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A Very Capable Life: The Autobiography of Zarah Petri

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Book Series: Our Lives: Diary, Memoir, and Letters ISSN: 19216661 ISBN: 9781897425411 9781897425428 Year: Pages: 208 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Added to DOAB on : 2012-03-29 16:37:58
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Written in his mother’s unique voice, John Leigh Walters pushes the boundaries of memoir in A Very Capable Life, the extraordinary journey of a seemingly ordinary woman. Zarah Petri was a child when her family left Hungary to establish a new life in Canada in the 1920s. With courage and innovation, Zarah and her family survived the Depression―even if it meant breaking the law to do so. In celebrating Zarah Petri, A Very Capable Life pays homage to all “ordinary” women of the early twentieth century who challenged society’s conventions for the sake of survival.

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memoir --- immigration --- Hungary

Champagne and Meatballs: Adventures of a Canadian Communist

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Book Series: Working Canadians: Books from the CCLH ISSN: 1925184X ISBN: 9781926836089 9781926836096 9781926836348 Year: Pages: 349 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Added to DOAB on : 2012-03-29 16:37:58
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Active for over forty years with the Communist Party of Canada, Bert Whyte was a journalist, an underground party organizer and soldier during World War II, and a press correspondent in Beijing and Moscow. But any notion of him as a Communist party hack would be mistaken. Whyte never let leftist ideology get in the way of a great yarn. In Champagne and Meatballs — a memoir written not long before his death in Moscow in 1984 — we meet a cigar-smoking rogue who was at least as happy at a pool hall as at a political meeting. His stories of bumming across Canada in the 1930s, of combat and camaraderie at the front lines in World War II, and of surviving as a dissident in troubled times make for compelling reading. The manuscript of Champagne and Meatballs was brought to light and edited by historian Larry Hannant, who has written a fascinating and thought-provoking introduction to the text. Brash, irreverent, informative, and entertaining, Whyte's tale is history and biography accompanied by a wink of his eye — the left one, of course

Keywords

communist --- biography --- memoir

Roy & Me: This Is Not a Memoir

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Book Series: Mingling Voices ISSN: 19179413 ISBN: 9781926836102 9781926836119 Year: Pages: 147 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Added to DOAB on : 2012-03-29 16:37:58
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Maurice Yacowar challenges genre and form in Roy & Me, a cross between memoir and fiction, truth and distortion. It is the exploration of Yacowar’s relationship with Roy Farran—soldier, politician, author, mentor—and his conflict with Farran’s anti-Semitic past. Best known for his service with the British Special Air Service during World War II, Roy Farran served as a politician in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Premier Peter Lougheed. During his time in Israel as a soldier, Farran allegedly kidnapped and murdered a sixteen-year-old member of the Lehi group, also known as the Stern Gang. Roy & Me is a memoir that edges toward fiction by venturing into Roy Farran’s thoughts, drawing simultaneously on his writings and Yacowar’s own imagination.

Keywords

memoir --- fiction --- anti-semitism --- friendship

Man Proposes, God Disposes: Recollections of a French Pioneer

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Book Series: Our Lives: Diary, Memoir, and Letters ISSN: 19216661 ISBN: 9781926836553 9781926836560 9781926836577 Year: Pages: 273 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2013-07-15 10:35:10
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In 1910, young Pierre Maturié bid farewell to his comfortable bourgeois existence in rural France and travelled to northern Alberta in search of independence, adventure, and newfound prosperity. Some sixty years later, he wrote of the four years he spent in Canada before he returned to France in 1914 to fight in the First World War. Like that of so many youthful pioneers, his story is one of adventure and hardship—perilous journeys, railroad construction in the Rockies, panning for gold in swift-flowing streams, transporting goods for the Hudson’s Bay Company along the Athabasca River. Blessed with the rare gift of a natural storyteller, Maturié conveys his abiding nostalgia for a country he loved deeply yet ultimately had to abandon. Maturié’s memoir, Man Proposes, God Disposes, appeared in France in 1972, to a warm reception. Now, in the deft and marvellously empathetic translation of Vivien Bosley, it is at long last available in English. As a portrait of pioneer life in northern Alberta, as a window onto the French experience in Canada, and, above all, as an irresistible story—it will continue to find a place in the hearts of readers for years to come.

