Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 32 > Page 45 - Book Reviews: Genius at Work

Page 45 - Book Reviews: Genius at Work

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/8/1 (312 reads)

ter Skye Collection. All of the tunes have Gaelic titles, the great majority of which were original? ly associated with them. There is a strong empha? sis on vocal airs and both these and many of the fiddle tunes will be familiar to Cape Breton Gaels. Each item is supplied with end-notes often as not listing Fraser's source, or the composer of the song or tune. The notes also give fascinating glimpses into other areas as diverse as old dances and Highland history; there are a good number of song-airs generated by the '45. Simon Eraser's second volume, named after his son Angus Fraser, is due to be published in the near future. The Skye Collection and The Simon Fraser Collec? tion combined will present Highland music in a va? riety and depth which will certainly delight those who are concerned with the musical aspects of a re? markable culture. THE SKYE COLLECTION, by Keith Norman MacDonald ($14.95) and THE AIRS AND MELODIES PECULIAR TO THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND AND THE ISLES, edited by Captn. S. Fraser ($19.95 hard; $12.95 quality pa? perback) , each reproduced from original editions by Paul S. Cranford, are available from Paul Cran? ford, Box 1654, Sydney, N.S. Canada BlP 6T7 Genius at Work If we're not careful, Alexander Graham Bell will become more and more gddllke, and his life (and thus his example) will become something less and less capable of being emulated by the rest of us. Happily, a book like Genius at Work: Images of Al? exander Graham Bell by Dorothy Harley Eber helps keep that from happening. This is a popular book devoted particularly to Bell's Cape Breton years. While a number of people who worked and lived in the vicinity of Bell offer a few paragraphs, the bulk of the portrait, either quoted or paraphrased, depends heavily on the memory of just one person, Mayme Morrison Brown. It makes for a chatty, often funny book. I particularly love the idea of this man naked in the Cape Breton summer, out for a swim or a hike and losing his clothing. I think he was a lot "crazier" than the local community or his biographers have yet let us know • daring, as he Insisted we should, to "leave the beaten path and dive into the woods." Of course, it took him down a lot of dead ends. But I cherish what it left us: including unheard-of shapes in the Cape Breton skies and on the water, a variety of exper? iments, and an example of family we do not often see. And through it all. Bell does seem to glow out of most of the photographs. Well, the white beard does it, I suppose, and the wonderful woolen clothing • as the 19th century finally exhausts it? self on the shores of Red Head, and with it the be? lief (and today the reminder) of one man's capabil? ity, the power of human observation, the belief in progress. This is a light book with a useful and often enter? taining overview of Bell's career. I hope it will serve to draw people closer to Bell, and encourage others to dig even more deeply into the enormous a- mount of material he left behind. Rather than a souvenir of the Bell Museum in Baddeck, I think this book will serve more as a tease to draw peo? ple closer to the collections there. Genius at Work is a well-made book, briskly writ? ten, containing many of the photographs visitors to the museum have wished they could take home. To these are added photos we've never seen before, such as Notman's very fine views of Baddeck, snaps from Mabel's album, and the terrific picture of Bell and Mabel and the tetrahedral kite frame • for retrieving that instant in time, captured for us, we should be forever grateful to Dorothy Eber. GENIUS AT WORK: IMAGES OF ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL by Dorothy Harley Eber. McClelland and Stewart Lim? ited. $22.50. ISLE OF SKYE AVAILABLE NOW to readers of Cape Breton's Magazine for the FIRST TIME The Full Colour--Gaelic/English 1983 Isle of Skye Calendar with views of Skye ~ the ideal gift for lovers of Skye and Gaelic ~ For your air mail postpaid copy, please send CAN $8.95 to:-- Dept. "C. B.," Skye Photographic, Broadford, Isle of Skye, Scotland Three Locations in your area ROBIN Cheticamp Main Store 224-2022 Inverness 258-2241 Cheticamp Furniture Store 224-2434 YOUR FAVORITE SHOPPING CENTRE FOR ALL YOUR NEEDS. Founded in I7<66. HOBBY HUT The Knitting St Craft Shop 204 Commercial St., North Sydney, N. S. Tel. l'i'-im • Pure Wool & Synthetic Yarns • Knitting Needles & Patterns • Crewel & Needlepoint Canvases • Artists' Supplies • Locally Made Ceramics & Knitted Items -__ (45)
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