09-CP 12-1 (br pp.256-293) 2/21/00 8:27 AM Page 289 book reviews 289 from the Sepik region. Among the questions Gillian put to each of these writers was: “What are your views about English as a medium of expres- sion?” William Takaku described the loss of linguistic diversity in Papua New Guinea as a tragedy. He argued that while the use of English was clearly only going to increase, it was also going to destroy the country’s literary potential in the process. “The expres- sions [of our mother tongues] are much more . . . ,” he said, obviously searching for a word. “In English they will come out inside-out or back-to- front, they won’t make sense.” Then there was the problem of audience. Takaku described his audience as being in the villages. “So how can I use English?” he asked. John Kasaipwalova, on the other hand, had this to say: “It’s exciting. I would put it this way—it’s a tool. Our own traditional languages are Dreadlocks: In Oceania, volume 1, beautiful tools, but they’re stone axes. 1997, edited by Sudesh Mishra and Suddenly you’re given a tool that is a Elizabeth Guy. Suva: Department of bulldozer. . . .
The Contemporary Pacific – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Feb 1, 2001