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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Rudy Wiebe and the historicity of the word 1991

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RUDY WIEBE AND THE HISTORICITY OF THE WORD By PENELOPE VAN TOORN B.A. Hons., U n i v e r s i t y o f Sydney, 1980 M.A. Hons., U n i v e r s i t y of Sydney, 1984 A THESIS. SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f E n g l i s h ) We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 1991 © P e n e l o p e van Toorn, 1991 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of g>0 g^u-l S 1-1 The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date ' 9 9 I DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT "Rudy Wiebe and t h e H i s t o r i c i t y o f t h e Word" a n a l y z e s Wiebe's s i x major n o v e l s p u b l i s h e d t o d a t e : Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many ( 1 9 6 2 ) , F i r s t and V i t a l C a n d l e ( 1 9 6 6 ) , The B l u e Mountains of C h i n a ( 1 9 7 0 ) , The Tem p t a t i o n s o f B i g Bear 1973), The Scorched-Wood P e o p l e (1977), and My L o v e l y Enemy (1983). T r a d i t i o n a l l i t e r a r y c r i t i c a l terms and c o n c e p t s p r o v e i n a p p r o p r i a t e t o Wiebe's work because t h e y i m p l i c i t l y r e i n s t a t e t h e i d e o l o g i c a l p o s t u l a t e s Wiebe c a l l s i n t o q u e s t i o n . T h i s s t u d y t h e r e f o r e employs t h e t h e o r e t i c a l framework d e v e l o p e d by M i k h a i l B a k h t i n and V. N. V o l o i i n o v . The i n t r o d u c t o r y c h a p t e r p r o v i d e s a s y n o p t i c v i e w o f t h e s i x n o v e l s , r e l a t e s Wiebe's a u t h o r i a l o b j e c t i v e s and p r a c t i c e s t o h i s c u l t u r a l and r e l i g i o u s background, s u r v e y s r e l e v a n t c r i t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n s of Wiebe's work, and d e f i n e s t h e c e n t r a l t h e o r e t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s o f B a k h t i n and V o l o s i n o v . C h a p t e r s 2 and 3 d i s c u s s Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many and F i r s t and V i t a l Candle r e s p e c t i v e l y , e s t a b l i s h i n g t h a t a l t h o u g h Wiebe shows c o n s i d e r a b l e i n t e r e s t i n "the d i a l o g i c p r i n c i p l e " a t a t h e m a t i c l e v e l , h i s o v e r t r h e t o r i c a l i n t e n t i o n s p r e v e n t him from r e a l i z i n g t h i s p r i n c i p l e i n h i s w r i t i n g . C h a p t e r s 4 and 5 examine Wiebe's use o f p o l y p h o n i c n a r r a t i v e forms i n The B l u e Mountains o f C h i n a and The Temptations o f B i g Bear. A n a l y s i s of t h e i n t e r - and i n t r a - t e x t u a l p o l i t i c s o f t h e s e two n o v e l s d e m o n s t r a t e s t h a t o v e r t l y d i a l o g i c n a r r a t i v e forms may r e m a i n f u n c t i o n a l l y m o n o l o g i c . C h a p t e r 6 c o n s i d e r s The Scorched-Wood P e o p l e and Wiebe's s t r a t e g y o f embedding v o i c e s w i t h i n o t h e r v o i c e s , a p r a c t i c e w h i c h compounds t h e " i n t e r n a l d i a l o g i z a t i o n " o f t h e p r o s e . C h a p t e r 7 d i s c u s s e s My L o v e l y Enemy as a c h a l l e n g e t o v a r i o u s forms o f a n t i - i m a g i n a t i v e d i s c o u r s e , and t o p r e v a i l i n g n o t i o n s o f a r t i s t i c c r e a t i v i t y . C h a p t e r 8 f o c u s s e s on t h e q u e s t i o n o f t h e provenance o f " v o i c e " and c o n c l u d e s t h a t a l t h o u g h Wiebe's n o v e l s e x p l o i t t h e h i s t o r i c i t y o f t h e W o r d — i n d e e d , o f a l l w o r d s — t h e y a l s o b ear t h e l e g a c y o f a m o n o l o g i c C h r i s t i a n f u n d a m e n t a l i s t model o f language. An App e n d i x e n t i t l e d "The E a r l y H i s t o r y and D o c t r i n e s o f t h e Mennonite Church" d e s c r i b e s Wiebe's d i a l o g u e w i t h Menno Simons' d o c t r i n e s o f t h e Word. TABLE OF CONTENTS A b s t r a c t L i s t o f T a b l e s L i s t of A b b r e v i a t i o n s C h apter 1: I n t r o d u c t i o n Notes t o Chapter 1 Chapter 2: Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many Notes t o Chapter 2 Chapter 3: F i r s t and V i t a l Candle Notes t o Chapter 3 Chapter 4: The B l u e Mountains of C h i n a Notes t o Chapter 4 Chapter 5: The Temptations o f B i g Bear Notes t o Chapter 5 Chapter 6: The Scorched-Wood P e o p l e Notes t o Chapter 6 Chapter 7: My L o v e l y Enemy Notes t o Chapter 7 C h a p t e r 8 : C o n c l u s i o n Notes t o Chapter 8 Appendix Notes t o Appendix B i b l i o g r a p h y : L i s t of Works C i t e d A d d i t i o n a l R e f e r e n c e s V LIST OF TABLES Tab l e I : B a k h t i n ' s C l a s s i f i c a t o r y System 29-30 . LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS PPM Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many FVC F i r s t and V i t a l Candle BMC The B l u e Mountains of C h i n a TBB The Temptations o f B i g Bear WVCF Where I s The V o i c e Coming From? SWP The Scorched-Wood P e o p l e AC A l b e r t a : A C e l e b r a t i o n MLE My L o v e l y Enemy RWP The Rudy Wiebe Papers MBH The Mennonite B r e t h r e n H e r a l d VL A V o i c e i n t h e Land: Essays By and About Rudy Wiebe. Ed. W. J . K e i t h . 