Friday, November 24, 2006

Literary Parallels. Again.

I've been reading a new book called Winkie this week. It's a story about a teddy bear of that name who has somehow become sentient and wandered off into the woods to live. When the book opens, Winkie has been arrested by Homeland Security and is on trial as a terrorist.

The meat of the story (so far, anyway) is the bear's recollection of life as a toy to several generations of one family. He's remembering and reflecting as he sits in a cell awaiting trial.

I was struck by the similarities to the Patrick O'Brian novel Richard Temple, which I finished a week or so back.

In that book, the title character is in prison in southern France where he's been captured by the Gestapo as an English spy during world War II. As he recovers from torture, he remembers his pre-war life as a hungry artist in London.

I suppose prison-recollection is a fairly common literary device. Still, I find it interesting to see it applied in two very different character studies.

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