The Myths That Make Us: Different Literary Takes on the Western Frontier Reveal What Binds and Separates Canada and the US
Gailus, Jeff, Alternatives Journal
WHEN I WAS ASKED to compare nature literature in Canada and the United States, particularly in the West, I quickly went for my bookshelves--only to discover that the lion's share of my library was still far away, sequestered, like a lost collection of ancient Middle Eastern scrolls in a mountain cave.
Like the grizzly bear and the wolf, I have been something of a wanderer, though I have spent most of my life within walking distance of some of the wildest remaining places in the Rocky Mountain West. Even now that I have settled in Missoula, Montana, I make regular migrations south into Yellowstone and north to Banff and Canmore, Alberta, which is where my books had gathered dust for almost two years while US Immigration processed my desire to make a home south of the Medicine Line.
With my freshly minted Green Card in hand, I jumped in the car and circumnavigated the Crown of the Continent--up the North Fork of the Flathead River, over the Continental Divide, along the mighty Bow River, and back down the southeastern slopes (what Americans call the Rocky Mountain front)--to bring my book-heavy boxes home. My anticipation was like a child's on Christmas morning.
The Ninemile Wolves. Leaning on the Wind. Grizzly Country. The Big Sky. Fools Crow. As I unpacked these textual treasures and cracked open their covers, I realized that many of them were borne of the landscape through which I had just driven. They're part of a larger lexicon of western nature writing that transcends the national literatures of Canada and the United States to create a bioregional literature carved from the bedrock of the Crown of the Continent. Dominated by the Rocky Mountains, …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: The Myths That Make Us: Different Literary Takes on the Western Frontier Reveal What Binds and Separates Canada and the US. Contributors: Gailus, Jeff - Author. Magazine title: Alternatives Journal. Volume: 38. Issue: 3 Publication date: May-June 2012. Page number: 10+. © 1998 Alternatives, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.