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By Alison Calder, Robert Wardhaugh

The Canadian Prairie has lengthy been represented as a undying and unchanging situation, outlined through cost and panorama. Now, a brand new iteration of writers and historians problem that notion and argue, as a substitute, that it's a zone with an evolving tradition and historical past. This choice of ten essays explores a extra modern prairie identification, and reconfigures “the prairie” as a build that's non-linear and numerous, responding to the impression of geographical, historic, and political currents. those writers discover the connections among record and mind's eye, among historical past and tradition, and among geography and time.
     the topics of the essays diversity largely: the non-linear constitution of Carol Shield’s The Stone Diaries; the effect of Aberhart’s Social credits, Marshall McLuhan, and Mesopotamian delusion on Robert Kroetsch’s prairie postmodernism; the function of rfile in lengthy prairie poems; the relationship among cultural tourism and historical past; the topic of regeneration in Margaret Laurence’s Manawaka writing; the impression of mind's eye on geography in Thomas Wharton’s Icefields; and the consequences on an alpine climber of pre-WWII ideological strategies of time and individualism.
 

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Extra resources for History, Literature, and the Writing of the Canadian Prairies

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Dinosaur bones come out of the ground like rocks with frost, and the sparse upland grass does not hide the projectile points nor stone hammers that lie upon the hillsides, blending, like the tipi rings, into the rock-strewn ground. These High Plains, which travellers have sometimes claimed were barren, throb with a history that predates history, ossified. The tectonic plates that crawl like turtles across the earth's mantle carry their shell of fossil forests from warmer latitudes and warmer times up here where the sun slants even at noon as it beats upon your head in prairie July.

The technology of the people conjectured to have hunted the megafauna was flint projectile points mounted on wood, and the projectile points remain. What they meant in the context of their culture, no one now knows, and perhaps it will remain unknowable. The technology 28 The Tantalizing Possibility of Living on the Plains of the horse, buffalo, and Sun Dance culture remains—if not intact, certainly documented by anthropologists and reimagined by the dancers. The technology of the people who brought the plough and the spotted cow is manifest on the Plains.

We humans are, however, quite important to ourselves. The land will survive us as it survived the dinosaurs. But we will not survive our ecological niche. Thus, it behooves us to respect the land, lest it cast us away as small micro-organisms to be burnt off mother earth with a good fever. ENDNOTES 1. Paul Martin, "The Discovery of America," Science 179 (1973): 969-973. Cited in Don Gayton, The Wheatgrass Mechanism: Science and Imagination in the Western Canadian Landscape (Saskatoon: Fifth House, 1990).

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