The Michael King Memorial Lecture

A modest crowd heard John Carey deliver the Michael King Memorial Lecture today. Carey talked about the influencesCover of Being Pakeha Now that shaped William Golding the novelist.

Golding was a complex man – a scientist who could talk knowledgeably with James Lovelock about the latest NASA rockets, a fine musician, a man free from conventional opinions, a deeply religious man, a socialist with a strong sense of class inferiority, a brave man in wartime who was deeply fearful in everyday life and a teacher who incited the boys in his class to violence as a psychological experiment.

Do only complex people write novels?

John Carey has been involved in some spirited argument during the festival. He believes in the accessibility of art to everyone and the clarity of his writing and his speaking certainly work to that point.

Michael King was another writer who as Rick Gekoski said introducing the lecture took “complex and culturally important things and made them available to everyone”. There is now the Michael King Writers’ Centre on the North Shore. It is a writer’s residence, offers short stay accommodation and runs a community outreach programme of public literary events, writing workshops and master classes.

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