1 INTRODUCTION I T h i s s t u d y examines t h e s i x major n o v e l s o f t h e Canadian Mennonite w r i t e r , Rudy Wiebe, i n t h e l i g h t o f t h e o r e t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s d e r i v e d p r i m a r i l y from M i k h a i l B a k h t i n and V. N. V o l o s i n o v . I n each o f t h e s i x t e x t s c o n s i d e r e d — P e a c e S h a l l D e s t r o y Many (1962), F i r s t and V i t a l Candle (1966), The B l u e M o u n t a i n s o f C h i n a ( 1 9 7 0 ) , The Temptations o f B i g Bear ( 1 9 7 3 ) , The Scorched-Wood P e o p l e (1977) and Mv L o v e l y Enemy ( 1 9 8 3 ) — W i e b e e x p l o r e s e x p e r i e n c e s o f h i s t o r i c a l t r a n s i t i o n on a t h r e s h o l d between c u l t u r e s where i n d i v i d u a l s a r e exposed t o a m u l t i p l i c i t y o f competing v e r b a l and i d e o l o g i c a l i n f l u e n c e s . Many v o i c e s , s o c i a l d i a l e c t s and n a t i o n a l languages i n t e r s e c t i n t h e minds o f a l l Wiebe's c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r s . More i m p o r t a n t , a p l u r a l i t y o f v o i c e s , d i a l e c t s and languages engage c o m b a t i v e l y w i t h one a n o t h e r i n t h e a r e n a o f t h e t e x t . V e r i s i m i l i t u d e r e q u i r e s t h a t Wiebe's t e x t s be l i n g u i s t i c a l l y mixed. However, m i m e t i c t h e o r y o f f e r s o n l y l i m i t e d i n s i g h t s i n t o t h e complex f u n c t i o n s o f , and r e l a t i o n s between, t h e languages Wiebe employs. B a k h t i n and V o l o S i n o v o f f e r a 2 framework o f i d e a s t h a t f a c i l i t a t e s a n a l y s i s o f t h e m u l t i - v o i c e d n e s s o f Wiebe's n o v e l s and i l l u m i n a t e s t h e c o r r e l a t i o n between Wiebe's a u t h o r i a l s t r a t e g i e s and h i s r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l v a l u e s . P r i n c i p l e s f o r m u l a t e d by B a k h t i n and Volo§inov make i t p o s s i b l e t o d e m o n s t r a t e t h a t a l t h o u g h Wiebe r e c o r d s h i s t o r y from t h e p o i n t o f v i e w o f s o c i e t i e s s u b j u g a t e d by v a r i o u s forms o f i m p e r i a l i s m , he adopts t h e s t r a t e g i e s o f an i m p e r i a l i s t i c power when i t comes t o u s i n g l a n g u a g e . Wiebe c o n s c i o u s l y p a r t i c i p a t e s i n t h e v e r b a l - i d e o l o g i c a l s t r u g g l e he d e p i c t s . He a p p r o p r i a t e s t h e a u t h o r i t y and s e m a n t i c w e a l t h d i s c o u r s e s " p o p u l a t e d w i t h t h e s o c i a l i n t e n t i o n s o f o t h e r s " ( B a k h t i n 1981, 300), and endeavours t o s u b o r d i n a t e them t o h i s own m o r a l , s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l and i d e o l o g i c a l o b j e c t i v e s . II Wiebe's a r t i s t i c development i s c h a r a c t e r i s e d by d r a m a t i c s h i f t s o f n a r r a t i v e f o c u s , and by e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n w i t h a v a r i e t y o f s t y l e s and i n n o v a t i v e n a r r a t i v e forms. At t h e same t i m e , however, Wiebe's t h e m a t i c i n t e r e s t s , h i s c h a r a c t e r - t y p e s and h i s u n d e r l y i n g p l o t - s t r u c t u r e s a l t e r v e r y l i t t l e . When Wiebe r e f l e c t s i n Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many on t h e i n v i o l a b i l i t y o f Thorn Wiens' b a s i c b e l i e f s , he might w e l l be d e s c r i b i n g h i m s e l f and h i s own oeuvr e ; Even i f t h e answer grew more c o m p l i c a t e d , . . . i t c o u l d never b a s i c a l l y change, f o r t h e b a s i c answers were known.... D e s p i t e t h e v a r y i n g p a t h s he cho s e , he always a r r i v e d a t t h e same u l t i m a t e p o i n t . (16, 18) B a k h t i n ' s d i s t i n c t i o n between " m o n o g l o s s i c " and " p o l y g l o s s i c " ( o r " h e t e r o g l o s s i c " ) s o c i e t i e s 1 makes i t p o s s i b l e t o v i e w t h e p l o t s o f Wiebe's n o v e l s as v a r i a n t s o f a s i n g l e paradigm. B a k h t i n d i f f e r e n t i a t e s between c l o s e d , s i n g l e - t o n g u e d s o c i e t i e s , w h i c h p e r c e i v e t h e i r own language as t h e o n l y one c a p a b l e o f r e a l i z i n g " a l l t h e r e i s t o know about t h e w o r l d " ( B a k h t i n 1981, 4 5 ) ; and open, many-tongued s o c i e t i e s w h i c h presume n e i t h e r t h a t t h e i r language i s i n t e r n a l l y u n i f i e d nor t h a t i t o f f e r s t h e o n l y v a l i d means of v e r b a l l y r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e w o r l d . A l t h o u