Sunday, June 29, 2008

A lost weekend in the north -
Posthumous publishing is often a bad idea, but Janet Frame's early novel about a nightmarish 48 hours is a piercing, poetic revelation
Rachel Cooke writing on Sunday June 29, 2008 in The Observer.

Towards Another Summer
by Janet Frame Virago £12.99,
Random House in NZ & Australia

The recent history of posthumous publishing has not been terribly happy. While we offer up grateful thanks that Virgil did not get his way over The Aeneid (he asked that the manuscript be burned), or that Boswell's journals were not 'lost' after all (they were found in an ebony cabinet), these days you have to wonder why the executors of literary estates are so willing to leave their consciences - not to mention their brains - at the library door. Is there any true admirer of Philip Larkin who found the decision by his executors to publish Trouble at Willow Gables, the risqué schoolgirl fiction that he showed only to friends in his lifetime, wise or even remotely edifying?
And a story on the Janet Frame novel on this blog earlier this month.

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