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HUMANITIES 349 fears that Native self-government will lead to savage practices of cruelty or fundamentalist religious tyranny. The 'meanderings' of the text can be frustrating, sprouting too numerous footnotes/ yet stimulation outweighs frustration and Denis's encyclopedic scholarship is useful in suggesting a number of fruitful connections and directions for further study. Most important, We Are Not You encourages the reader to imagine the complex potentialities of Native self-government, both concretely and theoretically, for Euro-Canadian society. With this ground-breaking work1 Denis has made a valuable contribution to Canadian scholarship on this issue. (LALLY GRAUER) David H. Levy. More Things in Heaven and Earth Wombat Press. 128.$16.95 To appreciate the uniqueness of this book, one must appreciate the uniqueness of David Levy, and the 'species' to which he belongs- the amateur astronomer. According to one definition, an amateur astronomer is someone who loves astronomy/ and cultivates it as a hobby. A stricter definition, by historian Thomas Williams, is 'a person who does astronomy with a high degree of skill, but not for pay.' Amateurs play a remarkable role in astronomical research, and this role is increasingly valued by the astronomical commnnity. They discover and study comets, and discover and measure variable stars (stars which change in brightness); they systematically record snnspots, meteors, and aurorae, and time lunar, planetary, and asteroidal eclipses of stars. They have developed new instruments and techniques, including one of the first operational robotic telescopes. Amateur astronomers also contribute to both informal and formal education. They write articles and books, produce radio and TV programs, organize public lectures and courses, lobby for planetariums and observatories , organize displays in libraries and shopping malls, and 'star parties' in parks. They also support formal education by visiting school classes, organizing evening star parties for students, and serving as resource people for teachers. Canada has been blessed with many outstanding amateur astronomers. Terence Dickinson, of Yarker, Ontario, is one of the world's most prolific and honoured astronomy writers. Astronomical photographs -by Jack Newton, of Victoria, BC, appear in hundreds of articles and books. David Levy began as a consummate amateur astronomer. He has never taken a course in astronomy; his academic background is in English (BA from Acadia University in 1972, and MA from Queen's University in 1979). During the 1970s, he became increasingly involved in astronomy, as an amateur scientist, and as a teacher and writer. By the strict definition, he would no longer qualify as an amateur astronomer, since he has worked as an astronomical research assistant, has published eighteen books and 350 LETTERS IN CANADA 1997 countless articles, and is much in demand as a public lecturer. As of 1997, he had discovered or co-discovered twenty-one comets- the most famous of which was Shoemaker-Levy g, which collided with Jupiter in 1994ยท He is undoubtedly one of the best-known astronomers - amateur or professional - in the world. The introduction to this book is the author's convocation address at Acadia University on 8 May 1995, when he received an honorary doctorate. Then there are a few pages of excellent colour photographs which should be appreciated for their own sake, since they are not keyed to the text. The heart of the book is six chapters of astronomy and poetry,linked to various themes. The final chapter recounts, in a similar poetic vein, the story of the discovery of Shoemaker-Levy 9, and its dramatic fate. There are several pages of endnotes, and a good index. As one who has known and appreciated David Levy for many years, I found this an appealing synthesis of his astronomical and literary interests. It is written in the same elegant and deep-felt language which makes his other writings and public lectures so distinctive. Perhaps there is someone else who could write such a book, but I am not sure who. It touches on nearly a hundred works of literature- poetry, prose, and drama- mostly classical and romantic, from Shakespeare to John Denver. Robert Frost receives many mentions, and entire chapters revolve around Gerard Manley Hopkins, Alfred Tennyson, and Henry Thoreau -writers who appreciated the sky, and its messages for humankind. There is...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 349-350
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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