Sylvia Ashton-Warner Elizabeth Janeway - Essay

Elizabeth Janeway

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Books by Sylvia Ashton-Warner have a kind of Marshall McLuhanism about them. They are essentially reworkings of the same material: the years she spent teaching Maori children in New Zealand, the emotions she put into her work and her living and the methods of teaching she devised…. Some of her discoveries are recounted [in "Myself"], as they were made during the years this diary covers, 1941 to 1945, and they are, as ever, interesting, vivid and revealing. But most of Mrs. Ashton-Warner's attention is turned to her personal emotions, as the title suggests. The result is a curiously unnerving document, confessional in its candor at times, but lacking a comerent center. In spite of the title, that missing center is...

(The entire section is 484 words.)