Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 13, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
OBiuraoy, WCIODVT 14, inc LCiriBmuuc HERALD 9 A collection of brief book reviews Woman Alone" by Patricia O'Brien (Fltzhenry Whiteslde Ltd., 285 pages, When a woman leaves four small children and a husband behind while she goes out into the world to try to find herself, one begins to wonder if it was selfishness or courage that impelled her to do so. Patricia O'Brien did just that and as a result produced an outstanding book on what it means to be a woman alone. From her own experiences and interviews of others she has examined the problems of love and sex, loneliness, powerlessness and dis- crimination, and how it affects the woman alone. Her interviews included the young and aged, prostitutes, a nun, famous people, and Playboy bunnies. Our rapidly changing times point to the fact that more and more women will find themselves alone sometime in their lives either through choice, widowhood or divorce. Loneliness has no boundaries and can invade the lives of rich and poor alike. If you seek answers to the problems of aloneness you will not find them here. Instead you will find some highly interesting and readable material with much food for thought. ELSIE MORRIS "American Indian Prose and Poetry" Edited by iMagol Astrov. (Longman Canada Ltd. S9.25. 336 This anthology of native legends. poems a'n d stalements. ranges from myths like the origin of dealh to moving speeches such as the one rendered by Chief Joseph when he surrendered his valiant band of Nez Perce after their historic flight. Religious songs and chants are retold and explored as the editor gives the background lo many of the songs and poems. Broken into ureas, the book runs the gamut of the tribes, including Sioux. Blackloul. Dakota. Aztec and Cherokee The poems do not make easy reading and there are numerous repeated lines. The legends, while often highly supernatural, are for the most part entertaining and interesting The book covers every conceivable aspect of native life and folklore It is not a reading book as much as it is a catalogue of legends and rituals. GARRY ALLISON "Pioneer Pottery" by Michael Cardew, (Longman Canada Limited, 327 This excellent, book for potters has all the information a practising potter needs. In addition lo 57 illustrations of handsome pots from Africa. China and other places there are pictures and drawings ol wheels, kilns and tools. The book starts out with informa- tion on geology, clays and other raw materials, turns to making pots and glazes, has information on kilns and concludes with the functioning of the handcraft potter, pottery as a liberal art and pottery in education. (JERTA PATSON. "Anthology: Three Novels" by John D. Campbell (Doubleday; 528 The three novels are The Black Star Passes: Island Of Space, and Invaders From Tho Infinite. A crew ol 70 and 30.000 passengers, all seemingly dead, the plane brought down by automatic pilot. What could it mean'1 Sabotage'' An alien army'' The search brings a surprise and a fellow physicist to help Arcot. Fuller and Morey in their foray into oilier space Then the two sequels to the first novel make for some more exciting drama as vou follow in the footsteps ol Ar- cot. Kullerand Morey through their ingenious manoeuvres into alien worlds. This is science liction at its host. John Campbell is a master storyteller AN'NK SZALAVARY "Cauliflower Crown" by Klaas DC Jong (Western Producer Book Service, 198 Klaas DC Jong a Dutch im- migrant, came to Western Canada in I89H and went on to become a famous market gar- dener. Before he died in 1959. he wrote his memoirs which wore subsequently prepared lor publication by his daughter Martha Knapp Cauliflower Crown is a fascinating hook with part ol the foreword providing a perfect summary of the contents. "This factual yet 'stranger than liction' account deals with everything known about a.most remarkable man -his ancestral background early lile. struggles, privation, exceptional love story, family devotion, ex- treme hardship, rewarding success, tragedy. Those were rough days, arrestingly revealed in raw words." The raw words speak as clearly as if Klaas were sitting in a favorite chair, smoking his pipe and reminiscing about his adven- tures in Western Canada. He describes without rancor the severe hardships and challenges accepted by early pioneers who slaved and suf- fered to build a free and prosperous Canada. This well bound and il- lustrated book is an all- Canadian product. It should be read by all who are interested in the history of Canada. TERRY MORRIS "The Search for the Niger" by Christopher Lloyd. (Collins. 