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Towards Another Summer Essay

  • Submitted by:
  • on October 25, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 7,187 words

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Below is an essay on "Towards Another Summer" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Towards Another Summer
Critical Essay
Janet Frame's autobiographical novella Towards Another Summer, was published posthumously in 2007. (1) It was produced in 1963, when Frame was living in London just after The Edge of the Alphabet was published, and she was writing The Adaptable Man. (2) All Frame's fictions have autobiographical elements, but Towards seems the closest to her life and experience. The major difference between the novel and autobiography, for Philippe Lejeune, is the implicit contract or 'pact' between the writer and the reader which occurs with autobiography: with works of fiction, the protagonist and narrator connect to the author through the confirmation of the author's signature on the cover of the book. (3) In Towards, many characteristics of the protagonist correspond to the life of the author. Like the author, the narrator Grace Cleave is in her early thirties. Cleave has left New Zealand to pursue an intellectual and emotional education in London. When Philip Thirkettle, a journalist with 'the newly-bathed, immersed look of English intellectuals,' asks her if she ever intends to go back Grace responds: 'I was a certified lunatic in New Zealand. Go back? I was advised to sell hats for my salvation.' (4) Despite these autobiographical elements, Frame's biographer Michael King refers to the text as 'a short novel', (5) and the publisher packaged and released it as a fictional work. Thomas Larson, in discussing the differences between fiction and memoir comments: 'One critic, who approved of the novel more than the memoir, deemed the first 'literature' and the second 'psychotherapy' ... A novel emphasizes the emotional truth of a character while a memoir emphasizes the emotional truth of the author. That both forms are also dramatic, descriptive, characterizing--all things narrative-does not change their purpose.' (6) It is likely that the text contains some painful emotional truth which the author can only express through the fictional...

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