Art and Poetry
The Inner Eye
The Idea of North
1. "I was fascinated by the country as such. I flew north from Churchill to Coral Harbour on Southampton Island at the end of September. Snow had begun to fall and the country was partially covered by it ... this flat, flat country frightened me a little, because it just seemed endless ..."
Listen to the excerpt [RM 276 KB]
2. "I always think of the long summer nights, when the snow had melted and the lakes were open and the geese and ducks had started to fly north. During that time the sun would set but, when there was still a last shimmer in the sky, I would walk out to one of those lakes and watch those ducks and geese just flying around peacefully or sitting on the water, and I felt that I was almost part of that country, part of that peaceful surrounding, and I wished that it would never end."
Listen to the excerpt [RM 180 KB]
3. "He's sitting there, away from the madding crowd that's stampeding up and down the aisle and, actually, he's trying to sort of isolate himself because, in fact, shortly he will be isolated for a long period of time in the lonely north..."
Listen to the excerpt [RM 78 KB]
4. "You know what one young fellow told me? He was taking – I forget what he was taking – probably philosophy. He said this was the myth of Sisyphus. Matter of fact, he lisped but I didn't, I think. And the fact is that he had quite a time with it, and here was some wretched – who? King? was it a king? Yes, a king of Greece – Corinth? Well, might have been Corinth, and here he was, rolling this confounded rock up to the top of this precipice, for some reason or other, and then he let gravity take over and it hit the bottom. And then he did the same thing again, no doubt with a larger rock."
Listen to the excerpt [RM 205 KB]
("We're up against this myth, this business of having to do things for no apparent reason...")
5. Some of "the most vivid of my childhood memories ... have to do with churches ... with evening light filtered through stained-glass windows, and with ministers who concluded their benediction with the phrase, 'Lord, give us the peace that the earth cannot give.'" (Glenn Gould in the film Toronto)
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