Around the Mountain: Scenes from Montréal Life

Voorkant
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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Inhoudsopgave

Authors Introduction
9
The Sportive Centre of Saint Vincent de Paul
33
Light Shining out of Darkness
49
Le grand déménagement
81
Starting Again on Sherbrooke Street
139
The River behind Things
159
Copyright

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Over de auteur (1994)

While he is best known as a writer of short stories, Hugh Hood's fourth novel, You Can't Get There from Here (1972), exhibits his usual skill at characterization, and a concern with descriptive prose, dialogue, and ironic humor. Hood's humor features universal themes and a strong moral tone, the latter being a product of the author's Roman Catholic sensibility. You Can't Get There from Here is a satirical look at multinational corporations and philanthropists who descend on third world countries. His several collections of short stories include August Nights, Flying a Red Kite (1962), and None Genuine without This Signature. The subject matter of these stories "shapes a chronicle of our age," and their "didactic impulse" and "moral vision" reflect what Hood himself calls "the primal guarantee of the actual, the authentic certificate of its existence which God provides, the signature in the heart of the existent." The first volume in Hood's proposed cycle of 12 novels appeared in 1975: The Swing in the Garden. It was followed by: A New Athens (1977), Reservoir Ravine (1979), Black and White Keys (1982), The Scenic Art (1984), The Motor Boys in Ottawa (1986), and Tony's Book (1988). Under the collective title of The New Age, these novels trace through a character named Matthew Goderich the connected histories of a man and a family from 1880 to 2000. Hood was born in Toronto and received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University. He has taught at the University of Montreal.

Bibliografische gegevens