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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 19, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta Recognition For Peculiar Patois Saturday, Soplombar 19, 1970 THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD 5 By John Gould, In The Christian Science Monitor But Mr. WoolTs kind letter informs mo thai Adam's work still goes on and that in seven instances I liave helped amazingly. It would be well to give cred- it where credit is due. Tlw sev- eral editors of these dispatches have been co-operative when stricter usage could have pre- T ISBON FALLS, Maine A told to start at A! most exciting consequence Wiwlf's kind letter 1 of these dispatches has come to my attention and I feel like Humpty-Dumpty. 'Twas Hump- ly-Dumpty wlio made words mean whatever he wanted them to mean n matler of who was to be master, that's all. Well, an erudite gentleman named W. B. Woolf, who is managing editor of the mighty Merriam dictionary dynasty in Springfield (Ma.) hss commu- nicated, and calls to my atten- tion that I am quoted seven times in his New Third Inter- national. I didn't know this, and hurried to look myself up. It is, clearly, an honor of im- portance, and I have been me- ditating about it. (Lem Barlow, down to salt water, had a yakketty wife, and she made his life miser- able with talk, talk, talk and one time Lem said to her, "My gorries, Addie, don't you never I get the idea from the in- ternal evidence in Mr. Woolf's letter that dictionary making has been computerized, and that while we folks oiit in the field still turn pages and re- peat the alphabet, Mr. Woolf can push a button which brings out what he wants to know. I gather, which is mighty compli- mentary, that one such button has my name on it, and that when he pushed it my contri- butions to lexicography poured forth in alphabetical order. They are mostly nuances of established words, not exactly originated by me, but coming from the peculiar patois of Maine where the lingo has long had a kind of poetic im- agery in which facts are round- ed out to a new usefulness. Neighbor is also a verb, here "Now, don't forget to neigh- It seems that such em- bellishments are recorded and researched by the dictionary people, and when important are added to the definitions. These are my contributions: Accumulate Dismantled the spinning wheel and carried it to the attic to accumulate antiquity. Bog The book is the result of much careful research, but it is not bogged down by it. Bridge Ways to bridge the time from supper to bed. They carried Puri- tan severity quite a distance. Helter-skelter Helter-skel- ter of conflict, emotion, and group activity. (I can't "spot" that one; it was probably a PTA Load The situation is a little loaded against the male of the species. Unliusbanded The unhus- banded young lady lives with her married sister.. This last one, at least, is or- iginal with me, because I re- member being pleased with it when it came off the type- writer. There really was such a young lady, although I dis- guised her in my yarn, and the special nuance of meaning that I was after was important in the development of the narra- tive. I thought it a happy port- manteau, no more than a pun, but conveying at once both the lack of husbandry and the lack of spouse. I might have said she was an unmarried young lady, but then would have had repetition to adjust. I could have said she lived with her husbanded sis- ter, but while that would have said the same thing it wouldn't have conveyed the meaning I was after. It was a sentence I worked on, and unhusbanded seemed to succeed. I had no idea it would tickle the fancy of the dictionary people, or win me fj niche in the supreme ar- biter. The Bible tells us that Adam named all things. This task has always intrigued me, because I've wondered how the rest of us would have made out with the assignment. Suppose nothing had a name that there were no words and that you were vailed I suppose they were obliged early to recognize that if anything came out of Maine it would bop down with accu- mulated solecisms as it bridged the distance, helter-skelter. Only a lew times in nearly three decades have they ques- tioned the oddities, and even then they went along if I could give them any kind of an an- swer. I shudder to think that, if they had imposed their high1 rules of syntactical propriety, they would have squelched the very semanficisms that now enshrine me in the Great Third Intel-national. It isn't every editor who is this wise. One of these dis- patches came to the attention of a magazine editor some years ago, and ho requested permission to reprint it. I had referred to certain Maine