Sunday, April 8, 2007

Morrisville VA

On Route 17 going north from I-95, there are several signs giving the mileage to Morrisville, Virginia. I finally decided to see what was at Morrisville that warranted such notice by the Virginia Department of Transportation. I drove there only to discover that Morrisville is little more than the proverbial wide spot in the road. Have I missed something? I even turned off onto Morrisville Road, thinking it would lead to something more than what I saw on Route 17, but it turned out to be a loop leading back to Route 17.

I googled the city and state names but learned little. There was apparently a skirmish near Morrisville during the Civil War, but given the location, that is hardly surprising.

I shall continue to seek an answer to the question of why there are so many mileage signs for Morrisville. There must be a reason.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Before I quit reading

Before I quit reading The Voice of the People, I came across mention of one of the former servants (read slave) "carding wool which she had taken from a quilt of faded patchwork." How very thrifty!

Too much vernacular

I have given up on Ellen Glasgow's The Voice of the People. Too much of the dialogue is in vernacular, and I frankly cannot understand some of what is being said. Even that which I can understand makes for difficult reading, and while I think it is a fine and promising story, I just can't slog through all that vernacular dialogue. It is very disappointing, for I feel it would be a wonderful novel except for that.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Ellen Glasgow - The Voice of the People

I have begun reading Ellen Glasgow's novel about reconstruction called The Voice of the People. Set in fictional Kingsborough, Virginia (based on Williamsburg), it begins with the story of a boy of about 11 named Nicholas Burr who is determined not to follow in the footsteps of his peanut farmer father. Nicholas catches the eye of Judge Bassett, who offers Nicholas the opportunity to study with his son's tutor.

Nicholas is a remarkable boy, going to extraordinary lengths to achieve his goal. He borrows a book from Judge Bassett, committing to memory passages from the book which are incomprehensible to him, believing that one day he will know what those long words mean and will be able to understand the passages he is memorizing. It is not difficult to understand the judge's interest in this boy.