Around the Mountain: Scenes from Montréal Life
The Porcupine's Quill, 1994 - 165 pagina's
The republication of a book which is among the finest that Hugh Hood, one of Canada's most sophisticated and accomplished authors, has ever written. Around the Mountain: Scenes from Montréal Life is, in the words of John Metcalf, `an almost perfect achievement.'
Around the Mountain is a documentary/fantasy portrait of Montréal, its people, politics, folkways, geography and appearance as they were in the heady days of Expo 67. These twelve short narratives form a cyclical, encyclopaedic account of a dozen quarters of the city that literally circle around the peak of the low hill that Montréalers call `the mountain'. As Hood recalls in the new introduction to the book:
`I wanted to give a kind of fossil-like existence to something that was in the process of being born and simultaneously passing away. It is fascinating to me to go through these twelve stories to judge what has remained in place and what has been swept away and forgotten. Every reader who knows Montréal will have an opinion about this. But some things have remained unmistakably in place.'
Around the Mountain is populated with people and their stories, from the misadventures of a convivial defenceman called Fred Carpenter, to the angelic messenger, Angela Mary Robinson, whose bicultural message of love and understanding nobody understands, to Victor LaTourelle who is haunted, as so many of us in the late twentieth century are haunted, by the past.
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