`The Fantastic' as a Mode of Writing in Janet Frame's Stories.

Ahila Sambamoorthy
University of Otago
Department of English

Deep South v.3 n.2 (Winter 1997)

Copyright (c) 1997 by Ahila Sambamoorthy, all rights reserved.

The selected stories that I am going to discuss in this paper, from Janet Frame's The Lagoon and Other Stories (1951) and The Reservoir: Stories and Sketches (1963), rely on a literary mode that can be termed as 'fantastic'. The 'fantastic', in the way I am defining it, is a heightened form of impressionism that is characteristically symbolic and imagistic. The communication of quasi-visionary childhood impressions in The Lagoon (1951), that assumes the form of formative forces of the unconscious, is modified into a more dramatic pseudo-fantastic mode in The Reservoir (1963), a mode that evolves in its diverse manifestations throughout Frame's writing career.

In the stories that I will be considering, the child-visionary's animistic and anthropomorphic modes of perception -- the attribution of living soul to natural phenomena and inanimate objects -- are particularly notable in that they grant the perceiver with mystical perscipience. This consequently results in the creation of a 'paraxial' realm, an 'eerie' intermediary zone which is fractured from within, thus lying between the 'real' and the 'imaginary' worlds. What the child-visionary perceives is not the manifestation of an optional transcending world, but is in fact an 'alterity': this world transformed and recreated through a private vision that supersedes realistic modes of perception and cognition.

The narratorial voices in these stories, which instead of narrating, explaining, and assuring, fade away in order to locate the discourse in the minds of the characters. Frame thus employs an impressionistic technique emphasizing mood, rhythm, and sensory impressions, working with subliminal states of consciousness (instead of rationally oriented thinking). The unity and coherence of the narrative comes to depend on the presentation of symbolic landscapes through moments of epiphany.

Frame's artistic method is concerned primarily with portraying the "life within", "the imaginative light" which transforms ordinary, commonplace events (Frame, 'Artists Retreat', 1970, 13). Already in these stories, we find a perception of the world that senses occult life in external phenomena, a visionarysymbolic interpretation of life and death which is expressed imagistically. Lawrence Jones terms such a method as looking "inward to psyche", as demonstrated in the mainly "psychological" stories and sketches of ,The Lagoon (1951) and The Reservoir (1963) that evoke "voices from the interior" (Barbed Wires and Mirrors, 1987, 164): a "subjective", "interior" reality that is being communicated (Pearce, 'Dislocating the Fantastic: Can This Old Genre be Mobilized?' 1985, 97). Along with scrupulous realism, Frame introduces another level of narrative that is permeated by the haunting resonances of dream and nightmare. In these stories, the reader perceives a disintegration of realism in the child's cognition of the world around. As in all of Frame's works, the fundamental theme expressed in most of her stories is the reality, and the haunting questions, of the inexorable theme of death, a dominant facet of the child's visionary perception.

The Lagoon (1951) collection consists of simple impressionist stories of childhood with unsettling hints of the fantastic, stories which seem to read as relatively naive, innate expressions of the world surrounding the child. These are stories that present the child's gradual acquiring of that deeper reality underlying life through what Philip Griffiths calls the "inner resources of imagination and dream" (1974, 100); for behind logical order, there lies a hidden life which the mind can detect and recognize, but which reason instantly represses. 'The Secret', 'Keel and Kool', 'Child', and 'Swans' portray the child's initial stages of comprehending the fearsome world where 'owls do cry', a world where an ingenuous view is threatened or subverted by an implicit authorial notion of death.

There is a natural progression of vision from the child's intense apprehension of the world in The Lagoon (1951) to the visionary's further realization of death within and beneath it, an evolution that false society aborts. From the more elementary impressionistic style used in the first collection of stories, Frame progresses towards a more dynamic, fantastic recording of inner sensations in stories such as 'The Reservoir' (The Reservoir 1963). This story, as the reader will observe, moves away from the relatively direct impressionism of The Lagoon (1951) to a bolder, dream-nightmare type of narrative that communicates the child's deep set dread towards the reality of time and death which are represented in distinctively hyperbolic terms, predominantly through the words of a more mature mind. In this way, the child becomes Frame's visionary/ seer/ poet who journeys from the logically ordered public world into that fuller reality that embraces knowledge of death. While the child's intuitive apprehension of the darkness of the surrounding world is camouflaged by the adult in The Lagoon (1951), the stories from The Reservoir (1963) present adult narrators looking back at childhood experiences. As such, the vision in these stories is a dark perception of the world, instead of a celebratory one.

