Other historical figures, such as the late Haida artist Bill Reid, also appear under assumed names.
An entrance hall that serves its residents
First and foremost, this is a novel, not an ethnographic biography. The characters have their own lives independent of the lives of "real people.
They worked for me and I can't imagine what Varty was thinking when he wrote, "as fiction it's only intermittently successful. The debt it owes to my late colleague, Wilson Duff, is its conveyance of his remarkable insight into the symbolism and deep meaning of Northwest Coast First Nations art and oral tradition. Varty's phrase, "considerable speculation about First Nations spirituality," sounds to me like the fearful and timid response of many colleagues to Wilson Duff's last major paper, presented at the Northwest Coast Studies conference at SFU.
In the intervening years, Duff has been generally accepted as having insights far in advance of his generation of scholars. Varty faults the book for, "repeating as it does the libel that white traders intentionally gave smallpox-infected blankets to West Coast aboriginals during the 19th century. Whether the blanket incident actually happened, it is an important part of oral history and at the very least serves as a metaphor for the destruction that actually did take place.
To call the victims of such destruction or those who repeat their story libelous is cruel and thoughtless.
Furthermore, the alleged "libel" is by a fictitious character. What on earth was he thinking? To me the strengths of the book are the dynamic and independent personae of its characters and the representation of fundamental truths of Northwest Coast society that Wilson Duff had the courage to articulate.
I can't do anything about Varty not particularly liking the book, but I can say that his opinion will not be shared by many readers. This is an important and powerful work of fiction. I completely agree with Robin Ridington on her rebuttal of Varty's book review.
Writings | Leslie Hall Pinder
I haven't quite finished the book, yet am thoroughly enjoying it, and just looked online to see if Austin Hart actually existed or if he is a stand-in for a real person. Professor Ridington has done the essential dissection of this review and so I want to focus only on one badly chosen word, "libel", in reference to what should have been called "charges" or "allegations". The story of Natives being intentionally given smallpox-infested blankets is not only a widespread and instructive metaphor.
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- Leslie Hall Pinder.
Despite the understandable reluctance of white traders to record such biological warfare crimes, and the fact that the natives of the time said this happened as has been soundly recognized in the affirmation of oral history as a credible source in cases since and including Delgamuukw , there is actual evidence of this happening. Honestly, I skimmed most of this book It was pretty tiresome A few times, I enjoyed the imagery or a turn of phrase, but otherwise it was a slog I agree with the other reviewer who said it felt like a first draft Too much explaining through dialogue for my taste, and nothing unexpected in the plot.
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Good concept but I think Bring Me One of Everything could have gone through another draft or two Also, there were a surprising number of typos. Your email address will not be published.
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It had me in it s thrall but I feel the ending was weak and predictable. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.