Time in Between /|
In this collection, inspired by the cultural critics Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno, Hildebrandt invites the reader to interrogate the cultural constructs that surround us and to participate in their remaking. On his pages, floating, scattered words — fly, swim — inviting interventions, new combinations. His language is incantatory, reminding us, through the ghosts it summons up, of our collective suffering, of the degradation of lives dedicated to an economic system that dehumanizes everything on which it feeds. Yet amid the squalor of the present there are redemptive moments — visual rhythms and festivals. The constellations created in his poetry eschew linearity and defy classifications, continually drawing attention to the instability of language and to the alternative of Adorno’s non-identity thinking. Above the words, the Raven hovers, searching for a way through, a path from “this time in between,” this “ideological winter,” into the future.
The Time In Between/Adorno’s Daemons, Walter Hildebrandt juxtaposes the
present and the past: today’s obliteration of individualism, “the
loss of souls,” their “sale,” and the takeover of a mass culture
hostile to the needs of the individual, ideological and otherwise, and the atrocities
of history. Captivating allusions to cultural and literary icons embedded in these
engaging narrative poems accompany Hildebrandt’s profound look at various
social, political, and philosophical institutions. Even as he lays bare “the
mechanization of life” and the ensuing injustice and “barbarism”
in a world dominated by superficial binaries, compassion for humanity remains
at the heart of his critical query.
Historian and poet Walter Hildebrant was born in Brooks, Alberta and now lives in Edmonton. He has worked as an historian for Parks Canada and as a consultant to the Treaty 7 Tribal Council, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and the Banff Bow Valley Task Force. He is co-author of The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty 7 and The Cypress Hills: The Land and Its People, and author of Views From Battleford: Constructed Visions of an Anglo-Canadian West. His long poem Sightings was nominated for the 1992 McNally-Robinson Book of the Year for Manitoba. His book Where the Land Gets Broken won the Stephen G. Stephensson Award for Poetry in 2005. He is presently the Director of the Athabasca University Press. This is his seventh book of poetry.
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