'The Secret', 'Keel and Kool', 'Child', and 'Swans', all four from The Lagoon (1951), and 'The Reservoir' and 'The Bull-Calf' from The Reservoir (1963), are psychological inquiries into the developing consciousness of child protagonists, an insight into the child's acquiring of a more complete reality of the darker forces, and the instability of natural forms, of the world. Of these stories, 'Keel and Kool', 'Swans', 'The Reservoir', and 'The Bull Calf' have been also included in You Are Now Entering the Human Heart (1983), a title which suggests that the stories are to be read as psychological enquiries into the human heart. With their careful blend of realism and impressionism, these stories draw on imagery to probe into the fantastic, phantasmagoric realm of childhood vision.

The narrative of 'The Secret' introduces the reader to the quasi-fantastic mode, in which realism is shown to be capable of instantaneous dissolution into powerful and often menacing images, a significant mode which is developed further in the other stories. 'The Secret' is basically realist throughout with meticulous details about the retrospective relationship between the ostensible narrator and her sister Myrtle, and several details about the social world around them, veering towards internality only to depict a child's awareness of the impinging death of her sister which is communicated euphemistically by the narrator's mother to the narrator. Already here, the reader notes linguistic obstacles in the representation of the 'real'. For the child, the reality of "die and death" is imminent and harrowing. However, for the adult such grave words may be replaced readily by platitudes such as "go" and "pass away" (15). This ambivalence between the child's own understanding of death on the one hand, and her mother's fraudulent representation of it on the other, causes even more anxiety in the child. The deepest layers of her mind are seen to be plagued by a sudden emerging of a repressed fear that is sharpened and intensified by the night, a terror that is communicated by the child's momentary perception of the sinister shadows in her room:

that night, in the middle of the night, I woke up. The shadow of the plum tree outside was waving up and down on the bedroom wall, and the dark mass of coats at the back of the door made fantastic shapes of troll and dwarf. (16)

The child's awareness of the reality of death in this story is incipient, for she can only sense vaguely its cold, sinister presence as she comprehends it in her subconscious. The fantastic is embedded in this story as an outgrowth of realism, as the child recasts the actuality of the plum tree outside her window as the spectre of death, that other realm of threat and the unknown, in the form of legendary "fantastic shapes of troll and dwarf".

'The Secret' terminates on a note of unease and disruption, where a more horrible fuller reality distorts the realistic observation of the world, and intrudes into the peace and glamour of the childhood scene. The narrator experiences a broadening of her conscious perception of reality which darkens her psyche, as she listens for the beat of her sleeping sister's heart (Myrtle supposedly has heart disease): hence the injection of a macabre element into the structure of the unassuming child's world. The narrator is obviously troubled about her sister's imminent death, but finds consolation in false hope: "[T]omorrow there'll be a ripe plum on the plum tree, Myrtle and I will eat it" (17). To the child in this story, thus, the promise of fruition and maturity appears to transcend the possible death of her sister.

'Keel and Kool', like 'The Secret', shows a pattern of reminisced childhood contentment that is subverted and distorted through the discernment of a fantastic realm of a subliminal, macabre reality of death. We start off with a snap-shot of what the father calls a "happy family" (19), which will be disproved by the end of the story, as the ideal of life and happiness becomes progressively undermined by death.

'Keel and Kool' communicates a child's desolation upon the demise of her sibling, and reveals that the child's desire to escape from reality leads to the realization that the fantasy world of escapist enchantment, indeed, cannot compensate for the painful realities of the world, and what more, for the death of her sister Eva. Winnie wished she were "somewhere far far away" but "[p]erhaps there was no place. Perhaps she would never find anywhere to go" (27). She longs to share a make-believe fairytale-like realm in which she and her sister can thrive; thoughts of fantasy are entertained in her mind, and craved for. However, the use of the conditional or undecided tense "would" implies to the reader the child's acceptance of the fact that her desire for fantasy and wish-fulfilment cannot be realized, for the more replete fantastic reality of death has contaminated her world of enchantment. Alas, in her mind, Winnie is aware in a moment of vision that the siblings are now worlds apart. Upon Winnie's instant spotting of a bird in flight, her dead sister becomes coalesced in, or metamorphosized into, that momentary vision of the seagull, generally regarded as a symbol for the soul. Even as early as in this story, Frame presents an ontological perspective that proves to be unredemptive and unconsoling:

