Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Codger chat: Listen up, you might learn something A quote/ commentary from my reading



“I could be out visiting this person or that, if I wanted to. They all make a fuss of me when I arrive, and shoo the cat off the armchair for me to sit in: but they are not really interested in anything I have to say. It is not that I want to say much; but I like to sit in a corner and listen to people talking, and put in my spoke now and then. Nowadays people don’t talk among themselves around the fire like they used to. As soon as I’ve sat down and been made comfortable, it’s ‘Sh! It’s Maigret!” or ‘It’s Eamon Andrews!’ and I have to sit in the half-dark and look at the horrible T.V.; and you can’t put your spoke in against the T.V.
            That is how it is I come to be writing this book. I got to say what I think to somebody; if only to myself. I don’t expect anybody will ever read what I have written; but at the back of my mind I have the hope perhaps some day somebody will.

           
--- Ebenezer Le Page
From The Book of Ebenezer Le Page
By G. B. Edwards

Years ago, a writing coach gave this advice: Write as if you are writing a letter to your best friend. That kind of writing – even if it’s public – draws the reader in close.
That was advice I couldn’t heed; my own style, like me,  tends to composure and comfortable distance. But it’s advice I admire, a style I envy.
Letter writing is passé. Ebenezer Le Page’s style is even more passé, even more intimate.   G.B. Edward’s  nearly 400-page novel written in Le Page’s elderly voice reads like one long winter’s fireside chat.  Even LePage doesn't know how old he is -- but thinks he may be the oldest on his island. What's for sure, LePage is a codger  -- if you draw up a chair and listen, you might hear something about history and the human heart.
His island is Guernsey, an island new to me  – aside from cows and sweater-styles. One of the Channel Islands, it’s a possession of the British Crown, but one that has been invaded and claimed by various countries and churches throughout history.  Le Page details Island life through a good part of  20th century – two World Wars (including the island’s occupation by Germany) and the advent of television and tourism (both of which LePage clearly doesn’t think much of).  His ability to serve up the big picture (that macrocosmic view) by focusing tightly on the island he’s never left and limited circles of family and acquaintances  (that microcosm) gives the reader that greatest of gifts: the presence of the extraordinary in the ordinary.

 More on this book in blogs to come.


3 comments:

  1. I love that quote. As I've aged, I've discovered that what I really like is to be in a room with other people going on about their business while I read. But no TV. I hate TV. I think this is because I grew up in a big family where I was reading all the time while life went on around me. I actually focus best this way over silence and aloneness.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As quickly as you begin taking part in} you begin earning loyalty points you will be able to|which you'll} convert to money. High limit gamers have the VIP Club which brings private VIP hosts 빙고 and provides even higher promotions plus access to exclusive provides and occasions. Jackpot City Casino was established in 1998 and has always been a very popular selection with online gamers. The casino makes use of software program from Microgaming and features over 500 video games including 250+ pokies. Every of Microgaming's supreme slot video games, which will get accompanied by rotating reels, tends to appears unique as quickly as you launch this casino website. The gaming options accessible on the hand-held gadget include blackjack, slots, progressive pot software program, video poker.

    ReplyDelete