Friday, October 13, 2006

Some thoughts...

As I think I am making it pretty clear, I am reading This is my Country, What's Yours? by Noah Richler. And, today, I got to thinking how little part my neck of the woods has played in the book so far. It's weird how insignificant we have become, because, I live in Nova Scotia. Population-wise, yeah, we are tiny, but this is where it all began. The Maritimes were settled before anywhere else, and we get such little screen time in anything. The Maritimes finally appeared in the book in Chapter Six, and it was the three of them at once, and that was their chapter. It is sad that we are not really important anymore, considering that while Ontario has upsurped the power, Canada truly began in this part of the province and then spread out. It's rather sad, there are very few historical fiction novels even about life in the Maritimes and about the arrival of the settlers and things of that sort. I wonder, is it because no one cares or it doesn't sell? It just seems like a rather big part of Canadian history to totally ignore. And life on this end of the world is not boring, history-wise. So, makes you wonder, why has it been totally forgotten in literature. I am sure we come up again in Richler's book, but just makes you think sometimes. Probably more so because I live here.

Don't worry, I am on chapter 8 now, so before you know it, I will be done this book and will start to talk about something else!


  1. Actually, I kind of like reading updates like yours - you know, "Well, I'm on chapter 4 and it's dragging"; "Reached chapter 8 and it's getting exciting," etc. You get a genuine feel for how a book is effecting a reader from such posts. I don't comment often (sometimes you're too fast for me!!! LOL) but I enjoy your posts, Kailana. :)

  2. I've been slowly reading my way through Richler's book and thoroughly enjoying it as well. I live in Ontario now, but I'm from Saskatchewan originally, and the first thing that I did was flip to the bit on Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan is also often skipped over in discussions of literary Canada, literally with surveys jumping straight from Manitoba to Alberta. So I was quite gratified that Richler gave Saskatchewan as much space as he did.

    Even if Richler gives short shrift to the Maritimes, I think the region currently maintains a proud place in literary Canada. So many of our best writers are from there, live there, or set their books there, or some combination thereof. From Nova Scotia alone there's Lynn Coady, Alistair MacLeod, Donna Morrissey, and George Elliot Clarke. If you add the likes of David Adams Richards and David Helwig from New Brunswick and PEI, that's already a substantial number of Maritime authors with a national profiles. And some of Canada's best literary magazines (Antigonish Review and The Fiddlehead) and small presses (Gaspereau Press and Goose Lane Editions) are located in the Maritimes. I think people elsewhere in Canada are well aware of the important contribution that Maritime writers continue to make to contemporary CanLit.

  3. I am so glad to hear that someone else is enjoying the book!

    I know that people pay attention to us, I was just being melodramatic. lol I just read the part about the Acadians, can't have literature without the Acadians!

    And can I just say, it is so weird you mentioned Donna Morrissey because I hardly know anyone that has read her and had JUST finished telling my friend that when your comment came through. Mind reader or what!


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