Thursday, September 22, 2022

Wales #1 (1966)

Google Books lists Who Is Kim Ondaatje?: The Inventive Life of a Canadian Artist (202?) by Lola Tostevin. Years ago, while visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario, I saw Ondaatje's Wales #1, and the other day I came upon its reproduction while looking for something else. There was another event that made it a coincidence, but I'll save that for the movie. Or maybe there was one, and it goes by the name of Paris, France (1994).

What to make of Wales #1, with its too-far coast and its hovering, too-close ocean? I have traveled that coast and had sensations like I get from its reproduction. Northern Wales is a dark place with dark-haired people with witchy voices, and I fell for one on a train to Holyhead. She asked me to get off with her, and we did, at Rhyl. Her sister was waiting, and said, "I've heard all about you, we've a long drive ahead." This was before cell phones. Like I said -- witchy!

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