May 4 - St. Vincent de Paul

Loitering about downtown led me into the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store, in search of a chairside table that can hold books with the proper sense of authority. No luck on the table, but waiting impatiently for it are:
  • Paul Colinvaux, Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare: An Ecologist's Perspective ($2)
  • Jamie Dopp, On the Other Hand ($1)
  • R.C. Hosie, Native Trees of Canada ($2 -- great reference)
  • J.W. Grant MacEwan, A Short History of Western Canada (50 cents)
  • Birk Sproxton, Headframe: ($1.50)
  • Hendrik Willem Van Loon, Van Loon's Geography: The Story of the World We Live In ($2 -- bought initially for Rob, who collects Van Loon, but it turns out he already had this one, out of sequence on his shelf, thus rendering the confirmatory phone call useless)
  • ed. Reginald Eyre Watters, British Columbia: A Centennial Anthology (75 cents)
Sproxton passed away earlier this year, fairly young, and it had a heavy effect on those who knew him. I didn't know him, in fact I'd never read his work, but I know and trust some who did know him, and their encomia made me want to read what sounded like impressively regionalist stuff. Some fiction, some poems, some essays, some unclassifiable pieces are in Headframe:, and yes, the colon is part of the title. The rear cover indicates that after the colon comes this subtitle:
  • Being a Flin Flon Book with crowbars, a novel, a navel, a raven, hammers and shovels, two fish stories (in divers forms), three jokes, a puck, rink rats, four players playing, and Featuring a carnival with guest appearances by promoters, prospectors, trappers, and suckers, as well as sundry rogues and rascals, and concluding WITH TAILINGS (which contain m/ore to be mined), etc.
Methinks Mr. Sproxton knew his seventeenth- and eighteenth-century publishing history. I look forward to it (though I don't know that it needed to open with poetry from the point of view of a masturbating teenager whose father is banging on the bathroom door -- but I'm a prude).


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