In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

446 LETTERS IN CANADA 1984 cleared up by carefully noting punctuation in the poem. 'Ikon-bearing royalties' means tsarist Russia; it is preceded by a semi-colon, and refers forward to 'All who did waste us,' not back to I shades Seleucid.' Such omissions and oversights do not, however, detract greatly from the value of this guidebook. Rather, it is to Klein's credit that his allusions and symbols'work' on so manylevels thatitis hardly possible to treat themall. More important, perhaps, is Spiro's uncertainty or unfamiliarity with literary form. 'Koheleth' is a narrative poem conveying a dialogue between two identified speakers. Itmaybe I dramatic' inthe sense ofbeing vivid, but it is not, as Spiro states, a 'dramatic monologue.' Nor are sections v and viii of 'Out of the Pulver and the Polished Lens' 'in prose,' as Spiro says. Section v, with its assonance, consonance, alliteration, internal rhyme, is poetry; in section viii, the verse, with its correspondence of phrasing, balanced structure, liturgical and almost incantatory quality, is an excellent example of poetic parallelism, the form used in the Biblical psalms. Tapestry for Designs is not flawless; nevertheless, it is an excellent aid and does provide a solid base for deeper understanding of Klein's major works. (ESTHER SAFER FISHER) Anthony Robertson. Above Tide: Reflections of Roderick Haig-Brown Harbour Publishing. 140, illus. $8.95 paper Roderick Haig-Brown (1908-76) was one of the finest writers in modern Canadian literature. If one mentions his name to academic students, however, the chances are that they will not have heard of him (and I suspect that the same would be true for many of their teachers as well). There are several reasons for this unfortunate state ofaffairs: first, his best work is in the essay and other non-fiction forms; second, he writes primarily about nature, fishing, and wildlife; third, the country of his heart is British Columbia, a long way from the publishing centres of eastern Canada; fourth, he writes lucidly and sensibly, offering few opportunities for intricate interpretation by eager literary commentators. Anthony Robertson is not, I gather, an academic critic, but (although I should probably write 'and therefore') he offers a clear and admirable introduction to this neglected writer. He is in full control of his subject, and thus in a position to present an authoritative overview of the whole work. His approach is straightforward. We are given the basic biographical facts, and then a series of helpful chapters on the different kinds of books that Haig-Brown wrote - his animal stories, his histories, his fiction, his essays, his fishing-books, his writings on conservation. In addition Robertson places Haig-Brown firmly and convincingly within the tradition of outdoors writing in English. Moreover, he quotes HUMANITIES 447 generously and appropriately, so that readers may savour the crisp and mature prose of this most sane, sensible, and lovable of our writers. This, then, is an informative and refreshingly direct critical study. There are some blemishes, but these are minor. A few incorrect spellings have slipped through, including the names of the English nature-writer Jefferies and the Canadian publishers McClelland and Stewart; some other grammatical and typographical errors ought to have been caughtby copy-editors; and the absence ofpage-references is occasionally annoying if one wants to follow up Robertson's commentary. But these imperfections do not detract in any serious way from the excellence ofthe bookas a whole. We badly needed a book on this subject, and Robertson has filled the gap in praiseworthy fashion. I rarely find myself impelled to praise a volume in such positive terms, and it is a pleasure to do so. (W.J. KEITH) Chris Ackerley and Lawrence J. Clipper. A Companion to 'Under the Volcano' University of British Columbia Press. 492 . $45.00 Malcolm Lowry was doubly exiled: a British expatriate writing in Canada, whose most famous novel portrays his fictional personal yearning from Mexico for the lost Canadian paradise. Fittingly enough, A Companion to 'Under the Volcano' has an international flavour. Chris Ackerley teaches at the University of Otago in New Zealand, while Lawrence Clipperis based at Indiana University. Publication was undertaken by the University of British Columbia Press after...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 446-447
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.