By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept

by Elizabeth Smart | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0586090398 Global Overview for this book
Registered by winggypsysmomwing of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 8/5/2011
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by winggypsysmomwing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Friday, August 05, 2011
I've heard about this book for years. The first time was on Peter Gzowski's morning show on CBC. Then I saw a play about Elizabeth Smart and her long affair with English poet, George Barker. Just this year the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers did a Fringe Festival play about Smart. Nevertheless, I had not managed to read this book. A short trip to Aqua Books remedied that. I started it while I had lunch at the adjoining Eat Bistro and it is so short I think I should have it read soon.

Journal Entry 2 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, August 06, 2011
Such a beautifully written book! Every page is imbued with the passion Smart felt for her lover, George Barker. Though, since Barker was married and a Catholic, their love would forever be carried out in secret or if not secret then without the approbation of society.
At one point, as detailed in the book, Smart and Barker were actually arrested in Arizona for sharing a bed when they were not married. Smart's mother was mortified by the affair and when this book was published she tried to have it banned in Ottawa. When that didn't work she went out and purchased all the copies she could find and burned them.

It would be interesting to know what Barker's wife felt during all this. Initially it seems that Smart was reluctant to consummate the affair because of his marriage. They were all living in a small community in California when the affair started so she must have know what was going on. And from some of the passages about her it seems that she had at least one miscarriage.
In the night she moans with the voice of the stream below my window, searching for the child whose touch she once felt and can never forget: the child who obeyed the laws of life better than she....Her shoulders have always the attitude of grieving, and her thin breasts are pitiful like Virgin Shrines that have been robbed.
So how difficult it must have been for her to see her husband's mistress give him a child.

I must confess I don't think I care for George Barker. Information available on the internet details that he had affairs with other women and at least 7 other children in addition to the 4 Smart eventually had with him. If he had remained true to her I would have felt that the affair was understandable as a grand passion but since he impregnated other women he obviously didn't feel as bound to her as she was to him. 'Twas ever thus.

This is my second read for John Mutford's Canadian Reading Challenge. John challenges everyone to read at least 13 Canadian books between July 1 2011 and June 30 2012. I've decided that my personal challenge will be to read 13 books by Canadian authors who have died. Elizabeth Smart died in England on March 4, 1986 at the age of 72.

Journal Entry 3 by winggypsysmomwing at Via Station waiting area in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, August 06, 2011

Released 9 yrs ago (8/6/2011 UTC) at Via Station waiting area in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada


I left this book in a specially made envelope on a bench in the passenger waiting area. A train to Vancouver is scheduled soon so I hope one of those passengers will pick it up and take it with them on a trip. The Winnipeg Union Station was opened in 1911 so the station has been in continuous use for passenger rail for a century. Grand Central Terminal (which is what Grand Central Staion is properly called) was unveiled in 1913 so our station actually predates New York's. I hope the finder takes the time to look around our station and especially the pictures on the walls that show the station at various times through its century of existence.

This release is for the Monopoly Challenge for Round 6 by the Train Crew.

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