imagination in books

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Wed Mar 6 21:17:28 EST 2002

>As I recall her enforced abstinence from fiction whilst she's at college (in
>order to be allowed to go to college she has to agree to write only
>non-fiction during her time there) is also shown to have increased her
>writing ability.

Well, this is one thing, but there is also her humiliation when Aunt 
Elizabeth finds Emily's letters to her father and generally crushes her for 
being dreamy. Emily herself doesn't like the disciplines that are imposed 
by others. I guess that is the point, everyone around her disapproves of 
her imagination, and they don't understand how her life is enriched by it, 
but it is so central to her character she can't stop.

>It's also interesting that her first novel, which is not
>published for reasons that I won't give away to anyone who hasn't read the
>book, is called "Seller of Dreams" - the first novel she actually publishes
>is one sounding much more 'realistic'. I wonder if one of the themes of the
>Emily series is learning to use imagination in the 'right' way?

I don't think so. She gets manipulated by Dean into thinking her book is no 
good, but the way she uses her imagination isn't really in question. I 
think she has to learn to trust her own vision, but its essential rightness 
for her is never in question.

>On the other
>hand, though, there is a strong supernatural theme in the series (Emily's
>visions), so I'm not sure about this. I've just been looking up biographies
>of L M Montgomery and critical work about her - has anyone read anything
>they can recommend?

Apparently her letters are a fascinating insight. There are quite a few 
volumes of them, I think.


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