220 pages. There's an old song. "Beware and lake care of the Bright of Benin, There's one conies out for forty goes in." That little ditty sums up the perils the turn-of-the-century explorers faced upon setting loot on the African continent. The climate, sickness, death, bandiis. murderers and hostile natives all made it next to impossible to survive in this rugged land. And few of the explorers chronicled in this book did survive that is. The book includes actual letters and excerpts Irom the journals of the men. who. in most cases, gave their lives in search of the Niger. GARRY ALLISON "A Man of Little Evils" by Stephen Dobyns, (McClelland and Stewart Limited, 240 pages, Ralph Jacobs is murdered, an alcoholic reporter thinks he knows the murderer, and a police inspector starts a cam- paign ol harassment to force the suspect lo confess. It's dillicull to accept the idea that conservative and conventional Scotland Yard would Hire a reporter to publicly harass a suspect. It's also highly unlikely that a police inspector would risk sending embarrassing photographs lo the suspect, his family, and his friends especially when it's obvious the suspect didn't commit the murder. However, author Dobyns does show how a wjr ol nerves can wear a man down until he cracks up completely Whether or not this kind ol pursuit is as realistic as the more usual method of follow- ing clues to secure a convic- tion is a matter of opinion. A well written story of intrigue and pursuit. TERHY MORRIS "The Girls" by Rebecca Sisler (Clarke, Irwin Com- pany Limited, 120 Rebecca Sisler a sculptor herself and a close friend of The Girls has written this very perceptive biography of Loring and Florence Wyle. two sculptors who shared a Toronto studio in Hie Their eccentricity, their struggle, disap- pointments and 1 he i r persevering is described wi'li much sensitivity and warmheartedness and enables the reader a moment of pro- jection into a different world. GERTA PATSON. 'The Lite and Death ot Whales" by Robert Burton. (Andre Deutsch Ltd. 159 pages. Burton takes a look at not only the whale and his habits but also explores the whaling industry's history. Whaling has always been a profession that required the hardiest of men and in its early days, when the whale had as much chance as the man, it was a romantic, if hazardous profession. Today's modern floating factories have taken away any chance the whale ever had. It's ironic to realize that most of the information about whales has been supplied through the whaling industry the very industry that threatens to render the whale extinct. Diagrams, photos, charts and maps add to the textbook- like reading in the first sec- tion of the book as the author explores every aspect of the whale. It is an informative book; easy to ready and easy to understand. GARRY ALLISON "The Satan Seller" by Mike Warnke (Logos International, 214 Former Sat an is) high pi icsl. Mike Warnke plays out the whole bitter role from start to litnsh. It all begins in high school, where lor ihe sake ol popularity, he gels in- volved with the "In" crowd. Mike describes his rise from alcoholic addiction, mari- juana. heroin, downers; then a Iriend introduces him to Ihe occult and Satan worship The witches, the rituals, the drug trafficking within Hie coven, recruiting new members. Alter s e r v i n g his "internship" as a worshipper. Mike, as Satanisl high priest, discovers that power meant money, women and life-or- dealh authority over anyone. Unfortunately, his friends give him an overdose of drugs and throw him out at an emergency hospital entrance. After his "drying oul period, and coming to his senses. Warnke turns to God and Christianity lie joined the U.S. navy and was combat corpsinan with the American Marines While on duty in Vietnam as medic. Warnke was wounded twice and honored with eighl ser- vice medals The book must be read lo be believed ANNIC SZALAVARY "Cactus Country" by Edward Abbey (Time-Life Books, 184 pages, dis- tributed by Little, This book is a guided tour by lormer park ranger Edward Abbey and the Time-Life stall, through some 69.000 square miles of arid wilderness in the south western United Stales and northern Mexico. And as usual wi t h I h e s e books, the photography is simplv fan- tastic. The main aspects of the book are the cacti and Ihe animals that populate this arot! The cacti range in size Irom (wo inches to 50 leel and number more than 140 specie's Many myths concern- ing cactus arc explored and the author even points out that some of the more majestic v a i idles which take hundreds ol years lo mature, are on Ihe verge of extinction. Desert animals are a strange type. Scorpions, tarantulas, coon-tailed raltle snakes, g i I a m o n s t e r s. kangaroo rats they all have their strange stories related in the book The desert has always been a place ol mv.slen and home ol such legends as the Lost Dutchman Mine. The author, who lines this seemingly nature-neglected region, ex- plores some ol the legends, both Indian and white. Many old-time photos complement the text in this section. This series ol books is s-uperb arid Hi is one is a fine addition to the collection. GAHRV ALLISON THE VOICE OF ONE Dr. Frank S. Morley Who cares about the weather? Photo by Rick Ervin Stockholm environment conference "The Plot to Save the World" by Wade Rowland (Clarke, Irwin Company Limited, 194 The subtitle, The Life and times of the Stockholm .Conference on the Human En- vironment, provides a good description of what this bock is about. It recounts