Click on the pictures to see enlarged versions of the images.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


(Village in the Snow by George Callaghan, Irish artist)

This poem is by Janet Frame (1924-2004), a novelist and poet from New Zealand. She spent years in insane asylums for the treatment of schizophrenia. In her late twenties, she was even scheduled for a lobotomy. Only the announcement that she had won a literary prize prevented that operation.

Janet Frame’s startlingly imaginative works bring up questions that perhaps we should leave for the psychiatrist or the philosopher. Mental illness can distort one’s sense of reality. Could we then say that this is one source of her remarkably original images or metaphors? Or, is it more accurate to say that creativity, like character or personality, is largely independent of an illness?

You can learn more about Janet Frame from a sensitive film of her life,
An Angel at My Table. It is based on her autobiography and was directed by Jane Campion, another artist from New Zealand.


A crime so frequent, so huge
of fraud and camouflage
would make it seem almost natural
the hurt world lying forever
locked in plaster
with some remembering the green
others never forgetting the

~ Janet Frame

1 comment:

Tess Kincaid said...

I LOVE Janet Frame, in fact her "Pocket Mirror" is here on my desk, as we speak. The accompanying image is just perfect.

(thanks for the heads up!)