About this book
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So This Is The World And Here I Am In It is a stunning collection of creative essays by poet and critic Di Brandt. Written over a period of ten years, these essays circle around questions of exile and violence, eros and wildness, land and mentoring, home and language. They are experimental engagements with a lively array of personal and cultural memories, of places ranging from Winnipeg and Windsor to Berlin, Germany, of joyfully unruly characters in Canadian fiction, of the esoteric lives of Mennonites, honeybees, and twins.
“With scintillating brushstrokes, Di Brandt rewrites the ecology of Mennonite relationships to the land, speculates on the hybrid origins of Anabaptists in Europe, and celebrates the survival of traditional ways of knowing in contemporary Canadian literature and culture. These essays, infused with lyrical passion, will not only inspire new ways of seeing her subjects, but offer, in their radical re-vision of past and present, hope for finding new ways of being whole.”
“A lovely, lovely piece of work filled with wisdom and intelligence and insight and erudition and pain and compassion and love, love for her people, love for the world, for life itself. A valuable document from a true-blue, born-and-bred Manitoba intellectual. I didn’t want it to end.”
“The languages of love and mourning lie at the heart of this book. Di Brandt’s energetic critical readings of Canadian literary texts lie embedded within a compelling confessional drama of exile that grounds her work. Brandt entices her reader along paths of desire she traces between the worldly world she occupies as poet and critic, and the wild, lost world of her beloved Mennonite past.”
"Brandt celebrates peasant ways with passion and eloquence.… Anyone interested in Anabaptist history, Mennonite identity, or ethnicity will find Brandt’s work moving at times, at others wildly strange."
"Throughout the book, Brandt’s writing does much for the reader as they are swept up by her words.… Readers will encounter richness and strength, precise criticism and humor in Brandt’s compelling creative prose."
"When Di Brandt speaks about poetry and its political dimensions, people listen, sometimes with their mouths agape… her prairie consciousness offers a lyric humanity tempered by a naked despair over the possible loss of the land to a postindustrialized culture.”