tall anecdotes as chansons de jests, but this magazine editor changed it to cliansons do gestc, which I did not feel was1 an improvement. Retreat Of Summer Kerbei Book Reviews Readable Music Dictionary "The Oxford Companion to Music" by Percy Scholes (Tenth edition, edited by John Owen Ward, Oxford Univer- sity Press, 1189 pp.. OXFORD Companion to Music is ah unexpectedly unpretentious, readable music dictionary. It sees its subject as a working, vibrant discipline rather than an eh'tish class- barometer, an attitude so often taken in music circles. The 10th edition of a book initially written by former Lon- don Observer Music Critic Percy Scholes, the book retains his breezy journalistic style and editorial selectivity. A lesser known composer such as the Russian-born Katal- sky is given one paragraph. Beethoven rates many more, but not a full-throttle treatment. The companion to music takes the attitude that Kalasky Sinister Atmosphere "Deliverance" by James Dickey (Houghton Mlfflln, 227 pps., S7.50) "AT the outset it seems a very ordinary get-away- from-it-all weekend, the kind of get back to nature interlude in which most men rejoice. There are four of them, all a little bored with their jobs, with sub- urbia and all the trappings of civilization. The expedition is to be a three day canoe trip down a river in the heartland of the American South country. It's wild, semi-charted land, soon to be inundated to make way forl a real estate heaven with its "choice lots, it marin- as and beer cans." The river is dangerous; there are no settled communities on its overgrown steep banks. Only Lewis, the instigator of the expedition is in good physi- cal shape, only he is an expert canoeist, only he has the faint- est notion of the difficulties ahead. His friend Ed Ballinger, Penfield Collection "Second Thoughts: Science, The Arts and The Spirit" by Wilder Penfield (McClelland and Stewart, 158pp. ASA SECOND career Dr. Wilder Penfield, Mon- treal's distinguished retired neurosurgeon, has turned to writing. In this book he offers his public a collection of ad- dresses he has made in recent years. The subjects range over his field of interest: medicine, the learning of languages, tlw fam- ily, morality, Canadian unity. They were delivered to univer- sity audiences and various societies, clubs and councils. Dr. Penfield believes in the old-fashioned virtues and veri- ties. He unashamedly speaks out on behalf of religious faitii, family coherence, humanitar- ianism, the pursuit of learning, and patriotism. Those who may have thought there were n o more eloquent advocates of these things will be surprised by this book. Perhaps the most intriguing and fresh thing in the book for those unfamiliar with some of Dr. Penfield's other writings is his argument that second languages are best learned in the very early years. He says that the frame and warp of A second language heard in childhood is never lost. The learning is achieved easiest through the mother's method of direct language teaching. His argument is buttressed by the results of his neurological re- search. In his adopted home of Mon- treal Dr. Penfield has endeared himself by identifying himself with the Qucbccois. Two of his addresses as originally deliver- ed in French are included in this collection along with their English translation. Such a wit- ness is bound to have a positive influence in achieving Canadian unity. DOUG WALKER. the narrator, writes that "Lew- is and I were different and were different from each other. I had nothing like his drive, or his obsessions He was the kind of man who tries by any means weight lifting, diet, exercise, self-help manuals from taxidermy to modem art to hold on to his body and mind and improve them, to rise above time. And yet he was also the first to take a chance, as though the burden of his own laborious immortality were too heavy to bear, and he wanted to get out of it by means of an accident, or what would appear to others to bo an accident." What is involved is more, much more, than even the com- pulsive eager Lewis could im- agine. A day or so from its be- ginning the adventure turns in- to a nightmare in one ex- plosive page. The most phhg- matic reader is brought to a shuddering halt. Do those words, does that scene of hor- ror and humiliation reallv im- ply what he thinks it does? It does indeed. The shattered reader goes on, is literally compelled to continue. He is hypnotized by this tale of so- called civilized man pitted against nature, confronted by the revelation of what he really is beneath the thin veneer of civilization. He is not what ha thought himself to be. This is Mr. Dickey's first novel, and I fervently hope it won't be his last. He