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The hero of this book was working in a coal mine at age twelve. Despite his lack of education, he pulled himself up to become a highly successful businessman. There is something quintessentially heroic about defying the hopeless hand one was dealt . . . and turning it into straight aces. The fact that our hero John lost it all on another gamble just makes him more truly human and fragile. "From pride, from greed, he fell anew; by woman's wiles was pierced through. Like Icarus, he flew too high and tried too hard to touch the sky."
Take an unusual and wry look at the mass media by joining an industry insider who recalls the high and low points of an almost forty-year career.Alan J. Yates, a media professional and academic, dissects the media business as a consumer, theorist, and participant. He observes that we tend to be literate when it comes to information technology but often illiterate regarding media process and impact.As Yates looks back over his career, he shares personal anecdotes and lessons learned on the front lines of the business. He also examines a multitude of issues, including: various connotations of the truth; ways to improve the training of media professionals; strategies to break into the news business and further your career.The physical nature and infrastructure of the media constantly changes, and as technology becomes faster, smaller, and handier, the media can begin to have insidious influences. Yates emphasizes the importance of knowing what to guard against in this fast-changing world.Whether you are an observer of the media, a participant, or a student, in " Mirror Images " you'll find an honest assessment of the media's history, future, and impact on the world.
Flickerings is not just an unusual and multi-faceted collection of the author's poetry. While he uses the poetry form to tackle often disturbing themes, such as the search for the meaning of life, death among family and friends and even large social issues such as consumerism and the environment, he does so with delicacy, wry humour and, through, a love of the musicality of the 'language' of poetry. Nor is this anthology of his works by theme a mere collection of different thematic topics, poetic forms and structures, but it offers a discussion of the medium of poetry itself. Yates has an extensive background in the communications field and has written for print and broadcasting, as well as teaching Communications and writing. In an introduction to the collection, he attempts to define the medium of poetry, both as an art form and as a medium of communication. As he puts it, not every writer can write deathless and beautiful prose..."so, sometimes, especially in moments of personal indulgence, some of us write poetry instead. For, in poetry, there are no holds barred. Mystery is the staple of the medium and music is the staff on which it is most often written...there is hardly any point in resorting to the poetic form if the result just looks and sounds like a shipwrecked fragment from a novel. What the poem can-and too rarely does- is to convey a subject or experience more lyrically, perhaps less explicitly and, ideally, in a nutshell. The poem should also have the potential to produce resonances or recognitions in the reader about similar ideas or experiences...and, failing such recognition, the reader can at least enjoy the mystery and the music..." And he concludes, "...prose is most often concerned with the denotative and explicit, while poetry relies more on the connotative and implicit...delving into the inner dimension...the more private and mysterious one of the senses themselves-of the 'mindscape,' if you wish." This, the author illustrates with his anthology and, especially, with the poem "Flickerings," from which the book takes its title.
Turn, Mill, Turn recounts the cautionary tale of author Alan J. Yates's bid to restore a mill in southwestern France. We all have our dreams-our castles in the sky. Some of them have been harbored for a long time in the deepest recesses of the soul. Most of these dreams may never be fulfilled. During the long, cold Canadian winters, Yates dreamed of resting his weary bones in a sleepy little village in southwestern France. He longed to spend his retirement writing in a restored water mill, inspired by Schubert Lieder and romantic literature. Fluent in French after living for two decades in Quebec, Yates set out to realize his dream. He expected to blend seamlessly into French rural culture. But things don't always go as planned, and his long-pursued dream turned into a nightmare of bureaucracy, escalating costs, outrageous local characters, gossip-mongering, and outright bigotry. What should have had all the makings of an enchanting Year in Provence turned into a bitter, yet hilarious introduction to French rural life closer to a contemporary but outsider's version of Chevalier's classic satire on French village life, Clochemerle-les-Bains.
W.O. Mitchell's "Jake & The Kid" captivated radio audiences in the days before television and enjoyed ratings that rivalled those for the radio broadcasts of the CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada." These homespun tales about the hired hand, Jake Trumper and his sidekick, The Kid, explored very human stories about life on the often cruel Prairies of Saskatchewan in a humorous vein that made a household name for the series across the breadth of Canada. Although he wrote many novels, most notably " Who Has Seen the Wind," featured during the ceremonies at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Mitchell was as well known for these folksy plays. They enabled him to hone his writing craft in a mass medium, when few other outlets were available; to tackle social issues of the day with a light hand, and to develop many of the themes he would explore in his later novels. This study analyzes these popular radio plays, their Prairie and literary roots, the production process and their contribution and critical reception.
"The work explores the notion that we are all perceptually branded by the experiences and milieu of early childhood. The author illustrates this with tales set in his native Edinburgh, Scotland during the 1940s and 1950s. Through a series of adventures and misadventures, the young protagonist makes discoveries about life and people, ranging from the inconsistencies and contradictions of adult behavior to learning about mortality. In one episode, the young lad is tricked into having his tonsils removed. As he grows older, he learns about betrayal by adults and authority figures. Poems that reinforce each of these learning themes introduce each chapter and the use of local dialect sharpens the sense of location and social milieu. Exploring the universal themes of the innocence of childhood, Figs of the Imagination illustrates how much we are a product of the formative years and how these key life experiences prepare children to become adults."
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