Winnie . . . looked up in the sky and watched a seagull flying over. I'm Keel, I'm Keel, it seemed to say. Come home Kool, come home Kool. Keel Keel. Winnie felt lonely staring up into the sky . . . . [U]p in the sky there was a seagull as white as chalk . . . . circling and crying Keel Keel, come home Kool, come home Kool. And Kool would never come, ever. (26; 30)

The "I" of 'The Secret', that definite narrative self, is in 'Keel and Kool' replaced by a more distanced, better-informed omniscient voice that communicates the child-protagonist's awareness of a more complete reality beneath life's surface. Such a method enables the juxtaposition of the child's private world of instinctual fears with her mother's glib notion that "children were such happy little things" (21). The child here is also confronted with the superficiality of dominant, conventional idiom that expresses itself in euphemisms: Winnie knows that her mother "always said went or passed away or passed beyond when she talked of death" (20). However, the child shows a profound, spontaneous awareness of a latent, but threatening reality that surrounds her. A quasi-fantastic mode, which depicts the natural world as disintegrating and taking on strange overtones, communicates Winnie's acute anxieties about death. Her fears about father getting drowned in the "deep and wild" river that "made a roaring noise" take on ominous tones in the child's innate perception of a menacing natural world. The murky colours of the tempestuous river where her father goes fishing creates in Winnie the image of a sombre, sunless, world overcast in shades of grey: "It was the greyest river Winnie had ever seen. And the sky was grey too, with a tiny dot of sun. The grey of the sky seemed to swim into the grey of the river" (21). Similarly, the objects around her become sinister, as is manifested by the "shrivelled up cones" that resemble "little brown claws" (23), or the intimidating pine tree, that appears in all its immensity and age, as "so big and dark and old" (26).

As opposed to the sensitivity and intuitive abilities of the child is the non-visionary adult's evasion of that fuller, impending reality. Note the way in which Winnie's father is walking, "as if he were trying to dodge a blow that might come from the sky or the trees or the air" (21). He is trying to avoid the forthcoming bitterness of life which he anticipates, but will not acknowledge, insisting on the "happy family" scenario. The child Winnie, on the other hand, seems to go through a process of harsh disillusionment and awakening, onto a more stark fantastic reality of death. From cavorting with her friend in the early pages of the story, she comes to understand that death cannot be avoided, and that there is no escape from this fuller reality.

I have shown the way in which Frame's symbols express internal meanings drawn from the minds of the characters. Most of the images related to the child's world suggest either warmth, security, and comfort, or threat, fear, and impending doom. In 'Keel and Kool' the ashen image of the seagull, in the way it is presented, loses its predatory qualities, communicating not the child's fear of the world, but more precisely, guileless feelings of abandonment and dejection.

In 'Child' (The Lagoon, 1951) the child's delight in the world of senses and sight is undercut by the veiled ruminations of her darker ego, of which she is only dimly aware, communicated by the recurring image of the "dark macrocarpa hedge" (78), and the appearance of the "dark and diamond-shaped" ducks gliding overhead like birds of prey (84). These images communicate a certain grimness in the otherwise unassuming mind of Jan. The macrocarpa hedge becomes immediately a compelling image of something "unknown and terrifying" (78), as soon as the child gets a glimpse of it when she visits her friend Minnie at her home. Jan's ability to see beneath the tangible nature of things is a reflection of her intuitive vision. As is obvious, the symbols used in 'Child', take on more ominous overtones than the basically innocuous, virginal image of the white gull in 'Keel and Kool', in order to hint at the realities beneath the secure surface of the world.

'Swans' (The Lagoon, 1951) is a more intensely visionary story bordering on the fully fantastic. It is particularly noteworthy for its internality, its concentration on the child's sense impressions, sights, sounds, and private feelings, as conveyed by retrospective narrator who appears to be looking back on childhood experience. The beach the children and their mother visit is not localized, but universalized as "Beach", an unknown place, "the wrong sea" (63) that provokes in them pervasive feelings of unease. Because Frame's child-protagonists empathize with, and rely on, the natural world for re-assurance and comfort on the one hand, or on the other hand, for indications of the presence of a fuller reality such as death, objects of nature tend to be invested with attributes of the child's feelings. The "watery" sun thus becomes personified as a melancholic "sad sun"; the "long green and white waves" of the sea cry in "sad", "desolate" tones (58; 59); the wind becomes a menace, "springing" the children "backwards and forwards in a devilish exercise" (61); darkness prowls like an uninhibited thief, snatching light. These images become in a way telepathic communicators of the child's quiescent realization of a fuller fantastic reality.

