K.D. Muir’s Literature Quiz

What is it with these Canadian born Kiwis? First there was Anna Paquin who became the second youngest Oscar winner at age 11 for her role in The Piano. Now we have Eleanor Catton who has become the youngest winner of the Man-Booker prize at age 28 with her novel The Luminaries. Of course the Canadians have quickly jumped to claim her as theirs but there is the rather crucial point of where she received her education. Believe it or not I have first-hand knowledge of the High School she went to. This would be because I also attended Burnside High School in leafy Christchurch (Or should that be ‘shaky like a leafy’ Christchurch?).

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

Eight hundred and thirty two pages of West Coast gold!

Did we have the same English Teacher at Skool (sic)? Probably not but it’s quite clear the standard has improved since I was there. Let’s be clear. I am nine years Eleanor’s senior so I doubt she had Mr Mein-Smith or ‘yer wan with the frizzy hair’ I had for English in seventh form. No doubt they now have the finest post-graduate scholars who have travelled the globe honing their craft and passing their wealth of knowledge to the students of North-West Christchurch. Yes, things are better. But I digress.

It’s a fantastic achievement this and has to be good for Kiwi writers and their standing in the international community. I have often thought that geography is our worst enemy in terms of developing a quality arts scene, a quality music scene..heck even a half decent soccer team would be nice. You only have to look at the Irish and their proximity to Europe to see it has helped them flourish in those areas (actually forget I mentioned soccer). Here’s hoping the talent scouts are out looking for the best and brightest minds New Zealand has to offer. And once they have found them perhaps they might settle for one or two of the more secondary, crusty, cynical minds that New Zealand used to offer – like me (going cheap to a good home).

Seriously though, I know that the ‘brown slice’ of pie is next on my quiz list so in honour of Eleanor, now is as good a time as any. I’ll stick strictly to literature questions and forget about the arts. Here’s a quiz for ya’s. Answers in the comments section please. Go on ya good thing!!!

  1. Who wrote the Jabberwocky?
  2. Name the first NZ Author to win the Man-Booker prize?
  3. Where was J.R.R. Tolkien born (it’s not ‘Middle Earth’)?
  4. James Joyce’s Ulysses was written in Dublin, Paris and which other European city?
  5. In what year did Ernest Hemingway win the Nobel Prize in Literature?
  6. Which cities does Charles Dickens write of in A Tale of Two Cities?
  7. Name the protagonist in The Catcher in the Rye?
  8. In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the villain Napoleon is what type of animal?
  9. What pseudonym did Emily Bronte use when first publishing Wuthering Heights?
  10. What does Roald Dahl’s acronym ‘BFG’ stand for?

You may also like...