Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: The Horsemen

From: Sean Shapiro (
Date: 10 Mar 2009

  • Next message: Sean Shapiro: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Mixed Blood by Roger Smith"

    I haven't read the book in a long time but I seem to remember Richler was referring to his literary hero Isaac Babel who rode horseback for the Reds and said something along the lines of: 'When a Jew mounts a horse he ceases to be a Jew.' The quote sums up the clash between worldly heroics and traditional morality, the culture clash within the protaganist's makeup. The fact that the RCMP rides horses adds another layer to the metaphor. 

    Of course I haven't read the book in years so I might be making this up out of whole cloth. Gives me an excuse to pick it up again.

    Sean Shapiro

    ________________________________ From: "" <> To: Sent: Monday, March 9, 2009 3:45:10 PM Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: The Horsemen

    Yes Sandra, I read it back in the olden days of the 70s, which explains I guess my fading memory. But the snippets that have come back to me suggest that the protagonist fantasized himself as a white-knight Mountie, a symbol perhaps of the integration of St. Urban's ghettoized Jews into mainstream Canadian society. Of course this memory might itself be a flashback from my drug-addled 60s, if only I'd inhaled, but if it is correct then it is my first memory of "horseman" being used in reference to the Mounties.. Are there any other old timers out there with their wits about them still who can verify or dispute this?

    MrT: "Watch out, here come the horsemen!" sounds more like the cavalry in a John Wayne western than something anyone would say about the Mounties.

    Best, Kerry

    ----- Original Message ----- From: jacquesdebierue To: rara-avis-l@ yahoogroups. com Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 1:18 AM Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: The Horsemen

    --- In rara-avis-l@ yahoogroups. com, Sandra Ruttan <sandraruttan@ ...> wrote:
    > Wow - no idea. I'd have to track that down again. But if it is a
    > reference, it validates the idea of it being an outdated term, as I
    > think that was originally out in the early 70s, wasn't it?
    There's a certain poetry to it... Watch out, here come the horsemen!



    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 10 Mar 2009 EDT