g h the. s u b j e c t m a t t e r o r c o n t e n t o f Wiebe's s t o r i e s d i f f e r s g r e a t l y a t a s u p e r f i c i a l l e v e l , B a k h t i n ' s d i s t i n c t i o n b r i n g s i n t o f o c u s t h e s i n g l e , u n d e r l y i n g p a t t e r n t o w h i c h Wiebe's p l o t s i n v a r i a b l y conform. Whether w r i t i n g about Mennonites o r M e t i s , I n n u i t o r N a t i v e I n d i a n s , Wiebe i s i n t r i g u e d by t h a t c r u c i a l moment when t h e b o u n d a r i e s o f a c l o s e d community d i s a p p e a r , and a m o n o g l o s s i c s o c i e t y f i n d s i t s e l f s u d d e n l y exposed t o t h e p l u r a l i t y o f a u t h o r i t a t i v e " o t h e r " v o i c e s w h i c h v i e f o r dominance i n t h e w i d e r s o c i a l w o r l d . Wiebe e s t a b l i s h e s t h e paradigm i n C h a p t e r One of Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many, as t h e Canadian w a r - p l a n e s p e n e t r a t e t h e narrow h o r i z o n o f W a p i t i . In F i r s t and V i t a l C a n d l e , t h e I n n u i t o f T y r e l Bay, and t h e Ojibwa o f F r o z e n Lake (whose s p i r i t u a l d i s o r i e n t a t i o n r e f l e c t s t h a t o f Abe Ross, who has f l e d from h i s a u t h o r i t a r i a n f a t h e r ) a r e a l s o v i s i t e d by t h e C a n a d i a n a i r - f o r c e , as w e l l as by o t h e r W h i t e Canadian . c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , such as s c h o o l s , banks, and m i s s i o n s . F o r Jakob F r i e s e n V i n The B l u e M o u n t a i n s o f C h i n a , t h e Communist r e v o l u t i o n o b l i t e r a t e s a l l m o r a l and r e l i g i o u s f o r m u l a e imposed by h i s p a r e n t s , w h i l e i n The T e m p t a t i o n s o f B i g Bear and The Scorched-Wood P e o p l e , numerous m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f t h e "White Grandmother's" v o i c e i n v a d e t h e l i v e s o f t h e N a t i v e I n d i a n s and M e t i s o f t h e C a n a d i a n West. In My L o v e l y Enemy. Wiebe's s o c i a l p u r v i e w n a r r o w s , b u t t h e pattern-''remains f u n d a m e n t a l l y i n t a c t : when G i l l i a n O v e r t o n i n v a d e s t h e body-space o f t h e monogamous James Dyck, t h e b o u n d a r i e s o f t h e n u c l e a r f a m i l y d i s a p p e a r , t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e myth o f any " s i n g l e s i m p l i c i t y " (MLE 133) i n l a n g u a g e . The b o u n d a r i e s o f t h e c l o s e d m o n o g l o s s i c s o c i e t y d i s a p p e a r i n Wiebe's s t o r i e s as a r e s u l t o f v a r i o u s forms o f c o l o n i z a t i o n . Because Wiebe v i e w s language as "an a c t u a l way o f l o o k i n g a t t h e w o r l d " (Neuman 236), he draws a t t e n t i o n t o t h e r o l e p l a y e d by language i n a l l p r o c e s s e s o f i d e o l o g i c a l and p o l i t i c a l c o l o n i z a t i o n . Images of s i g n s — v e r b a l and non- 5 v e r b a l — c r o w d a l l o f Wiebe's t e x t s . Language f u n c t i o n s not o n l y as a medium b u t a l s o as an o b j e c t o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . I n each o f t h e s i x t e x t s c o n s i d e r e d , Wiebe d r a m a t i s e s i m p e r i a l i s m as a wave o f a l i e n v o i c e s and languages p e n e t r a t i n g g e o g r a p h i c a l t e r r i t o r i e s and human minds, e r a d i c a t i n g o r a p p r o p r i a t i n g whatever d i s c o u r s e s have h i t h e r t o e n j o y e d dominance. The i n v a d i n g s o c i e t y announces i t s a r r i v a l by making " d r e a d f u l sounds w h i c h no one has e v e r heard b e f o r e " (MLE 158), and by i n s c r i b i n g c o n s p i c u o u s s i g n s o f i t s p r e s e n c e everywhere on t h e p h y s i c a l l a n d s c a p e . A t c r u c i a l , h i g h l y s y m b o l i c i m p e r i a l moments i n Wiebe's n a r r a t i v e s , a l o u d , f o r e i g n v o i c e o r sound drowns out a f a m i l i a r l o c a l sound, o r an a l i e n form o f w r i t i n g e f f a c e s a s c r i p t t r a d i t i o n a l t o a p a r t i c u l a r p l a c e . The r o a r o f f i g h t e r p l a n e s b l o c k s o u t t h e sound o f Thorn Wiens' p l o u g h s c r a p i n g t h r o u g h t h e e a r t h ; t h e m e t a l l i c c l a n g i n g and s c r e e c h i n g o f t h e CPR drowns out t h e v o i c e s o f B i g Bear's a n c e s t o r s a t O l d Wives Lake; Canadian A i r F o r c e j e t s l a y vapour t r a i l s on t h e c l e a r s k y above F r o z e n L a k e ; and government s u r v e y o r s c a r v e i m a g i n a r y g r i d l i n e s a c r o s s M e t i s houses and gardens a t Red R i v e r . Through c o n c r e t e a u r a l and v i s u a l images such as t h e s e , Wiebe r e i f i e s an o n g o i n g , u n d e c l a r e d , " o t h e r w a r " — a b a t t l e of v o i c e a g a i n s t v o i c e , t r u t h a g a i n s t t r u t h — w h i c h o f f i c i a l h i s t o r i c a l a c c o u n t s s t r a t e g i c a l l y g l o s s o v e r o r i g n o r e . W i t h o u t e x c e p t i o n , Wiebe's p r o t a g o n i s t s r e l i v e an a r c h e t y p a l moment o f c o l o n i z a t i o n , o r ( t o s w i t c h t o a B i b l i c a l metaphor) e x p u l s i o n from t h e m o n o l o g i c " s i n g l e s i m p l i c i t y [ o f ] Eden" (MLE 133). Wiebe does not n e c e s s a r i l y d r a m a t i s e t h i s moment a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f each t e x t . 