Taking its title from a poem by Prince Edward Island poet Anne Compton, In the Interval of the Wave is a close study of diaries written by Prince Edward Island women in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Women from both rural and urban regions of the Island recorded their lives in a genre that allowed them to play with the conventions of the language they knew. For busy farm wives, their quotidian language, syntax, and choice of topic appear simple, whereas for the urban elite like Margaret Gray Lord and Wanda Wyatt, the erudition of their diaries suggests a more leisured existence. Mary McDonald-Rissanen argues that the initial reception of the text - its physical appearance, handwriting, gaps, and flood of words - provides interesting insights for understanding the circumstances of Prince Edward Island women from times past. Intertextual readings of the diaries alongside other cultural artifacts such as paintings, histories, folk stories, and songs embellish the idiosyncratic diary discourse. Diaries enabled women to write their voices, create a subjective identity, and redefine their place in the world. In the Interval of the Wave exposes lives lived and recorded in a special moment and place never far from the rhythm of the sea.
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Number of pages: 292
Weight: 399 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
"Through careful analyses of the materiality of the texts, as well as the language and style of particular diaries, McDonald-Rissanen provides a fascinating account of the subjectivities of these remarkable (if `ordinary') women. Accessing a previously untapped archive, In the Interval of the Wave makes a solid contribution to scholarship on Canadian women's life writing." Linda Warley, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Waterloo
"In the Interval of the Wave explores the unique experiences of PEI women-as urban bourgeois and farm wives, as mothers and teachers, as pioneers and travelers-while insisting on the importance of each ordinary voice and the value of each ordinary life."
"McDonald-Rissanen's study of the PEI women's diaries, from the handwriting to the rhetorical strategies, from the diarists' personal biographies to larger cultural contexts, illuminates gendered practices of writing in the nineteenth and twentieth centur