is already widely known as a poet, but from now on he will appeal to a much wider audience, all of them clamoring for his next work of fiction. Deliverance is superbly crafted. The sinister atmos- phere starts at the beginning and is relieved only by tho wrap up at the end, It's a little as if one lived for a time in the world of the expression- ist painter Rousseau. The river jungle is brilliant, menacing and tangible. Man is pitted against it and himself. The style is unassuming, its effect indelible. JANE HUCKVALE work is practically for- must b e mentioned, but an appropriate massive look at Beethoven, "the Shakespeare of is available in other books. The companion is an updated version, with numerous plates, diagrams and portraits, of Scholes' 1938 first edition, by an associate John Owen Ward, A preface pays honor to Scholes, who died in 1958, but in a very unsepulchral way "The only articles he farmed out were those on the tonic sol-fa and the plots of operas, which he found too boring to engage his attention." And the book takes tune In a postscript to tick off British music educational institutions for the incomprehensibility of their music degrees. A list of 56 such titles, including the con- fusing ABSM (TTD) and AECO- CHM, suggests to the editor that "no other country in the world practises so lavish an ex- ploitation of the alphabet." A fine book for student, teach- er and connoisseur, the Oxford Companion to Music has one slight failing: it is almost ex- clusively limited to "serious" music. There is no mention of the Moog synthesizer in its electric music section, nothing on the Beatles, little on 'rock music, and its jazz section contains few of the top names today and nothing on progressive jazz. Personalities and subjects whose longevity in the public mind has not been proved sure- ly could be included in a book which has been re-edited on an average of once every four years. And Canadian readers might quibble over the American- European bias in items of con- temporary note. Healey Willan wins a short biography, but there is nothing on Morris Sur- din, Murray Adaskin or Irving Click. JOAN BOWMAN. Escape Odyssey Papillon by Henri Char- riere: translated from the French by June P. Wilson and Walter Bern Michaels: (Mor- row, 4M pp., distributed by George J, McLeod Ltd.) JN 1931 Henri Charriere (Papillon) was convicted of a Montmartre murder which he says he did not commit. His account of the trial which end- ed in his conviction to life im- prisonment in the penal colony of French Guiana is brief. He claims that he was a victim of unscrupulous police officers who got a promotion each time a lawbreaker was brought in and convicted. Papillon, so called because he has a butterfly tattooed on his chest was sent to his unjust re- ward, hatred in his heart for his tormentors, but love of life still burning in his mind. No matter what, he would escape, and es- cape he did nine times. His story was written in Ven- ezuela and sent to a French publisher, who vouches for its veracity and says that he has done practically nothing to change the text, it seems that he has not, for even in trans- lation the ring of truth comes through. There is no attempt to change the colloquial vernacu- lar employed by Charriere who is an uneducated man and does not pretend to be otherwise. Conditions in French penal colonies arc primitive, cruel be- yond belief. Torture, solitary confinement, cells where sea- water rises at high tide bring- ing with it rats, huge centipedes and otlwr horrors are describ- ed by Charriere in an almost toneless style of acceptance. What does a man do when he is put in solitary confinement for over two years? Go crazy? Well some of them do, but not the amazing Charriere, who without the comfort of any firm religious conviction, tells him- self simply, that life itself is worth any kind1 of suffering. He intends to live, he intends to es- cape and be sets about plan- ning how to do both. Charriere is tough, ingenious, Immensely courageous and sur- prisingly kind. He also has an appealing simplicity of manner which shines through all his re- lations with the convicts, the guards, and above all with the Colombian Indians who give him refuge after one of his breakouts. After a final heart stopping breakout from Devil's the first escape in history from that infamous place he found sanctuary in Venezuela whose people took him to their hearts, and on trust. He is row a citi- zen of that country. His book is written from re- collection. He kept no diary. Perhaps it is the long view back- ward that gives it the thrill- ing quality that enthralled French readers a total of a million of them have invested in this account of high adven- ture