Broken Records

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ISBN: 9780615949468 Year: Pages: 192 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0137.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:36
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In 1991, Snežana Žabić lost her homeland and most of her family’s book and record collection during the Yugoslav Wars that had been sparked by Slobodan Milošević’s relentless pursuit of power. She became a teenage refugee, forced to flee Croatia and the atrocities of war that had leveled her hometown of Vukovar. She and her family remained refugees in Serbia until NATO bombed Belgrade in 1999. After witnessing the first nights of NATO’s bombing, Žabić took flight again. She moved from country to country, city to city, finally settling in Chicago. She realized — reluctantly, because she didn’t want to relive the past — that she had to write about what had happened, what she had left behind, and what she had lost. Broken Records is the story of this loss, told with unflinching honesty, free of sentimentality or sensationalism. For the very first time, we learn how it felt to be first a regular teenager during the breakup of Yugoslavia and the ensuing wars, and then a 30-something adult, perennially troubled by one’s uprooted existence. Broken Records is not a neat narrative but a bit of everything — part bildungsroman, part memoir, part political poetry, part personal pop culture compendium. And while Žabić represents a Yugoslav diasporan subject, her book also belongs to an international generation whose formative years straddle the Cold War and the global reconfiguration of wealth and power, whose lives were spent shifting from the vinyl/analog era to the cyber/digital era. This generation knows that when they were told about history ending, they were told a lie..

A Rushed Quality

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ISBN: 9780692426562 Year: Pages: 326 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0103.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:39
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These fragments collected here (in 2 books, “A Rushed Quality” and “Bodying Forth”) belong neither to philosophy nor to poetry — and yet they are for the most part focused on a substantial area of overlap between these two venerable disciplines, vis-à-vis the question, “What is it like to be X?” Philosophers like to fill in the X with something exotic like a bat or a dolphin, or even an Artificial Intelligence, while poets tend to fill it with something else, equally exotic, namely themselves. For the diffident and introspective author of A Rushed Quality and Bodying Forth, the X, while definitely human, is perhaps someone in general, equally distant from and equally intimate with both the writer and the reader in the very moment of their eponymous activity. The start of it all was the perception of what was called the “rushed quality,” as something persistent and bothersome and of which there was no question of its ever being shed. Rather than evaded or denied, it was welcomed because it seemed for the first time since childhood to mark a structural occurrence presenting a new metaphysical datum. As it happened, this quality proved very elusive in its mature bothersomeness and the inquiry into it soon turned into a sort of quasi-theoretical fascination, which took as its main theme the fate of pure subjectivity — the utterly unfunctional, utterly useless, utterly dispensible feeling of being. The rushed quality is perhaps merely the sense of it draining away, or its long-sustained decrescendo.

Escargotesque, or, What Is Experience

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ISBN: 9780692373880 Year: Pages: 116 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0089.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:40
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“Experience” is a concept paradoxically deployed to accentuate the aconceptual. Although thinking, knowing, reflecting, and analyzing are kinds of experiences, invocations of “experience” typically direct our attention to what is immediate, embodied, unrepresented, unthought, even unthinkable. And yet, whether by learning experience, traumatic experience, life experience, mystical experience, or all of these, we hope most fervently that our experience will teach us, transform us, become part of us. Why do we strive to find, profit from, and possess experience while insisting upon experience’s intellectual elusiveness? What do we intend when we petition (and re-petition) experience for truth, for growth, for strength? To whom or to what do we sing when we sing experience’s song? Escargotesque, or, What is Experience? asks why both our lived experiences and our mythologies of experience so often fold inward, repeat, return. Departing from his unusual experience of working as a garbage-collector in the West African country of Benin, M.H. Bowker converses with several champions of experience (from Michel de Montaigne to John Dewey, from Søren Kierkegaard to Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Simone Weil to R.D. Laing) to pose radical questions about the intentions and dynamics that guide our quest for experience, intentions and dynamics that are more destructive and more melancholy than celebrants of experience would care to admit. Across Escargotesque’s six loosely linear parts, fragments of prose memoir intersect with poetry, sketch art, philosophical reflection, cultural criticism, and psychological examination in ways that both evoke and unsettle the thinking person’s experience. Escargotesque both testifies to an experience and reveals surprising fantasies driving the modern and postmodern turn to experience as a source of truth and hope. Such fantasies include the sacredness of even the most violent ‘pure experience,’ the necessity of supplicating experience’s objects, and the ultimate demise of the one who experiences.