'Swans' relates the distress that blights a bright, secure, confident childhood world, and the acquisition of the knowledge and fear of death as the children here begin to penetrate into the uncertainties of the world, questioning the validity of an absolute adult knowledge. Adulthood is, for the child, something to be feared, a decay, a diminution, a shrunken world, for "the two little girls knew for sure that never would they grow up and be people in bulgy dresses" (57).

'Swans' moves through the childrens' carnivalesque sense of abandon "racing and jumping and turning head over heels" (61) during the daytime at the beach, to the dawn of night which gives way to a moment of reverie and the acquiring of a deeper reality deriving from "the darker world outside" (15). Again, in blending realism with a quasi-fantastic impressionistic technique depicting suppressed, instinctive states of mind, 'Swans' concentrates on the child's comprehension and dread of death, communicating her/his emotions in a primarily associative manner. Here, Frame externalizes the childrens' vague sense of doom by attaching it to a corresponding objective correlative, the mysterious dawn of night upon the waters of the lagoon, which creates a new awareness triggered off by a moment of revelation:

It was dark black water, secret, and the air was filled with murmurings and rustlings, it was as if they were walking into another world that had been kept secret from everyone and now they had found it. The darkness masses across the water and over to the east, thick as if you could touch it, soon it would swell and fill the earth. . . . They looked across the lagoon and then saw the swans, black and shining, as if the visiting darkness tiring of its form, had changed to birds, hundreds of them, resting and moving softly about on the water. Why, the lagoon was filled with swans, like secret sad ships, secret and quiet. Hush-sh the water said; rush-hush, the wind passed over the top of the water; no other sound but the shaking of rushes and far away now it seemed the roar of the sea like a secret sea that had crept inside your head forever. And the swans, they were there too, inside you, peaceful and quiet watching and sleeping and watching, there was nothing but peace and warmth and calm. . . . (64)

The passage above suggests readily a mystical experience, a movement from one life space to another, as the story itself moves from the light of day to the darkness of night. The cold, shadowy, fearful world of death evoked by the symbol of the black swans is portrayed as an undisclosed, uncertain, realm beyond the ordinary world, clearly "another world" represented by the sea, an archetypal image of knowledge of life and death, as well as a Jungian "symbol of the collective unconscious, . . . [where] unfathomed depths lie concealed beneath its reflecting surface" (Jung, Dreams, 1982, 122). In accordance with Jung's concept of the sea as "a favourite place for the birth of visions", in 'Swans' the sea incidentally becomes an emblem of the mystic realm, the other world, that the child's imagination is able to uncover instinctively, "for it was as if they were walking into another world that had been kept secret from everyone" ('Swans', 1951, 64).

The recognition of the voice of the sea, I feel, speaks of an embryonic realization of the hazards and uncertainties of the "dark" (62) unconsoling world beyond the observed, an awareness that will corrode the child's gullible, ingenuous, perception. The phantasmagoric form of the swans on the lagoon as creatures metamorphosized from the impenetrable fog of darkness, together with the repeated use of simile, qualifying terms of ambivalence, -- "as if", "like" -- suggests the evocation of an elusive landscape of the mind which connects symbolically the external world of perception with a "subjective vision" (Barbed Wires and Mirrors, 1987, 164) of foreboding, melancholia, and apprehension. The childrens' recognition of the presence of unknown forces causes dread and insecurity in them that they have come to the wrong sea. There is a strong sense of the unreliability of empirical data, as well as in errors of perception and interpretation, creating at once a boundary between the physical and the mysterious, the real and the imagined. The "secret" world is observed by the children as it is conceived by their imaginations alone. These feelings are, however, alleviated by the sense of security offered by the mother, embodied in the flock of the "peaceful and quiet" swans, a source of comfort which mitigates the thoughts of the oppressive impending death of Gypsy the cat. The child here is not able to sustain the archetypal symbolic connotations of death associated with the black swan. The conclusive atmosphere in the world of the story is thus one of tranquility and security, as reflected in the soft sibilant sounds of the waters of the lagoon.

