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.