Fuckhead

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ISBN: 9780615883410 Year: Pages: 76 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0048.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:43
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What is a fuckhead? David Rawson’s Fuckhead is a surreal exploration of the literature, film, nature and expectations of disability, and of fuckheads in literature and film. Part lyric essay, part fictional memoir, Rawson’s work tells the story of an unnamed narrator whose familial relationships are defined by his VATER syndrome. Abused by his mother and stripped of a voice by his brother’s need to be Tom Cruise via Rain Man, he sets out into a universe of literary tropes. I have always been of the mind that the novelist is allowed access to all experiences, as long as he ultimately has something to say. Plutarch and Samuel Johnson are typing somewhere in the desert of the next world, composing the ultimate collection of biographical criticism, explaining how David Lynch’s entire filmography owes a debt to his club feet. But I and the friends who bought my novel agree the author is dead. The work is particularly interested in the relationship between Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and what the narrator argues is Denis Johnson’s reimagining of that work in the short story “Emergency” (in Johnson’s Jesus’ Son). But in accumulating characters with disabilities as widely diverse as Darth Vader, Benjy of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, and the TV sitcom Community’s Abed Nadir, Rawson movingly, and with wry humor, articulates the assumptions and clichés faced by persons with disabilities, all the while creating a new family with his unlikely gathering of “fuckheads.”

Memoir American

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ISBN: 9780615808628 Year: Pages: 70 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0028.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:44
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In the dead letter office, you will find a Memoir American. The texts which comprise it — forms of essay, talk, dialogue — at one time saw themselves as individualists who went somewhere (to small press magazines) on their own. Now they are here, collected with the chance of going nowhere together. As it should be: since they represent the fate of language and translation in the memory of aliens living inside America — like a family going nowhere together, but at home. The philosopher Jacques Derrida and his family are part of this family in the dead letter office, and curiously they are named going nowhere together at home. Along the way, so are the poets Charles Reznikoff and William Carlos Williams and Emmanuel Hocquard and Juliette Valery and Charles Olson, as well as Horace’s Odes in translation. You will find in this Memoir what it means for an alien to search for his family in a book outside the time of its writing. You will find him discovering that translation is a personal story and that poetry might not have a home without it. You will find him wondering: whose voices are these which we hear around us as we write, as Babel turns to rumor through the fact of translation, wherein a book is being made and remade from American to French and back again? You will find him through translation like a Being in the Poetry of the Extraterritorial, an un-owned territory which is neither French nor American but is negotiated by the rumor of a poetry which emerges from both, a future condition (État) which seeks the name it could be but is not.

Ostranenie: On Shame and Knowing

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ISBN: 9780615744797 Year: Pages: 50 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0019.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:45
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Ostranenie, the term for defamiliarization introduced by Russian writer and critic Victor Shklovsky, means, among other things, to see in strangeness. To see in strangeness is to participate in an illusion that is more real than real. It may be achieved by (re)presenting the surface as the substance, the play as the thing, or by examining (from exigere: to drive out) what is present before one’s eyes. Ultimately, ostranenie means confessing one’s complicity in making known what is known. M.H. Bowker’s Ostranenie: On Shame and Knowing is a meditation upon the moment of a mother’s death: a moment of defamiliarization in several senses. The body of the work consists of footnotes which elaborate, by exegesis, by parataxis, and sometimes by surprise, the intimate and often hidden relationships between parent and child, illusion and knowledge, shame and loss. These elaborations raise questions about the power of the familiar, the limitations of discursive thought, and the paradoxical nature of the interpersonal, political, and spiritual bargains we make for the sake of security and freedom.

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