosexual at a time when that wasn’t understood or accepted at all.

Some English customs and dialects are more foreign to us than Irish or Scots. When I read sleepfrs my impression was that I’d been listening to a rotarian, the two of us puffing pipes by a fire, picking our noses, having a man-to-man talk over the whisky fumes.

fretful sleepers essay

Returning from London to teach in the English Department at Auckland University inPearson found himself becoming associated with the small community of Maori students 35 from a roll of overand assisting them both academically and financially. Share via email email.

Fretful Sleepers and Other Essays

Digital publication kindly authorised by: Heinemann Educational Books, Auckland Digital publication kindly authorised by: That page 2 is true, but I am trying to sketch a character faithful in its emphases. The real difficulty, though, is to distinguish between what accidental or temporary adaptations, whether these are general, whether they belong to the West Coast where I grew up, whether I am only projecting my own faults.


fretful sleepers essay

Later, at training college, university and in the army he served in Egypt, Italy and Japan but never saw armed conflicthe learned to disguise his feelings behind a facade of mateyness. It could be argued that to me as a child they simply meant adults ; and at that time I did impute infallibility to adults. Many readers will be tempted to think I only mention this to advertise the degree. Again I shall have to keep clear class backgrounds—whether I am talking of miners, clerks or businessmen.

fretful sleepers essay

Seth Meyers slams Uber as wife gives birth in lobby. Newer Post Older Post Home. Similarly the rise of radical feminism and theory-driven approaches to literature made his last years of slerpers a misery.

Review: No Fretful Sleeper: A Life of Bill Pearson – NZ Herald

In his introduction to the collection Fretful Sleepers and Other Essaysfrom which this version of the title essay has been retyped, Pearson notes that it zleepers been “clandestinely photocopied” for teaching use. Reviewed by Matt Bowler At Ma’adi I saw a sergeant practicing with a flame-thrower and I asked myself, Would I be capable of using a weapon like that? Mr Sargeson wrote in Landfall March