Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 1, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, Junt 1, 1974 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD 5 Remington reproductions THE VOICE OF ONE Dr. Frank S. Morley A memory of Willy Brandt "The Smoke Signal" "A Dash for the Timber" (upper "The Fall of the Cowboy" (lower right) Nineteenth century artist painted western life "Frederic Remington" text by Peter Hassrick. (Prentice- Hall of Canada Ltd., 218 pages, Frederic Remington is one of the best of the western artists. Perhaps second only to Charles Russell. But to compare artists of this calibre is to compare sunsets each has its own qualities, its own beauties. Theodore Roosevelt saw the greatness of Remington's work and understood its value when he prophesied that "the soldier, the cowboy, the rancher, the Indian, the horse and the cattle of the plains, Frederick Remington will live in his pictures, I verily believe for all time." Nothing can of course compare to the authentic pictures and sculptures themselves, but this 13 Vz x 12V4 inch book with foldout pages up to 21 "'2 inches in length is superb. It contains 60 color illustrations and 94 different works in all. Each picture has a description with it, pertaining to the story behind the painting, its history, size and year completed. One of the distinguishing features of a Remington painting is a distorted neck on many of his horses, Critics are torn between the opinions that Remington didn't know better and just painted distorted necks, and the most popular concept that these horses' necks were painted on purpose in this manner and have become the distinguishing trademark of Remington The paintings cover all aspects of plains life, including a 1890 painting of a number of North West Mounted Police trapped in a blizzard. While the painting is not reproduced in color it has an extra quality through its sepia-type treatment. Naturally one tavors some painting over others and among the finest in the book are The Smoke Signal, The Fall of the Cowboy, A Dash for the Timber and An Indian Trapper. A number of sculptures appear in the book. Many of these works are ambitious and extremely well done. It is, however, strange that while working with sculptures where the opportunity for three-dimensional action is unlimited Remington achieves more action and movement in his oils. He was first a painter, second a sculptor. There are a number of impressive paintings in the book where Remington moves into a moonlight situation and as the years pass the reader can see the improvement in these almost erie twilight works. But whether it is the lonely Indian Trapper or the rousing group in the Dash for the Timber, Remington is the master of the situation he captures on canvas. His people are real, if somewhat offbeat, and the action is intense. The prize photograph in the book has to be the one of Remington seated at his easel at work on An Indian Trapper. Frederic Remington's work is painstakingly realistic. He portrays his people as they were, his horses are beautiful at times, mangy at others, as they appeared in life. Remington loved what he painted and today that love for his work has transferred to the public. They now love what he painted. Frederic Remington, 1861- 1909, a master at his craft. GARRY ALLISON I met Willy Brandt in West Berlin, July 1951. A group of us had flown in by the air corridor imposed by the Russians, for the Communists had begun to exert an almost intolerable pressure on the virtually besieged city. Once one of the loveliest cities in the world, West Berlin was in ruins. The landmarks had been bombed out of existence. Thousands who had come from East Germany for the Christian laymen's rally (Kirchentag) were sleeping in basements among the rubble. Brandt was a legendary hero, a man who had a charmed life, having again and again escaped from the Gestapo, yet defiantly returning to Germany and getting miraculously out again. He still was young, his blonde head vigorous in conversption, his words forceful as he talked of Europe's problems and the future of Berlin and Germany. His body was coiled as if from steel springs, trained for years to be ready for a surprise attack by Hitler's gangsters. I have never met a man who seemed to incarnate the spirit of an authentic hero so completely, his whole personality emanating the spirit of resistance to tyranny and evil. As Mayor from 1958 to 1962 Brandt would resist the most determined Russian and East German pressures, including the building of the wall between East and West Berlin. Few but Brandt could have kept the morale of the people high during those years. No one in Germany had his platform power and conviction. Visiting the city in 1959 the change in West Berlin was astonishing, with new hotels, businesses, churches, and vigorous life everywhere. Visiting West Berlin in 1969, shortly before the elections, a group of us went to the theological academy in the suburbs of the city. The head of the institution assured me that Willy Brandt was finished. The man said he was disliked and distrusted by the German people. In a despicable attempt at character assassination he described Brandt as a man of loose morals, a drunkard, and unfit in every way for high political office. Also had he not renounced German citizenship during the war and become a Norwegian? Brandt would never be trusted and accepted by the German people. It was sad to hear a man who headed a Chris- tian institution talk in such unchristian fashion with such venom, repeating the most contemptible gossip and hearsay. Even if it had been true, it was cruel and unfair, but the Apostle James noted that even in the days of the early church there were professing Christians whose conversation was irresponsible and vicious. This man did not speak the truth and he was a false prophet. Brandt shortly afterward became Chancellor of West Germany. He embarked on a most ambitious program of reconciliation with the East and Russia. Against the most bitter opposition he achieved the impossible, persuading the Bundestag to accept the Oder-Neisse border with Poland. Only those who know the bitterness of the exiled people from that area and their expectation of returning could realize the magnitude of Brandt's achievement. He also created working relations with Russia, East Germany, and Eastern Europe generally. No man more deserved the Nobel Peace Prize which he received. Always he must have been aware of the malignant hostility against him. The fearful yp3rs when he was head of the German youth and Hitler was out to get him must have taken their toll. Then came the struggle with Russia. The pressure was increasing and the least excuse would let the hounds loose. Too many people were out to break him and they did. But he leaves behind as a memorial one of the strongest, most viable and vigorous states in the world. This is astounding when one considers the ruins in which Germany lay 25 years ago. No one would say that Willy Brandt was the sole architect of this new Germany, but there can be no doubt but that his courage and vision contributed vastly. West Germans recall with pride some of his