My Gentle Reader: Smart Readers, Part Three
Note: Do not read this until you’ve read the ending to Ground Manners. A Novel !
Another Note: When the novel, as a literary genre, first gained ground in the mid-17oo’s (Fanny Burney, etc), the author often interpellated the reader (i.e., spoke directly to the reader in the novel) and referred to him as “gentle reader” hence the title of this blog. ”Gentle” at that time implied “someone of good or high breeding”. The “novel” was very much a new way of writing at that time whence the word “novel” meaning “new” in French. It’s not that I don’t think you already know all this…it’s just that I’ve forgotten most of what most Arts students have yet to learn, and I wanted to test what’s left of my own knowledge.
To read how the conversation you’re about to read came about, go to my previous blog post, Readers Smarter Than I Am. When a reader with a wide-ranging intelligence like Roxanne’s takes the time to comment and ask questions, you can bet that it’s a treat for the writer. More, it enlarges and refreshes my own view of the work which, after having lived with the story and the characters for three years, can become trite and stale, though the actual writing of it was indeed full of passion and fury and all those other emoticons. Yet more, Roxanne is a breeder of Canadien horses; in fact, her website LegacyCanadians (sadly, now taken down) featured so much breed history and facts that it was essential to my research for Ground Manners http://www.groundmannersnovel.com I had the pleasure of meeting Roxanne almost by accident at the recent CHHAPS 2011 Show in Maple Ridge, BC. With so much going on, we didn’t have time to talk so I here sincerely thank Roxanne for the amazing site she produced: it was the answer to a researcher’s prayer at the time. Roxanne is so knowledgeable about horse husbandry, care, training, issues, and history that I was honoured that she emailed me her thoughts about GM. My replies below are in red.
I read your book. I wish it was longer. I hope you write more. Thank you…always a good sign when a reader doesn’t say “don’t quit your day job!”? Several readers mentioned the brevity of the book, and especially the rush up to the quick ending. Between us, I intended it to be much longer, but life got in the way.