Crossing the Plains with Bruno by Annick Smith (review)

Crossing the Plains with Bruno by Annick Smith (review) Boelte quotes from Douwe Draaisma's Metaphors of Memory: "With each new metaphor we place a different filter in front of our perception of memory" (63). Fog is Boelte's metaphor, and as a metaphor it finally does offer some perspective, self-knowledge, and relief--although uncovering scientific facts about weather patterns, the jet stream, and geography cannot alleviate sadness or reveal truth. By juxtaposing chapters about fog and accounts of conversations with childhood friends, by interweaving research with memoir, Boelte skillfully, often lyrically, recreates a state of mind that must be familiar to readers who, long after the conventional grieving period is over, seek ways to confront loss, unanswered questions, and the uneasiness that accompanies forgetting. When I first read The Beautiful Unseen, I felt it left too much unsaid. I expected less about fog, more about such issues as suicide or the impact of a young person's death on a family. However, returning to the book for this review and reflecting further on what it does set out to accomplish, I think it has said exactly enough, and said it well. Kathleen Boardman University of Nevada, Reno Annick Smith, Crossing the Plains with Bruno. San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 2015. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Western American Literature The Western Literature Association

Crossing the Plains with Bruno by Annick Smith (review)

Western American Literature, Volume 51 (2) – Aug 27, 2016

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Publisher
The Western Literature Association
Copyright
Copyright © The Western Literature Association
ISSN
1948-7142
Publisher site
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Abstract

Boelte quotes from Douwe Draaisma's Metaphors of Memory: "With each new metaphor we place a different filter in front of our perception of memory" (63). Fog is Boelte's metaphor, and as a metaphor it finally does offer some perspective, self-knowledge, and relief--although uncovering scientific facts about weather patterns, the jet stream, and geography cannot alleviate sadness or reveal truth. By juxtaposing chapters about fog and accounts of conversations with childhood friends, by interweaving research with memoir, Boelte skillfully, often lyrically, recreates a state of mind that must be familiar to readers who, long after the conventional grieving period is over, seek ways to confront loss, unanswered questions, and the uneasiness that accompanies forgetting. When I first read The Beautiful Unseen, I felt it left too much unsaid. I expected less about fog, more about such issues as suicide or the impact of a young person's death on a family. However, returning to the book for this review and reflecting further on what it does set out to accomplish, I think it has said exactly enough, and said it well. Kathleen Boardman University of Nevada, Reno Annick Smith, Crossing the Plains with Bruno. San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 2015.

Journal

Western American LiteratureThe Western Literature Association

Published: Aug 27, 2016

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