Maybe I’m going through a PEI wallowing or something, but I just finished the excellent Revenge of the Lobster Lover, by Hilary MacLeod, a reread of Anne of Green Gables by LMM, and a surfing through the music of Gordon Belsher and Richard Wood. I blame the excellent Atlantic Literature course I’m taking through St. Mary’s University and for FREE through the library. It’s taught by Alexander MacLeod, son of Alistair, both of them atlantic literary lions. I feel awash in Atlantic literature, and I like it, I like it!
We’re starting on the journals of Lucy Maud Montgomery and I can hardly wait. I’ve had a glimpse of the woman through Anne and Emily, but I want to know more. I want to hear her history, understand how she was able to write, survive and thrive in the time she lived in PEI, an unusual woman as she was.
It’s funny wanting to know authors. In a way, they don’t really exist for the reader – it is what they put on paper that matters. They can be horrible nasty people and still write words of gold. They can be horrible drunks and write soberly of the challenges of life. They can be calm and sweet as milquetoasts and write gruesome murders. Does it matter? Hard to say.
But there’s something about Lucy. Perhaps it was her enduring characters, perhaps it is the rumours of her sadness and battling with depression, of her sad marriage, of her purported suicide. Her life, spent telling stories of success against adversity, was pretty full of adversity on its own. I feel for her, and through her stories, especially as I reread them now, as a cynical, somewhat saddened adult.
Having moved to the shore and as I gradually absorb it into myself, the salt, the culture, the music, I want to know more about the people who live and lived here. Lucy is one I’ve always wanted to know. So I’m diving into her journals to try.