Author Tags: Literary Criticism, Women
Linda M. Morra is a postdoctoral fellow with the Centre for Research in Women's Studies and Gender Relations at UBC. With Camille R. LA Bossiere and Camille La Bossiere, Morra contributed to Robertson Davies: A Mingling of Contrarieties (University of Ottawa, 2001). With John Moss, she edited At the Speed of Light There is Only Illumination: A Reappraisal of Marshall McLuhan (UBC Press, 2004). The study's essays are drawn from a symposium on McLuhan, held at the University of Ottawa in 2000.
The lack of recorded intimacy in Emily Carr's life has long been a troublesome subject. Was she the victim of abuse as a child? Was she a lesbian? Was she overwhelmingly egocentric as an artist? The reasons for her prickly surface manners will likely never be unravelled, but Linda Morra has at least revealed the extent to which Carr yearned for, and appreciated, friendship and intimacy by gathering the twilight correspondance between Carr and her literary mentor, Ira Dilworth, regional director of CBC radio, for Corresponding Influence: Selected Letters of Emily Carr and Ira Dilworth (UTP 2005). Of more than 440 extant letters written between early 1940 and Carr's death in March of 1945, 195 were written by Dilworth and 250 by Carr. With encouragement and direction from Doris Shadbolt and research advisor Eva-Marie Kroller, Morra has selected 142 of them to represent the heartfelt neediness of the pair. "God bless you, Emily!" wrote Dilworth, while sending her "oodles of love." For five years they were devoted to one another, linked as if they had been lovers in the flesh. Carr's often hasty and randomly punctuated letters to her editor and confidante reveal her intrepid and uncompromising nature. She once told Dilworth that for a "letter to be a correspondence [there] must be a spontaneous loving outpour from one to another[.] How can you 'respond' if there is not a 'co'?" In Carr's last will and testament, addressed to Ira Dilworth, she concludes, "Forgive me dear for all the times I have been unreasonable or petulant or weepy. I have loved you truly & shall as long as I can [.] Thank you for the love you have given to me. God bless you--goodbye." An unpublished story by Carr entitled Small's Gold is also included in Morra's volume.
Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Corresponding Influence: Selected Letters of Emily Carr and Ira Dilworth
Robertson Davies: A Mingling of Contrarietiess (University of Ottawa, 2001)
At the Speed of Light There is Only Illumination: A Reappraisal of Marshall McLuhan (UBC, 2004)
"A Streak of Happiness Coming Without Invite”: The Correspondence of Emily Carr and Ira Dilworth (University of Toronto Press)
Corresponding Influence: Selected Letters of Emily Carr and Ira Dilworth (UTP, 2005)
[BCBW 2004] "Women" "Literary Criticism" "Carr"