Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Her own way

"That year I discovered the word Island which in spite of all teaching I insisted on calling Is-Land.

In our silent reading class at school, when we chose one of the Whitcombe's school readers, those thin, fawn-covered books with crude drawings on the cover and speckled pages, I found a story, To the island, an adventure story that impressed me so much I talked about it at home.

‘I read a story, To the Is-Land, about some children going to an Is-Land.'

‘It’s I-Land,’ Myrtle corrected.

‘It’s not,’ I said. ‘It’s Is-Land. It says,’ I spelled the letters, ‘I-s-l-a-n-d.'

‘It’s a silent letter,’ Myrtle said. ‘Like knee.’

In the end, reluctantly, I had to accept the ruling, although within myself I still thought of it as the Is-Land."

~ Janet Frame, from To the Is-Land (1982)

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