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Canexus: The Canoe in Canadian Culture by…

Canexus: The Canoe in Canadian Culture (edition 1988)

by James Raffan (Editor), Bert Horwood (Editor), Bill Mason (Illustrator)

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Title:Canexus: The Canoe in Canadian Culture
Authors:James Raffan (Editor)
Other authors:Bert Horwood (Editor), Bill Mason (Illustrator)
Info:Betelgeuse Books (1988), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library, @Home
Tags:Non-Fiction, Canadian, Paddling

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Canexus: The Canoe in Canadian Culture by James Raffan

Recently added byStephenBarkley



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In November of 1987, James Raffan and Bert Horwood held a conference at Queen's University. During the conference, a number of academics from various fields who share a love for paddling presented papers which now make up this book: Canexus.

I was thrilled to discover this while looking through the shelves in Ashley's Books in Bancroft. I had never heard of this book edited in part by James Raffan (author of many other books on canoeing and wilderness which I've read) and illustrated by Bill Mason!

Mason's sketches are the perfect backdrop to any reflection of canoeing in Canadian culture. Although there are no specific locations mentioned in any of the illustrations, they elicit memories of canoe trips taken.

There are problems with this collection. Academic arrogance and pretentiousness plagued a few of the papers. In particular, William C. James' essay on "Canoeing and Gender Roles" was painful to read. Have you ever wondered whether the canoe resembles a vagina or a phallus? Just as James.

Thankfully, the book had enough highlights to counterbalance that drivel. "Reflections of a Bannock Baker" by Bob Henderson is a concise reflection on the simplicity of canoeing and its relationship to wisdom. George J. Luste's "Solitude and Kinship in the Canoeing Experience" is a reflection on the deeper significance of canoe trips. The highlight, by far, was Raffan's essay, "Probing Canoe Trips for Persistent Meaning". His harrowing story of surviving a three day storm in the barons while simultaneously reflecting on the value of this trip was simply inspiring.

Nothing symbolizes Canadian culture better than the canoe. Canexus provides fifteen ways to reflect on its significance. ( )
  StephenBarkley | Nov 15, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0969078358, Paperback)

Resonant, reflective, a legacy of the Canadian canoeing experience -- Canexus: The Canoe in Canadian Culture is a first. "This book is cause for celebration," says Kanawa Canoe Museum founder Kirk Wipper, "because of the canoe, and because it is created by writers who are, themselves, enthusiastic paddlers."

From "Canoe Sport" to "Canoe Irony" and finding "Motives for Mr. Canoehead," Canexus opens doors to the primitive and explores the canoeing experience from an exciting variety of perspectives.

Travel with some of Canada's best known canoeists to the mysterious Northwest Coast of BC, across constitutional waves on Meech Lake and into a landscape of the Canadian imagination. Hear great canoe stories, bake bannock, weather storms, ponder canoeing and gender roles. For all kinds of paddlers, and lovers of adventure and wilderness, Canexus gives the canoe its rightful place of prominence in Canadian culture.

With contributions by E.Y. Arima, Philip Chester, C.E.S. Franks, Shelagh Grant, Bob Henderson, Bruce Hodgins, Gwyneth Hoyle, William C. James, C. Fred Johnston, George Luste, Roderick A. Macdonald, Kenneth G. Roberts and Kirk Wipper.

"The writers in Canexus bring different perspectives & abilities to these essays, but all of them reinforce the idea of the canoe as an ancient, echoing symbol; one that can illuminate our place in the north like no other."
-- M.T. Kelly, Winner of the Governor General's Award for Literature

"An intelligent person's guide to the place of the canoe in the Canadian culture and psyche...exciting, like fast white water and spray in your face...."
--Fred Bodsworth

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:31 -0400)

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An edition of this book was published by Dundurn.

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