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FROM THE ATTIC WINDOW

The attic window, overlooking Deschambault Street. Photo: Robert Barrow, 2006

The attic window, overlooking Deschambault Street. Photo: Robert Barrow, 2006

“And then, through the attic window, which was just in my line of vision, I beheld the sky. It was a windy June day… and very handsome, very white clouds began to pass before my eyes. It seemed to me that the clouds were displaying themselves for my sole benefit. (…) Two large elms planted by my father thrust their highest branches to the edge of my window; by stretching my neck a little, I could watch them sway; and that, too, must have been for me alone, since I was the only person perched high enough to espy the upper branches of our elms.” (Petite Misère, Street of Riches, McClelland and Stewart, p. 15–16)

photo-9Gabrielle’s window, overlooking Deschambault Street, is in itself worth a visit. For those who know the author’s work well, visiting it practically counts as a pilgrimage! From here, you can look out through the window, peek through the branches of the elms that her father Léon Roy planted, and catch a glimpse of earth and sky, just as she could. In our imagination, we can still see the field, now covered with houses, that used to stretch beyond the Seine River, far off into the prairie.

Here, in quiet solitude, you can think about the landscapes in Gabrielle Roy’s work… and about the vistas within yourself.

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