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In the Memorial Room: The Conditions of Being a Writer

Abstract : In the Memorial Room, the second novel by Frame to be published posthumously, announces many of the themes that she would develop only a few years later in Living in the Maniototo, including the role of the artist in her own fiction. The artist figure in this case is a young New Zealand man who has been awarded a fellowship giving him the chance to live and write in the same French town where Margaret Rose Hurndell, a national literary figure, and image of the famous New Zealand expatriate writer Katherine Mansfield, spent some time before she died. By staging the gradual erasure of its protagonist, In the Memorial Room allows us to reflect on the place of the artist in a society obsessed with the cult of celebrity, when being a writer should imply a dissolution of the ego and the foregrounding of language as the main driving force of his/her art. Through the seemingly trivial attention given to the artist's material condition, and by introducing characters who epitomize the different modalities of being a writer, Frame dramatizes the dialectics of the author's role with regards to his/her creation.
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Alice Braun. In the Memorial Room: The Conditions of Being a Writer. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2015, 51 (5), pp.591--602. ⟨10.1080/17449855.2015.1072889⟩. ⟨hal-01640470⟩



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