Sorry, we’re Canadian

Harris once asked, “I don’t know what moved us.” He meant, I think, that he couldn’t put his finger on that last indefinable something. I said, “Something in the air moved us. The artist just up and does something about it without knowing what it was exactly about. It was a genuinely Canadian thing. The Group of Seven caught and reflected the nationalism in the air.” I said further to Harris, “It’s a northern people with a northern country and we had to come to terms with it.” Harris said, “I didn’t see it that way.” And I remarked, “No—you’re Canadian.”

Arthur Lismer, journal entry reprinted by John McLeish in September Gale (Dent, 1955).

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Bruce Wishart
Whimsies. Sometimes about writing.
Sometimes about folklore. Sometimes
about the sea, or life on the coast.
And sometimes not.