Read Owls Do Cry by Janet Frame Free Online
Book Title: Owls Do Cry|
Date of issue: 1985
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
The author of the book: Janet Frame
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 36.83 MB
Read full description of the books Owls Do Cry:You would think this night that the world sated with blossom and love and death would finish and there would be no memory of it anywhere, save perhaps on a cave wall of new time, where the posturing figures dance unseen their stillness of clay or chalk or stone.
You would think all this on a spring night.
Except the thinking is not real.
The feeling I had a lot when reading Owls Do Cry was of looking out of the corner of your eye. When looking at it full on whatever you expected to see was not there. If there's an astigmatism version for rose coloured glasses then it would be this family the Withers. Family and society mean fuck all for the look are the glasses. I wasn't surprised when the brother Toby reads his little sister's diary during a visit only to be startled into feeling shame when he comes across the pages about himself. I had been thinking about walking across your own grave before then. I don't think it was because he saw in handwriting that he had his mother wait on her own bread bone dry and it's not butter it's margarine (that he bullies her with further poverty with threats of pulling his shares out of the home that he owns with his parents made ME ashamed). Toby had self-awareness of the kind that sees what he expects to see when he slithers into another's eye frames. The kind of weasel you would expect to learn has a dating website profile lamenting that hot girls don't like nice guys and honestly, that's why he goes out of his way to make everyone's life hard in those little ways that add up to blind sided bad days. Greasy-haired, never had a girl, is he going to have one of his "fits" again. He just knows they don't like him, rather than expect better of himself. I SHOULD help my mother , he'd think. His fits are epilepsy, I think. If he had been female he would have ended up under the hot lamp suspect gaze with no phone calls or a glass of water, please. Under the knife and under the stars if all of your ancestors are really judging you. That was his sister Daphne's fate. Toby counts his money like he was the little brother from The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (great book). Coins over the eyelids long before you're dead is one way of living as if you already are. I had the feeling about this family that they were living the "When you get old I'm going to put you in a home!" threat from day one. It's a bitter unwhimpered threat. It is only funny if it is The Golden Girls and you can burn the place down with a hot plate. While Daphne is rotting away in the horror land version of Shady Pines, is that the dying sun reflecting off the you could see your reflection in it is so dirty from a lifetime of sweat and twisted worry dome of Bob Withers over there, you know, where the chicken died crossing the road? I don't know who sprung for the home in this gasping punchline of an ending. The joke isn't funny anymore (this time I'll get it in early that Janet Frame has the comic touch of I don't know if I'm crying or I'm laughing). The "normal" one, please don't call her Chicks anymore her name is TERESA, dead in a murder-suicide. Gotta keep up with the I-married-a-doctor-and-he-broke-both-his-vows-of-marriage-and-the-medical-board couple. She would have been the sort who would make sure you got her husbands title correct so I don't feel bad about my load of hyphens just there. If she could write about it after she died she probably wouldn't have minded that they were trendy. I wonder what Janet Frame would have made of the materialism of today if 1950s New Zealand cocked her brow? I can't see Toby springing for the fees for his father's home. It was probably the lobotomized Daphne in her on the way up factory supervising job. Or the institutional version of the unmarked pothole. Eldest sister Francie died in a freak accident. I am not sure how she burned to death. She rolled out of the pages and into the fires. She was kicking a leg in the mirror. She was whispering secrets that Daphne would always be too young to know, at least not without the so-called benefits of may I have the scalpel, please. She was too old for trips to the local dumpster for treasures. Chicks was running behind with sand in her shoes at the promise of aniseed cakes. Dad wanted to burn Francie's scandalous pants that signified that she was a loose girl. What will people say? After her death he burns those pants in secret. This was a moment that stood out to me as if a girl who was brutally dumped by her boyfriend bonfires every I love you beary much memory in retaliation and promptly regrets it in case they get back together. Was Francie really dead to them? I had the feeling that Toby was always reading Teresa's diary and running away in the night to avoid that exorcist head spin at their family. Remember when we called her Chicks because she looked like a chicken with hair swinging in her face, pointing at the ground as if she could pick up leftover grains of secrets that are only good when you're too young to know them? Teresa is the run away and be too good for your family sister. I don't know if anyone reading this has that kind of family. It was the much vocalized dream in mine. Hearing this has a special way of