The Fairy Way of Writing -- Shakespeare to Tolkien by Kevin Pask, Johns Hopkins UPress '13, $39.95, 178 pages, ASIN #1421409828. Index, works cited, notes, b&w images sprinkled through text. Laminated illustrated cover perfect.
"Writers John Dryden and Joseph Addison originated the phrase 'fairy way of writing,' writes author Kevin Pask, "to define the concept of an English creative imagination founded on a synthesis of high literary culture and the popular culture of tales and superstitions."
In the Introduction of his new book, English professor Pask elaborates on the subject phrase by quoting from Addison's essays:
"There is a kind of Writing, wherein the Poet quite loses sight of Nature, and entertains his Reader's Imagination with the Characters and Actions of such Persons as have many of them no Existence, but what he bestows on them. Such are Fairies, Witches, Magicians, Demons, and departed Spirits. This Mr. Dryden calls the Fairie way of Writing, which is, indeed, more difficult than any other that depends on the Poet's Fancy, because he has no Pattern to follow in it, and must work altogether out of his own Invention."
"In addition to English writers and visual artists such as Pope, Blake, and Keats, who were directly engaged with Shakespearean fantasy," explains the author, were "fairy tales, letters, and paintings by the French writers Madame d'Aulnoy, Charles Perrault, Madame de Sevigne, and the Swiss-born artist Johann Heinrich Fussli." (Fuseli)
Author Kevin Pask is an associate professor of English at Concordia University and is author of The Emergence of the English Author: Scripting the Life of the Poet in Early Modern England.
Lewis and Clark Among the Nez Perce -- Strangers in the Land of the Nimiipuu, by Allen V. Pinkham, foreword by Frederick E. Hoxie, Dakota Institute Press/UOklahoma Press '13, $29.95, 332 pages, ASIN #0983405980. Index, glossary, books, endnotes, b&w images sprinkled through text.
It is only in recent years that historians have turned from writing about the white man's take on relations with Native Americans to looking at things from the other side. In their new book, scholars Allen V. Pinkham and Steven Ross Evans have examined closely the journals of Lewis and Clark to create "the first richly detailed exploration of the relationship between Mr. Jefferson's Corps of Discovery (explorers Lewis and Clark) and a single tribe (the Nez Perce). In a brief Q&A, they discuss the writing of their book:
Q. Why do you feel it is important to tell this story of the Nimiipuu?
A. We felt compelled to write this book for several reasons. This time period was the beginning of 'history' as it is conceived in the West, a time that is covered by the written word, so this is the beginning of Nimiipuu 'history.' This was also a big turning point in tribal history. Before Lewis and Clark the tribal past is known through archaeology and through tribal myths and legends -- their stories are their identification with the landscape and their past in that landscape.
The 'history' of the tribal folk who called themselves Nimiipuu had never been written in a serious, modern historical fashion. We felt that it needed to be written soon as many of the elders were aging and many did pass on while we were writing the manuscript.
Q. What is your favorite expedition story?
A. The Grand Council was the high point of the time of the tribe and the Americans together. This story showed the Nez Perce understood the future might well rest upon their agreements with these powerful people. Also the camaraderie that evolved in the Kamiah Valley for the next month proved that Indian and white could live side by side and get along just fine when both sides were motivated. They set an early and good example.
About the authors:
"Steven Ross Evans, who earned his Ph.D. in history from Washington State University, taught history for 33 years at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, ID, before retiring in 2001. Allen W. Pinkham served in the U.S. Marine Corps and later earned a two-year degree from Lower Columbia College, Longview, WA. He has served the public as a story-telling educator-author and has contributed to or co-authored previous books.
Act of War -- Lyndon Johnson, North Korea, and the Capture of the Spy Ship Pueblo by Jack Cheevers, NAL Caliber '13, $27.95, 431 pages, ASIN #0451466195. Index, bibliography, notes, grouping of b&w glossy images.
From the dust jacket:
"In 1968, a small, dilapidated American spy ship set out on a dangerous mission: to pinpoint military radar stations along the coast of North Korea. Packed with advanced electronic-surveillance equipment and classified intelligence documents, the USS Pueblo was poorly armed and lacked backup by air or sea. Its crew, led by a charismatic, hard-drinking ex-submarine officer named Pete Bucher, was made up mostly of untested sailors in their teens and twenties.
"On a frigid January morning while eavescropping near the port of Wonsan, the Pueblo was challenged by a North Korean gunboat. When Bucher tried to escape, his ship was quickly surrounded by more patrol boats, shelled and machine-gunned, and forced to surrender. One American was killed and ten were wounded, and Bucher and his young crew were taken prisoner by one of the world's most aggressive and erratic totalitarian regimes."
Author Jack Cheevers is a former political reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He and his wife, Kathleen Matz, live in Oakland, CA.