2 Nor does h e . e j e c t e v e r y c h a r a c t e r from Eden. Wiebe's j u v e n i l e c h a r a c t e r s o f t e n c o n t i n u e t o i n h a b i t t h e mo n o l o g i c p a r a d i s e t h e a d u l t s have l o s t . Wiebe's d e p i c t i o n s o f H a l Wiens, L i e s e l D r i e d i g e r , and H o r s e c h i l d , show how c h i l d r e n p l a y , q u a r r e l , e a t and s l e e p , t o t a l l y a b s o r b e d i n t h e im m e d i a c i e s of a d v e n t u r e and p h y s i c a l s e n s a t i o n , w i t h o u t k n o w l e d g e — a n d hence w i t h o u t f e a r — o f t h e dangerous n a t i o n a l - a n d w o r l d - h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t s s w i r l i n g around them. The c h i l d r e n have l i t t l e o r no knowledge of any b r o a d e r s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t , and hence no knowledge o f a p o s s i b l e l a r g e r meaning of t h e i n c i d e n t s t h e y w i t n e s s . Wiebe's p r o t a g o n i s t s e n j o y no such b l i s s f u l o b l i v i o n . F o r them, h i s t o r i c a l change i n s t i g a t e s r a d i c a l p s y c h i c change. The second phase of a l l Wiebe's p l o t s d r a m a t i s e s t h e e x p e r i e n c e s o f p e o p l e f o r c e d t o r e c o g n i z e t h e e x i s t e n c e o f many v o i c e s and languages r a t h e r t h a n one. Thorn Wiens, Abe Ross, t h e Jakob F r i e s e n s I V and V , B i g Be a r , R i e l , Dumont, and James Dyck must a l l endure phases o f c o n f u s i o n and s p i r i t u a l d i s o r i e n t a t i o n , as a r e s u l t o f t h e p l u r a l i t y o f a u t h o r i t a t i v e v o i c e s which p e n e t r a t e t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e p s y c h e s . M a r g i n a l i s e d s u d d e n l y w i t h i n a l a r g e r s o c i a l s p h e r e , t h e y s t r u g g l e t o a v o i d becoming t r a p p e d i n o t h e r p e o p l e ' s " t r u e " s t o r i e s about them. D i s c o u r s e s t r a d i t i o n a l l y t h o u g h t t o be i n v i o l a b l e become l o s t i n a cacophony o f a l i e n d i s c o u r s e s , w h i c h d e v a l u e t h e c o l o n i z e d p e o p l e ' s most s a c r e d b e l i e f s , a x i o m a t i c v a l u e s , and time-honoured customs. T h i s phase of cacophony and p a l i m p s e s t s i s f o l l o w e d by a t h i r d phase: t h e phase o f r e - o r i e n t a t i o n . Near t h e end o f each n o v e l , Wiebe d r a m a t i z e s a second b r e a c h i n g o f a s o c i a l boundary. T h i s t i m e , an a u t h o r i t a t i v e , d i v i n e Word o r non- v e r b a l S i g n i n v a d e s t h e p o l y g l o s s i c / h e t e r o g l o s s i c w o r l d i n h a b i t e d by a l l humanity. I n h i s f i r s t two n o v e l s , Wiebe h a n d l e s t h i s moment o f r e v e l a t i o n somewhat awkwardly: Tom Wiens d i s c o v e r s " T r u t h " (PPM 231) i n t h e image o f "the b r i g h t e s t s t a r i n t h e heavens" (PPM 239); Abe Ross h e a r s "a v o i c e " w h i c h seems t o come from nowhere (FVC 353) . In subsequent works, Wiebe d r a m a t i z e s t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f r e - o r i e n t a t i o n w i t h g r e a t e r d e x t e r i t y and s o p h i s t i c a t i o n . The p e n u l t i m a t e c h a p t e r o f The B l u e Mountains of C h i n a ("The V i e t n a m C a l l o f Samuel U. Reimer") n a r r a t e s a h a l f - p a r o d i c , h a l f - s e r i o u s s t o r y o f a l a p s e d Mennonite who h e a r s God's c a l l i n t h e n i g h t . A t t h e end o f The T e m p t a t i o n s o f B i g B e a r , B i g Bear f e e l s t h e "warm w e i g h t " o f C h i e f ' s Son's Hand a g a i n s t h i s s o u l (TBB 415); and i n The Scorched-Wood P e o p l e , L o u i s R i e l d i e s w h i l e r e c i t i n g t h e L o r d ' s P r a y e r (SWP 346). James Dyck's s p i r i t u a l r e o r i e n t a t i o n o c c u r s i n My L o v e l y Enemy a t a moment o f d i a l o g i c c o n t a c t between one of Donne's h o l y sonnets and a passage from th e New Testament (MLE 250- 5 1 ) . Whether t h e t r a n s c e n d e n t l y a u t h o r i t a t i v e S i g n appears i n v e r b a l o r n o n - v e r b a l form, whether i t c r y s t a l l i s e s as a d i r e c t q u o t a t i o n from t h e S c r i p t u r e s , o r sounds as a f l e e t i n g B i b l i c a l echo o r a l l u s i o n , i t p e r f o r m s a p i v o t a l r o l e i n t h e l i v e s o f a l l Wiebe's p r o t a g o n i s t s . The d i v i n e Word o r S i g n q u e l l s t h e t u m u l t o f v o i c e s and languages i n t h e p r o t a g o n i s