New perspectives on Janet Frame's The Lagoon and Other Stories - 21 October 2010

full name / name of organization: 
École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France

We propose to offer new perspectives on Janet Frame's first collection of short stories, The Lagoon and Other Short Stories (1951). The seeds of most of the themes developed by the writer from New Zealand in her later works can already be found in these short stories, written while Frame was confined to a mental hospital. Contributors may therefore examine experiences of the margin and of marginality, more particularly by showing to what extent they are inscribed within the very modes of writing. The obsession with death and solitude may also analysed in its relation to narrative strategies. In short stories which are marked by a tragic stance, one may examine to what extent humour can be used as a means of distanciation, but also how language hides more than it reveals, how voices mix and blur, and how clichés are both denounced and revisited. A generic analysis of the form of the short story itself could be proposed in order to demonstrate its relevance to Frame's creation.

All papers will be delivered in English. Proposals for papers (title and a 150-200 word abstract) should be sent to both convenors: Vanessa Guignery, ENS de Lyon ( and Catherine Pesso-Miquel, University of Lyon 2 ( before July 30th 2010.