How is it that Winnipeg inspires such surreal portraits of itself? Is it the extreme cold, the sense of isolation in a vast sea of prairie, the peculiar First Nations/exiled eastern European multicultural mix? Winnipeg From the Fringes joins a prestigious list of eccentric visionary portraits of the magical and troubled city, along with Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg, Tomson Highway’s Kiss of the Fur Queen, Adele Wiseman’s Crackpot and James Reaney’s A Message to Winnipeg. Discovering French philosopher Michel Foucault and Kafka’s Gregor Samsa and Leonard Cohen’s F. sharing a ward in the General Hospital is not surprising here. Nor is finding 19th century Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard’s “unscientific postscript” protesting postmodern amnesic excess, in favour of community, and memory, and “connection.” Ron Drewniak’s frost and sun bitten photographs add another dimension of bereftness and solidarity to the mix. Wonderful.
About the authors
Historian and poet Walter Hildebrant was born in Brooks, Alberta and now lives in Edmonton. He has worked as an historian for Parks Canada and as a consultant to the Treaty 7 Tribal Council, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and the Banff Bow Valley Task Force. He is co-author of The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty 7 and The Cypress Hills: The Land and Its People, and author of Views From Battleford: Constructed Visions of an Anglo-Canadian West. His long poem Sightings was nominated for the 1992 McNally-Robinson Book of the Year for Manitoba. His book Where the Land Gets Broken won the Stephen G. Stephensson Award for Poetry in 2005. He is presently the Director of the Athabasca University Press. This is his seventh book of poetry.
Other titles by Walter Hildebrandt
Now Time / Jetztzeit / Nunc Stans
Treaty Elders of Saskatchewan
Our Dream Is That Our Peoples Will One Day Be Clearly Recognized as Nations
The Battle of Batoche
Small British Warfare and the Entrenched Métis
The Time in Between / Adorno's Daemons
Views from Fort Battleford
Constructed Visions of an Anglo-Canadian West