If it weren’t for books, it would be almost as if none of these names had ever existed, and if it weren’t for the booksellers who time and again rescue and put back into circulation and resell the silent, patient voices which in spite of everything refuse to fall silent entirely and forever, voices that are inexhaustible because they make no effort to emit sounds and be heard, written voices, mute, persistent voices like the one now filling these pages day by day over the course of many hours when no one knows anything about me or sees me or spies on me, and so it can seem as if I had never been born. (Marias, 1988, p. 92).
Justine Giles, 2016. April fools: The two Franks misfire [watercolour, ink & graphite on paper, 297 x 420mm]
On the first day of April 1987 NZ Post became a State owned enterprise rather than a government department. My primary school class wrote letters to be sent on the first day of NZ post, and this is the one I received from my teacher (who was also my Aunty). The anomaly with this letter is that there is no 34 Bowman Road, it was sent to the wrong place (with no return address) but somehow got to me anyway. As a result it bears two postmarks (or franks) one 1 April 1987 and the other 3 April 1987. It may have been strangely prophetic as the next house I lived in was a number 34.
Frank means direct or straightforward, it is also the name for the postmark that includes the date and ensures postage.