You ask how I came here. There is no interesting story. My parents are both dead. My father worked for Eaton's in Toronto in the Furniture Department, and after his death my mother worked there too in Linens. And I also worked there for a while in Books. Perhaps you could say Eaton's was our Douds. I graduated from Jarvis Collegiate. I had some sickness which put me in hospital for a long time, but I am quite well now. I had a great deal of time to read and my favorite authors are Thomas Hardy, who is accused of being gloomy but I think is very true to life--and Willa Cather. I just happened to be in this town when I heard the Librarian had died and I thought, perhaps that is the job for me.I'm nearly finished reading Alice Munro's story collection Open Secrets. It continues to be interesting from a story perspective and impressive from a technical perspective. The strong movement toward what strikes me (possibly because I am by nature a pessimist) as falsely positive brief endings also continues, but I am trying to learn forbearance and also Munro's intent (or at least build a pretense of understanding what she's doing, because Munro is clearly too good a writer to be doing anything in her stories without having thought it through).
Anyway, that's a side issue having to do with my own expectations of lit'rature. What I wanted to say is that it struck me, after reading about the first six of the stories, that they all involve someone disappearing, in one form or another. People walk out of their lives, or are taken forcibly out of their lives, or escape lives into which they were forced. Perhaps it's because I've been reading literary theory about postmodernism and detective literature that I see Munro's tales of individuals being sought out, or identities being revealed or concealed (or both), as a form of detective fiction. Possibly I'm just one of those people whose world view is entirely overwhelmed by whatever it is they've most recently read, like my mind is a canvas that anyone can repaint at whim, and everything will look like detective fiction of one form or another until I read the next literary criticism essay that falls under my fingers. Who can say? Again, another long digression into my self-doubt, of which I have enormous quantities these days.
I appear to be blogging again, despite my infinite depths of doubt and ignorance. Possibly that is a precursor to actually writing fiction again. It could happen. Maybe I'm just warming up. Surprisingly, I find that idea exciting, in a doubtful and ignorant sort of way.