Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
of the big, bright sun, the ripe blueberries, the last charming wild
flowers fading in the brush. After him Lorenzo Surprenant had
brought another mirage: the mirage of beautiful faraway cities and the
life it offered, rich in unknown marvels.)
Later in March, Maria receives one more declaration, from the neigh-
bour Eutrope Gagnon, who represents yet another space, that of the
present rural environment, which he invokes in his proposal: 'Vous
savez bien que j'ai de l'amitié pour vous Maria. Je ne vous en avais pas
parlé encore, d'abord parce que ma terre n'était pas assez avancée pour
que nous puissions vivre dessus comme il faut tous les deux … et vous
savez que c'est de la bonne terre … Et pendant l'été, avant les foins, et
puis entre les foins et la moission, ça serait le bon temps pour élever une
belle petite maison chaude et solide.' (150; You well know that I have a
liking for you Maria. I hadn't spoken to you about it before, first be-
cause my land wasn't far enough along that we could live there prop-
erly the two of us … and you know it's good land … And during the
summer, before haymaking and harvest, it would be a good time to
build a beautiful little house, warm and solid.) Gagnon, unlike the
other suitors, invokes a living place ('petite maison'), but Maria contin-
ues to focus on the surrounding space , which she has come to dread:
'Toujours le bois, impénétrable, hostile, plein de secrets sinistres, fermé
autour d'eux comme une poigne cruelle qu'il faudrait desserrer peu à
peu, année par année.' (151; Always the woods, impenetrable, hostile,
full of sinister secrets, closed around them like a cruel fist that would
have to be unclenched, bit by bit, year after year.) Indeed, Maria sees
Eutrope as no less than a symbol of the present lifestyle and the sur-
rounding landscape: 'une vie de labeur grossier dans un pays triste et
sauvage' (153; a life of heavy toil in a sad and wild land).
Maria is clearly leaning towards Lorenzo and the big city, a prefer-
ence that, once again, reflects less the person than the space he repre-
sents: 'En vérité son choix était fait … l'éblouissement d'une vie lointaine
dans la clarté pâle des cités.' (156; In truth her choice was made … the
glitter of a faraway life in the pale light of the city.) April, however,
brings with it a major event that becomes crucial in Maria's ultimate
decision of a suitor/space: the illness and subsequent death of her
mother. As her distraught father recounts his life with her mother and
their persistent struggle to transform the wilderness into farmland,
Maria is deeply moved, but fails to grasp why. As she looks out the
window in search of answers, 16 the lesson will come, as usual, from the
landscape and in the form of a revelation:
Search WWH ::

Custom Search