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Day 4

Green Water, Green Sky by Mavis Gallant

Reading: Continue Chapter 2, from p. 315 to the break on p. 321

August 23, 2020 by Elliott Holt

Mavis Gallant was born & raised in Montreal but moved to Paris in 1950 and stayed. In this interview with Jhumpa Lahiri in Granta, Gallant admits that when she first arrived in Paris, she “didn’t like it at all.”

“He’s afraid. He’s afraid of being what he really is.” Bob Harris’s criticism of the “phony” expatriate painter could apply to Bonnie, too.

That sentence comes in waves, with the repetition of the phrase “nothing was said.” It’s a tidal rhythm.

“Nothing was said, nothing was said about anything, and the silence beat about them like waves.”

Note the repetition of brittle T sounds: clatter, shutters, delicate, shattered, & spot.

“The present rushed in with a clatter, for Bonnie threw the shutters apart with an exclamation of annoyance, and past love, that delicate goblet, was shattered on the spot.”

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