D'Arcy Cresswell (2846 words)

John Newton (University of Canterbury)
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D'Arcy Cresswell's reputation is not the one that he coveted. He is not remotely the poet he believed himself to be, and judged on his verse alone would long have been forgotten. He remains, however, one of New Zealand literature's outstanding identities. His value is principally symptomatic, exemplifying in extravagant gestures the signature dilemmas of mid-century provincialism. But the idiosyncratically quotable prose of his two volumes of autobiography exerts a strong fascination in its own right, even as readers inevitably struggle with the questionable attitudes and foibles of its author.

Walter D'Arcy Cresswell was born in Christchurch on 22 January 1896, the third child of Walter Joseph and Hannah Cresswell. The family …

Citation: Newton, John. "D'Arcy Cresswell". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 October 2007 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=11835, accessed 07 August 2022.]

11835 D'Arcy Cresswell 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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