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Friday, January 20, 2006

Reader's Diary #16- Leslie Bella: Newfoundlanders Home and Away (Ch.2, up to p.55)


Okay, this one will be short. I promise no more posts longer than the actual book.

I was perhaps a little unfair on a couple of things in my last post. First of all, I shouldn't make assumptions about others' reading interests. I'm enjoying both the anecdotes and the statistics, so I don't know why I thought others may not enjoy both as well (though I stick by my problems with the marketing/publishing).
And even if certain readers don't particularly enjoy statistics, they can just read the anecdotal records. I tend to read non-fiction books like I would a novel, i.e., front to back. Is this the way most people read non-fiction books? Or do they pick points of interest to read first/only?

Also, I complained about too many numbers and references offsetting the few anecdotes. That has turned around in the next 45 pages and now it is mostly anecdotal. I'm finding these not only entertaining but necessary as well. They are a nice counterbalance to the numbers, putting voices behind them and more importantly, putting personalities behind them. Numbers tend to generalize, but the words break people down into individuals again.

Numbers aren't the only ones that generalize, however. It was frustrating to read many of the interviewees be hypocritical about that. How sadly comical to complain about every mainlander and the way they generalize Newfoundlanders. And it isn't just the mainlanders that some of these people made generalizations about, it's about fellow Newfoundlanders as well. A note to those Newfoundlanders out there who insist that we're all "party-loving, easy-going, hard-working, decent people": I'm an immoral, lazy, uptight, recluse, so don't speak on my behalf!

2 comments:

John Mutford said...

I'm not sure. Can one be immoral and uptight at the same time? Oh crap, I think I've described myself as Stephen Harper!

Robert said...

I'm so glad you chose to speak up we, the immoral, uptight, recluses of the province, have long been in need of a voice.