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Chapter 54: Ultraviolet

The past worries me. I mean, really worries me sometimes. I mean, I have no idea how I would have dealt with the six-hundred-foot hormone tsunami that was RL high school without the reassuring guidance of Our Bodies, Ourselves (b&w original edition) and a comparatively open and garrulous youth culture, not to mention relaxed attitudes about what teenage girls were allowed to wear in public (I lucked out by spending most of my puberty safely cocooned in flannel and corduroy). How would I have survived if I never had the opportunity to hash out The Mystery of Sex in comfortingly foul and mocking language with my equally-bewildered friends around the cafeteria table during Morning Study Session? I was already at a severe disadvantage owing to the combination of inciting reading material with a naturally head-in-the-clouds tendency and parents who unceremoniously shut off the VCR whenever movie petting got too heavy. How much more at a loss would I have been if I had lived in L.M.M.'s world of rigid chaperonage, kissing games, and obscenity laws, and no one had ever told me anything?

It's an unanswerable question, of course; if I'd been born in 1874, like Maud, or in 1887, like Ev, I would have simply lived in the world on its own terms, and used the tools given to me by my own society to understand whatever I had to understand, and I would have been a different person, anyway. It worries, me, though.

Oh hey what were we saying? CHAPTER 54:

"Nelly, I am angst!"

This chapter is ridiculous but I am kind of ok with that. It's a diary, after all.

This story began with a question "Who the hell is Marshall Orde, and why is everyone so upset that Ilse might have gone riding with him that one time?" and a quote-- the L.M. Montgomery passage on my user page about the dispiriting impossibility of writing about a young girl "as she really is," and another question I'm not going to talk about yet because it is relevant to the plot. That's right, there is a plot! Sort of. We'll see.

I haven't really answered that first question in the context of the story yet, but it does have a meta-narrative answer. Marshall Orde is Herman Leard. Though Marsh in this story resembles Montgomery's after-the-fact account of the Leard Affair much more closely than did the real-life Herman Leard, to the best of my knowledge. This one isn't engaged, for one thing. NOT YET ANYWAY.

Anyway, besides all that, there's one anachronistic (megaobvious) and one non-anachronistic allusion in this chapter, SEE IF YOU CAN FIND THEM.


blase ev

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