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41 6 LETTERS IN CANADA 2. This Canadian contribution, providing for economic as well as military relations, was, he admits, a dead letter from the start and advanced in part for reaSOns of domestic politics. The chapters on the new commonwealth and the United Nations have many interesting passages, including thumbnail sketches of leading personalities. The account of Pearson's visit to the Soviet Union in 1955 makes good reading. In the Crimea he met Krushchev, 'the squat tough-looking Ukrainian peasant' and Bulganin, with his 'courtly manners and aristocratic appearance.' Historically the most important portions of the book are those on Korea and the Middle East. On the first are two chapters in which the available records were not readily integrated as narrative and two long memoranda added as appendices. T aken together they may be studied both for the substance of the question and for the minister's methods. H e will, however, be most widely remembered for his part in the problem of Palestine and the Suez crisis. The Holy Land, he recalled, had been the subject of his Sunday school lessons - these simple touches happily recur - and he remained convinced that there must be a Jewish state in some fonn in Palestine. From that point to the affair of the Aswan High Dam and the military intervention of Israel, France, and England Mr Pearson played a leading role in international efforts to secure and maintain peace until the turning point came with his proposal of a United Nations Emergency Force. The Nobel Peace Prize was fitly awarded as he left office. ( G. D ET. GLAZEBRO OK) Elellen Canadian N01l elists, interviewed bv Graeme Gibson. Anansi, 324, $10.50 cloth, $4.50 paper; Conversations ";ith Canadian Novelists, Donald Cameron, editor. Macmillan of Canada. Cloth edition: two parts in one volume, viii, 159, 160, $11.95. Paper edition in two volume~ , viii, 159; viii, 160, $3.95 each In the past decade, Canadian fiction has been very satisfying, and because of its successes, we now seem to need a richer and more diverse way of looking at the novel than before, some method that responds to the character of the stories we have been weaving around our lives while it lets the weaving proceed uninterrupted. Both the books reviewed here are responses to this new situation. Graeme Gibson and Donald Cameron have each chosen to look at the novelist primarily as an individual artist, and to show him to us they have used the method of the intensive interview . But despite this the two books are not in the least alike. Graeme Gibson interviews eleven new writers of the past decade; HUMANITIES 417 Margaret Laurence and Mordecai Richler are the most senior figurcs in a roster that includes Margaret Atwood, Scott Symons, and Matt Cohen , Despite the presence of Laurence and her fellow-westerner Jack Ludwig, the book focusses chiefly O n writers of central Canada, This leads to curious regional and generational dislocations; one is forced to think of the English-Canadian novel without Rudy Wiebe or Harold Horwood, or alternatively, of nction in central Canada without Robertson Davies, The cohesion of Gibson's approach compensates in part for such ellipses, Behind Eleven Canadian Novelists is a clear notion of the problems of a writer's life, which Gibson formulates in a set of questions and presses on all his interviewees, Do writers have a special kind of knowledge of their own? What is a writer's responsibility to society? How selfish does a writer have to be? How do you work? Predictably the most interesting answers come from the most interesting writers ( Laurence and RichIeI' aside); from Alice Munro and Dave Godfrey, The Munro interview, indeed, confirmed my view of her stories; late as she has appeared on the scene, Alice Munro represents the purest form of what the Canadian novel in its youth should be, Donald Cameron's interviews are shorter, and the taped solecisms seelll to have been polished away, Where Gibson is intense and professionallv preoccupied, Cameron is relaxed and, in the best sense, journalistic, His subjects reveal themselves as individual personalities, rather than responding to a pre-established set of problems, Among...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 416-417
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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