t ' s c o n s c i o u s n e s s , by o f f e r i n g an u l t i m a t e c r i t e r i o n a g a i n s t w h i c h t o gauge t h e meaning and a u t h o r i t y o f a l l u t t e r a n c e s . I n t h e minds of Wiebe's p r o t a g o n i s t s , t h e w o r l d ' s many human v o i c e s and languages c o h e r e i n t o a s i n g l e h i e r a r c h y , a new, e f f e c t i v e l y m o n o g l o s s i c l i n g u i s t i c o r d e r , r u l e d by t h e d i v i n e Word o r S i g n . Wiebe's p r o t a g o n i s t s d i s c o v e r ( o r , i n some c a s e s , r e d i s c o v e r ) t h a t t h e d i v i n e Word o r S i g n , not any s i n g l e human u t t e r a n c e , c o m p r i s e s t h e s o l e , f u l l y adequate t o o l f o r " r e a l i z i n g a l l t h e r e i s t o know about t h e w o r l d " ( B a k h t i n 1981, 4 5 ) . Because Wiebe's p r i n c i p a l c h a r a c t e r s a l l l i v e t h r o u g h v a r i a n t s o f t h e same s t o r y , o t h e r members o f t h e d r a m a t i s p ersonae a r e c o n f i n e d t o a l i m i t e d number o f r o l e s . . F o r example, t h e v i l l a i n y o f Wiebe's v i l l a i n s a l m o s t i n v a r i a b l y 9 c o n s i s t s i n t h e i r i n t e r v e n t i o n between the p r o t a g o n i s t and t h e d i v i n e Word o r S i g n . Wiebe's " i n t e r v e n i n g - f i g u r e s " i n c l u d e Deacon B l o c k i n Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many; Adam Ross i n F i r s t and V i t a l C a n d l e ; t h e m i n i s t e r of Samuel Reimer's l o c a l c h u r c h i n The B l u e M o u n t a i n s of C h i n a ; G o v e r n o r M o r r i s who b l o c k s out t h e sun i n The Temptations o f B i g B e a r ; t h e p r i e s t s and R i e l h i m s e l f i n The Scorched-Wood P e o p l e ; Aaron Dyck and O l d H i l d e b r a n d t i n My L o v e l y Enemy. The v o i c e s o f t h e s e i n t e r v e n i n g c h a r a c t e r s may dominate t h e c l o s e d monologic community, o r t h e y may sound amongst t h e p l u r a l i t y of e q u a l l y v a l i d v o i c e s w h i c h i n v a d e t h e awareness o f t h e p r o t a g o n i s t . In e i t h e r c a s e , t h e y b l o c k t h e p r o t a g o n i s t ' s d i r e c t a p p r e h e n s i o n of t h e d i v i n e Word o r S i g n . Each n o v e l a l s o c o n t a i n s a m y s t i c a l , o t h e r - w o r l d l y " t e a c h e r - f i g u r e , " f o r example, Joseph Dueck, J o s h B i s h o p and S a l l y H o w e l l , John Reimer, B i g Bear, L o u i s R i e l ( a t t i m e s ) , J e s u s , and t h e m o r t i c i a n who p r e s i d e s a t Ruth Dyck's f u n e r a l . The d i v i n e Word o r S i g n o f t e n e n t e r s t h e t e x t i n t h e mouth o f t h e s e c h a r a c t e r s . " R e a d e r - f i g u r e s " a l s o p e r f o r m a v i t a l f u n c t i o n i n Wiebe's n o v e l s , g u i d i n g t h e r e a d e r of t h e t e x t t o w a r d s e m a n t i c g o a l s p r e d e t e r m i n e d by t h e a u t h o r . The r e a d e r - f i g u r e combines w i t h t h e p r o t a g o n i s t i n Thorn Wiens, Abe Ross, L o u i s R i e l , and James Dyck, w h i l e K i t t y MacLean, Wiebe's most famous r e a d e r - s u r r o g a t e , remains a r e l a t i v e l y m i n o r p l a y e r i n t h e d r a m a t i c h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t s 10 d e p i c t e d i n t h e n o v e l . 3 As w e l l as o b s e r v i n g c e r t a i n s e t p a t t e r n s i n h i s p l o t t i n g and c h a r a c t e r i s a t i o n , Wiebe's n o v e l s a l l , i n v a r i o u s ways, c o u n t e r p o s e two models of t i m e : one l i n e a r and t i e d t o h i s t o r y , t h e o t h e r c i r c u l a r o r c y c l i c . Dates and r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e u n p r e c e d e n t e d , i r r e v e r s i b l e n a t u r e of events c o n s t r u c t t i m e i n t h e l i n e a r manner c o n v e n t i o n a l l y employed i n h i s t o r i c a l d i s c o u r s e . The c i r c u l a r model m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f most c l e a r l y i n Wiebe's r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e c y c l e o f t h e season s , and t o t h e a n n u a l l y r e c u r r i n g f e s t i v a l s o f t h e C h r i s t i a n c a l e n d a r . The r e g u l a r rhythm of th e s e o c c u r r e n c e s s u g g e s t s t h a t some t h i n g s n e v e r change, d e s p i t e s u p e r f i c i a l appearances t o t h e c o n t r a r y . As w e l l as p o i n t i n g t o t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f c e r t a i n permanent, e x t r a - h i s t o r i c a l t r u t h s and v a l u e s , Wiebe's n o v e l s a l l p o s i t an e n d - p o i n t o f human h i s t o r y , a moment beyond w h i c h t h e s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l p r o c e s s e s of d i s c o v e r i n g T r u t h does n ot c o n t i n u e . The p r o t a g o n i s t ' s e p i p h a n i c e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e super-human Word o r S i g n works as a c l o s i n g d e v i c e i n each o f t h e s i x n a r r a t i v e s examined i n t h i s s t u d y . 