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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 9, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta V of L profs book claims: Prairie landscape influences writers Western Canadian writers have been profoundly Influenc- ed by the landscape of the Pra- iries, says a University of Leth- bridge English professor. Dr. L. R. Ricou, soon to as- sume chairmanship of the U of L English department for a two-year term, is convinced the Prairies' undulating vast- ness makes an indelible iinpres- on its inhabitants, most particularly on its 'writers-in- residence'. Dr. Ricou's examination of the landscape's impact on Western Canadian fiction the first conducted in such detail will be available to the pub- lic When his forthcoming book, "Vertical M a n, Horizontal World" is released. Published by UBC Press, the book is expected to be avail- able by August, in both paper- back and hardcover. Dr. Ricou recently received a grant from the Humanities Research Coun- cil of Canada, to underwrite the cost of publishing "Vertical Man, Horizontal "It is a study of the views of the prairies as voiced by the creative Dr. Ricou comments of his book. "Some critics may say it ignores the i acceptance of the prairie as the 'breadbasket', but few writers portray this view of the land." "More often than he adds, "the benevolent earth- mother image of the prairies is associated with a romantic and overly sentimentalized view of the Writers do not view the prai- rie as dull uninterrupted space, emphasizes Dr. Ricou, but seem to find the vastness sti- mulating to their imagination. "Perhaps they find stimulus in the space of the prairies be- cause they feel they must create 'their own drama, people the emptiness with imagined char- speculates Dr. Ricou. WRITING IS DISTINCTIVE Raised in Brandon, Dr. Ricou says it was not until he left the prairies to obtain his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Toronto that he becamse aware of the distinctive nature of Western Canadian poetry and prose. "I he recalls, "that partically all authors gave un- usual prominence to the land- scape in their works some- times it seemed almost an ob- session." Intrigued, he continu- ed research on the subject, eventually completing bis doc- toral on the persistence of the land image in- prairie writing. In "Vertical Man, Horizontal Dr. Ricou surveys Western Canadian fiction, star- ting with 19th century prose and culminating with recent yvriting, in a chapter entitled "The Bewildering Prairie'. Throughout the book, he sketches the changing ways in which authors have viewed their environment, describing the prairie as 'invisible', 'be- nigh', 'eternal' and 'implac- able'. Many Prairie authors tend to view man as the intruder, the spoiler who attempts to con- quer the land by machines but Who is, in the final instance, threatened by defeat, reduced to insignificance by the ele- ments. In its many variations, this basic image man stand- ing out in the prairie, an ob- vious intruder appears in most of the fiction set on the Canadian prairies up to the writes Dr. Ricou in the preface of his book. In the last two decades, con- tinues Dr. Ricou, the writers of Canadian prairie fiction see the total vacuity of the modern age mirrored in their own phy- sical landscape. NOT AN EXPERT Because of the nature of his book, Dr. Ricou does not ex- pect it to become a smash best- seller. However, he does think his approach describing the use of the landscape without forcing literary comparisons or judgments will prove useful as a resource or reference book for students. "It frightens me to think I might come to be considered an 'expert' on Western Cana- dian literature, after .saving written only one book on the comments Dr. Ricou. "A critic's first function is to understand the nature of a work. Reading is an intensely personal experience. Each rea- der must ultimately determine for himself whether a book is good or bad." Dr. Ricou believes works should be judged on their in- tlividual merit and terms of reference: "it is somewhat be- side the point to ask if Thomas Hardy is a better novelist than William he says. "To study Canadian literature is to become very aware of the impact of the prairies on the psyche of its points out the professor. MANY PRAIRIE WRITERS A considerable number of authors are writing about Western Canada, says Dr. Ricou, in relation to the popula- tion of the west. And in most anthologies, there is more than a good representation of stor- ies by prairie authors. "The competence of Cana- dian writers is constantly im- says Dr. Ricau, "and there are particularly good writers from Western Canada. "In the history of the Cana- dian novel, two recent trends can be observed, both products of the new nationalism, I sup- he comments. "First, there are a number of writers deliberately articulating the Canadian experience. Then, there is the opposite: Canadian writers turning to cultural and social settings outside of Can- ada." Dr. Ricou thinks the latter trend is reassuring: it means these writers are not overly preoccupied with Canadianism and don't feel obliged to set their novels in Canada to be regarded as 'Canadian' writ- ers. Wednesday, May f, 1979 THI UFTHBRIDQi HlRALO 3? Brazilian customs officials eye everything with suspicion By JANE BRAGA RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuter) Brazilian customs men are eyeing brassieres and boa constrictors