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Tapa Notebooks


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Full text of Martin Edmond's Tapa Notebook [PDF: 9MB]

Martin Edmond was born in Ohakune, New Zealand and now lives in Sydney, Australia. After a period in the 1970s travelling with Red Mole theatre, he spent the 1980s working as a screenwriter, before turning to literary non-fiction as his preferred mode of expression. He has written a number of books about artists, several memoirs, others of uncertain genre. He is currently working on a commission to write a biography of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua in Whanganui.

Martin writes:

In 2016 I went on a research trip to the northern hemisphere, gathering material for my 2017 book The Expatriates. This consists of short biographies of four New Zealanders who spent the main part of their lives overseas. They were Harold Williams, Ronald Syme, John Platts-Mills and Joe Trapp.

The journey took me to England, to Europe, and to the United States. I kept a diary, writing up the events (and non-events) that occurred along the way as I travelled from London to Oxford to Hull; to Den Bosch and to Lisbon; to New York and to Boston.

At the time I thought the diary might form the basis of a travel book and I did write a draft of such a book. It was called 'The Road to Entepfuhl' and I've never tried to publish it because I was unconvinced by the way it unfolded in a conventional, first-person, time-based narrative.

Subsequently I excerpted passages from it and re-wrote them as stand-alone essays on various subjects that arose during those journeys. I added accounts of other journeys and collected them under the title 'Living in the Everywhen'. It is in two parts: 'North' and 'South'. The essays from 'North' are linked to below.

The entries in the Tapa Notebook are midway between the diary and the essays. I did not write them on the road; they were compiled after I returned to Sydney. I remember sitting at the dining room table in my flat in Summer Hill, with the foolscap exercise book diary open beside me, writing the entries into the Notebook.

This does not make the Notebook inauthentic; nor is it a direct copy. Rather, it is a separate, though related work, alongside 'The Road to Entepfuhl', the nine essays from 'Living in the Everywhen', and The Expatriates.

Last updated 13 December, 2021