“When The New Zealander Comes”

David Platt’s Where London Stood has a good survey of literature on the Victorian trope of the New Zealander, who surveys the ruins of our once-great imperial metropolis.

This includes a link to the rather wonderful  report by fellow topologist Prof. Blyde Muddersnook, P.O.Z.A.S. on his archaeological excavation of the ruins of Lun-Dun.  Originally published in the Strand magazine in 1911, it reads like P. G. Wodehouse possessed by a Ballardian ghost of Xmas future:

…These ruins are now all that is left of the once famous Cockni cathedral of St. Paul’s. It was a superb day in early autumn when we halted to survey the scene, and my talented friend, Dr. Tite Opkins, took up his post on one of the shattered arches, in order to make a sketch of the ruins. Another colleague, Mr. Mustard Snip, proceeded to make some solar prints of the immediate neighbourhood, which is one much haunted by bitterns.

PS boxinthecompass has made comparisons between The New Zealander and Squint/Opera’s Flooded London images made for London Festival of Architecture 2008.


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