Canada: A Journey of Discovery
|Through the colourful pages of his sketchbooks, and the whimsical
and incisive word-portraits of the landscapes he visited and the people who
live there, author Michael Kluckner presents us with an affirming summation of
the essence of Canada.
Where can you find the past of a country that wants to believe that it has no past? This is the paradox that lies beneath Michael Kluckner's quest, and it gives a rueful flavour to almost everything he tells and shows us in Canada: A Journey of Discovery. History exists on the fringes of Canada's collective consciousness and Kluckner wants to pull it back toward the centre, where it belongs. So he sets off, armed with insight and talent, in an ambitious and idealistic attempt to explore the historical sites where we can breathe "air infused with the magic elixir of memory."
In some countries, the way to such places is clearly marked. Canada is not such a country. The landscape of our history is hidden, confusing and contradictory. Most of us understand it, if we understand it at all, in ways that are local, regional, personal and idiosyncratic rather than national, shared and communal. For Canada, history is a series of problems that we never manage to solve and often prefer to ignore - for good reason. As we are often reminded, even the unveiling of a historical monument can produce more controversy than enlightenment.
From the outports of Newfoundland to the fishing villages of British Columbia, from Prairie grain elevators to the Houses of Parliament, Kluckner examines the built images that Canadians hold dear.
Written by: Michael Kluckner. Published by: Raincoast Books,
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Last modified: February 9, 2001
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