with suspicion these days. They are among unlikely receptacles which drug smugglers have been using to bring narcotics into this South American nation. The drug LSD is sometimes imported from the United States in womens underwear, said a state narcotics agent, Prof. Luiz Porto. The undies are permeated with the acid which is first mixed with distilled water, then dried out and shipped to Brazil. Brazilian distributors re- verse the process on receipt of the goods, and obtain 50 to 100 micrograms of LSD per garment. Porto said a boa constrictor recently shipped to Brazil from Peru was held by cus- toms officials at the border. Examination revealed that the intestines of the writhing serpent contained tubes of morphine and cocaine. Porto, a member of the state narcotics commission, also holds the chair of phar- macology in Recife Univer- sity. CENTRE FOR EXPORTS Recife, a northeastern port, apart from being an entry point for LSD is a major exit for shipments of marijuana to the United States, be said. In Recife itself, a sprawling metropolis surrounded b y swampland slums, one in every 13 people consumes drugs for kicks, he said. The marijuana exported to the U.S. is all grown in the state of Pernambuco, of which Re- cife is the chief city. Cocaine and morphine, which also leave for North America via Recife, originate from neighboring Peru, Uru- guay and Argentina, he said. Some of the U.S.-bound traf- fic goes first to Mexico, it is transferred to helicopters for sneaking over the border to its final destination. In the fight against growing use of drugs, interna- tional co-operation is becom- ing more and more the ac- cepted means of cutting off supplies. Co-operation among Ameri- can, Argentinian and Brazil- ian narcotics agents resulted in the biggest drugs haul in Latin America, last Septem- ber. SUPER-ATHLETE. Sport experts agree that 17-year-old Glenda Reiser of Ottawa has the greatest to be a top world-class athlete of any Canadian, male or female, in a long time. Read about her this Saturday. Innocence Hanoi tykes like this one don't look any different from Saigon tykes, probably because they're too young to be enemies or to realize the cussedness of human nature. DPI correspondent Tracy Wood found this one. Better ocean craft devised HALIFAX (CP) Canadian scientists are working on a bet- ter luimanned underwater ve- hicle to examine ocean floors, especially rough, deep seabeds such as those off the Marifimes, Dr. D. E. T. Bidgood said here. The director of the geophysics division of the Nova Scotia Re- search Foundation told a sci- ence writers' seminar that the foundation has spent two years developing a special V-fin towed system that is providing some highly accurate charts of the ocean floor. Knowledge of the ocean bot- tom off the Maritimes is vital to undersea exploration for oil, Dr. Bidgood said. Oil-drilling rigs can cost up to a day to operate, he said. Engineers need informa- tion about the ocean floor in or- der to decide what kinds of an- chors can hold the rigs steady. The kinds of knowledge needed include whether the bot- tom is rock, gravel or silt, whether it is fairly flat and smooth or rough and rocky and, in some special instances, whether a channel has been ex- posed by icebergs scraping The LARGEST ASSORTMENT of imported styles in LETHBRIDGE along the bottom. Seabed examination usually Is done by using sonic devices from a boat or towed barge, Dr. Bidgood said. However, rough seas, which are found 95 per cent of the time in the Atlantic, mean charts are poor in ac- curacy and detail. TOO COSTLY Divers and submarines are expensive and not really ef- ficient in the deep, dark and cold waters off Canada's coast, he said. So Dr. Bidgood and his col- leagues decided they needed a relatively inexpensive undersea vessel to carry sonic recording devices. It would be relatively unaffected by rough water and the noises of wind, sea and ships. They developed the V-fin ves- sel, a sort of undersea glider. It looks a little like a huge yellow kite, is four feet square and two feet high at its bat-like top fin and weighs 350 pounds. Made of stainless steel and glass fibre it is specially de- signed to house the radio equip- ment and sensors. It can be towed without spinning, turning or side-slipping under the water at constant depths of 450 to 500 feet or more. The foundation bought the body for this prototype model from an American firm, Dr. Bidgood said. A Halifax firm manufacturing something similar for the Canadian Armed Forces, but it was much larger and considerably tx< pensive. GENERAL PAINT AND WALL COVERINGS GRAND OPENING SALE From THURSDAY, MAY 10th to MAY 26th INCLUSIVE Our new, large and unique branch is in the same 1000 block 3rd Avenue at 1020-3rd Avenue Next to Cablevision across from CJOC Radio. PHONE 328-9221 OR 328-9222 FREE CUSTOMER PARKING! INTERIOR EXTERIOR 32-010 HOUSE TRIM PAINT WHITE 1972 PATTERNS WALLCOVERINGS 50% OFF REGULAR PRICE WHILE STOCK LASTS! JIFFY WALLPAPER by SUNWORTHY And LUSTIQUE VINYL Relax in our spacious Wallcovering Department there's thousands of patterns with over 300 actually in stock! CHOOSE FROM HUNDREDS OF CUSTOM COLORS IN GENERAL PAINT'S BEST QUALITY FINISHES SPECIAL DOOR PRIZES LOOK FOR RED TAG UNADVERTISED SPECIALS IN OUR TOOL AND SUNDRIES DEPARTMENT GREAT SAVINGS IIKE THESE! SUPERTONE ECONOMY PAINTS O 00 A QQ and STAINS from, gallon...... Z.77 to .77 3.39 2.95 20 OFF fiK urr ftCC C WIT MAC-TAG Buy 1 yard at regular price,