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 Post subject: No Man's River
PostPosted: April 30th, 2008, 7:19 pm 
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I found an old thread on this forum that for a while turned to a discussion on Francis Harper and Farley Mowat, in reference to Mowat and Harper's writings during their time spent at Windy Post. I have read No Man's River several times, and it is, honestly, one of my favourite books to simply pick up and skip through, reading bits and pieces at leisure. What are your feelings about this book? Apparently there are some dissenting views about its validity.


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PostPosted: April 30th, 2008, 8:54 pm 
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I recently picked up a book called Tundra by Mowat. Actually my wife bought t for me used for $7.

Turns out it is a compilation of Journals from Hearne, Back, McKenzie, Tyrells and more. There is a passage in the prologue that stuck with me.

The foregoing is on no sense an apology for the liberties I have taken with others men's works. It is merely a warning that these selections are to be read for what they are-the moving, sometimes humorous, often tragic accounts of enduring men in conflict. Scholars and those who are interested in the minutiae of history, should go to the original sources.

Mowat has been criticized for stretching the truth but he was obviously aware of the liberties he took and judging by what he said on the Peter Gzowski show (**** the truth) he didn't much care. He much more preferred to tell a good story. And in my opinion he did better than most.


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PostPosted: May 1st, 2008, 8:52 am 
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Mowat has been criticized for stretching the truth but he was obviously aware of the liberties he took and judging by what he said on the Peter Gzowski show


I haven't read anything by him since he was on CBC radio swearing that he had seen sea monsters in Lake Ontario, from his home in Port Hope. It may have been on the Peter Gzowski show, too.

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PostPosted: May 1st, 2008, 12:04 pm 
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haven't read anything by him since he was on CBC radio swearing that he had seen sea monsters in Lake Ontario, from his home in Port Hope. It may have been on the Peter Gzowski show, too.


And you haven't???? :o

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PostPosted: May 1st, 2008, 1:22 pm 
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And you haven't????


I haven't been as drunk as he's been... that's what you were referring to, right???

:wink:

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PostPosted: May 1st, 2008, 4:34 pm 
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double :o

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Last edited by Watersong on May 1st, 2008, 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: May 1st, 2008, 4:34 pm 
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I love old Fartley....this country needs more like him. The Americans embelish their history to the point it is unrecognizable... but we know more about IT than we do our own. Farley Mowat and Pierre Berton have done great things for our history...but all they ever get is grief. Who will take their place, now that Pierre is gone, and Farley ( I'm sure) is soon to follow....?

BTW, have you seen the display of his canoe and the poem "Consecon" at the canoe museum? A fitting tribute, I think.

My Grandfather worked at the Canadian Bank of Commerce in Consecon in after WW1.....( It's in Prince Edward County)

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PostPosted: May 1st, 2008, 5:05 pm 
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Watersong wrote:
I love old Fartley....


Him and Grapes, your two fav Canadians. Like him or not Don Cherry is a historian in his own right.

Mowat's writing style is what I like so much. He uses the entire english language in every book and I have never read anything by him that hasn't left me in awe of or fantasizing about a place or time or both.


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PostPosted: May 1st, 2008, 5:20 pm 
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Have you read "And No Birds Sang"? Great read, if not taken as literal history following the Army up thru 'the soft underbelly of Europe"

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PostPosted: May 1st, 2008, 6:21 pm 
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Way back when, I remember speaking to Father of the Roman Catholic faith in Churchill, Mb. His opinion of Farley was that he never made it further into the barrens than the Hudson Hotel in Churchill......... Maybe just sour grapes on his behalf, I don't know; however, I too enjoy Farley's writings!

R...


Red Lake Rob wrote:
I recently picked up a book called Tundra by Mowat. Actually my wife bought t for me used for $7.

Turns out it is a compilation of Journals from Hearne, Back, McKenzie, Tyrells and more. There is a passage in the prologue that stuck with me.

The foregoing is on no sense an apology for the liberties I have taken with others men's works. It is merely a warning that these selections are to be read for what they are-the moving, sometimes humorous, often tragic accounts of enduring men in conflict. Scholars and those who are interested in the minutiae of history, should go to the original sources.

Mowat has been criticized for stretching the truth but he was obviously aware of the liberties he took and judging by what he said on the Peter Gzowski show (**** the truth) he didn't much care. He much more preferred to tell a good story. And in my opinion he did better than most.


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PostPosted: May 1st, 2008, 7:25 pm 
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My Grandfather used to say, "Don't ruin a good story by sticking too close to the truth". I think Farley is a good example of that axiom. The man has infuriated me over the years with some of his comments and shenanigans but I still read his books and enjoy his storytelling. I throughly enjoyed No Man's River. I too will read and reread it.

Wotrock wrote:
Quote:
Have you read "And No Birds Sang"? Great read, if not taken as literal history following the Army up thru 'the soft underbelly of Europe"


If you enjoyed that book look for an earlier book he wrote about his participation in the second world war called, " The Regiment". It is a more historical account and was the first book I read that told what it was like for the individual Canadian soldier. Farley was in the Hasty "P's" and my Dad was in the sister Regiment the RCR's. Dad never talked about what happened over there so the first I learned of the horrors they faced on a day to day basis was from "The Regiment". One thing no one can take from him is that he served his country well.


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PostPosted: May 2nd, 2008, 9:45 am 
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Years ago, one of the wildlife experts at MNR said that Mowat had falsified information in his book "Never Cry Wolf'... if you are trying to save wolves, I suppose the book has value. OTOH, if you are trying to get at the truth of the matter, that reduces credibility, especially if you are led to believe that what he writes about has some basis in fact, and the experiences he says he went through, actually happened. After that, and the sea monster thing, I never saw ole Farley quite the same way.

Here's the Wikipedia info on this.

Quote:
The Toronto Star has written that Mowat's memoirs are at least partially fictional. In a 1968 interview with CBC Radio, Farley admitted that he doesn't let the facts get in the way of the truth (Canada Reads). Once, when Mowat said that he had spent two summers and a winter studying wolves, the Toronto Star wrote that Mowat had only spent 90 hours studying the wolves. This hurt Mowat's reputation.

An article in the May, 1996 issue of Saturday Night written by John Goddard lays out a somewhat more in-depth criticism of Farley's celebrated works, especially Never Cry Wolf. In an interview during the flap over the article, Mowat admitted that his books are "thinly-veiled fiction".[citation needed] As a result of these persistent and recurring claims, it is difficult to say with authority whether some of Farley's books, billed by many as non-fiction, are just that.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farley_Mowat

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