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Allusion is not Illusion

You'll pry my books off my cold, dead body. By the time you shift them all I'll be flat and dessicated.

Currently reading

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The House Without Windows - Barbara Newhall Follett This very odd little story of a girl who runs away into the forest meadows to become one with nature was written by a homeschooled young girl as a gift for her parents. Her father's editorial note expresses pleasure and pride. I can't help but wonder if either parent was troubled by the oddly-named protagonist, Eepersip Eigleen's, utter disregard for her parents and home. She runs away with the deer without a thought for their feelings, and never misses them. But after a couple years of living with her animal friends she is overcome by an obsessive desire to go to the sea, and leaves her kitten and chipmunk and fawn behind with only the slightest twinge of sorrow. Not once does she express any concern over what might become of them.

If a real person behaved like Eepersip I would start thinking of possible personality disorders. But as the narrative progresses it becomes evident that the little girl, despite her parentage, is not human but some sort of nature spirit. She lives off flowers and berries. She sleeps comfortably in the snow. She throws herself into the stormy waves and plays with them. By the end she is all but insubstantial and invisible.


It is impossible to refrain from thinking of the author's mysterious fate when reading this, but from any angle it is a strange book. The bulk of it is flowery (no pun intended) descriptions of the beauties of nature, heavy on the flowers and butterflies. Action is mostly Eepersip going from one setting to another -- meadow, seashore, island, mountain -- and there dancing and experiencing delight and glee and a sublime exaltation. All the adults in the story are heavy in mind and body, moving and behaving in clumsy, awkward, insensitive ways. One can hardly help rooting for Eepersip to escape from their ham-handed attempts to capture her, but her flight into unreal nature is terribly troubling as well.

It was certainly... different.