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HUMANITIES 145 The subtitle, 'an introduction to the study of fairy tales,' intimates the method; it also suggests that the approaches Gose uses to the Irish tales can validly be made to all folk tales, and to demonstrate this he includes analyses of Tsinlshian, Egyptian, and English tales. The value of comparative studies is obvious; not so clear, however, is what such a procedure enables the reader to learn about the ostensible focus of the book, the 'world' of the Irish stories. Rather, our own modern world and ' some of its concerns come disconcertingly to the fore when we read that the inlportance of the tales lies in their'compensatory function' in whiclt the narrative'offers a symbolic movement towards psychic integration: a movement in which 'the use of violence makes less likely the hero's spiritual advancement.' Not only the hero but also the reader can become a 'fuller person' through the narrative process, and 'relevance' (approvingly cited by both the author and the publisher) is apparently achieved through jargon: ' the nuclear-family situation of giant, mother, and son' in one tale; in another, the hero's 'falling in love ..., marrying ..., and fathering a child [that] put [him] back in touch with the feeling and relating side of his nature: Despite the author's claim to be concerned with the literary values of the tales, he seems, on the contrary, determined to convince the reader that the worth of the stories is in their usefulness, in their doing us good, in their teaching us: 'it is the business of wonder tales to take the reader through a process' that by means of compensation allows us 'to integrate that which furthers our individual destinies.' Such a relentlessly highminded conclusion obscures the real power of the tales, as do the plot summaries of the fourteen stories selected for discussion from nearly a thousand available. Only in the all-too-few quotations from the tales do we have an accurate glimpse of what makes them compelling, the truly literary qualities of imagination and creativity that have guaranteed the ancient Irish wonder tales continuity even through this century. .They are wonderful and merit close attention, and Gose's desire to study them is commendable. He would have been well advised, however, to have added to his various approacltes, in emulation of Max Liithi, one of his acknowledged mentors, a consideration of the wonder tale not only as guide for the perplexed but also as art form. Gose's book does not provide what the Irish stories need and deserve:a stylistic analysis sinlilar to the sort Liithi has used in his work on European tales. As a result, it is an incomplete introduction to the study of these or any fairy tales. (I. DUTKA) George L. Parker. The Beginnings of the Book Trade in Canada University of Toronto Press. xiv, 346. $39.95 This book accomplishes much more than its rather tentative title would suggest. As the author pOints out, it is the first extensive history of the book trade in Canada. Here, as the result of considerable research, is the story of printing and publishing in Canada from 1751 to 1900, from its shadowy, relatively primitive beginnings in Halifax to the advanced printingand marketing techniques of the twentieth century. Itis dramatic evidence of the influence on Canada of the industrial revolution in Europe and the United States. No industry underwent more change, almost constant change and adaptation, than did the printing plants of the nineteenth century. George Parker has endeavoured to chart these changes within the social condition ofCanada in its growth from colony to nation. This book is, then, more than just an account of the 'beginnings' but a major assault on the tangled and often hidden path of progression from manuscript to printed page in this country. Although there are many similarities between the development of printing and publishing in Great Britain and the United States, the author has taken pains to point out the uniqueness of the book trade in Canada. Influences from outside there were, but printing, publishing, bookselling , authorship, and copyright all had their distinctive Canadian problems. In a country still not blessed with a thriving book...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 145-147
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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