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Volume 10, Number 1 (1985)

Speaking of Mirrors: Imagery and Narration in two Novellas by Mavis Gallant

  • D. B. Jewison
May 22, 2008


Green Water, Green Sky and "Its Image in the Mirror" illustrate forcefully two dominant technical elements in the predominantly modernist mode that persists in Gallant's fiction -- subtlety of imagery and narrative voice. The former contains the germ of much of her later writing, including the suggestive but unforced use of images that edge toward symbols but never become rigid or entirely predictable. In "Its Image in the Mirror," Gallant's typical subtlety and ambiguity, those qualities that give her stories their elusive quality, arise not so much out of the complexity and suggestiveness of the imagery, as in Green Water, Green Sky, as from the questionable authority of the narrative presence.