Monthly Archives: January 2018

Re-Discovering Mariposa

January 17, 2018.

This blog began with my desire to re-write the story of Mariposa. I am not sure that I want to do that any more, because I am not convinced that Stephen Leacock got it wrong. I think people have been reading it wrong, and I would like to set the record straight.

I am not yet ready to give you the whole load, only a quick preview: Mariposa is not Orillia, nor would the people of Orillia want it to be if they understood what Leacock said. Mariposa is a warning, as isĀ Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich, written two years later. Mariposa and The City are in fact the same warning, against particular ways of thinking that have to do with Unsolved Riddles.

Leacock’s warning was brilliantly done, but unfortunately his method of giving it was too subtle and most people missed it. They thought he was being satirical when in fact he was being prophetic. He himself compounded the problem by getting caught up in his well-deserved reputation for being funny, and all the pleasures and rewards thereof. A scholar or two here and there caught a whiff of the truth, but by and large scholarship was content to follow the lines laid down by popular opinion, and to embroider on them elegantly without examining the cloth.

I am no scholar, although I do have some tools that could be used for that purpose. In the months ahead I intend to use them.

Thank you for reading, and please stay tuned.

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