Robert Bringhurst

Robert Bringhurst is a poet, typographer, translator, book designer, and linguist, well known for his award-winning translations of the Haida storytellers Skaay and Ghandl, and for his translations of the early Greek philosopher-poet Parmenides. His manual The Elements of Typographic Style has itself been translated into ten languages and is now one of the world’s most influential texts on typographic design. Bringhurst lives on Quadra Island, off the British Columbia coast.

A Story as Sharp as a Knife
Authors:
Robert Bringhurst
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

A seminal collection of Haida myths and legends; now in a gorgeous new package.

The linguist and ethnographer John Swanton took dictation from the last great Haida-speaking storytellers, poets and historians from the fall of 1900 through the summer of 1901. Together they created a great treasury of Haida oral literature in written form.

Having worked for many years with these century-old manuscripts, linguist and poet Robert Bringhurst brings both rigorous scholarship and a literary voice to the English translation of John Swanton's careful work. He sets the stories in a rich context that reaches out to dozens of native oral literatures and to myth-telling traditions around the globe.

Attractively redesigned, this collection of First Nations oral literature is an important cultural record for future generations of Haida, scholars and other interested readers. It won the Edward Sapir Prize, awarded by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, and it was chosen as the Literary Editor's Book of the Year by the Times of London.

Bringhurst brings these works to life in the English language and sets them in a context just as rich as the stories themselves one that reaches out to dozens of Native American oral literatures, and to mythtelling traditions around the world.

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$24.95

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Nine Visits to the Mythworld
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;

In the Fall of 1900, a young American anthropologist named John Swanton arrived in the Haida country, on the Northwest Coast of North America, intending to learn everything he could about Haida mythology. He spent the next ten months phonetically transcribing several thousand pages of myths, stories, histories and songs in the Haida language. Swanton met a number of fine mythtellers during his year in the Haida country. Each had his own style and his own repertoire. Two of them -- a blind man in his fifties by the name of Ghandl, and a crippled septuagenarian named Skaay -- were artists of extraordinary stature, revered in their own communities and admired ever since by the few specialists aware of their great legacy.

Nine Visits to the Mythworld includes all the finest works of one of these master mythtellers. In November 1900, when Ghandl dictated these nine stories, the Haida world lay in ruins. Wave upon wave of smallpox and other diseases, rapacious commercial exploitation by fur traders, whalers and miners, and relentless missionization by the church had taken a huge toll on Haida culture. Yet in the blind poet's mind, the great tradition lived, and in his voice it comes alive. Robert Bringhurst's eloquent and vivid translations of these works are supplemented by explanatory notes that supply the needed background information, and by photographs of masterworks of Haida visual art, in which the stories Ghandl tells are given potent visual form.

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Out of Print
The Raven Steals the Light
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;

Ten masterful, complex drawings by Bill Reid are accompanied by ten episodes from Haida mythology told by Bill Reid and Robert Bringhurst. The result brings Haida art and mythology alive as never before in an English-speaking world. The collection includes, says Reid, "a good selection of bestiality, adultery, violence, thievery and assault, for those who like that sort of thing."

Additional Information
112 pages | 6.13" x 8.44"

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$14.95

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This is What They Say
Format: Paperback

An astonishing story cycle from one of the unsung heroes of Native Canadian literature

Dictated first in 1928 at Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, in the Chipewyan language, by François Mandeville, these stories were then transcribed by the Chinese linguist Li Fang-Kuei. They lay dormant in his notebooks for nearly half a century until they resurfaced in Taipei in 1976. Now, at last, Ron Scollon, pre-eminent linguist and one of the original translators, has returned to the texts to make this new, colloquial English version.

Chipewyan is one of the many Northern Athapaskan languages, spoken in Alaska and western Canada. No other work of Northern Athapaskan literature has the power and range of Mandeville’s cycle of stories, and no other work in any language gives such a rich picture of traditional life and thought in the Northern Athapaskan world.

Suggested Grades: 10-12
ABPBC

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Out of Print
Corbeau vole la lumiere
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;

Avant qu’il y ait quoi que ce soit au monde, avant que les eaux recouvrent tout puis se retirent, avant qu’il y ait sur la terre des animaux, dans l’air des oiseaux, dans la mer des poissons, des baleines et des phoques, il y avait un vieil homme qui vivait dans une maison, au bord d’une rivière, avec son unique enfant, une fille. Qu’elle soit belle comme les branches du sapin ciguë sur un ciel de printemps au lever du soleil ou laide comme une limace de mer est à vrai dire de peu d’importance dans cette histoire qui se passe à peu près complètement dans l’obscurité. »

C’est toute la richesse de la mythologie haïda qui éclate dans l’œuvre Corbeau vole la lumière. À travers les mésaventures cocasses mais néanmoins profondes de Corbeau le filou, on découvre des récits à la fois poignants et pittoresques, dans un monde où les animaux parlent, où les rêves deviennent réalité, où les monstres et les hommes vivent côte à côte. Au-delà d’un échantillonnage de violence, de roublardise et de vindicte, c’est tout un monde où règnent l’amour et la communication entre les espèces qui se révèle à nous.

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$19.95

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