Theatres and bookstores abound in Peterborough, Ontario

I’ve been focusing attention on Peterborough, Ontario lately, scouring the ‘bushes’ for local literary ‘things to do and places to visit’. First point to make is that there are way more theatre companies here than you might expect, four at least. One of them, the Peterborough Theatre Guild has in fact been entertaining local audiences since 1965. The only troupe in the region to own its own building, the Guild traces its roots back to the work of Robertson Davies and his wife Brenda. According to Michael Peterman, professor emeritus at Trent University, the two were theatrical power-houses in the community during the 50s and 60s, writing, directing, and performing in many stage productions. Sometimes they even did makeup!

Another company, 4th Line Theatre, presents Canadian plays, “written by and about Canadians, from small town stories to Continue reading “Theatres and bookstores abound in Peterborough, Ontario”

Literary Tourism in the air

Literary tourism is nothing new. Socrates, who trekking out to Delphi a millennia or two ago looking for truth, could be called a literary tourist; the beardless young Greeks who went to book discussion circles to hear him denigrate the Gods could also be called literary tourists. As could those who attended gigs by Homer, or poets like him, who recited crazy stories of sirens and men being turned into pigs.

More recently, in Victorian times especially, besotted fans would pilgrimage to favorite authors’ houses to soak up the vibe, introduce the imaginary to the real, or simply pluck a leaf from the garden, as George Eliot – or was it Virginia Woolf – once did from Wordsworth’s Rydal Mount.

Regardless, the pastime has long been popular. No more so, it appears, than right Continue reading “Literary Tourism in the air”

Literary South Africa

Some years ago I visited my brother in Cape Town. He put together the most amazing itinerary: the ‘big five’ in Kruger National Park, then, closer to town, lounging on the beach and watching the cold surf in Kleinmond; seafood on the sea shore in Hermanus, wine and escargot for the price back home of burgers and coke, in Franschhoek; Table mountain, flowers and weddings in the Company Gardens, and hiking up Lion’s Head. This however is not what I am to him most grateful for.

Rather, it’s the tireless manner in which he drove me to every bookstore I could find in the country, and his patient waiting as I pored fiendishly over miles of shelves full of new and used books. After which, I can happily report that Cape Town and environs is home not only to the world’s Continue reading “Literary South Africa”