Friday, January 16, 2009

Green Gables in Guelph

Well, today my mom and I and a friend finally made it to the L.M. Montgomery exhibit at our local art gallery. It has only been open since September and closes on Sunday. we are sooo on the ball, I mean, the art gallery is at the end of our street, a grand total of a 10 minute walk.

anyway, most of you know all about Maud (as she was referred to throughout the entire exhibit), and most of the excerpts were from her journals, which can be read by all in their published, and much edited, format. so anyway, here are a few points of interest:

1. She was a photographer, there is actually a rather racy photo of her as the "Island Nymph" in the exhibit, sitting on a rock in a very skimpy bathing costume! as well as some "staged" photos of her in her ginormous hats.

2. There was a little "what i did in my summer vacation" from one of her sons when he was 7. it is wonderful! he found that "I tell you it was grand" to sleep in the top berth on the train, Aunt May's cookies were also "grand", as were the number of kittens (there were so many "I tell you" you had to kick them aside). They also got to show the other boys that Ontario boys know just as much about baseball as P.E. Islanders.

3. The Guelph connection was hilarious! While lecturing at the MacDonald Institute (U of G), she felt haunted by her cousin who had gone there and died. She also had a connection to our other institutions, her husband having spent some time in the Guelph General Hospital as well as the Homewood mental Institution, and Chester (the bad son) was incarcerated at the Guelph Reformatory at the same time as his estranged son. aww, family reunion! Thems some connections to be proud of! and yet somehow our archives have her diaries.

anyway, it was a fun exhibit to walk around and read everything, and now i really want to watch some of the original Anne of Green Gables Movies, one of which actually inspired the actress to change her name to "Anne Shirley" because she liked the character so much!

The best quote from the whole thing was Maud lamenting the fact that she couldn't just write books that were "fun for fun's sake" and that, in order to sell, they had to have an "incidious moral message".

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