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Wildly Interesting Books

  • Adam's Task by Vicki Hearne
  • Anything by Colin Cotterill
  • Auguries of Innocence by Patti Smith
  • Big Box Swindle by Stacy Mitchell
  • Darwin: A Life in Poems by Ruth Padel
  • Gehry Draws
  • Human Smoke by Nicholson Baker
  • Out of Our Heads by Ava Noe
  • Stylepedia: A Guide to Graphic Design, Mannerisms, Quirks and Conceits
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrson
  • The God of Small Things by Arundahti Roy
  • The Long Fall by Walter Mosely
  • The Martin Beck Series by Maj Sjowall and Per Waloo
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
  • The Wrecking Crew by Thomas Frank
  • Vermeeer in Bosnia by Lawrence Weschler

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Robertson Davies on the Little Red Hen

Have you ever met the Little Red Hen? Hers was the first story in the Ontario Primer, and it was printed not in the Latin alphabet, but in the debased calligraphy which was taught to children at that time, ruining their handwriting forever. Why it was thought that children could read this script more easily than print, I do not know. In the pictures illustrating the story, the Little Red Hen was larger than the cat, the dog, and the pig with whom she shared the farmyard. Much later in life, when I became interested in the ikons of the Orthodox church, I discovered the reasoning behind this apparent absurdity; the Little Red Hen was morally bigger than the cat, the dog, and the pig, so she was drawn larger, just as saints in ikons are drawn larger than pagans or people of mere ordinary virtue.

The rest is really worth reading. Follow the link.

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