A Novel Idea

Marc Chagall: Time is a River Without Banks 1930-1939

The Diviners by Margaret Laurence…my favourite book of all time!  I read it once every five years or so.  Recently, while reading, I began to add its content to my clothing. (my father, at this point in reading, will articulate, in some fashion, as will my close friends…”What the hell are you doing, wasting your time??  Why aren’t you painting?  To which, I might respond with something from Chagall’s titled work…”Time is a river without banks!”  Or more likely, “I Don’t Know.”)  I’m getting ready to have my portrait taken by Jen Hall.

As I explore the first chapter again, The River of Now and Then, I experience a huge affinity with the character that Laurence writes, Morag Gunn. Her’s is a search for identity.  A very ‘Canadian’ read, I strongly recommend this book.


The river flowed both ways. The current moved from north to south, but the wind usually came from the south, rippling the bronze-green water in the opposite direction. This apparently impossible contradiction, made apparent and possible, still fascinated Morag, even after the years of river-watching.

The dawn mist had lifted, and the morning air was filled with swallows, darting so low over the river that their wings sometimes brushed the water, then spiralling and pirouetting upward again. Morag watched, trying to avoid thought, but this ploy was not successful.

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. Gustave Flaubert

1 thought on “A Novel Idea

  1. Profound connection between Chagall and Laurence – I agree with your sentiments about this book, it haunts my memory, always. Yay Can Lit…

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