Thursday, July 26, 2012

"I wanted a Maori word to get into the American newspapers."

"I wanted a Maori word to get into the American newspapers."

~ Janet Frame in interview with Stephanie Dowrick, Sydney Morning Herald 1985, explaining one of the reasons why she called her 1979 novel Living in the Maniototo.

"There has always been interest [in Maori culture] yet too often it has been the interest of the living directed towards the presumed dead. I think it is marvellous and good that, however slowly — too slowly — the people banished to sleep, to a silence that equates with death, are alive, speaking and writing their own language and sharing its riches. The eighties will be remembered not for the repayment of the national debt but for the acknowledgment and payment of a language debt which — a miracle of market force — can only accumulate a human treasure for New Zealand and the world."

~ Janet Frame in interview with Marion McLeod for the New Zealand Listener, 1988, discussing the Maori language revival movement, of which the long-running  'Maori Language Week' (Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori) is just one of the strategies.

(Interviews are quoted from JANET FRAME IN HER OWN WORDS, Penguin NZ, 2011)

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