Richard Meros recipient of Catton's Horoeka Reading Grant

Richard Meros, long-time author of Lawrence and Gibson, has published an essay describing his reading while recipient of Eleanor Catton's Horoeka Reading Grant. Established in 2015, the grant is designed "to give New Zealand writers the means and opportunity not to write, but to read, and to share what they have read with their colleagues in the arts." Read more about the grant here.

‘New Bourgeoizealand’ by Richard Meros

It seems like many, many years since New Zealand was the land of milk and honey. And while there are those who are creaming it, and the hives are still buzzing, many of us are living lives of lack.

There are not enough jobs, and the ones that we do have are precarious.

There are not enough houses, and the ones that we do have are expensive, leaky and cold.

There are not enough government services, and the ones that we do have are making cut backs.

There is a lack, there is a lack, there is a lack.

These appeals to lack have a rich immediacy: we feel half-emptiness and we let each other know it could be better. Every complaint, we might hope, contributes to the death of the government.
But when killing the government, even if it is one criticism at a time, we all become executioners.

The problem with being an executioner is not that each individual criticism is in some way wrong or immoral. Instead the problem is that, in the end, we end up with the executioner mindset, seeing the world as one powered by corporal justice. And whoever considered ‘off with his head!’ to be a prescription for the good life?

Read the rest of the article at the Horoeka website.