Thursday, November 22, 2007

Marta Ostenso- Wild Geese

I really liked this book, and I could relate to a lot of it as rural Canadian life, partcularly the isolation and culture of living on a farm (I've never lived on a farm for a very long period of time, but enough to understand what she is talking about.
I loved the portrayal of family and the connection between land and the people (which I actually wrote a paper on). I appreciated the awareness of that which is often overlooked, like the subtle relationships between people- particularly family members- and the impact others can have on our lives.
I thought it was very well done, especially considering the time in which Ostenso was writing. She treats such deliate matter so sensitively, and manages to effectively convey domination and isolation in a very realistic and touching way. I liked it a lot, although it is somewhat ideologically dated and might not have the same impact today it had when it was released because of what it helped to inspire, which is available and has shaped our perspective on literature. Furthermore, I don't think prairie fiction is a phenomenally popular genre, which is completely understandable considering the physical environment it is set in and the corresponding attitudes it creates.
Fargo is another good example of prairie fiction, in my opinion; the landscape contributes immensely to how the people have developed socially and culturally, and establishes a mindset within which the action can occur with relatively little emphasis on backstory aside from establishing setting and time period.
Essentially, it is a great book but may have lost some of it's appeal over time.

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