Monday, May 27, 2013

You Are Now Entering The Human Heart

The moment I spied my reflection this morning, I saw Janet Frame staring back at me.
It's been so long since I've read the works of my favourite New Zealand author, I dashed to the library to feed my appetite.
I've never seen her books in op shops, hardly surprising, but it means I don't own any of the glorious works I discovered at age 16.


Janet Frame was born in Dunedin in 1924 and bears a remarkable resemblance to women in my mother's family, while Mum was born around the same year in nearby Invercargill.
When I read her first autobiography, To The Is-Land, I felt I was taking a peek into the lives of my kin, who also scratched their way through the Depression, just two hours away.
As a child and young woman, Janet struggled with self-acceptance, loathed her signature red bushy hair, the hardships of farm life and the clothing which branded her family as poverty-stricken.

See???  The hair!  The hair!
Jane Campion directed An Angel At My Table, the story of Janet's journey to adulthood, her misdiagnosis of schizophrenia, years of pain and horror spent in asylums, her narrow escape from  an involuntary lobotomy and the early days of what would become a victorious literary career.
Yes.
I am a Janet Frame fanatic.













Quick, where is the Red Cross God with the ointment and plaster the needle and thread and the clean linen bandages to mummify our festering dreams?





It would be nice to travel if you knew where you were going and where you would live at the end or do we ever know, do we ever live where we live, we’re always in other places, lost, like sheep.

I imagine Janet with pink hair would look like something like this while collecting eggs, shirking human contact to read in secret and dream in the shade.

1930s silk slip, and 1950s beaded cardigan - Etsy
1940s skirt (part of a suit) - eBay
Silk scarf - gift from divoooon Tamera
Earrings and necklace - craft markets
VW Melissa gumboots - Melissa sample sale








The Stylist took these pics, isn't she clever?
Baci,
Desiree xo

40 comments:

  1. The stylist is a whizz with the camera!!

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  2. I've never heard of Janet Frame but I'll have to add her autobiography to my list of things to read.
    What a great homage to her though, your hair looks brilliant! The stylist is certainly very clever with the camera, the shots are all really lovely. Particularly those ones of you through the grass and the image of your boots and book through your hair. Wonderful!

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  3. Now you've given me another movie to see. Looks fascinating! Love the pics! Xx

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  4. I have seen that movie and i loved it and it took a firma grip around mycket heart.... just wanted to rescue here ....

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  5. I've never heard of Jane,but she sure is a perfect source of inspiration. Just look at you!

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  6. What a lovely tribute to Janet, you look wonderful dear Desiree! I loved the film, so thanks for the recommendation of her autobiography.

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  7. Thanks for telling us about her. I enjoy learning of interesting people.

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  8. Thank you for introducing me to a great female writer, can't wait to watch An Angel at my Table, You look wonderful xxx

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  9. So very interesting Desiree. I have to find out more about the film, and Jane.
    Thank you my pink friend.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  10. The Stylist is very clever! Love the shot through your pink hair, and the ones of you lying in the grass. Lovely!

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  11. Ah, the things I've learned from blogs... I think I'd heard of Janet Frame before, but now I'll actually look for her work in the library. Thanks for such an ethereal lesson!

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  12. gosh i love this post, those quotes are fabulous, gonna get me some of that writing xxx

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  13. God this hair of yours! I love it!
    I think i saw this movie i'm sure!
    Yes the stylist is very clever nice pics!

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  14. I read the book some years ago but have never seen the film... you have made me want to.
    Yes, The Stylist really has an eye for an good shot, hasn't she? The pics in the grass are awesome. And you look wistful and introspective and thoughtful and shy and a little startled to be caught... Beautiful cardigan, and your hair never fails to delight. xxxx

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  15. The stylist has taken beautiful pictures of you in that rural idyll, you look perfect in the surroundings, even with pink rather than red hair. I have never heard of that author, but she sounds (and looks) like a very interesting character. Xx

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  16. Yowsers, that is some serious hair (on both of you)! I love your big boots. I think you're also channeling a bit of Little Edie with the headscarf, mother darling :)

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  17. Those boots are great! I've also never heard of Janet Frame, but it sounds like I definitely need to read her book!