4 By r e s o r t i n g r e p e a t e d l y t o t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c l o s i n g s t r a t e g y , Wiebe i m p a r t s an a p o c a l y p t i c q u a l i t y t o t h e f i n a l pages of h i s n o v e l s . Each e n d i n g i m p l i c i t l y p r e f i g u r e s t h e f i n a l R e v e l a t i o n p r e d i c t e d i n t h e B i b l e . 11 I I I Does t h i s e x t r a o r d i n a r y c o n s i s t e n c y o f v i s i o n 'and method i n d i c a t e t h a t Rudy Wiebe remains c o m p l a c e n t l y ensconced i n a c l o s e d m o n o g l o s s i c C h r i s t i a n community? I s he l o c k e d , as i t were, i n t h e f i r s t s t a g e o f one o f h i s own p l o t s ? From s t a t e m e n t s Wiebe has made i n many i n t e r v i e w s and e s s a y s , and from t h e v e r y f a c t t h a t he w r i t e s and p u b l i s h e s n o v e l s , i t would c e r t a i n l y appear t h a t h i s i n t e n t i o n i s p r e c i s e l y not t o remain a l o o f from t h e w i d e r s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l w o r l d . Wiebe engages w i t h t h a t w i d e r w o r l d not by l e t t i n g i t " i n t o " h i s l i f e b u t by v e n t u r i n g "out" from t h e Mennonite B r e t h r e n community. Wiebe vehemently and c o n s i s t e n t l y , opposes t h a t p a r t o f t h e Mennonite c h u r c h which a t t e m p t s t o s e p a r a t e i t s e l f from s e c u l a r ' s o c i e t y o r from o t h e r C h r i s t i a n c h u r c h e s : Are you g o i n g t o c u t o f f any p o s s i b l e e f f e c t you c o u l d have on o t h e r p e o p l e , i n an a t t e m p t t o p r e s e r v e y o u r own i n t e g r i t y ? When you do t h a t , do worse t h i n g s s t a r t h a ppening t o you? They p r o b a b l y d o — I t h i n k t h e y do- So I m y s e l f want t o l i v e i n t h e w o r l d t h a t i s now, because t h a t ' s where everybody e l s e i t ' s h u r t i n g i s l i v i n g . (Cameron 149). Mennonites who-attempt t o b a r r i c a d e t h e non-Mennonite w o r l d 12 o u t 5 t h r e a t e n t o b a r r i c a d e t h e v o i c e o f J e s u s i n , a p r a c t i c e c o n t r a r y t o J e s u s ' command, "Go ye i n t o a l l t h e w o r l d , and p r e a c h t h e g o s p e l t o e v e r y c r e a t u r e " (Mark 16:15), and t o Menno Simons' u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e Word as "a u n i v e r s a l / C a t h o l i c / e c u m e n i c a l f o r c e , not a p a r o c h i a l o r p r o v i n c i a l s p i r i t " ( L i t t e l l 1 6 ) . 6 When c o n s e r v a t i v e Mennonite groups e r e c t p h y s i c a l and l i n g u i s t i c b a r r i e r s between the m s e l v e s and t h e . o u t s i d e w o r l d , t h e y e n c l o s e t h e Word i n a s t a t i c , u n i t a r y c u l t u r a l and h i s t o r i c a l f i e l d . F i x e d customs and c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n s c a r r y t h e B i b l e down t h r o u g h time i n a cocoon, i t s a u t h o r i t y and s e m a n t i c s t a b i l i t y s h i e l d e d b o t h from t h e v i c i s s i t u d e s o f h i s t o r y and from u n p r e d i c t a b l e a l i e n c u l t u r a l i n f l u e n c e s . 7 By s e c u r i n g a s i n g l e , f i x e d c o n t e x t f o r t h e Word, t h e y a t t e m p t t o p r o t e c t i t s a u t h o r i t y from t h e a s s a u l t o f a l i e n d i s c o u r s e s , and t o l i m i t i t s p o t e n t i a l s e m a n t i c d i v e r s i t y . In an e d i t o r i a l p u b l i s h e d i n The Mennonite B r e t h r e n H e r a l d on J a n u a r y 11, 1963, e n t i t l e d "Church P r o s p e c t 1963: W r i t i n g , " Wiebe s t a t e s t h a t "the w r i t t e n word i s s t i l l t h e most e f f e c t i v e means o f s p r e a d i n g t h e g o s p e l " ( 3 ) . He makes t h i s p o i n t • i n t h e c o n t e x t of a b r o a d e r argument f o r more a c t i v e p r o s e l y t i z i n g i n t h e E n g l i s h language on t h e p a r t o f t h e Mennonite B r e t h r e n Church. R e c o g n i z i n g t h a t t h e M e n n o n i t e s ' message must compete w i t h "thousands of v o i c e s c l a m o u r i n g f o r a t t e n t i o n " (Wiebe 1963, 3) and w i t h r a d i o , t e l e v i s i o n and o t h e r . f o r m s o f modern e n t e r t a i n m e n t , Wiebe sees a p a r t i c u l a r need t o implement e v a n g e l i c a l " o u t r e a c h " (Wiebe 1963, 3) u s i n g d i s c u r s i v e forms w h i c h do not bore o r r e p e l t h e u n c o n v e r t e d . W i t h o u t s u g g e s t i n g t h a t Wiebe's a r t i s t i c m o t i v e s stem e x c l u s i v e l y from a d e s i r e t o p r o s e l y t i z e , i t remains v a l i d t o say t h a t Wiebe's n o v e l s and s h o r t s t o r i e s f u n c t i o n as v e h i c l e s c a r r y i n g J e s u s ' t e a c h i n g s i n t o t h e l i v e s o f h i s r e a d e r s . U n l i k e a sermon o r r e l i g i o u s t r e a t i s e , t h e n o v e l does not p r e a c h o n l y t o t h e c o n v e r t e d o r a d