Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"A mighty exploration of human consciousness"



J A N E T  F R A M E

Janet Frame's writing is quite singular in directness of tone and assumption of shared mental experience. Concentration of observation in the author is returned to the reader with matching precision and power, and her writing sets off small explosions in the mind and imagination. As the body of her work has enlarged, one comes to understand it not just as a series of extraordinary insights into suffering and thought, but as a mighty exploration of human consciousness and its context in the natural world.


In  1926 the American Academy of Arts and Letters created a foreign honorary membership "to strengthen cultural ties with other countries." It currently elects 75 distinguished writers, composers, painters, sculptors, and architects from around the world to become Honorary Members. The honorary foreign members have all the rights and privileges of membership except the right to vote. New members are inducted in a ceremony held in New York every May.
25 years ago this week Janet Frame was inducted as an honorary foreign member of the Academy. She attended the lunch and ceremonials, escorted by JK Galbraith who read the above citation. She was greatly honoured by this prestigious affirmation from her American contemporaries.

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