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Lowering The Boom
by Myrna Koalash

WHILE IT IS very pleasant to be noticed in your review of Yarmarok (Canadian Institute of Canadian Studies) in the December issue, I cannot allow Norman Sigurdson to get away with the unforgivable error of making me older than I am Having been born in the re doubtable year 1944, 1 do no belong? to that "group of writer born in Canada in the decade or so before the Second World War." Maara Haas and George Ryga are very good company but they are not baby boomers! Furthermore, they belong (or, in Ryga's case, belonged) to the first generation of the Canadian born Ukrainian?Canadian writers, I to the second.

While I'm on the subject, wonder if Di Brandt is aware the lugubrious truth which lie behind her observation ("Letters," December) that, in learning the language of their "adopted countries," the Mennonites learned English in Canada, Spanish in Paraguay, and Russian . . . in Ukraine. As she does not comment on this anomaly, allow me to do so. As a rule, the non?Ukrainian populations of Ukraine (Russians, Germans, Jews, Mennonites) have assimilated to Russian, not

Ukrainian, culture, the former being dominant, the latter suppressed and despised and unable to assure upward social mobility in the Russian empire With the help of glasnost, Ukrainian writers are waging a militant struggle for the retrieval of the Ukrainian language as the language of comunication and discourse among all who live in Ukraine. The parallels with the current linguistic struggles in Quebec are, of course, obvious.


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