exploits, as when he rescued a condemned Greek professor from under the noses of the colonels and gave him sanctuary in Germany, defying the Greek tyrants. He brought a spirit of freedom and inquiry into West German life that was healthy and robust, finding expression in German literature and politics. Undoubtedly he made mistakes and was at times all too human, but for thousands of us he embodied the defiant, heroic spirit of man which tyrants fear and cannot crush. In years to come he will be the inspiration and driving force of a new Europe, of the indomitable spirit of a free and united Europe. Magnificent look at logging country Clark looks at romantic art "The Romantic Rebellion" by Kenneth Clark (Longman Canada Ltd., 370 Somewhere within the TV scripts assembled here, Kenneth Clark quotes one of the romantic artists thusly: "to be an artist is to be able to communicate the emotions of a suicide victim about to end his fall." Perhaps this may qualify as a definition of romanticism. Clark himself realizes that the "classic-romantic distinction is more convenient than real." since romanticism was a natural progression from the stifled violence of the classics illustrators. Art can only have developments as any pruning or grafting would be superficial and destructive. This book does not chronicle the historical movement. It takes a close look at 10 artists working during the period 1760 and 1860. and three more who continued the romantic to the end of the 19th century. The CBC is currently offering a documentary series on Monday nights based on this book. Both the book and the TV series will likely get a lot of attention because of Clark's previous success with Civilization. Whatever one thinks of Kenneth Clark, as an expert, he has become the best-known art historian of our time. Well illustrated, this book is worth the price. JHON JACKMAN Sarrie. Ontario. Kenneth Clark: self-portrait Andy Russell "The High West" text by Andy Russell, photos by Les Blacklock (Macmillan Company of Canada, 9" x 11V. 141 The fame of our Andy Russell as a writer on nature is now such that a first printing of copies of his latest book can safely be made. In this book he has collaborated with wildlife photographer Les Blacklock to produce something of lasting beauty. There is a lyric quality in Andy's prose style that is particularly suited to the magnificent world about which he writes. His nine essays deal with what can be seen and savored in wild country: streams, mountains, geese on the wing, coyotes on the hunt, bull elk herding their cows, mountain sheep living by their wits and the many moods of nature. They are unlike, although longer than the pieces which Andy has written for The Herald over a period of time. The 93 color photographs by Les Blacklock which follow the essays are more than illustrative. Although complementing the essays they make their own testimony of love for the great outdoors, in addition to the pictures Les Blacklock has contributed a personal essay on wildlife photography which shows that he could also be a writer. 1 cannot refrain from mentioning that the photograph of Andy Russell on the book's jacket and reproduced above was taken by The Herald's D'Arcy Rickard. DOUG WALKER "Timber Country" by Earl Roberge (The Caxton Printers, Ltd., x 182 pages, distributed by National Publishing Company This book could be read with profit and appreciation by almost everybody who has the privilege to do so. Three kinds of people, however, will especially enjoy it: loggers, naturalists and photo- graphers. More than a quarter century ago I did two separate stints as a logger in widely separated parts of British Columbia. In one two-month period I slaved (hardest work I ever did) making cedar fence posts with a wild-cat outfit along a tributary of the North Thompson River near Little Fort, about 60 miles north of Kamloops. My other stint was as an employee of the O'Brien Logging Company at Stillwater. near Powell River, where I was a chokerman. Author Earl Roberge describes the choker as an instrument of torture and says that if a man lasts a week as a chokerman the chances of him becoming a logger are pretty good "by that time the weaklings have either quit or been culled out." I am proud to say that I survived two months of setting chokers (and pulling lines to rig spar trees, which is harder work than setting chokers and not even mentioned by Mr. Obviously I read this book with feelings of nostalgia. Some of the techniques of logging today are new to me lifting logs out of their natural settings by balloons or helicopters, for instance but many things have not changed. I relived my logging days while reading this book. One thing I missed in the book was a description of the rigging of a spar tree. Mr. Roberge refers to the "inventiveness and virtuosity" of a hook-tender's (the glossary defines this as the boss of the rigging crew) profanity. I came to an appreciation of why the hook- tender becomes proficient at swearing when after hours of work rigging a spar tree a guy line was pulled too tight snapping off the top of the tree and creating A terrible tangle of lines. Andre gave an electrifying five-minute performance of swearing that r listened to with sympathy and grudging admiration. Logging techniques and tribulations are not the only things discussed in this book. A good deal of space is given to describing the country in which the logging is done: the Great Northwest, consisting of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia and Alaska. Much of this description is beautifully written. In addition it is informative. Mr. Roberge details the kinds of trees and the sort of terrain to be found in each region He also writes the diseases that afflict trees and the insects that attack them. The role of fire as both destructive and beneficial is given consideration, too. Although the book tends to be a panegyric on logging, the bad practices of the industry are not overlooked. Mr. Roberge feels that on the whole the logging industry is replacing the condemnable practices with commendable ones. The parts of the book that'deals with forest management and reforesta- tion will be a revalation to many readers. It made me wish I could pay a visit to the area where I worked for the O'Brien Logging Company to see what has happened to what was utter devastation when I last saw it. There are 138 color photographs by the author which form an integral part of this book. They are splendid pictures of trees and trucks, mountains and men, rafts and roads It is a rewarding experience just to go through the book and look at the pictures. This magnificent book is printed on very expensive paper (pin weave) and is not over-priced even if it is probably out of the range of the' average book buyer. DOUG WALKER Roberge photograph This huge cedar log over 14 feet hi diameter at the small end, cut on the ITT Rayomiier operation at Crane CreH, Washington, was so heavy pounds) that the conventional shovel-loader couldn't handle it. It was loaded the yarder and transported very slowly to the railroad siding by truck. This one log contained emmgh cedar to provide siding for several average size booses.