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Ronald (William Sutherland) Frame Biography

Ronald Frame Comments:

My characters are caught between an imagined freedom to determine their lives and the machinations of fate. I write about the circular nature of time as we experience it, about repetitions and coincidences working through generations. About social ritual as a mental stabilizer.

"History" to me is a kind of grand opera bouffe, scarcely believable sometimes. Social contact too is a complex game, perhaps a more serious one, of bluffs and evasions and all graduations of "truth."

I'm interested in the compelling power of imagination. My characters are inward, inhabiting a landscape of memory and desire, but are also ironically aware of how other people see them: I prefer my descriptions to come through, say, self-reflections in mirrors or window glass, or to be read in the facial reactions of others. I try to bring my third-person narratives as close to the first-person perspective as I can.

I hope I don't deal in heroes and villains. I write quite formally, but within that structure I mean to follow illogic where necessary; violence is implied, and it may appear the more desperate by contrast with this ambience of control.

While dissecting, I aim to preserve some essential mystery about my characters, so that not everything should be knowable, to themselves or to us. They partly live through received images—cinematic, for instance—and I appreciate that in writing about a period like the 1950s, as I frequently do, I'm approaching it through its own legend. I don't hold with research and verifiable realism; much more important to me is atmosphere, the evocation of a world—an approximately detailed but spiritually authentic world—which I can use to pit my individuals against the process of historical change. I hope the atmosphere will lure the reader, and induce for a short time a spell that might prove consistent and credible—and enjoyable.

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