d r e s s a s p e c i a l i s e d r e a d e r s h i p o f t h e o l o g i a n s . I t s u t i l i t y l i e s i n i t s c a p a c i t y t o s c a t t e r t h e Word i n t o t h e t e r r i t o r y o f " o t h e r s , " t h e "average Canadians" (Wiebe 1963, 3) not a d d r e s s e d by more t r a d i t i o n a l forms of r e l i g i o u s l i t e r a t u r e . Wiebe's n o v e l s t r a n s m i t t h e Word i n t o an u n f o r e s e e a b l e v a r i e t y o f d i s c u r s i v e and h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t s , where i t s meaning and a u t h o r i t y become open t o n e g o t i a t i o n . The u s u a l b o u n d a r i e s i n s u l a t i n g t h e Word from " o t h e r " words d i s a p p e a r s . By t h e i r v e r y e x i s t e n c e , as w e l l as through t h e s t o r i e s t h e y t e l l , Wiebe's n o v e l s l i b e r a t e t h e B i b l e from "the dungeon of a s i n g l e c o n t e x t " ( B a k h t i n 1981, 247). However, Wiebe s t i p u l a t e s r e p e a t e d l y t h a t t h e n o v e l i s t ' s C h r i s t i a n w i t n e s s must be i n d i r e c t : The more c o n s c i o u s l y and d i r e c t l y t h e n o v e l i s t t r i e s i n h i s n o v e l t o p r e a c h a c e r t a i n t r u t h he h o l d s t o be 14 v a l i d , t h e l e s s i t w i l l a r i s e out of t h e s t u f f o f t h e n o v e l i t s e l f , t h e p o o r e r t h e n o v e l w i l l be, and t h e l e s s l i k e l y he i s t o c o n v i n c e anyone.... T h i s i s a f undamental p r i n c i p l e o f a l l a r t , t h a t some o f t h e most i m p o r t a n t t h i n g s we as human b e i n g s must u n d e r s t a n d cannot be g o t t e n a t d i r e c t l y . They can be seen and shown o n l y by t h e i n d i r e c t i o n o f a r t — b y metaphor; by symbol, i f you l i k e . That i s why f i c t i o n i s so i m p o r t a n t . (VL 42, 44) In " G i a n t F i c t i o n s and L a r g e Meanings," Sam S o l e c k i draws a t t e n t i o n t o Wiebe's i n d i r e c t p r o s e l y t i z i n g as i t m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f i n " c h a r a c t e r s and s t o r i e s . . . form and c o n t e n t " ( 7 ) : he has sought c h a r a c t e r s and s t o r i e s t o communicate, o r even t o g e t a h e a r i n g f o r h i s b a s i c a l l y C h r i s t i a n v i s i o n . . . . We can speak o f Wiebe's v i s i o n as s e a r c h i n g , n o v e l by n o v e l , f o r t h e a p p r o p r i a t e e c u m e n i c a l mode (and t h i s i s a m a t t e r o f b o t h form and c o n t e n t ) w i t h i n w h i c h i t w i l l be g i v e n a s y m p a t h e t i c . h e a r i n g by an a u d i e n c e w i d e r t h a n t h e one a l r e a d y r e c e p t i v e t o an e x p l i c i t l y and d o g m a t i c a l l y C h r i s t i a n f i c t i o n . ( 7 ) 8 S o l e c k i ' s p o i n t can be e x t e n d e d : Wiebe s e a r c h e s a l s o f o r a language c a p a b l e o f commanding t h e a t t e n t i o n o f non- C h r i s t i a n r e a d e r s , a l a nguage t h e y w i l l f i n d p a l a t a b l e , non- a l i e n and y e t a u t h o r i t a t i v e . Wiebe can and does speak d i r e c t l y t o f e l l o w members o f h i s c h u r c h . The t o n e and s t y l e o f h i s E d i t o r i a l s i n t h e Mennonite B r e t h r e n H e r a l d , o r o f a r t i c l e s he has p u b l i s h e d i n o t h e r C h r i s t i a n j o u r n a l s , d i f f e r s m a r k e d l y from h i s manner of h a n d l i n g language i n h i s n o v e l s and s h o r t s t o r i e s . But Wiebe c l e a r l y r e c o g n i z e s t h a t he cannot p r o s e l e t y z e d i r e c t l y t o t h o s e who r e a d h i s n o v e l s : The most i m p o r t a n t t h i n g s he [ t h e n o v e l i s t ] w ould say s i m p l y d i s a p p e a r i f he a t t a c k s them head on and b l u r t s them o u t . They can be s a i d o n l y by i n d i r e c t i o n . (VL 44) B a k h t i n , l i k e Wiebe, r e c o g n i z e s t h a t i n c e r t a i n h i s t o r i c a l and c u l t u r a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s , t h e n o v e l i s t must t r a n s m i t t h e 15 a u t h o r i t a t i v e Word i n d i r e c t l y : By no means a l l h i s t o r i c a l s i t u a t i o n s p e r m i t t h e u l t i m a t e s e m a n t i c a u t h o r i t y o f t h e c r e a t o r [ a r t i s t i c o r d i v i n e ] t o be e x p r e s s e d w i t h o u t m e d i a t i o n i n d i r e c t , u n r e f r a c t e d , u n c o n d i t i o n a l a u t h o r i a l d i s c o u r s e . When t h e r e i s no a c c e s s t o one's own p e r s o n a l " u l t i m a t e " word, t h e n e v e r y t h o u g h t , f e e l i n g , e x p e r i e n c e must be r e f r a c t e d t h r o u g h t h e medium.of someone e l s e ' s d i s c o u r s e , someone e l s e ' s s t y l e , someone e l s e ' e manner, w i t h w h i c h i t cannot i m m e d i a t e l y be merged w i t h o u t r e s e r v a t i o n , w i t h o u t d i s t a n c e , w i t h o u t r e f r a c t i o n . . . . The d i r e c t , u n c o n d i t i o n a l , u n r e f r a c t e d word appears