Shirley Hazzard John Colmer - Essay

John Colmer

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

In its poignant but clear-sighted exploration of the birth and decay of love, the loss of innocence, and the painful process of self-discovery through love, [the fiction of Shirley Hazzard] seems to take its inspiration from continental models, from Benjamin Constant, from Chekhov and Turgenev, while in its regard for economy of means and perfection of phrase it surely owes much to Maupassant and Flaubert. In its concern with distinguishing true from false values, spontaneous from conventional codes of behaviour, it may owe something to Forster, especially in the two short stories 'Harold' and 'The Worst Moment of the Day'…. If the comparisons I have made with the great European writers seem to imply extravagant...

(The entire section is 1575 words.)