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the music of chance, obsessive writing, intertextuality, conversation -- oh yeah, and some "real" life...

07 October 2011


I am now completely taken up with Grace's telling of her history and how she came from Ireland to Canada. Grace relates many people's stories through the telling of her own passage "crammed in like herrings in a box," amidst rats, groaning, retching sea-sick neighbors, and buckets of feces and urine. Simon Jordan, the young doctor who listens to her offer up her tale, reminds me vaguely of the young Victor Frankenstein, totally immersed in his scientific studies against the wishes of his family who just want him to return home and take his place in society. I am as equally curious as to where this study of Grace Marks will take Simon Jordan as I am in knowing whether Grace Marks is a "murderess" or insane. Right now, from hearing Grace's history she seems like one of the sanest characters in the novel. The letters from other doctors to Simon Jordan reveal quirky judgemental phrases that make Simon ponder whether a doctor here and there might not have fallen in love with this beautiful patient. And, of course, this complicates her whole existence. More to come as I move along in this fascinating novel...

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