Sunday, March 12, 2017

A small room inside a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.

Returning to George Woodcock's Ravens and Prophets (1952), which sits at my bedside atop Annharte's Indigena Awry (2012), I read how the author and Inge, once back in Vancouver, "gaped at shop windows like visiting Indians and saw a film in which Bob Hope impersonated a fox-hunting English gentleman."

Later Woodcock writes, "For once, after the north, Vancouver appeared genuinely metropolitan, and our return seemed to emphasize the roughness of the country we had left."

Later still, in "Part Two", Woodcock and Inge depart on another journey, this time by rail to Penticton, where the author relates information told to him by a German orchardist about the conditions that led to the rise of the Fruit-growers Cooperative.

Woodcock, who was born in Winnipeg, is most generous when it comes to stories about settler industry and economics but, as is evidenced throughout his book, disrespectful in his portrayal of "Indians" -- "visiting" or otherwise. One of a long line of British Canadians who wrote not of here, or to or with those living amongst him, but for those from whence this Britishness came.

No comments:

Post a Comment