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204 LETTERS IN CANADA 1980 themselves - and we have many - and it reinforces the notion that the best we can manage is music that is derivative. In some cases the insistence on having an external reference entirely misrepresents a work. Reservations about the organization of the material and the treatment of the repertoire notwithstanding, Proctor's Canadian Music of the Twentieth Century is one of the most important books so far published on music in Canada. It contains an extraordinary amount of information accurately and clearly set out in a handsomely bound and printed volume designed by Antje Linger at the University of Toronto Press. There are extremely useful lists of publishers and recording companies with full addresses, chapter lists of representative repertoire, a brief chronology of music, history, and the arts from 1900 to '979, a selective but none the less extensive bibliogtaphy, and a thorough index. We must hope that the Press will promote Proctor's book vigorously here and abroad and that it will long remain on the list of current publications. (CARL MOREY) A.H. de Tr~maudin . Histoire de la Nation rnetisse dans rOuest-canadien Les Editions des Plaines '979· 450 Mary V. Jordan. De ta soeur, Sara Riel Les Editions des Plaines. 182 The reappearance ofAuguste-Henri de Tremaudin's massive and partisan history of the Metis and the translation of Mary Jordan'S edition of Sara Riel's lelters to her more famous brother do not add much to the sum of human knowledge. They do indicate something of the trend of Canadian public opinion since 1936 when the late M. de Tremaudin's work was completed and published by his friends in Ie comite historique de rUnion nationale metisse. When de Tremaudin's work first appeared, it was still controversial to offer an almost wholly uncritical portrayal of the Metis and their best known leader. Among those who still believed that Louis Riel had been prevented from handing the Red River over to the Americans, it was news to discover that he, rather than the Wolseley expedition, had preserved the North West for Canada. Almost two generations after de Tremaudin's death in California, the pendulum has swung very far. It is now almost obligatory to refer to Riel as the founder of Manitoba and a monument to his memory decorates the grounds of the provincial legislature. At Regina, scene of his ultimate humiliation and execution, a superhuman statue makes belated amends. Awkward and inconvenient as he undoubtedly was in life, Louis Riel in death becomes an all-purpose symbol to be wielded in countless contradictory causes. HUMANITIES 205 To be fair, the influence of de Tremaudin's book has been infinitely less in achieving a redefinition of Riel and the Metis than the work of George Stanley. The Birth ofWestern Canada, Stanley's Oxford thesis, appeared in the same year as Histoire de la Nation metisse. Because it was a work of literary flair, unprecedented scholarship, and, above all, because itwas in English, George Stanley's book forced a revision of thought in precisely that part of the Canadian community where most changing had to occur. For de Tremaudin's French-speaking readership, long inured to a historiography of saintly heroes and orangiste villains, no fresh thinking was required. Reprinting de Tremaudin's book in a facsimile edition may recall the devoted contribution of its author and his committee and it undoubtedly provides contemporary Franco-Manitobans with a gratifying self-image. The publishers may also have reckoned, like many of their contemporaries , that virtually anything on Riel, however bad or outdated, will sell. They have backed that commercial judgment by translating most of Mary Jordan's '974 book, To Louis from your sister who loves you, Sara Riel. Understandably, the French originals of the letters, published in the earlier volume, have been left out of this edition. In slovenly fashion neither the author nor her publisher has bothered to explain the provenance of the new book. The impression is left that translation was largely the work of the author herself with the collaboration of Rossel Vien. Mary Jordan brings to Sara and her older brother some of the uncritical sympathy she...


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