Janet Frame Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 40 quotes)
...When our thoughts revolve we are so often deceived into supposing that their violent movement is an indication of their vigorous originality, the upheaval of prejudice and fixed ideas, when all the time it is more likely that the machine which contains them is only an elaborate cement-mixer, and when the thinking is finished, those whirling thoughts are smoothed into the unchanged conventional mould and seeing them set solid enough to dance, to build, to travel upon, we would never dream of their first deceit, of the hope once roused by their apparently violent reorganisation...
[...] a morass of despair violence death with a thin layer of glass spread upon the surface where Love, a tiny crab with pincers and rainbow shell, walked delicately ever sideways but getting nowhere, while the sun [...] rose higher in the sky its tassels dropping with flame threatening every moment to melt the precarious highway of glass. And the people: giant pathworks of colour with limbs missing and parts of their mind snipped off to fit them into the outline of the free pattern.
I inhabited a territory of loneliness which resembles the place where the dying spend their time before death, and from where those who do return, living, to the world bring, inevitably, a unique point of view that is a nightmare, a treasure, and a lifelong possession.[It is] equal in its rapture and chilling exposure [to] the neighbourhood of the ancient gods and goddesses.
I walked up the ramp and stood in the van, trying to decide where to begin my inspection of the concealed words whose bones were molded together by men to make either an awesome vision of truth that would guard any door of the mind, or a creature that would stand for a while, deceptively whole, then collapse, scattering across the threshold the dry dead bones that did not even burst into flame at their friction one with the other.
Nothing is simple if your mind is a fetch-and-carry wanderer from sliced perilous outer world to secret safe inner world; if when night comes your thought creeps out like a furred animal concealed in the dark, to find, seize, and kill its food and drag it back to the secret house in the secret world, only to discover that the secret world has disappeared or has so enlarged that it's a public nightmare.
I don't wish to inhabit the world under false pretences. I'm relieved to have discovered my identity after being so confused about it for so many years. Why should people be afraid if I confide in them? Yet people will always be afraid and jealous of those who finally establish their identity; it leads them to consider their own, to seclude it, cosset it, for fear it may be borrowed or interfered with, and when they are in the act of protecting it they suffer the shock of realising that their identity is nothing, it is something they dreamed and never knew; and then begins the painstaking search - what shall they choose - beast? another human being? insect? bird?
Listening to her, one experienced a deep uneasiness as of having avoided an urgent responsibility, like someone who, walking at night along the banks of a stream, catches a glimpse in the water of a white face or a moving limb and turns quickly away, refusing to help or to search for help. We all see the faces in the water. We smother our memory of them, even our belief in their reality, and become calm people of the world; or we can neither forget or help them. Sometimes by a trick of circumstances or dream or a hostile neighborhood of light we see our own face.
The strain of constant adaptation to so many fearful events and discoveries is already too much to bear with sanity; one has to keep pretending to slip successfully into the new mould; a time will come when the tailored and camouflaged mind breaks beneath the burden; the stick insect in our brains no longer cares to resemble a twig on the same habitual human tree in the mere hope that it may survive extinction.