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Thread: Loss

  1. #1
    Mr RonPrice Ron Price's Avatar
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    Loss

    Stephen Leacock was, in 1912, a famous Canadian writer. He was assistant professor of political science at McGill University at the time. In 1912 his book Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town was published. It was an idealized picture of a little Canadian town, modelled after the town he knew on Lake Simcoe, Orillia. Sunshine Sketches is not a novel but, rather, a series of short stories. Leacock’s sketches serve, for me, as an example, a model, for my own prose-poetry. My poetry is in many ways a series of sketches, shorter than short stories, usually packed into a page. To write a bold and masterful novel with monumental literary images has always seemed beyond me as it was for Leacock.

    Sunshine Sketches is full of humour but it is kind; it focuses on human folly; it is an elaborate web of varying perspectives and varying narrators. The book was published ten weeks before ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to Canada. ‘Abdu’l-Baha always called the Canadians kind. –Ron Price, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, 8 March 2007.

    They laugh at each other here, Stephen;
    you would have liked Australia, its wit
    and irony. I think they laugh more here.
    A writer who is funny needs to talk to
    his world—I try; I make it simple but,
    perhaps, not simple enough. I don’t have
    your skill and talent, Stephen. I was just
    five months in utero when you died in ’44.
    Are you passing on to me some of the power,
    the leaven by which the arts and wonders of
    the world are made manifest, Stephen?
    Are you Stephen? Are you? Will you?

    Your fictitious small town, Mariposa,
    could have been Burlington, Picton,
    King City, Dundas—one of the towns
    where I lived back in the sixties and the
    ordinarily ordinary people I knew then…
    or one of the towns in Australia where
    I came to dwell: Katherine, Smithton,
    Zeehan, George Town—but the humour
    is sharper here, cuts closer to the bone,
    but still it is the same humour of loss
    of faith, disillusionment, shattering of
    ideals that have not been replaced with
    animating purpose and strong convictions:
    rather, a deeply inlaid scepticism, cynicism
    which is a real, a genuine, philosophy of life.

    Ron Price
    8 March 2007
    Ron Price is a Canadian who has been living in Australia for 42 years(in 2013). He is married to a Tasmanian and has been for 37 years after 8 years in a first marriage. At the age of 69 he now spends most of his time as an author and writer, poet and publisher. editor and researcher, online blogger, essayist, journalist and engaging in independent scholarship. He has been associated with the Baha'i Faith for 60 years and a member for 53 years.cool:

  2. #2
    Mr RonPrice Ron Price's Avatar
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    A Little More On Those Sunshine Sketches & Other Things

    A PRELIMINARY TASK

    In the fall of 1936, as the North American Baha’i community was planning its first formal teaching program(1937-1944), the famous Canadian humorist, author and retired professor of political science at McGill University Stephen Leacock went on his last speaking tour. Leacock went on to publish three books in 1937 and win the Governor General’s Award for his book My Discovery of the West. He was a prolific writer in his retirement and published many a book. In the last months of the Plan Leacock worked on his last book, his autobiography, The Boy I left Behind Me. But it was not completed. He died on 28 March 1944 some three weeks before the end of the Plan. –Ron Price, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, 9 March 2007.

    There’d been tentative anchorings
    in Canada for twenty-five years1
    by then, Stephen, after fifteen of
    a chaotic admixture of all sorts of
    stuff, a confused medley of beliefs.2

    Your golden years Stephen, your
    famous book, Sunshine Sketches,3
    the same year He came to Montreal
    for nine days and that vision of
    world order gave a new momentum
    as your fame grew but, still, you
    were as busy as could be writing,
    always writing and talking, always
    talking so that when that great
    transformation of the community
    came(1937-1944), that great Plan
    of teaching ended, your life was over.

    A national identity4 was finally emerging
    as you wrote your life story and as I was
    just emerging in utero, a fetus—and with
    that preliminary task5 finished I would be
    among the rising generation which would
    fulfil that vision of America’s spiritual destiny.

    1 1912 to 1937
    2 1897-1912
    3 1912-1825

    4 According to Will van den Hoonaard, The Origins of the Baha’i Community in Canada, Wilfred Laurier UP, 1996, p.275.
    5 Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America: 1932-1946, Wilmette, 1947, p.13.
    6
    Ron Price
    9 March 2007
    Ron Price is a Canadian who has been living in Australia for 42 years(in 2013). He is married to a Tasmanian and has been for 37 years after 8 years in a first marriage. At the age of 69 he now spends most of his time as an author and writer, poet and publisher. editor and researcher, online blogger, essayist, journalist and engaging in independent scholarship. He has been associated with the Baha'i Faith for 60 years and a member for 53 years.cool:

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