The visionary fantastic can be seen in its developmental form in 'The Swans', as it is not fully recognized in its potentially hyperbolic forms of expression. Thus, the child here is not yet able to transform fully her/his instinctive perception of reality into entirely fantastic terms. Instead, the ambiguous, rather naive, recognition of mortality in 'Swans' is quite immediately transformed into "peace and warmth and calm" (64). The world view presented is one that could almost be described as pantheistic, anthropomorphic, in its simplicity and naivete.

A related point to be considered in 'Swans' is the handling of point-of-view and levels of awareness. The innocent vision of the children with their trust in their parents is juxtaposed against the worried and puzzled view of the mother, who feels that she cannot really protect the children as they believe she can. Implicit beneath it all is the implied author, who is stating that the swans are really a symbol of death and the unknown that the children are not fully aware of, and that their mother confusedly senses how frightening the world is, but will not face it: the world proves to be unknowable, complex, and perverse, to a far greater degree than the adult admits. Seen in this way, the different layers of the story interact by fusing the reality of death with a visionary perception of it, in order to suggest the child's emerging, or pseudo-fantastic vision.

Unlike the two children in 'Swans', the girl Olive in 'The Bull-Calf' (The Reservoir, 1963) seems to be more psychologically astute, perhaps more mature child-protagonist who, despite her young years, becomes disillusioned with the routine of everyday living which embraces gross realities such as the castration of bull-calves. Neither does Olive find any consolation in the world of fantasy to compensate for the disturbing dark realities she is exposed to, yet cannot comprehend fully. Standing alone on the hill at night, Olive sinks into a state of despondent contemplation. The narrator communicates Olive's personal feelings through the familiar associative narrative procedure that makes nature a mirroring of the child's psyche, by anchoring a tangible object of nature to that elusive emotion felt by the ruminating self:

She sighed. The grieving hush hush of the trees disturbed her. Their heads were bowed, banded with night. The wind moved among them, sighing, only increasing their sorrow. It came to her, too, with its moaning that she could not understand; it filled the world with its loneliness and darkness. (68)

The child here, though clearly more knowledgeable than the children in The Lagoon (1951) stories, still appears to be tentative in her complete awareness of disturbing phenomena. Olive herself is overcome by a sense of anguish upon seeing the injured bull-calf, but she cannot understand why mention of the bull-calf should make her parents feel so ashamed and embarrassed: "Why were they so secretive? What was the mystery?" ('The Bull-Calf', The Reservoir, 1963, 73). The pure, unpretentious world of the child is irreconcilable with, and threatened by, the sullied, superficial world of the adult.

In contrast to the sadness evoked by nature as she stands pensively on the hill, there is a definite sense of comfort, dependency, and truth value reflected in the narcissus presented to Olive, who is rejuvenated by the overwhelming beauty of its "transparency . . . where every fiber of the bulb seemed visible and in motion as if brushed by secret currents and tides" (73). In all its perfected diaphaneity, the flower becomes a paragon of universal beauty, and nature itself a sublimation of a personal sorrow, as is reflected in the "grieving hush-hush of the trees", with their heads "bowed" in grief (68).

In 'The Reservoir' (The Reservoir, 1963), Frame goes further in her manipulation of a subjective mode through the surrealistic effects produced in her narrator's mind. The comparatively tempered, euphonious feel to the impressionist style of The Lagoon(1951) acquires in 'The Reservoir' an eruptive, almost riotous quality in the excitable consciousness of its retrospective narrator. Observe how a fantastic, hyperbolic mode is employed to evoke heightened states of mind, whilst the rest of the narrative is written in a realistic mode, such as is used in the detailed description of the reservoir at the beginning of the story.

'The Reservoir' has a first-person narrator, an adult looking back on childhood experience, restricting herself mostly to what she thought and felt then. Through the mind of an adult thus, the reality of death is made more inspirational, more fantastic in style than in The Lagoon (1951) stories discussed in this chapter. Again, the chief focus of 'The Reservoir' is the subject of death, symbolized by the legendary terror contained in the forbidden reservoir, which like the sea in 'Swans', is an image of flux and concealed dangers. The childrens' consciousness is suffused by the fear and knowledge of death by drowning. In a characteristically hyperbolic mode, the guarded world of childhood is magnified, through a cosmological vision, into an intolerable world ablaze with a heat-wave:

Rumours circled the burning world. The sea was drying up, soon you could paddle or walk to Australia. . . . Cracks appeared in the earth; the grass was bled yellow. . . . Sunstroke. Lightning. Even tidal waves were threatening us on this southern coast. The world was full of alarm. ('The Reservoir', 5-7)