making you feel as if you had never had a family. If you wonder why YOU aren't also good enough to leave that is another way of losing it. I think that's what Toby probably asked himself every time he thought about Teresa and her house up north. I was interested in how Janet Frame saw that dream. Young Daphne puts her sister on a wicked witch of the west path in the cyclone trail on her bicycle to and fro from a factory job. Once upon a time I looked on a different New Zealand story, the film Heavenly Creatures, for my inner held up image for the horror romance. Teen murderesses scream with delight when their beloved ugly Orson Welles "chases" them in their fantasies. This movie made teenage me very happy because of that scene. Movies don't make me that happy anymore. Sure, there are some stories that spark my mind to go "Oh, this means that" (Claire Danes playing a bipolar character on series Homeland is a recent favorite. I'm not saying I can't get something out of good stories). I don't know if I haven't had the knack of finding the good ones like I used to, or maybe my standards are too high. I feel like the present and stretched out future is for them like that. To feel a shadow of that thrill, it has to come from memories (distorted or no) of the past. Daphne's spinning of "this means that" for a world she doesn't see the way a person who dreams of getting out as soon as they can felt like that reveling in the horror pleasure. I guess how else could you cope if that was your option. Backbreaking work until death. Little did she know what awaited her was much worse. I am horror fascinated by that her method of living with the world made it unlivable for her. Doors shut on the outside as the windows in the mind open like seeing a picture of yourself looking into a mirror. The Withers return to the mind boggling sudden death of Francie as a furnace of their own dreams if it worked as a time stands still trick for Daphne. If they ever read someone else's account of their poverty, or had to ride back to forth to the factory without kaleidoscopic colors of wool. In the fairy tales you could sacrifice your first born child for this. Well, Daphne was locked up for the poetic license she takes with her own life. They take it away from her. I had a feeling of a longing to return to before Francie had died. I couldn't call how Toby and Teresa see the world as poetic anything. It would be like overhearing someone else say the kind of critical things you would say to yourself if you are the sort of person who feels awful about bad hair days. If there was ever going to be a language that made sense of them as a whole it probably wouldn't be that kind. There's a before and after Francie. Funny, she was going to leave them too, as Teresa does. Mom and dad never had any money. They would write about them in their own diaries as figures who yell at them. There would probably be a page about having to do chores. A lot about wanting to live their own lives not as a family. Teresa thinks about where Daphne is shut and means to send her a tin of biscuits. That wasn't that different than Toby's longed for pleasure of finding out what the next flavor was going to be in a type of candy much like Life-savers. It probably wasn't as sweet as when they were kids and got those aniseed cakes (which sounded much like something my birds like to eat). If only Toby hadn't fled in the night when he read a diary never intended for him to read. Teresa's suburban life wasn't seen with the same warm kitchen lights as the one in Frame's Towards Another Summer. I had liked that book better for that, that it wasn't a win or lose life thing to have "it all" of a family versus being alone and not settled in if you were happy with that or not. I don't mind here that it's a loss because I don't think it was really about who saved themselves or not. The loss is in the meaning of it all. Why even have family? The feeling I have had all three times reading Janet Frame is that the only way to save yourself is to try and have as many kinds of looks that you can get. The stolen diary feeling isn't a pleasant feeling to have. I felt like Toby when he is dismissed. I had felt sorry for him when the girl he hardly admits to being in love with him is married to another man. She laughs at him for believing a childhood story about factory girls and a strap. I felt something else for him when another pleasure he gets out of his life is withholding the sports page from the newspaper from his father. These kids wouldn't ever get over that childhood slight, would they? I wonder what the point of moving away from the family you were born into and starting another one is if that is how it is always going to go. It's the home for you! Here, have a biscuit tin. Janet Frame was wonderful with the familial poetical strains carrying over through the kids. Daphne listened willingly. Toby has nightmares that his sisters are Shakespearean witches. Teresa silences herself in her diary. Toby at least pieces together how his mother pulled her view of the world from newspaper headlines read aloud to her from her husband. When Daphne writes something similar (I wonder where she heard it from) her sister only wonders that the nurses allowed her to send such a letter in the first place. What happened to this family?
Their mother sang a song to her children that went like this:
Come in you naughty bird
the rain is pouring down
what would your mother say
if you stay there and drown?