the genesis of the conference, the preparation that went into it, some of the things that took place in the sessions and in the corridors, as well as a look at the unofficial delegates who held side conferences at the same time. One of the prime reasons for this major conference getting the serious attention of most of the nations in the world was the chill cast by the publica- tion of a report by the Club of Rome about the predicament of mankind. That report gloomily predicted that the quality of life would decline continuously as a result of pillage, pollution and over- population. It is perhaps for- tuitous that the pooh-poohing of that report did not get, into full swing in time to prevent the conference from making some valuable recommen- dations which have led to the establishment of a special United Nations environmental organization. Now that food shortages have become ap- parent to everyone the es- tablishment of the new organization will be viewed with new interest and hope. A good deal ol attention is given to Canada's role in the Stockholm conference. This is refreshing, even ii Canada's role was not always reassuring, because this na- tion doesn't get much atten- tion in books like this. One reason for this change is found in the fact that the author is a Canadian. Another reason is that the driving force behind the con; .1 once was Maurice Strong, also a Canadian. Compromises were perhaps inevitable and may be viewed as the price to be paid in order to gain a position from which greater concessions can be prized in the future. Nevertheless It is discourag- ing to read about the secret exemption granted Japan, the world's worst industrial polluter, from a prohibition on dumping of mercury. Can power be vested in the UN's newest organization in time to wrest away such exemptions and save the world? This is a useful book, made more useful by including the key documents issuing from the Stockholm conference. DOUG WALKER Not a harmless hobby "Richie" by Thomas Thompson (Saturday Review Press, 308 pages, by What makes a father kill his own son? Thomas Thompson details the events that led him to shoot his 17-year old boy through the heart. The Dieners were an or- dinary middle class American family. Mom stayed at home and Dad worked hard to provide all the material com- forts thai were needed. At 14. Richie Diener was introduced lo drugs and wilhin four years he had become Ihe enemy' in his parents' house. After his experiments with marijuana il wasn't long belore Richie got hooked on other drugs As his addiction increased, his financial needs grew, burglary and shop- lifting were some ol the means used to secure cash to buy drugs. Richie's life became a horror storv as his involvement with drugs destroved him and turned the Diener household into a living hell The incredible thing about this sad and horrible story is that nobody seemed to care much !t was as if the drug takers and their suppliers lived in a land, 'bounded by Naivete on one side and Not Wanting to Know- on the other Tho police and the drug companies were incredibly iax and Richie s parents must have known about the pot par- ties ihat were held in their own house It's easv to find fault but very difficult to suggest remedies. This is a personal tragedy that may become moie common in our present day lawless and indifferent society Anyone who thinks that drug taking is a harmless hobhv should read this moving account of the life and dealh ol Richie Diener. TKRRY MORRIS Keeps reader guessing "The Last Assignment" by Norman Fisher (Walker Coimpany, 224 pages, distributed by Fitzhenry Whiteside Ltd.) Niegel MORRISON is not a commonplace seller of old books With a past as a secret agent he is. Multilingual he uses lout- languages to describe daily oecuranees; Orthodox in his investigating procedures; Rather sneaky in per- suading a now-married old sweetheart ol his to see things his Respectable regarding his knowledge of old books; Intrepid his athletic past giving him all the security he needs to work with a clear mind in any situation; Suave u necessary re- quisite in dealing with his nut- clients; Ordin.u v at heart. .1 heart he is too busy to hear ever lick. Meticulous lie ('escribes in detail every situation lie is ever drawn into. Morrison is all that and a lot mure His last assignment rs dillerenl Irom most suspense stories, his actions are well prepared, his explanations tangible A reasonable amount of violence keeps the tension which is always bearable never addictive A well book that has one guessing and surprisingly most ot it's characters remain alive until the shameful end HANSSCIIAUFI. Betrayal of the church in a bitter report from Chile Richard Gott in the Manchester Guardian says, "Chile has rejoined the Latin American fold, a continent where generals in dark glasses join the bishops and the landowners in the cathedral to pray for peace while their soldiers stand guard outside the farms and the factories lest the underprivileged rebel." So Gott suggests that once again the church is being betrayed by reactionaries to fight against the oppress- ed