view from the edge of elfland, part 2

Are we there yet? I appear, at least, to be dragging my verbal and metaphoric feet in working up this response to David Russell Mosley’s On the Edges of Elfland. Remember, it was a promise to try for a response. These qualifiers made a good hedge for me to hide behind.

I liked Alfred’s character. His underlying uncertainty combines with pathos in a subtle but felt sympathy. I feel with and for him. It would take another reading for me to distinguish the many characters (types) as they begin multiplying: dwarves, gnomes, elves, goblins, fairies, at least two dragons both of which Alfred slew, and hobgoblins, giants; perhaps strangest of all—humans. Continue reading

view from the edge of elfland

If I stick with a book often it becomes a friend, opening itself to me. In beginning On the Edges of Elfland: A Fairy-Tale for Grown Ups, by David Russell Mosley, I liked first the Lovely- English Inn and-Village setting by the Woodlands. This was followed with affectionate characters and story-book suggestiveness through pub tales of what went before in the village. One does not want to see this village destroyed, or even changed. To change it would perhaps destroy it. I’m not as receptive to other tropes owing to readerly familiarity, so these must be handled in a manner refreshing to my years. Parts of young Alfred Perkins’ adventures in Elfland secure my reception, other parts do not.

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Johnny’s Bridge receives new history

johnny’s bridge has new origins

For an example of town column news content, here’s something on “Johnny’s Bridge,” mentioned elsewhere among pages I’ve written on Maine. This is a change not in the name itself but of the history of Johnny’s Bridge. Thankfully the name remains! Newcomers have sometimes changed place names in some of our communities, made now historic transitions from, for example, Mud Pond to Starlight Pond. And some newcomers would rather have their family name, say on a road, or have some other quirky designation in place of an old settler’s name. While Bean’s Corner is still locally known as such, those “from away” may not realize this and may use the Atlas name: East Be. East Be is in fact a hamlet, so no harm done.

Johnny’s Bridge, on the other hand, has itself been replaced, rebuilt a few times, most recently last year. And still, the name remains.

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breaking, remaking bridge

you can bike around the north pond if you don’t mind highway traffic, pulp and tanker trucks, distracted drivers; hills potholes, curves in the back roads. here’s the bridge we’ve been traversing on bikes since moving here 34 years ago.

The day this was taken a member of the pond community stopped us on our bikes to say they were finally going to replace this bridge! We came back the next day to find–Some sons of the camps did this with their fraternity brothers.

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o canada!

The Frontenac Hotel was our destination, the old city of Québec with its old world mystique top-heavy fronts and tarnished copper roofs and turrets; statuary, carriages, dignitaries and redcoats and rebels and tourists; its outdoor cafes and squares.

The boardwalk above the precipitous shore and beneath the high city, the yet higher battlements with cannon sending forth its smoking charges and celebration, cannonading with thrilling power.  As a decade before, landing on Loyalists Day in St. John, New Brunswick, quite by accident, so it was with this day; with our rising into the city in our pickup truck on Canada Day. Continue reading

visiting the eastern uplands

image-cover-mm-visting

double-click to enlarge and read the fine print!

 

The embarrassing admission:

The editor in charge of cover text asked for a back-of-the-book description to surmount its blurb by Jake Meador.  I chose part of something from the book I particularly liked—heavily influenced by Annie Dillard. By JRR Tolkien. In the way of metaphoric memoir, the description was written in first person.  The editor’s reply? It must be third-person description. Being low energy, I gave them what you see in this cover image. And …I just wanted that passage! Here is the original unedited from inside the book:

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