Monday, September 15, 2008


Mr. Findley has pulled me into his story almost immediately. His sense of humour is gorgeous! There is a passage that had me laughing for a solid minute. Mrs. Noyes (Noah's Wife) is sitting on her porch remarking on how beautiful things are. She "loved to sit and watch the sun" and hear the "sounds of the birds flying" and the "bee noise and cattle lowing". This seems perfectly dull and ordinary until she thinks to herself: "And the songs, way down by the road, of the itinerant work gangs-peasants by their campfires, singing of their distant homes... Oh, it was grand in the evening, she thought-truly a kind of heaven." This mockery of historical obliviousness is so tantalizing that I can't put the book down! What a true observation of ancient culture: slaves are just there, and they are there to serve you. What's especially interesting is that this is obviously intentional. Almost all historical hilarity I have encountered has been accidental. Such as "Have some Madira. M'Dear!" by Flanders and Swan, or "The only good Indian is a dead Indian" from "The Little House on the Prarie". That Mr. Findley included a nod towards this phenomenon immediately endears me to his book, and I'm excited to continue the story.


Laura Mitchell said...

Hi Tallan,
I love the idea of a 'gorgeous sense of humour'!

I've read all of your postings, and am absolutely thrilled by the fact that I can envision with the utmost clarity your voice reading them aloud to me- how refreshing!

I have never read Timothy Findley, but like all the other novel-blogs I have visited, it seems to capture yet another dimmension of Western Culture. I have yet to thoroughly delve into mine, though I know accutely that it is there.

I'd be interested to know if Mrs. Noyes is so 'tantalizingly' ignorant of her surroundings out of her own pure ignorant self, or out of a conditioning; a state of being impressed upon her by her husband and society.

Kickin'Chicken said...

do you think that Findley was taking deviance to a whole new level by implying that our civilisation which is based on our ancient legacies (which in turn were built on the backs of slaves) have this lack of regard for the feelings of others unlike us built into our ethos? Or is this simply a case of human nature?