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HUMANITIES 389 discourses and styles, providing a range of situated responses to a multidimensional subject. Not surprisingly, the most personal and passionate views on cultural appropriation originate from within a given controversy. Invariably, such controversies have a political dimension. This is no accident. All of the selections in this book have been chosen for their political resonance, and their ability to stimulate discussion on the political issues swirling about cultural appropriation. Of particular interest to the editors are the ways in which historically disempowered and colonized indigenous peoples are seeking to claim and protect the rights to their cultural heritage. By way of example, several essays in this book are drawn from the recent debate in Canada over 'appropriation of the Native voice.' 'Stop Stealing Our Stories' by Ojibway storyteller Lenore Keeshig-Tobias, and 'In the Red' by Blood artist Joane Cardinal-Schubert, are among the more memorable. Finally, four important themes arise from these essays and deserve mention: a concern for 'cultural degradation,' when appropriators are said to steal the cultural soul ofa people, 'misrepresent them, silence their voices and purport to speak for them'; a concern for the dilution, alteration, and commodification of cultural treasures, as well as the trivialization and profaning of sacred practices; a concern for material deprivation when appropriators profit from the intellectual property of others without due compensation; and a concern for claims of sovereignty. and control over cultural goods, which are often ignored. Cultural appropriation may well be 'a very complex subject,' as the editors assert, but this book does much to illuminate many of the issues and acts that account for that complexity. More important, it offers several suggestions as to how we might begin to respond to them. (ALLAN J. RYAN) Richard Teleky. Hungarian Rhapsodies: Essays on Ethnicity, Identity, and Culture University of British Columbia Press and University of Washington Press. xv, 218. $49ยท95 cloth, $24.95 paper Richard Teleky's Hungarian Rhapsodies: Essays on Ethnicity, Identity, and Culture is a collection of essays about, in a pleasantly ambiguous way, the potentiality of being Hungarian, and about the effects of Hungarianness on selected aspects of modern culture. Teleky's Hungarianness, one feels, is all the more complex because it is neither absolute, nor fully realized. A third-generation HungarianAmerican living, writing and teaching in Toronto, Canada, Teleky can only describe his attachment to his grandmother's birthplace of Hungary in rhapsodic terms. Delivered in counterpoint, Teleky's stories do not have a single} impassioned purpose, but instead illumine that entity we understand as 'Hungarian culture' in its diverse aspects- in its food, its music, 390 LETTERS IN CANADA 1997 its fiction, its film and art. The heroes of Teleky's book include some of Hungary's more noteworthy citizens and some of its immigrants to North America, and also some who are less noteworthy. For example, Teleky praises Peter Esterhazy for his fine elliptical fiction as intelligently as he defines Hungarian kitsch; he applauds ZsaZsa Gabor and other Hollywood Hungarians; he extols the Hungarian miracle food, paprika; and he documents the influence of Hungary on contemporary television when he mentions Jessica Fletcher, the wily hero of the drama, Murder She Wrote, who in one episode becomes an expert on the Hungary which produced vampires. Although there is a well-paced humour in this tenderly written book, there is also a wise man's longing for a place and a tradition which, until now, has been dispersed by war, politics and other modern tragedies which, because of his own family's immigration, remain at some distance from him. Yet, Teleky shares this longing with some of his heroes: heroes as varied as the soulful photographer, Andre Kertesz, or as practical as the owner of Pannonia Books on Bloor Street in Toronto, Kate (not Kati or Katya) Karacsony (whose face reminds him of the young Vivien Leigh). To read Hungarian Rhapsodies is to learn and enjoy and want more. Teleky ends the book wistfully: 'I wish I could say that my Hungarian studies have made me feel less dissatisfied with my own culture, able to forgive it for some of the details of its own particular and insistent way of being arbitrary...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 389-390
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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