Roman: From oppressive topicality

Roman: From oppressive topicality

Over the past few months, Canada has been painfully reminded of a dark chapter in its past. Children’s corpses were tracked down several times, hundreds of them. He was reportedly buried anonymously and without leaving any traces on the site of former “residential schools” several years ago. The children of the indigenous tribes should one day be taught here again, the roots cut.

Born in 1955 in northwestern Ontario, Canada, Richard Wagamese knew educational institutions from personal experience. As a member of an indigenous tribe, he was separated from his parents at an early age and grew up in foster families and homes. He has incorporated his experiences and the stories of others into a novel that is oppressively timely, given the news from Canada.

finally in german

The novel is not new at all. On the one hand Wagami died in 2017, on the other hand he published the title in the original “Indian Horse” in 2012. It is thanks to Blessing Verlag, which publishes the author’s work in Germany, that it is also available in German for the first time.

Given the history that Vagames spread here, it is hardly possible to speak of the pleasure of reading in principle. And yet: the novel is of excellent quality, and to the highest degree of precision due to the current context of the reading.

The focus of the novel is Saul, who – like the author – is separated from his family. In one household he meets several fellow fortune-tellers who, under strict guidance, try to make the best use of their situation. Others give up in despair. Saul tries to avoid the ice hockey game. Wagami succeeds here in moments of great intensity, while everyday outbursts are repeatedly caught up in by the bitter reality.

READ  Canadian indigenous people at risk | Politics

But who is the friend here, who is the enemy here? Saul falls into a vortex of sober hope and great disillusionment, as a young man extremely gifted at handling ice hockey sticks, he is permanently exposed to hostility and racism. Never give up? Easier said than done in the harsh world of rejection.

not a stir piece

The great merit of the author is that he did not turn this exemplary story into a compassionately poignant piece, but an amusing, exhilarating story that pointed beyond itself. It can be a starting point for dealing with the fate of the children of indigenous tribes. Canada is once again dealing with it in the most painful way.

While a meeting between indigenous peoples and Pope Francis is planned for the winter – many were house-run by the Catholic Church – and the public heatedly discussed, the first churches in Canada caught fire. The past, as can be seen once again, cannot be buried.

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