and hair breadth escapes. Those who care to plunge from a rock into the heavy seas be- low, then to float to freedom on a raft of coconut sacks should try it the armchair way, with Papillon, escapee extraor- dinaire. JANE HUCKVALE. Focus on the University By J. W. FISHBOURNE It's About Time rpHIS institution has just commenced its fourth full academic session, so there has been a university in our midst for about four years. Two or three thou- sand local young people either have at- tended, or are doing so. Hundreds of school teachers have taken courses here. There have been convocations, open houses, special events such as the Sod Turning Ceremony, a n d other occasions for the public to meet members of the University community, to become ac- quainted with at least some aspects of the operation. More than that, there is scarcely any other entity in Southern Alberta that gets more news coverage, in all local media, than does the university. A day rarely passes without some mention of the in- stitution by the local press, radio or tele- vision. Then there Is the fact that we employ 300-odd people. Most of them, I should think, have friends and neighbors, belong to churches, clubs and other organizations, bowl, play golf, go to ball games, and do the things that people do. In short, all the normal means where- by people become acquainted with one another, and informed about what their neighbors are doing, have existed for four years in the case of this University and the people it employs. It does seem a little odd, then, that people generally know so very little about the University and how it operates. Take this business of what goes on in the summer, for instance. There is still a notion that universities and university peo- ple haven't much to do from late spring to early fall. Every year about this time, I run into people who feel moved to in- quire "how it feels to be back at or express their envy of university em- ployees, with their "long" summer layoff. This is as irritating as it is monotonous. And it's nonsense. University people don't get any more holiday time than anyone else. Just because they don't punch clocks, or appear regularly in the classroom dur- ing the many of them do just mean that they are loaf- ing in the sun. University administration is a year- round proposition, and those with admin- istrative responsibilities have the same schedule as their counterparts in business or in government. What with the fall se- mester, the spring semester, the interses- sion and summer session, the gaps in tho academic operation amount to three or four weeks, scattered throughout the year, and are used as very necessary "catch-up" time. Faculty are in a different situation, but if anything their time is even more crowd- ed. Off hand, I can think of nothing that makes greater demands than the neces- sity for keeping up to date in an academic discipline. In any you care to mention, there are hundreds of qualified men and women engaged in research, many of them on a full time basis, constantly at work pushing back the frontiers of knowl- edge in their particular speciality. The pro- fessor's obligation to keep abreast of what is being discovered and published in his field will leave him very few spare hours, during the summer or at any other lime. That isn't all, by any means. Everyone is aware that, across this country and throughout the world, there are commis- sions, study groups, committees, and the like searching for solutions to our collec- tive problems. They deal with such mat- ters as pollution, highway safety, urban re- newal, the effects of taking drugs, to men- tion only n few currently popular con- cerns. All of them need experls in par- ticular subjects. Who do you suppose those experts are, and where do you suppose they come from? And yet, people babble about making the universities a "year-round" operation! I suppose it can be said that the universi- ties haven't worked very hard at inform- ing the public of what they are doing. Perhaps that's because there .isn't always time to do the job, and spend a lot of time talking about if, too. -By FRANK MORLEY jyjEDICAL men have repeatedly ob- served cases of astonishing recovery where patients had hope and equally sur- prising cases of death when patients lost hope. Dante wrote over the gates of Hell "Abandon hope, all ye who and the abandonment of hope makes human life a Hell. So poor Oscar Wilde wrote in his "Ballad of Reading "Something was dead in each of us, And what was dead was hope." Surely it is one of the ghast- liest poems in the English language, de- scribing the agony of regret, shame, fear, and inhuman cruelty where "all but Lust is turned to dust In Humanity's