Listening for the Heartbeat of Being: The Arts of Robert Bringhurst

Listening for the Heartbeat of Being: The Arts of Robert Bringhurst


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Poet, philosopher, translator, typographer, and cultural historian Robert Bringhurst is a modern-day Renaissance man. He has forged a career from diverse but interwoven vocations, finding ways to make accessible to contemporary readers the wisdom of poets and thinkers from ancient Greece, the Middle East, Asia, and North American First Nations. This collection shows the ways in which his industry-standard textbook The Elements of Typographic Style, his remarkable translations of Haida oral epics, and his experimental and traditional poetry and prose form a single coherent project. Listening for the Heartbeat of Being brings together a range of literary scholars, poets, journalists, and publishers to comment on Bringhurst?s far reaching body of work. The essays include a comprehensive biography of Bringhurst, first-hand accounts of his book design and production efforts, an analysis of his ground-breaking polyphonic performance poems, and re-considerations of the Masterworks of the Classical Haida Mythtellers translation trilogy. Experienced Bringhurst scholars join well-known writers such as Dennis Lee and Margaret Atwood to create a multi-dimensional view of Bringhurst?s career. Guided by the simple faith that "everything is connected to everything else," Bringhurst?s ability to listen closely to the great minds of many cultures and represent their voices pragmatically is, as this diverse and insightful book shows, of greater interest than ever in a world facing unprecedented ecological crisis and intensive cultural evolution. Contributors include Margaret Atwood, Nicholas Bradley (University of Victoria), Crispin Elsted (Barbarian Press), Clare Goulet (Mount St. Vincent University), Iain Higgins (University of Victoria), Ishmael Hope, Peter Koch (Peter Koch Printers), Dennis Lee, Scott McIntyre, Katherine McLeod (Concordia University), Kevin McNeilly (University of British Columbia), Káawan Sangáa, and Erica Wagner.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780773546349
Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
Publication date: 11/01/2015
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Brent Wood teaches in the Department of English and Drama at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. Mark Dickinson teaches in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at OCAD University.

Table of Contents

Figures vii

Editors' Note and Acknowledgments ix

Introduction Brent Wood Mark Dickinson 3

1 Robert Bringhurst: An Artistic and Intellectual Biography Mark Dickinson 19

2 Renaissance Men and Presocratic Philosophers: The Path to The Fragments of Parmenides Peter Koch 46

3 Ecologies of Estrangement: Bringhurst's Antigone Kevin McNeilly 52

4 Salvage Selvage Joinery: Bringhurst's Early Drafts Iain Macleod Higgins 62

5 Grace in Two-and-a-Half Dimensions: Robert Bringhurst, Typographer Crispin Elsted 87

6 Anatomy of a Voice: Bringhurst's Rhythms Brent Wood 101

7 "Conversations with a Toad": A Prologue to Polyphony Clare Goulet 137

8 Braided Skeins of Sound: Bringhurst's Oral Polyphony Dennis Lee 147

9 Water Music: Close Listening to The Blue Roofs of Japan Katherine McLeod 155

10 Bringhurst in West Coast Book Design and Publishing Scott McIntyre 175

11 Story and Silence Erica Wagner 183

12 Uncovered: An American Iliad Margaret Atwood 188

13 At Land's End: Masterworks of the Classical Haida Mythtellers Nicholas Bradley 194

14 Sgalangáay Díinaa lijang: "This Is My Song" Káawan Sangáa (W.F. Morrison) 224

15 The Reincarnation of Stories Ishmael Hope 227

16 Ursa Major: Polyphony, Myth, Ecology Brent Wood Mark Dickinson 231

Contributors 259

Index 263

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