millions struggling'for economic justice. Little wonder that Stephen Spender accuses the church of "blocking the sun." For those who love the church and profoundly admire her magnificent achievements, such action is humilitating and embarrassing. The church in Germany has never recovered from Luther's pamphlet "Against the Plundering and Murdering Hordes of the urging every man to pursue the peasants, "to strike, strangle, stab secretly or in public, and let him remember that nothing c.an be more poisonous, harmful, or devilish than a man in rebellion." This despite the fact that the peasantry was starv- ing and the church was wealthy. To this day the European church is considered hostile to the workers. Indeed the church has since the fourth cen- tury had to struggle against the popular no- tion that it was opposed to progress. In the year 1543 Vesalius published his book "On the Structure of the Human Body" which revolutionized the study of anatomy and Copernicus published 'The Revolution of Heavenly Bodies" which demonstrated that the earth was not the centre of the universe but revolved about the sun. Giordano Bruno would be burned at the stake for asserting this fact and Galileo barely escaped a similar fate by an abject recantation. Meanwhile countless thousands of martyrs would perish before Newton made the scientific synthesis respectable. When the Christian church attained political and material strength following Con- stantine and the fourth century, it abandoned its theory of tolerance and inflicted in- describable horrors upon heretics. To prove that politicians and scientists were equally barbarous is no excuse. The Christian church professed to follow Jesus who taught forgiveness, love, non-violence, and gentleness toward enemies. At the Council of Ephesus in 449 the delegates assaulted one another with clubs and there were brawls in the streets over the divinity of Jesus. With great delight, for example, the French monarch joined the church in a crusade of ex- termination of the Albigensians in southern France that reduced Provence to smoking ruins and in a bloodbath without parallel in Western history wiped out babies and old men and women alike. The bloody persecution of the Waldensians reduced them almost to a similar fate. Nothing, of course, was more ghastly than the Inquisition which did more to create European atheism and nihilism than any other diabolical evil. But the most fantastic horror was perpetrated on the basis of Ex- odus Shalt not suffer a witch to through France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, and most of Europe spread a hysteria of ghastly torture and burnings from the 14th century until it died out in the 18th which reduced whole villages to two women and depopulated countrysides. It is ironical that Frederick the Great should get the credit for ending the insane persecution by abolishing torture in Prussia. The roll-call of the martyred heretics is one of the most heroic list of heroes the human race can boast. One cannot but thrill when he reads of Roger Bacon, imprisoned for so many productive years, the beloved mystic, Meister Eckhart who died before his enemies could kill him, the scholarly, great-hearted Jerome of Prague, the heroic John Hus, Michael Servetus. the loving and beloved Hans Denck, Tyndale, translator of the Bible, and a million more. It may well be that they will have a higher seat in heaven than many of the orthodox! SATURDAY TALK By Norman Smith Its splendor is slipping When an old railroad man who had worked building the line at Banff in 1883 revisited the mountain in 1925 he looked at the Banff Springs Hotel incredulously and said it had no business being there. The palace in the wood- rock wilderness was to him at once beautiful and absurd. It is still so. floating most improbably between snow peaks and the Bow River, between being a great hostelry and a tired, ill-served tourist-convention forum. Though it is making money now for the first time in years (thanks to opening for Winter skiing) it is squandering the inspiration and daring that put it there and the site that gives it a touch of fantasy. Paradoxically, just across the sparkling cascade of the Bow River is an institution making the most of the vision that inspired it and the natural beauty that dresses it: the Banff Centre of Fine Arts. If a hotel runs down at the heels that is, nor- mally, its own affair. But the Banff Springs Hotel is in a sense a national possession, a monument to venturous railroad building, a ceremonial gateway to the Rockies. If the CPR lets it fall from stature all Canada falls a little. During a set of newspaper meetings recent- ly the waiting time in line-ups and then at table for dinner ran several hours. Other ser- vices were of the same quality. Once in- itiated, most of us ate in the village restaurants. There were also a good number of Japanese there on convention, but even their im- maculate good manners were staggered by the hotel service. Their delight in the moun- tain settling was as high as their respect for the hotel was low. And Japanese now make