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HUMANmEs 157 compassion he showed a crippled woman but of seducing her: 'It was a shock to see the wolf so suddenly leap out of disguise at the end of the story: The wolf that lurks hidden in the innocent world: even when not made explicit, this is an underlying pattern in many of the personal moments that are interwoven in the book between the responses to fairy tale and fiction. A pleasant evening in Ottawa, after the Grey Cup GameĀ·, turns sinister when a disappointed Calgary fan pulls a gun; a quiet visit to a Coles bookstore becomes frightening when an 'ogre: claiming to have killed two Mounties, accosts Dragland and his children. But the artist and the world are both shown to be shape-shifters and, throughout Journeys through Bookland, Dragland suggests that the artist has another function besides that of showing us our wolves. After all, Jack Chambers lived on Lombardo Avenue, and DraglandĀ·reminds us that even Louis Armstrong said, 'There'll always be a Guy Lombardo in my dream orchestra: Far from dismiSSing the importance of that troubadour of New Year's Eve, Dragland calls Lombardo the master of 'the ordinary raised to perfection: and suggests that he represents the ability of the artist to reassure. Similarly the whole of Journeys through Bookland shows us that languageand the stories we make from it can do more than disturb; they can also console, and even allow us to vanquish what frightens us. The frightened son is comforted when his father invents a series of stories about 'Stan the Giant'; the ogre is implicitly mastered just in the telling of the story of the encounter. And of the confrontation with the drunken reveller, Dragland writes: 'We talked the gun barrel down so pleasantly the cowboy lost no face'; 'it fell to me, a man of few wiles, to speak the magic words: "You guys from Calgary? I'm from the west myself.'" The 'magic' of words, the power in telling tales, the way language itself can help us face our fears or allow us to free ourselves from them - this is the powerful topic of Dragland's book. (RUSSELL BROWN) David Cook. Northrop Frye:A Vision of the New World New World Perspectives. 122. $7.95 paper David Cook brings us the rather belated news that Northrop Frye is a liberal. And in the manner of George Grant and others who have made rather free use of Jacques Ellul's concept of 'technique: he finds a technolOgical viper poisoning Frye's pastoral liberalism. Frye has scotched the snake, not killed it; his social philosophy and, apparently, his literary theory are both unsound and irrelevant ('an imagination that is, in the end, no more than a recreative educational tool brunts the force of the very poetry and literature it has sustained' [loB]. Presumably Cook meant to write 'blunts,' though he sometimesseems more interestedin the sound than the sense of his sentences.) The author's goal is to put into words what he thinks is the intention of David Martin's portrait of Frye in the sky. His intent, he says, is not to photograph or photocopy his subject. That can be done by reading Frye's books. Instead his object is to 'caricature ... a Frye whose features have been pulled and twisted, not a Frye who is represented.... I join the artist in this task' (p 6). Is this mere cleverness and modishness, or is itan instant review? Caricature, says the Concise Oxford Dictionary, is a 'grotesque representation of person or thing by overemphasis on characteristic traits.' That would not be the usual, admitted, goal ofa scholar; nor is itan adequate description of David Martin's painting. Apparently, then, we have a book by a self-confessed cartoonist. In fact, Cook's cartoon is quite a provocative one. He argues that in the conflict between William Blake and John Locke, the conflict between the concept of mind as perceiver and mind as tabula rasa, Frye finally sides with Locke. (The first bite of the liberal apple.) This is necesary, Cook argues, since Frye's system depends on the 'scientific,' classificatory power that grows out of Lockean thought. But...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 157-159
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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