The feelings evoked in the passage above are volatile and agitated in their flurry of envisioned catastrophes. The fantastic mode thus provokes feelings of agitation, as is indicated by the "restlessness" and "unrest", an explosion of turmoil that is sustained on a structural level throughout the story by an exaggerated mode of registering experience, as in the children's vision of a world menaced by bizarre happenings such as a holocaust, and a killer epidemic in the form of "Infantile Paralysis" (6). Indeed, the world has become a perilous place for the children, with its "centre of . . . pools of molten lead bubbl[ing], waiting to seize [them] if [they] tripped" (9); the vengeful sun waits to "pounce", like a creature of prey, upon the entire town (6), drying up vast stretches of sea; the sensational flooding of the Nile comes to be located in the finite flooding of the reservoir's creek (7).

Unlike the naively intuitive sensations recorded in 'Swans', with its use of imagery that is predominantly domestic and familiar, 'The Reservoir' -- as a retrospective story narrated by a person who seems to be looking back at childhood -- shows an adult perception of the world's dangers. Consequently, the reader finds the use of bolder, more powerful, nightmarish imagery, such as the striking image of the reservoir as "a bundle of darkness and great wheels which peeled and sliced you . . . and drew you toward them with demonic force. . . ." (11) Its dangers are only imaginable in 'moments of sleep and dreaming' (15), which in themselves become a mythical reserve for the mind's most immediate, but repressed fears. There is an irony, an unspoken agreement between the adult narrator and the reader that the adult world symbolized by the reservoir as an archetypal image is frightening to the children, possibly in ways more profound than the parents in the story are aware of. Thus the children's confidence at the end of the story is misplaced, a stage in their development which they have moved beyond.

Clearly here, the negative aspects of nature are becoming pronounced in the child's mind. Nature, which the children identify as a source of refuge and consolation in 'The Swans' (The Lagoon , 1951), becomes disquieting and is seen as laden with more perils. The trees here do not communicate in a childlike fashion, with their soothing "hush-hush" ('The Bull-Calf', The Reservoir, 1963), but exist in a remote dimension 'in the sky'. In all their gigantic dignity, they appear as primeval forms, "their great arms and joints creaking with age and the burden of being trees, and their mazed linked roots rubbed bare of earth, like bones with the flesh cleaned off them" (11). The reservoir itself, as suggested at the beginning of the story, becomes an intimidating and sinister body of water, which is later made to appear even more threatening with the deformed vision of distended carcasses floating on its tributary. More ominous allusions to the chasms of the reservoir where "the eels lurked and the weeds were tangled in gruesome shapes", and the "gaunt telltale bones" of trapped cattle hint at a remorseless, inevitable process of devouring against which humanity is utterly powerless.

The stories that I have discussed in this paper, as I have demonstrated, rely on a literary mode that was to characterize Frame's entire writing career. Through a heightened and imagistic form of impressionism, Frame has shown how the reality of the "object" world is transformed into an "unrealistic" or mystical mode that emerges as a projection of her visionary-protagonists' psychological acuity and distortion of "normal" perspectives. __________________________________________________________


Frame, Janet. The Lagoon and other stories . (1951). London: Bloomsbury Classics, 1991.

---. The Reservoir: Stories and Sketches. (1963). New York: George Braziller, 1993.

---. 'Artists' Retreats'. Interview with Claire Henderson. Listener [New Zealand] 27 July 1970: 13.

Griffiths, Philip. 'Janet Frame's 'Swans'. Words: Wai-Te-Ata Studies in Literature [New Zealand] 4 (1974): 97-108.

Jones, Lawrence. 'No Cowslip's Bell in Waimaru: The Personal Vision of Owls Do Cry'. Barbed Wires and Mirrors: Essays on New Zealand Prose. By Lawrence Jones. Dunedin: Otago Univ. Press, 1987.

Jung, Carl Gustav.Dreams. Trans. R.F.C. Hull. London: Ark, 1991.

Pearce, Howard D. 'Dislocating the Fantastic: Can This Old Genre be Mobilized?' The Scope of the Fantastic: Theory, Technique, Major Authors. Selected Essays from the First International Conference on the Fantastic in Literature and Film. Ed. Robert A. Collins & Howard D. Pearce, Westport & London: Greenwood, 1985. 95-103.

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