machine." Albert Camus says of his rebel that he lacks faith and hope, only retaining love without which there can be no rebellion. To the contrary, the rebel often lacks love, as the Russian Communists have repeat- edly demonstrated (how much love was in Stalin's but cannot move with- out a strange form of faith and hope. He must believe that the forces of the uni- verse operate in such a way that his move- ment can be successful. The radical "Christian" theologians have taken up this notion, William Hamilton maintaining that the Christian theologian of today is "a man without faith, without hope, and only the present and therefore only love to guide him." This is nonsense and turns hope into non- sense. Carl Braaten agrees with Jurgen Moltmann that hope is a contradiction cf experience that the future will bring some- tiling entirely unknown hi the present. Tin's makes hope mere wishing. Hope believes of the future what is believed of the past. Hope only points to the Promised Land because it has had a miracle of deliverance from Egypt. The God of the future will be the God of the past. Hope has evidence: "So long Thy power has blessed us, Sure it still will lead us on." Consequently it is not possible to have hope without faith. Ernst Bloch, from whom most radical Christian theologians draw {inspiration, attempts this foolish- ness. Bloch, a Marxist-atheist who has been much inspired by biblical prophecy, sees man pressing on to some ultimata goal of existence. Surely this is Utopian, a word which means "no place." Such hopa has no power projecting it and no reason for existence. This is the weakness of Erich Fromrn's splendid books, "May Man (Doubleday) and "The Revolution of Hope" Fromm sees that nations and social classes live like individual! through hope, and when hope is lost tli5y are lost. He is alarmed by the growing hopelessness of society so evident in tha eyes of men, in the bored expression of the average person. Such hoplessness was obvious in the dehumanized, detached hitch-hikers on Canadian and European highways. Lost and damned tney wander- ed almost aimlessly, dirty, meaningless, and finding peace only in drugs. Once the Christian faith brought hope to the world. It. delivered1 men from the hope- lessness of history as taught by Tacitus and Herodotus. It declared that history had a meaning, a final apocalyptic purpose ol "the 6od of hope." It maintained that faith In immortality was not vague wishing, but was based on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It maintained that victoiy over dehumanized social and political in- stitutions could only come through the Holy Spirit and it demonstrated such vic- tory in its own communities. In such com- munities also was an escape from bur- eaucratic society, as well as a home for those who sought to escape mass culture, to find their true personalities and estab- lish vital connection with their fellowman. Later the Christians created such groups in monasteries and cells. Can it be done? Can hope be revived and community be established? Only through faith. Paul says that hope comes from endurance, but endurance, as Paul well knows, comes through faith. Man is kept on his feet through faith and faith' is the parent of both hope and love. As man believes in the living God he believes in living men. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Troubled Waters From The Sun TT will be ironic if the 57-day voyage of Thor Heyerdahl's papyrus boat Ra II should be remembered more for its find- ings of marine pollution than for the epic transatlantic adventure itself. Yet nothing has dramatized the deterio- rating state of the world's waters more than the descriptions o: the ocean filth that tarnished this maritime idyll. From far out at sea, Thor Hcycrdahl radioed that the Atlantic was polluted by floating lumps of solidified asphalt like oil from horizon to horizon. Then, secure in Bridgetown, Bar- bados, Norwegian explorer expressed his disgust in language no one could fail to understand. "You could not help seeing (tho oil he said. "Soma mornings you dipped your toothbrush In the water and there they were. Sometimes we did not even think it wise to wash." Mr. Heyerdah] accepted an invitation to testify on ocean pollution before the U.S. Senate anti trust committee. Every indus- trial nation of the world should be listen- ing. If pollution of the seas has not reach- ed crisis proportions it is close to it. "Biolo- gical the phrase used in June by the British Association of Public Analysts to describe what the seas around Britniu are in danger of becoming, may be [he of all our oceans if the sort of pollution ob- served from the Ra II continues laicon- Irolled. ;