Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Heroes

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Heroes

Article excerpt

Ray Robertson, Heroes (Toronto: Dundurn, 2000), 347pp. Paper. $18.99. ISBN 0-8892-4292-5.

Written and published with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Heritage's Book Publishing Industry Development Program, Robertson addresses aspects of Canada's cultural identity by examining the phenomenon of ice hockey's growing popularity across the usa. The central character of Heroes, a graduate student named Bayle, is despatched from Toronto by his magazine-editing girlfriend to cover the Warriors, a hockey team based in small-town Kansas. Bayle's compliance with what is effectively Jane's means of ending their relationship indicates the extent to which he is a character who has resigned himself to falling in with the agendas of other people. Bayle's abdication of responsibility arises from his emotional disconnection, a state traced back to a combination of his sister's suicide, his father's early death and little communication with his mother. Robertson augments this picture of a stalled life by depicting Bayle as unable to commit to defending his doctoral dissertation which focuses on the sceptic philosopher, Sextus Empiricus. This invocation of a man who suggested that happiness is the reward of he who 'suspends judgement about everything which is subject to opinion' (p. …

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