I am going to suspend my guided tour of Stephen Leacock’s places for the next eight weeks. I will pick up the thread on Tuesday, October 22nd, by which time much will have happened that could change the plan. The reason: I am now writing the book that I said from the start I was going to write for the 100th Anniversary of The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice, and my mind simply cannot cope with two major writing streams at once.
I think I will call the book The Marriage of Social Justice with Unsolved Riddles, the idea being that Social Justice and Unsolved Riddles, first outed in their cohabitation by Stephen Leacock one hundred years ago, now need to be officially married so that their union can be recognized for integration into social, economic, and political life. You can’t have one without the other, despite the fervent wishes of ideologues. Or at least you don’t have, which is one of the reasons ideology doesn’t work and, in fact, invariably inflicts such cruel suffering.
1. Social Justice, a Radiant Ideal;
2. Unsolved Riddles, her consort;
3. Mnemochirianne, a centaur, with Slug-Horn;
4. Eulalie, an Owl, with ears;
5. Ursula, a Bear, with nose;
6. Astranasus, a Star-Nosed Mole, with star;
7. Vulphystrix, a Fox-Hedgehog (or Fox-Porcupine) Both-Andian, with difficulty;
8. Prophet Isaiah, personal attendant to Vulphystrix;
Three Muses acting as Interpreters:
12. Mosjaur; the Story of the Pilgrimage, handmaiden to the Muses;
16. I-Me, the Narrator, a Dreamer;
17. The Valley, site of the Pilgrimage, occupied by
The Charged Membrane, consisting of:
18. The Yottapede, and
19. The Ooze;
20. Olde Stephen, the ghost of Stephen Leacock, hovering overhead;
21. The Chapel, where the Wedding will take place if they can find it.
All these are living creatures, except the Slug-Horn who comes alive when blown.
It will come as no surprise to readers of this Tuesday Blog, a.k.a. the Mariposa Blog or the Walking Blog, that the Pilgrimage will follow a labyrinthine path of Cretan or Classical layout. This means that the Days of the Pilgrimage will be recounted in this order: Third, Second, First, Fourth, Seventh, Sixth, Fifth. The Preface walks you up to the labyrinth, L’Envoi is the centre point. Then of course you have to walk back out, in reverse order, but that’s a separate pilgrimage in its own right. I am not going to explain further here, tempted though I am. Maybe next week.
That’s the set-up. Mosjaur the Story is hard at work. Things are starting to rumble.
The Preface was released on Saturday, August 24th, and the first chapter will be released on Saturday, August 31st, one hundred years to the day since Stephen Leacock published his first chapter in the New York Times, the Toronto Star, and other newspapers. If you want a copy, e-mail me at voyageur-at-bmts.com and you shall have it. There’s no charge, but there is a condition: I am looking for feedback, and reserve the right to beg you for it.