up perhaps a quarter of the hotel's year-round business and the hotel is striving to increase that. Despite our two groups the hotel was not 'full, nor was it taken by surprise for the Japanese had reserved early for their fall meetings and The Canadian Press and Cana- dian Daily Newspapers Association had reserved years back! If such groups cannot get decent attention imagine the plight of the casual tourist. I saw several families leave in scorn that must have been as bitter if not as spectacular as the recorded incident in the twenties when a lady who was told she couldn't take her lap dog in the door broke off all relations with the CPR and hired a taxi to take her to San Francisco. Ah well, all that criticism is not so much a gripe as a plea. For Banff is beautiful; and the eyrie-like claw-hold the tuireted castle maintains in that Wagnerian setting should not be made tawdry from within. Buffalo graze nearby, magpies with great tails fuss about the shrubs, the long train whistles call down through the passes, not as lovely nor as lonely as the loon but yet evocatively Canadian. And Banff has variety. The graceful approach across cattle country from Calgary and up through the foothills brings you not alone to Banff but to Lake Louise and all the Rockies. Mt. Eisenhower still looking like Castle Mountain-despite its name change. Almost like a picket fence the sturdy aspen marched up the mountains' shoulders, their yellow-red banners vivid against the cold rock and sunbright snow. By contrast, how unsturdy was our golf as winter-heralding winds channelled down the passes to catch even the least wayward of balls and wheel it up and away into the far blue yonder, beyond the maw of even the 140 (counted) bunkers. Is the mix of natural beauty and Western vitality part of the secret of the success of The Banff Centre? Back in 1933 it began as the Banff Centre of the Theatre Arts but now it embraces virtually all of the arts plus a Festival of growing distinction; schools of communications and of advanced managements studies; and a conference divi- sion that leases out living accommodation and superbly equipped study and conference halls to any organization with the wit to do its thinking far from the madding crowd. A kind of university for anyone or anything, where young girls learn ballet and men in their seventies take up painting; where federal government employees submerge in winter French classes. But all the while its fulltime students in visual and lively arts are acquir- ing under expert tutelage proficiency counting not only as university passes but as passports into their "professions." Our lot visited the centre one evening, strained nervously as a CPR mainliner hurtl- ed right through our theatre room (by sound sat transfixed as by acoustic magic the quiet-speaking voice of one man reached all our ears, strolled enviously through the workshops and studios where artistic crea- tion is given every freedom including the chance to learn that discipline, too, precedes art. I sensed that our group of newspapermen, from Atlantic to Pacific listened with awe to the unassuming but gifted Dr. David Leighton, the director, as he put some facts between the creativity of the buildings and the splendor of the scene. Thirty thousand people a year "use" the centre one way or another; 800 beds; 44 acres of God's country that have not been taken from Him but are cherished in good stewardship; 25 per cent of the "users" are from Alberta, 25 per cent from the U.S. and other countries, 50 per cent from the rest of Canada. My own awe was at its most profound when it developed that the whole operation is run on a year, of which the Alberta Government provides and the centre's revenues take care of the rest. No aid from Canada Council or federal government, or any other of the boon- doggling work-making, loaf-encouraging schemes adrift in our midst these days. The centre's varied schools of arts and disciplines teach and encourage students to do their own work, make their own sets, keep a tidy shjp and a tight budget. Which reminds me where this story came in regretting that the rock-rooted Banff Springs Hotel was suffering from internal decay. The wife of one of our newspaper group advanced the excellent idea that the hotel and the centre should get together! Not much further from the hotel than one of my wind-swept golf shots the centre has a per- sonnel management seminar which could whisper to the hotel folk a few truths about service and manners. It has also a school of advanced management which could enlighten the galaxy of top CPR presidents and direc- tors that the Banff Springs Hotel is a national historic site and not something to be abandon- ed like an old dining car. It was old William Cornelius Van Home, "the ablest railroad general in the world" who as CPR vice-president in 1885 decided that Siding 29, as Banff was called then, should be made the site of a great hotel. If he shoved his massive shoulders and paunch into the posh CPR board room in Montreal today he'd give 'em not only a piece of his mind but the feel of his boot.