Monday, May 13, 2013

Reader's Diary #1002- Carol Shields and Anne Giardini: A Wood

Yesterday I reviewed Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, which in hindsight, may not have been the Mother's Daysiest of choices. So today, hoping to rectify that, I found "A Wood," a short story written by Anne Giardini, with her mom Carol Shields.

"A Wood" is a very subtle piece. In fact, through talking about the varying colours found in an elderly character's hand depending on the light, the authors subtly address subtlety. It's oxymoronic metafiction, kids!

"A Wood" is about an elderly woman named Elke, her son, and her companion. At one point Elke asks herself, "why has she always allowed herself to be encircled like this?" as if feeling smothered by others around her. What is clear to the reader however is that Elke has encircled others just as much. It is obvious that Elke is loved and warrants love with her protective nature. People need her. As much as Elke's question implies someone who has given away her soul for others, I sense that it is a fleeting moment. With her music, Elke does escape her confines. It's a telling moment when she picks up her violin and plays from the fifth bar. "Why can't you start anything at the beginning?" her companion Loretta asks. Because she can, because this is Elke's time.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)


Loni said...

"A Wood" sounds like a really interesting story. I've read some of Shields' short stories, I'll have to get a hold of this one too.

I read a story I'm not sure I liked this week...

John Mutford said...

Loni: You don't have to search far! Click on the title in the first paragraph.

Loni said...

Bah! I totally thought that just linked to the preview, not the whole story.