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In recent years it has nearly become commonplace to find in Christianity an apology for “subduing”nature. EdgeEffectsis something to read in counter­ point to that attack. And it’s a good read, too. It has a wealth of contemporary forestry ren­ dered in plain English. It honestly tries to encompass the ecological complex­ ity of using the forest. And it’s generous—almost too generous—in its estima­ tion of the egghead scientists and roughneck loggers with whom the author rubbed shoulders. RUSSELL BURROWS WeberState University Reviews 111 Wordsfrom a Wide Land. By William D. Barney. (Denton: University of North Texas Press, 1993. 194 pages, $16.95.) The author’s foreword describes the book as a collection of observations containing “a little bit of everything.” Indeed, Wordsfrom a Wide Land is best classified bywhat is it not: it is neither ajournal, an almanac, a narrative, nor a collection of poems. It might, however, be regarded as a book of days. Orga­ nized chronologically by month, but not by year, the book contains 365 brief entries dating from 1936 to 1992. The tide suggests that Barney will reflect on a wide land, but rather than create a broad view, he offers snapshots of disparate scenes of the garden, neighborhood, and places of work and recreation. Those unfamiliar with Barney’swork mayfind it helpful to read the bookjacket and the foreword as a way of regionally situating the work. The relative paucity of descriptions about particular scenes, while consistent with notes written to one’s self, will leave many readers without images of the specific locales Barney mentions. This is not necessarily a failing. Barney’s stated goal is to gather together his observa­ tions; his book is a personal reflection that provides oblique views of the land that frames and informs his experience. Barney’s anecdotes, poems, and observations are united by a plain-spo­ ken, sometimes earthy style, and by attention to the subtle details of a particu­ lar scene. Given both format and lack of thematic organization, one may read isolated passages without sacrificing a larger understanding of the book. A complete reading, however, will reveal Barney’s habitofmind. For him, nature is not an alien other but an everyday companion represented in the icicles that clog a garden hose, in the moles that plague the garden, and in the thunder­ storm that disrupts a Fourth-of-July outing. His random arrangement of obser­ vations subverts a linear view of time; by layering many years within each month, Barney suggests that life is defined by seasons that repeat in evermodifying spirals. Anecdotes that center on human events arejuxtaposed with reflections on the non-human realm—an arrangement that reveals the 112 Western American Literature author’s connection to the nature of a place. Although this connection be­ comes apparent only through the accretion of observations, it is, finally, what gives Wordsfrom a Wide Land coherence and meaning. STEPHANIE SARVER University ofCalifornia, Davis The Emily Carr Omnibus. By Emily Carr. Introduction by Doris Shadbolt. (Vancouver: Douglas &McIntyre; Seattle: University ofWashington, 1993. 893 pages, $40.00.) The painter Emily Carr, whose main inspiration was the landscape outside of Victoria and Vancouver, was in her fifties before receiving artistic recogni­ tion, and she was in her sixties before publishing the fiction and autobiogra­ phy that she had produced over as many years as painting. Although Carr attempted to publish during her twenties, publication did not come until 1941, when the story collection Klee Wyck came out after radio broadcasts of several stories by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Only two more books were published during Carr’s life, TheBook ofSmall, fictional autobiography, and the more directly autobiographical The House ofAll Sorts, while the remainder of her writing appeared during the first two decades after her death in 1945. This omnibus, somewhat unwieldy, with the heft of a dictionary, brings together all of Carr’s published writing and reveals a woman who kept her distance from others, giving herself more to her work and pet dogs and birds than to familial or social relations. Carr was the eighth of nine children of prosperous English immigrants, and by the time she was fourteen, both...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 111-112
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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