Kennedy Fraser

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Kennedy Fraser



Average rating: 4.21 · 182 ratings · 31 reviews · 5 distinct worksSimilar authors
Ornament and Silence : Essa...

4.22 avg rating — 123 ratings — published 1996 — 5 editions
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The Fashionable Mind: Refle...

4.45 avg rating — 29 ratings — published 1981 — 5 editions
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On the Edge: Images from 10...

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4.07 avg rating — 14 ratings — published 1992 — 2 editions
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Scenes from the Fashionable...

3.56 avg rating — 9 ratings — published 1987 — 4 editions
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Frames of Reference: Lookin...

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4.14 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 1999 — 4 editions
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More books by Kennedy Fraser…
“If inanimate objects are left to stand in their world, and are not invited out to mingle with our sense of self, they will quietly console and delight us. But to bind possessions up closely with the mind is less than fair to both.”
Kennedy Fraser

“There was a time when my life seemed so painful to me that reading about the lives of other women writers was one of the few things that could help. I was unhappy, and ashamed of it; I was baffled by my life. For several years in my early thirties, I would sit in my armchair reading books about these other lives. Sometimes when I came to the end, I would sit down and read the book through from the beginning again. I remember an incredible intensity about all this, and also a kind of furtiveness—as if I were afraid that someone might look through the window and find me out. Even now, I feel I should pretend that I was reading only these women's fiction or their poetry—their lives as they chose to present them, alchemized as art. But that would be a lie. It was the private messages I really liked—the journals and letters, and autobiographies and biographies whenever they seemed to be telling the truth. I felt very lonely then, self-absorbed, shut off. I needed all this murmured chorus, this continuum of true-life stories, to pull me through. They were like mothers and sisters to me, these literary women, many of them already dead; more than my own family, they seemed to stretch out a hand. I had come to New York when I was young, as so many come, in order to invent myself. And, like many modern people—modern women, especially—I had catapulted out of my context; in important ways, the life of my mother, in her English village, was not much help. I remember reading in those dark years a review by John Updike in which he smoothly compared the lives of Jean Rhys and Colette. The first was in the end a failure, the second a triumph, he said. I took it personally, felt a stab in the heart. And poor Jane Bowles, said someone else, in the Times—you'd have to admit that hers was a desperate life. The successes gave me hope, of course, yet it was the desperate bits I liked best. I was looking for directions, gathering clues...”
Kennedy Fraser, Ornament and Silence : Essays on Women's Lives, from Virginia Woolf to Germaine Greer

“Fashion and public relations share a charter to turn life to their own advantage, to make malleable and commercially useful the naked human perception. Both interests consider life too small, dull, and colorless to get itself sufficiently noticed without the lobbying efforts of professionals.”
Kennedy Fraser

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