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Chapter 36: An Inconvenient Flash

ANGST makes its triumphant return to the scene in Chapter 36, as Evelyn deals with some boring teenage problems. Evasive terminology derived from Emily of New Moon and sequels; application is all Ev's own.

FYI, the epigraph comes from Ella Wheeler Wilcox's once-controversial Poems of Passion. Do you know Ella Wheeler Wilcox? You should. She was a popular, extremely prolific poet from the days when "poetess" was still a word people used, and she is responsible for introducing a tremendous number of cliches into the English language. For every "classic" anthology favorite by a "great" poet, there is a mediocre but well-meaning poem on more or less the same subject by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Her first book of poetry, published when she was fifteen, was an inventive collection of temperance hymns called Drops of Water. Later, she became an animal rights activist and a cheerleader for assorted spiritual movements. And, like so many other progressive writers who lived to see the Great War, she added a volume of mindless pro-war poetry (the now unbearably chirpy Hello, Boys!) to the Wilfred Owen Memorial Irony Bank. Pretty much no one reads her now but feminist scholars and Rosicrucians, but she was as ubiquitous in her day as Nicholas Sparks is now.

Like the fictional Emily Starr, EWW was a spiritual non-conformist with an all-embracing if not always fully informed love for the souls of things; like Emily, she was also an aesthetically conservative poet in a time of great literary upheaval. Unlike Emily (and Maud) she found her fame in poetry rather than in a sunny novel about some colorful rustics and a sprightly young girl. And unlike Emily, her attempts at psychic communion with her beloved were largely unsuccessful.

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