The Unstable Manifold. Janet Frame´s Challenge to Determinism

Document type: Monographs
Author(s): Karin Hansson
Title: The Unstable Manifold. Janet Frame´s Challenge to Determinism
Series: Lund Studies in English
Year: 1996
Pagination: 149
ISBN: 91-7966-352-4
ISSN: 0076-1451
Publisher: Lund University Press
City: Lund
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: Dept. of the Humanities (Institutionen för humaniora)
Dept. of Humanities S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 780 00
http://human2.ihu.hk-r.se/
Authors e-mail: karin.hansson@ihu.hk-r.se
Language: English
Abstract: The New Zealand writer Janet Frame has become known to the reading public mainly through her autobiographical trilogy comprising "To the Is-land", "An Angel at My Table", and "The Envoy from Mirror City". To a large extent critical attention has been autobiographically oriented, or otherwise focusing each of her eleven novels separately.
This study concentrates on the theme of adaptation and evolution in her entire oeuvre. Applying a more interdisciplinary and scientific approach than is usually practised in leterary criticism, it considers Frame´s anti-Darwinian stance as "a Challenge to determinsim" calling material progress and adaptability into question. Novels like "Intensive Care", "Scented Gardens for the Blind", and "The Carpathians" are prophetic in picturing a cataclysmic end to human culture and civilization, it is true, but they also celebrate the power of imagination, memory and creativity. frame foresees not only horror and loneliness "at the edge of the alphabet" but also the possibility of a restoration of humanity and language after an era of unconditional adaptation.
Subject: The Humanities\English
Keywords: Literary criticism, New Zealand
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