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  18. The Stylist is an artist. She has a wonderful eye.

    I've never heard Janet Frame. Learning about new things is what makes blogging so much fun

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  19. I'm not familiar with this author's books at all. I must track them down.

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  20. I've never heard of Janet frame. I am intrigued!

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  21. Best photos ever, I never read any Jane Frame's book, it's awful that they aren't published here, but I loved Jane Campion's film! Great tribute, the photos are stunning!
    xxxxxxx

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  22. Janet Frame used to live in my neighbourhood in Dunedin in the 1990s. Whenever I walked past, I wanted to knock on her door and tell her how inspirational she was, but I knew she would have hated that as she wanted to live anonymously and modestly.

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  23. I love these photos! I read Frame's autobiography as a teenager and saw the film too. Both made a big impact. Much more recently I read a biography which was sad and wonderful. I have come across her novels in second hand book shops. They are around, perhaps not so much in op shops though.

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  24. The stylist is clever. You are gorgeous and now there's somebody I need to read, and learn about.

    Hugs.

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  25. OMG I've never hear of her but now I MUST look up her work. You look adorable still in your fluffy pink hair.

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  26. such an inspiring post, love your pink hair and fabulous tribute!, you're brilliant!! (and love your boots)!
    and that lovely Stylist taking your photos is so cute!!
    besos & wild hair!

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  27. I've never heard of her but will definitely be checking out her books and the film!!
    thanks for sharing such a facinating person with us!!

    and you look facinating yourslef!1 The Stylist is becoming quite the pghototographer!!

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  28. Great photos the stylist is getting very clever with her camera tell her to keep it up I am super impressed with her photography!!! And very interesting this Janet Frame I love that graffiti pic of her I think I might need to draw a picture for you of her :) this was a very enjoyable post Love Heather xoxo

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  29. This is such an inspiring and creative tribute post. The Stylist is becoming quite a skilled photographer with a good eye for composition. Kudos to her for these cool shots!

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  30. Absolutely awesome pics, the stylist is turning into quite the pro-photographer, well done that girl :)
    ...xXx

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  31. I'm a lit major so authors always interest me... Great post. Love the Stylist last two pics of you through the grass.
    Becky

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  32. As a red head kid I hated my hair most of my life because people teased me for it and guys thought I was ugly because of it. I would probably like this film in a sad sort of way. I love the pink fro pic and the ones the Stylist took are very clever indeed.
    xxoo

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  33. I am a huge fan too.. She was a brilliant author. My brother-in-law's grandad (who just died last year)was one of her psychiatrists down there for a while. A nice one.
    Poor tortured soul. It's such a shame she wasn't able to embrace and celebrate her uniqueness and awesomeness..
    YOU do look like her reclining in the grass. YOur hair is just like hers would be, if made pink... Brilliant.
    Have a lovely weekend!

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  34. I'd just love to know you in real life! You're always such an inspiring person! I'll definitely check Janet Frame's story out, and definitely watch the movie. Thank you for talking about this person, i don't think I would have ever known her otherwise!

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  35. I read this on holiday but I couldn't comment on my phone... but it was so fascinating to read all about Janet. She sounds like such an interesting woman and reading about her sent me off in all sorts of directions reading about famous lobotomy's, Janet's strange friends, her life and the Kennedy Family!! You look like a beautiful but tortured writer, lying wistfully in the grass - fantastic photos by the stylist. Love the wellies and slip together! Perfect! xxxxxx

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  36. Thanks for this post. I remember seeing the film as a kid and it haunted me as I found I could relate to her (I was the fat kid with red hair) and still think of her to this day but I never knew what it was called or who it was about - so thanks for the tip! Will have to read the book now!

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  37. Yes, she is very clever - the pics are absolutely beautiful. I love this post. I remember seeing this movie a million years ago and now I am going to watch it again this weekend. I need love and art and crazy hair and beauty in my life!

    Sarah xxx

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