Maria's Outlook (Panorea_

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pollyanna versus Panorea

It is a number of years since I wrote “Panorea”. For an abridged version in English, see my first blog posting.

Panorea is not just the personification of Corfu, but an allegory of the world and what we have done to it.

Has anything changed? No!

Corfu is in a worse condition than ever. Its plight (just consider the accumulation of rubbish before Christmas) was mitigated only by the cold weather. If the dreadful refuse disposal situation had happened in the middle of the summer, we would all have had cholera, as they had in Mandouki in 1855, or even the plague, as in 1629-1630.

I am told the new hospital is finally operational. That’s good! I wish the doctors and nursing staff all the best of luck.

As for the rest? The market is an eyesore. The old harbour is a disaster. The roads are in a terrible state. The traffic is appalling. One can smell misery from afar.

Over the Christmas holiday, I saw -for the first time- the English version of the film Pollyanna.

I have never read the book. One of this year’s resolutions is to read it. Pollyanna is an American children’s classic, written by Eleanor H. Porter. As a mother, I failed to read it to my children. Other books were more in fashion at the time.

Pollyanna, like Panorea, is the name of the girl who is the main character in the respective books. As a result of the story, the name Pollyanna has become synonymous with optimism and a bright disposition. The main theme of the book and the books that followed is the glad game.

The Glad Game is a game that celebrates the good things we have, and avoids despair about the horrors around us.

Although the ending of Panorea is not all that pessimistic, the two heroines represent two totally different attitudes.

There is no glad game in my book. Or is there?

It is up to the reader to interpret the nature of the “glad game” in which Panorea’s tribe was engaged.

The glad game, according to Pollyanna, is a useful tool. If we all played it, perhaps we would all be much happier than we are. We would have no wars, and we would not climb over dead bodies in order to get what we feel we lack.

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