Friday, 7 October 2011

A Novel to Read This Long Weekend as the Last Roses of Summer Bloom

The flowers of fall are much on my mind. Yesterday I went around taking pictures in gardens, including several of the last roses of summer which I will post soon.

And my evening was filled with another sort of rose, Rosa Candida by the Icelandic novelist Auður A. Ólafsdóttir. It's a deceptively simple tale of a young man who leaves home to restore a rose garden in a monastery somewhere (probably) in Italy.

Along the way he encounters a number of lovely young women who want to sleep with him, just as a bright graduate student back home did about 18 months previously. The result of that one-night stand was a little girl Flora Sól. The book mixes motifs and themes from mythology and litterature with the struggles of young people who must somehow negotiate a world of changing gender roles. One of the young women is learning a part in Ibsen's The Doll House as she strives to make her way in the world, others are competent professionals, and the mother of his child wants to continue her studies.

The book is a delightful read, perfect for a long weekend evening as the sun sets earlier and earlier.

1 comment:

lagatta à montréal said...

Oh, so that is what you were doing - I thought you were heading to the market while cutting a fine figure striding along la rue Bernard. I was cycling in the other direction to feed a friend's cat, on Esplanade between St-Joseph and Villeneuve. Hope you noticed my red leather gloves. I bought them - brand new - at a moving sale on St-Joseph another time I was feeding her cat (this friend travels a lot). It was about 40° and muggy; just trying them on made my skin boil. Admit I get a kick out of signalling turns with them.

I guess some educated young women still opt to keep the result of one-night stands nowadays, even in countries where they have the choice. And it is their choice to make, though I admit it is a choice I'll never understand, deliberately choosing a very hard path from the outset when there are other options. But I'm not very maternal, except with regard to cats.

Seems like a splendid autumn weekend - a time to head up our so-called mountain or over to the Botanical Gardens, or other outdoor spots in and around town. I have my "Accès Montréal" pass, so I can get in without paying each time.