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Hector Ponomarev
Hector Ponomarev

Subtitle The Rum Diary !!LINK!!


476 LETTERS IN CANADA 1976 Thomas Raddall. In My Time. McClelland and Stewart. vii, 365. $14.95 Intermittently Raddall's memoir offers illumination of his fiction: a haunting memory of people blinded in the Halifax explosion, for instance , joined the author's own terror of blurred vision to suggest Carney 's situation at the end of The Nymph and the Lamp. But In My Time is niggardly in such gifts to critics and teachers. No connections are offered between Raddall's early loss of a revered father, his later dread of the birth of his own son, and the fictional working out of themes of abandonment , orphanage, and isolation. Nor is any explanation offered of the way the happy sexual encounters of early manhood, followed by the inhibitions of marriage, flowered in Raddall's rich and haunting love stories. The morbidity that led Raddall at forty-five quietly to contemplate using his father's Webley to end his life may be connected with the death doled out (in face of appalled editorial opposition) to Roger Sudden; but Raddall is not interested in exploring the connection. In other words, as the memoir of a literary life In My Time does not bring all the rewards that admirers of Raddall's fiction might have hoped for. On the other hand, as a readable book it is thoroughly satisfactory. It is a crisp and competent contribution to cultural history. We learn about salaries of the twenties, machines of the thirties, petty chicaneries in Nova Scotia politics, backbiting manoeuvres of the Canadian Authors' Association, publishing pressures by American and Canadian editors; we learn about moose-hunting, archival research, rum-running and plumbing, sailing and friendship; and we come to admire the endurance and energy of a Canadian writer determined to stay in Canada and to write about Maritime life, past and present. The design of the book is dramatic. The first half concerns Raddall'slife before he became a professional writer; the second half focuses on the years of 'brain-wracking struggle, in which the creative ecstasies were separated by long tortures of doubt and despair like a Morse code of travail.' Precisely at mid-point Raddall touches on a cluster of events, interlocked chronologically, and implying the strange way a man's life may change its major direction. Within four or five pages he sketches his introduction to Indian lore, the chance acquaintances with Hugh MacLennan and with Premier Angus MacDonald, the fortuitous gift of a bundle of old Blackwood's magazines, the birth of a son, and the grave decision to quit a steady job in a lumber company in order to make a run at a writing career, The first half of the book is packed with the colour of life as wireless operator on 'trawlers and colliers and small tramps,' in the barrenness of shore stations such as Sable Island, or later, in the poverty of a run-down lumber town. To balance this active half by the static account" of a thirty-year stint at the writer's desk puts considerable strain on the HUMANITIES 477 author's skill as a story-teUer. We do get little tidbits about Costain and de la Roche and other fellow professionals, but essentially the second half concerns a man spending most of his working days immersed in his own lonely imagination. Raddall's subtitle,'A Memoir' (rather than'An Autobiography '), suggests one central concern which unifies the book - the author's interest in the phenomenon and process of memory. Sometimes this concern leads to over-use of quotations from diaries - always a dangerous indulgence for a memoirist. Mostly, however, the memories offer a successful excursion into an immediate past, from which the author in turn takes flight into history. He speaks of the mystery of historical re-creation: 'I could plunge myself into the eighteenth century and swim freely under its surface.' He prides himself on achieving 'the Parkman approach,' and on having mastered the ability to 'dream deliberately .' As the memoir ends we recognize the slow shift from courageous, rather solemn young man, through the middle years of tremendous literary output, into the present point of perspective. Raddall is retired now...




subtitle The Rum Diary



Peel The Limelight presents Hollow, its original theatrical production inspired by true stories of a hundred of thousands of comfort women during the World War II. The play follows testimonies of the survivors who were abused, raped, tortured, exploited, and forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army. The play is recommended for audiences age 15 or older and performed in English with Thai subtitles. 041b061a72


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