Aritha Van Herk


Face it. The west is male. Mascuhne. Manly. Virile. Not that it had much choice, the prairie lying there innocent under its buffalo beans, its own endlessness. It did not need designation, being enough, always enough. It posed, still poses, indifferent, for the obsessed camera of art, of fiction. Its indifference has mythified its physical strength, but has contributed to its perversion in the world of Canadian literature; the art that has defined it is masculine and it appears to have defined its art as a masculine one. Name the west's fiction. Grove, Mitchell, Ross, Wiebe, Kroetsch. Laurence of course, not so much an afterthought as an anomaly.



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