1348 Baffling thrums of reasoning

White Lie by Clint Burnham Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2021 $18.00 / 9781772141740 Reviewed by Peter Babiak * One of my favourite lines of literary theory is from the mystical German Jewish essayist, Walter Benjamin. A perspicacious man who recognized just how much literary works are indebted to the economic and technological conditions that form their…
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Mourning rites in Ancient China

ESSAY: Mourning and Burial Rites in Ancient China: A Grief Process by Dorothy Dittrich * Death is part of life, as are the feelings of grief, sorrow and anxiety that follow the loss of a loved one. While coming to terms with death and coping with loss may be part of living, the feelings that…
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1246 Two cousins meet for dinner

The Professor and the Plumber: Conversations About Equality and Inequality by Eric W. Sager, with illustrations by Hanna Melin Victoria: FriesenPress, 2021 $22.99 / 9781039105553 Reviewed by Jak King * Many would argue that inequality is a defining characteristic of life in the early 2000s. More specifically — since some form of inequality has been…
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1144 Belcourt’s Two-Spirit journey

A History of My Brief Body: A Memoir by Billy-Ray Belcourt Toronto: Penguin Random House (Hamish Hamilton), 2020 $25.00 / 9780735237780 Reviewed by David Milward * The term Two-Spirit is used in many contemporary Indigenous communities to describe Indigenous persons whose personalities and spirits may have both feminine and masculine aspects. Many Indigenous people suggest…
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#847 Hedonism, pleasure, ethics

ESSAY: The Will to Pleasure: Hedonism, Ethics, and Aesthetics from the Ancient World to the Present Age by Eryn Holbrook * When Christianity and Marxism end their shared reign, we will need visions of new possibilities. There is always one fixed point: the body. Not a body of Platonic ideas, nor a body cut in…
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#822 Home is where the memory is

ESSAY: There’s no place like home: our connection to meaningful places by Joanne Crozier * We are pleased to present an essay by Joanne Crozier, There’s no place like home, as part of an ongoing collaboration between The Ormsby Review and Graduate Liberal Studies at Simon Fraser University, an interdisciplinary program that leads to the…
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#479 On the wings of forever

ESSAY: Universal Technologies and Traditional Innovations: A Comprehensive Perspective for Museums by Yosef Wosk An Ormsby Exclusive, in collaboration with the The Canadian Academy of Independent Scholars First published Feb. 5, 2019 * We are pleased to present an essay by Yosef Wosk about nothing less than mankind’s accumulation and appreciation of shared knowledge and wisdom. This extraordinarily…
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#402 Roma and other Gypsies

Gypsy Fugue: An Archetypal Memoir by Marlene Schiwy Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2018 $24.95 / 9781987915594 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve First published October 18, 2018 * Readers might recall The Manticore (1972), the second in Robertson Davies’ Deptford Trilogy, in which David Staunton dreams of a gypsy the night before starting Jungian therapy in Zurich….
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#380 Road trip with Gilgamesh

Provoked by Gilgamesh: The Search for a Way Around Death by Gilmour Walker Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2018 $18.95 / 9781553805205 Reviewed by Peter Babiak First published Sept. 21, 2018 * Inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh, Victoria’s Gilmour Walker (a pseudonym) tells how, in his forties, he left his seaside home in Nova Scotia on…
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#251 The stupid man’s smart person?

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Random House Canada), 2018 $34.95  /  9780345816023 Reviewed by Ron Dart First published Feb. 23, 2018 * Controversial University of Toronto psychologist and cultural critic Jordan Peterson, condemned by Maclean’s as “the stupid man’s smart person,” has spoken to…
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#134 Resuscitation of James Legge

James Legge and the Chinese Classics A Brilliant Scot in the Turmoil of Colonial Hong Kong by Marilyn Laura Bowman  Victoria: FriesenPress Publishers, 2016 $37.99  /  9781460288832 Reviewed by Norman Girardot First published June 2, 2017 Born in the Peace River country, Marilyn Bowman studied at the University of Alberta and McGill and taught Clinical…
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