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B o o k R e v ie w s 2 1 7 cipitated the Fall. Francisco A. Lomeli and Tino Villanueva examine the ways that nanatives by Franciscan missionaries complicated imperial edicts to pro­ múlgate religious and colonialist ideologies intended to acculturate Native peo­ ples. The mestizaje is particularly evident in Luis Leal’s compelling analysis of Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá’s epic poem Historiade laNueva México (History ofNew Mexico). Leal demonstrates the ways that Villagrá recounted Aztec oral tradi­ tions and detailed the conquest ofNew Mexico while utilizing the “arms and let­ ters” theme and poetic conventions typical of European Renaissance literature. Herrera-Sobek’s collection masterfully repositions Fiispanic colonial texts both in the Chicano/a literary tradition as well as positing that these Hispanic colonial works produced the prototypes for many western American literary genres and archetypes, including the vaquero, rodeo, and the theatrical produc­ tion of western experience. This book is necessary reading for all those inter­ ested in the western colonial era and the development of western American literature and culture. The Man from the Creeks. By Robert Kroetsch. Toronto: Random House of Canada, 1998. 307 pages, Can. $32.00. Reviewed by Rand Marshall U tah State University, Logan In The Man from the Creeks, award-winning Canadian poet and novelist Robert Kroetsch has crafted a time-machine; the year is 1897 on the pitching decks of the Delta Queen, a rusting, dilapidated vessel called out of retirement to service some of the thousands of “stampeders” racing to their destinies in the Klondike gold fields. Kroetsch writes, “The Klondike gold strike had started up such a flutter of greed that people were willing to buy tickets on anything that promised to float in northerly direction” (4). The story unfolds through the voice of Peek, Kroetsch’s plucky fourteenyear -old narrator named for a mountain summit by a mother who couldn’t spell. In Seattle, Peek and his mother, Lou, stow away in a lifeboat and are dis­ covered en route to Skagway, Alaska. Mercilessly, the captain puts Peek and Lou ashore in the wilderness along with a man who has befriended them— Ben Redd, who, we learn, has been summoned to the Klondike by his pal Dangerous Dan McGrew. Eventually, the three struggle their way to goldcrazed Dawson City. Arriving there, they find “it was a circus, and a sideshow, and a calamity all in one” (253). Kroetsch borrows heavily from the lore and characters in Robert Service’s poem “The Shooting of Dan McGrew,” and in doing so, Kroetsch brings to mind other tales populated with famous frontier personages: Billy the Kid in Anything for Billy and Calamity Jane in Buffalo Girls, to name two by Larry McMurtry. Even the infamous sheriff of Skagway, Soapy Smith, rides through Kroetsch’s yarn, enduring long enough to menace the heroes. The author skill­ 2 1 8 WAL 3 5 .1 S u m m e r 2 0 0 0 fully treats this legendary cast. Kroetsch does not allow the story to be over­ whelmed by the images evoked by the Service poem, even as he employs them for their long associations with the Klondike. One wonders if Kroetsch might have been able to do without such props altogether, so rich is the vein of his­ tory from which The Man from the Creel


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pp. 217-218
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