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This Magnificent Accident: An Interview with Witi Ihimaera

This Magnificent Accident: An Interview with Witi Ihimaera Margaret Meklin and Andrew Meklin The writings of Mäori novelist Witi Ihimaera, whose flamboyance matches his fame, and who, in public interviews and personal letters, frequently dubs his involvement with literature "a magnificent accident," can indeed be considered, if not magnificent, then at least magical. Born in 1944 into the Te Aitanga A Mahaki, Rongowhakaata, and Ngati Porou tribes, Ihimaera is a controversial thinker, who, despite constantly comparing "profane" English with "sacred" Mäori, nevertheless wins the hearts of readers with stories written in that very same "profane" English. While some of Ihimaera's achievements owe themselves to twists of fate (for example, as we found out from our interview with him, his first collection of short stories being noticed by a prime minister), his enormous productivity can be credited mostly to hard work. Indeed, Ihimaera has tried his hand at novels, poems, plays, librettos, and children's books. It seems perfectly natural that Ihimaera, who has identified magic realism as one of the cornerstones of his writing quests, attributes his success not to himself personally but to "an accident." Perhaps by somehow overshadowing his own will in becoming a writer, he appears to tap indirectly into the cosmic, supernatural powers http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Contemporary Pacific University of Hawai'I Press

This Magnificent Accident: An Interview with Witi Ihimaera

The Contemporary Pacific , Volume 16 (2) – Aug 31, 2004

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9464
Publisher site
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Abstract

Margaret Meklin and Andrew Meklin The writings of Mäori novelist Witi Ihimaera, whose flamboyance matches his fame, and who, in public interviews and personal letters, frequently dubs his involvement with literature "a magnificent accident," can indeed be considered, if not magnificent, then at least magical. Born in 1944 into the Te Aitanga A Mahaki, Rongowhakaata, and Ngati Porou tribes, Ihimaera is a controversial thinker, who, despite constantly comparing "profane" English with "sacred" Mäori, nevertheless wins the hearts of readers with stories written in that very same "profane" English. While some of Ihimaera's achievements owe themselves to twists of fate (for example, as we found out from our interview with him, his first collection of short stories being noticed by a prime minister), his enormous productivity can be credited mostly to hard work. Indeed, Ihimaera has tried his hand at novels, poems, plays, librettos, and children's books. It seems perfectly natural that Ihimaera, who has identified magic realism as one of the cornerstones of his writing quests, attributes his success not to himself personally but to "an accident." Perhaps by somehow overshadowing his own will in becoming a writer, he appears to tap indirectly into the cosmic, supernatural powers

Journal

The Contemporary PacificUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Aug 31, 2004

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