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154 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 A more controversial thesis is that there was in the Highlands a developed style of playing jigs, reels, and other light music, which was gradually superseded in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by more contrived, educated styles of playing. Somehow truer to the Gaelic spirit, it was transplanted and preserved in Nova Scotia within living memory. This idea is acceptable only in part. Styles of playing both piobaireachd andlight music have altered dramatically even within the past hundred years, and continue to evolve; there have been changes in ornamentation, tempo preferences, absolute pitch, scalar intervals, settings of tunes, and so on. As yet no history of piping has addressed these issues seriously; and we can only guess at the sound of the light music in the eighteenth century, though it was probably played fast, with relatively little ornamentation. Today, thanks to a loosening of social barriers and the Celtic revival on both sides of the Atlantic, we are witnessing an acceptance of less regimented styles of playing, in both piobaireachd and light music. Nova Scotia has contributed to this movement, with its distinctive repertoire and style of playing light music, influenced by fiddling and adapted to accompany step-dancing, but it is basically a folk tradition. Piobaireachd, the great glory of Highland Gaelic music, is largely absent from the Nova Scotia story, despite the sojourn there of Donald MacCrimmon and John MacKay. To set alongside Gibson=s loving research, and to redress the balance, one yearns now for a more detailed historical account of piping in Ontario and elsewhere in English-speaking Canada. (DAVID WATERHOUSE) Brian Pronger. Body Fascism: Salvation in the Technology of Physical Fitness University of Toronto Press. xvi, 276. $27.50 This book is primarily an exploration into the darkness of our technological souls. What troubles Brian Pronger is the postmodern, technological, and scientific vision of the body (and exercise) that dominates physical education, government policies, and the physical fitness industry. His purpose is to probe this vision by calling upon an array of theorists, who in one way or another are considered >postmodern= B Heidegger, Deleuze, Guattari, and Foucault, for example B using bits and pieces of their work, like a toolbox, to construct his own theory of the body. This does not make for easy reading, but those who persevere will be rewarded with a marvellously fascinating and incisive critique of what our modern technological way of being has sacrificed. Pronger begins by carefully delineating his topic and laying out his analytical tools. His primary method is deconstruction, which he prefers to call >the philosophy of the limit.= What he wants to expose is how seemingly innocuous, well-intentioned systems B in this case discourses surrounding humanities 155 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 the technology of physical fitness B do violence, both symbolically and materially, to our potential for living full lives. The philosophy of the limit asks what lies beyond a particular system, what does it exclude, and what are its limits? In this case, how do the science and technology of physical fitness form a coherent system for producing the body and what elements of the body are excluded? Included among his tools are the >logics of parergonality= (how a system suggests something beyond), >secondness= (what it resists), and >alterity= (openness to otherness). The first stage of Pronger=s analysis questions the independence of science from systems of power within the technology of fitness. For him, the science of physical fitness (as both practice and texts) is not a detached, politically neutral way of producing knowledge. Rather, it engages lives, and it changes them through government policies (e.g., health promotion) and through less explicit, but no less powerful, politics of the body. A fullfledged theory of the body, certainly one developed and applied to the cult of physical fitness, maintains Pronger, does not yet exist. The next stage in the analysis is to develop such a theory, one that considers ways in which the body becomes accessible to the power of modern science and technology ; also how it is possible...


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