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HUMANITIES 163 Wayne Grady's 'On Making History' is the best of the writers' contributions , offering an exciting discussion of the North Pole. A single deficiency issues from Grady's decision to polarize knowledge into history or myth; in fact, what one has at the North Pole (where there is no land), as not at the South, is the ever-moving possibility of all temporal and spatial direction: history is myth is science is geography is, pace Wallace Stevens on snow, the nothing that is not there and the nothing that is. Of the critics, Shelagh Grant offers a balanced survey of published narratives and their relation to Inuit ora] tradition, and, in what amounts to a useful annotated bibliography, Michael Kennedy canvasses the various uses to which Inuit and white writers have put the myth ofSedna. Kennedy also argues that 'part of the durability of the Goddess of the Sea legend lies in the fact that it has met the needs of the people within whose culture it has been kept alive.' This last point is remarkable for how it contrasts with this collection. So often one hears from northern Native elders that you cannot survive in the North unless you depend on others; yet so many of these narrative explorations bear such strong signs of individualistic southern culture that collectively they misrepresent the North. In his introduction, rather than identifying this tension between the individual and the communat Moss, whose own versions of the Arctic are very personal, if not solipsistic, rather cavalierly shifts to the reader the onus of understanding how the essays come together: 'The reader must listen to this text, if it is to be appreciated as more than a document of passing common interests.' In fact, the papers seldom do come together, Moss's claim to 'symphonic diversity' notwithstanding . What the volume represents more than anything is the southern urge to define the Arctic as fully as possible by casting a net as widely as possible over a general topic, like narrative. Moss does not explain why he cast the net so Widely, why he did not cast it over such central subjects as, for example, the narrative identities of the Arctic that the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church and its missions, the fur trade companies , and the federal government so pervasively inscribed, and why, for that matter, he chose to cast it over narrative and not poetry and song. (1.5. MACLAREN) Veronica Strong-Boag, Sherrill Grace, Avigail Eisenberg, and Joan Anderson, editors. Painting the Maple: Essays on Race, Gender, and the Construction ofCanada University of British Columbia Press. viii, 290. $75.00 There are three things I particularly like about this book: it embodies the positive results of sSHRcc-funded collaboration; it brings together disciplines normally not in dialogue with one another; and it contains some good essays - and one that is outstanding. Although several areas (im- 164 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 migration, politics, and media representation) are covered in the book, its editors, through their selections and their extensive bibliography (created by three of their graduate students, Gabriele Helms, Matt James, and Patricia Rodney), have put together an interdisciplinary volume that has a particular double focus on health care and on literature. Ordinarily one would not feel that these disciplines held much in common, but the project has been so directed that, for example, the problems with researcheridentity , which Isabel Dyck suggests are inherent in the design of a healthcare study, serve as parallels to those concerning representation in literary works (issues central to the arguments of essays by Sherrill Grace and Gabriel Helms, Christl Verduyn, and Peter Dickinson). Joanne Warley'S 'The Mountie and the Nurse: Cross-Cultural Relations North of 60' even manages to bring together health care and fiction in an analysis about authenticity, representation, and popular literature. Two essays, which happen to combine history and literature, especially caught my attention: one for its approach, the other for its research. Lisa Chalykoff's 'Encountering Anomalies: A Cultural Study of Chinese Migrants to Early Canada' uses two narratives, Sky"Lee's Disappearing Moon Cafe and Denise Chong's The Concubine's Children: Portrait of a Family Divided...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 163-165
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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