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THE DAY IS DARK AND THREE TRAVELLERS.

Blais, Marie-Claire.

Mark-ham (Ont.), Penguin Books, c1967, 1985. 183pp, paper, $6.95, ISBN O-I4-0079I1-4. (Penguin Short Fiction) CIP

Adult
Reviewed by Donalee Moulton-Barrett

Volume 13 Number 5
1985 September


Reading work by Marie-Claire Blais takes time and planning. You can not just lightly pick up a book she has written and just as nonchalantly put it down. The Day is Dark and Three Travellers are no exception.

Blais has consistently focussed her attention on the conflicts in contemporary society. She penetrates both the darkness and the light. But she does so almost poetically. Her writing is lyrical. It ripples.

The two novellas in this book, The Day is Dark and Three Travellers, especially exhibit this quality. "And yet, as Miguel was well aware this tragedy of his was merely an error. He was watching an error made flesh. Now he would have the courage to wait for the noble failure of this poem he had made, a poem as long and as short as life. He was no longer afraid of anything." (From the Three Travellers).

These novellas, first published in 1967, are as fresh, as evocative, as unsettling, and as relevant today as they were almost twenty years ago. But then Blais' writing generally is. It has an urgency that makes it seem timeless. The Day is Dark and Three Travellers is not an easy book to pick up. Or put down. It is also not an easy book to forget, whether you want to or not.


Donalee Moulton-Barrett, Halifax, N.S.
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