You are a very naughty bird
you do not think of me,
I'm sure I do not care,
said the sparrow on the tree
Frame wrote that she "half-wailing it so that it seemed tragic and terrible". Damn. Guilt trip for her kids, sure. But for a family that epitomizes "You don't call, you don't write"... I thought that was great. I read a review online that the character marginalized to the detriment of the story was the mother. I don't agree. I think she takes her place in that family and then doesn't take it, same as everyone else.
People could say that Janet Frame wrote similar books because of the autobiographical content. Like Daphne, she was locked away in an institution and scheduled for a lobotomy herself. Her family was poor. I read a goodreads review from a friend on here about another author not too long ago that she wrote the same book every time and I didn't agree with that either. Jean Rhys books read to me like interlocking pieces of the same puzzle. Janet Frame is something else. If you have ever struggled with a crushing weight on your own shoulders that was sometimes shifted to your heart, or maybe your brain, and you could trick yourself into thinking it was gone with stories you tell yourself? You would catch your own reflection and what you expected to see there wasn't what you saw anymore. Her books read like that to me (I've only read three so far. Maybe I'm talking out of my ass). Society is fucked up. Maybe it isn't that bad because there is a light coming out of these bridges that I can cross with some help. Is the ending of Owls Do Cry the subverted image of what you expect to see, what with the mentalist Daphne making the dough? Those who got out dug themselves in the pot holes (society loves parking lots). I feel it's sad and angry. Faces in the Water was kinder towards the lashers than I had inside of me because I was too angry that society doesn't ask of itself to be better than that. So the mom was going to die anyway. That was going to be her end no matter what. But why did she have children to live like that? Tell yourself I don't care, why is my son so cruel, that's how it goes. So their neighbors read about this stuff happening to all of these people. Anyone we know? I guess they didn't expect to see these people in the paper. They all had their places. Toby's sorta love who married that social security clerk who had been embezzling all the time. I missed the old Daphne who saw their ominous faces peeking out of the sides of Mt. Rushmore. Oh wait, that's me. I'm trying to reconcile historical expectations with it never happened so let's just give up. Oh wait, that's what they did. I'm stuck on Daphne getting locked up because her mind played tricks on her that it wasn't all the town dump and dad yelling at mom about money. Owls Do Cry is the it is freaking hard book. Poetry isn't going to save you this time.
Damn, but I do feel bad about that save yourself drive. I would think Frame would see it from both sides of the lonely socket. Somehow that isn't as consoling to me this time. I've seen where Daphne goes...
And the mill girls going on bicycles, chased by the south wind to their rooms of blindness; but not here, Daphne, here at the hour of the hooter, the door outside the mountain hovel is unlocked, some other door of a brick house holding the idiots and maimed and the dwarves with their crepe faces and parchment eyes, and these people move into the yard; they jabber, jibber and are quiet; they know what you say to them; they know, they are understanding, so they must work; and off they skip and limp and crawl, with bundles of soiled clothes under their arm to the laundry; all day with the hiss of steam like snakes in their ears; ironing, folding, hanging out the clothes; feeding and being crushed, their heads and the bones in their heads, under the mangle that is time, taking the sheets of earth they lie between and the pillow-cases of dream they rest their hearts on.
Read information about the authorThe fate befalling the young woman who wanted "to be a poet" has been well documented. Desperately unhappy because of family tragedies and finding herself trapped in the wrong vocation (as a schoolteacher) her only escape appeared to be in submission to society's judgement of her as abnormal. She spent four and a half years out of eight years, incarcerated in mental hospitals. The story of her almost miraculous survival of the horrors and brutalising treatment in unenlightened institutions has become well known. She continued to write throughout her troubled years, and her first book (The Lagoon and Other Stories) won a prestigious literary prize, thus convincing her doctors not to carry out a planned lobotomy.
She returned to society, but not the one which had labelled her a misfit. She sought the support and company of fellow writers and set out single-mindedly and courageously to achieve her goal of being a writer. She wrote her first novel (Owls Do Cry) while staying with her mentor Frank Sargeson, and then left New Zealand, not to return for seven years.
Add a comment to Owls Do Cry
Read EBOOK Owls Do Cry by Janet Frame Online free