b a r b a r i c , raw, w i l d . C u l t u r e d d i s c o u r s e i s d i s c o u r s e r e f r a c t e d t h r o u g h an a u t h o r i t a t i v e and s t a b l i z e d medium. (1984, 202-3) In Wiebe's c a s e , New C r i t i c a l a e s t h e t i c s 9 c o l l u d e w i t h t h e Menn o n i t e s ' t r a d i t i o n o f r e s p e c t i n g i n d i v i d u a l c o n s c i e n c e , t o condemn c o e r c i v e C h r i s t i a n p r o s e l y t i z i n g i n t h e n o v e l . A c r o s s t h e c o u r s e o f h i s c a r e e r as a n o v e l i s t , Wiebe d e v i s e s new, i n d i r e c t v o i c i n g s o f , and f a v o u r a b l e c o n t e x t s f o r t h e S c r i p t u r a l Word. In h i s f i r s t two n o v e l s , and i n t h e f i n a l c h a p t e r of The B l u e M o u n t a i n s o f C h i n a , Wiebe does not e n t i r e l y r e s i s t t h e t e m p t a t i o n t o a s s e r t "the d i r e c t , u n c o n d i t i o n a l , u n r e f r a c t e d word" ( B a k h t i n 1984, 204). A c r o s s t i m e , however, he d e v i s e s more e l a b o r a t e and more s u b t l e ways o f s p e a k i n g i n d i r e c t l y , and o f r e f r a c t i n g h i s r h e t o r i c a l message t h r o u g h t h e v o i c e s o f " o t h e r s . " In The Temptations o f B i g Bear and t h e f i r s t t w e l v e c h a p t e r s o f The B l u e Mountains o f C h i n a , Wiebe h a r n e s s e s t h e documented u t t e r a n c e s and t h e s o c i a l d i a l e c t s o f numerous " o t h e r s , " t o c r e a t e a u t h o r i t a t i v e v e h i c l e s and f a v o u r a b l e f r a m i n g c o n t e x t s f o r t h e Word. In The Scorched-Wood P e o p l e and My L o v e l y Enemy. Wiebe's i n d i r e c t i o n becomes so complex and 16 obscure that the Word' breaks into fragments whose meaning and r e l a t i v e authority depend greatly on the reader's e x i s t i n g v e r b a l - i d e o l o g i c a l p r e d i l e c t i o n s . Throughout his writing career, Wiebe's r h e t o r i c a l purpose remains the same: he never loses sight of his i n i t i a l assumption that "the written word i s s t i l l the most e f f e c t i v e means of spreading the gospel" (Wiebe 1963, 3). However, his manner of accomplishing t h i s objective s t e a d i l y evolves over time. He begins i n Peace Shall Destroy Many by addressing his readers much i n the same way as a teacher speaks to a p u p i l , but as his understanding of the socio- p o l i t i c a l dynamics of verbal communication develops, he begins to eschew the role of a u t h o r i t a t i v e possessor of the absolute truth, and to i n v i t e his readers to j o i n him i n a d i a l o g i c search for that t r u t h . 1 0 More and more, Wiebe's rhetoric i m p l i c i t l y concedes to VoloSinov's view that i t i s not a mute, wordless creature that receives such an utterance, but a human being f u l l of inner words. A l l his e x p e r i e n c e s — h i s s o - c a l l e d apperceptive background—exist encoded i n his inner speech, and only to that extent do they come into contact with speech received from outside. Word comes into contact with word. The context of t h i s inner speech i s the locale i n which another's utterance i s received, comprehended and evaluated; i t i s where the speaker's active orientation takes place. (Volosinov 118) From F i r s t and V i t a l Candle onwards, Wiebe attempts to hypothesize the non-Christian reader's inner speech, but u n t i l The Blue Mountains of China, he does not succeed i n stimulating his audience into active dialogue with his t e x t s . To t h e e x t e n t t h a t he a c h i e v e s t h i s o b j e c t i v e i n h i s m i d d l e and l a t e r n o v e l s , he e n s u r e s t h a t any a s s e n t h i s r e a d e r s may g i v e t o h i s message a r i s e s v o l u n t a r i l y . Such a s s e n t would be as much a p r o d u c t o f t h e r e a d e r - i n t e r l o c u t o r ' s e x i s t i n g i n n e r speech as o f Wiebe's t e x t , w h ich i n v a d e s t h e p s y c h e from w i t h o u t . As Wiebe h y p o t h e s i z e s t h e r e s p o n s e s o f h i s r e a d e r - i n t e r l o c u t o r s , he must e n v i s a g e t h e Word from t h e p o i n t o f v i e w of an " o t h e r . " The p r o c e s s o f w r i t i n g t h u s a c t i v a t e s a p r o c e s s of t e s t i n g t h e a u t h o r i t a t i v e Word a g a i n s t c e r t a i n p o w e r f u l hegemonic d i s c o u r s e s w h i c h sound i n t h e s o c i a l w o r l d , and w h i c h dominate t h e p o s i t e d r e a d e r - i n t e r l o c u t o r ' s awareness. To t h e e x t e n t t h a t Wiebe i d e n t i f i e s i m a g i n a t i v e l y w i t h h i s s o c i a l l y - a l i e n i n t e r l o c u t o r s , he does not remain c o n f i n e d i n a c l o s e d , m o n o l o g i c , narrow c h u r c h s o c i e t y . I n s t e a d of l o c k i n g h i m s e l f i n t h e f i r s t s t a g e o f one of h i s own p l o t s , he o s c i l l a t e s back and f o r t h between s t a g e s two and t h r e e , r e p e a t e d l y t e s t i n g t h e a u t h o r i t y and r e n o v a t i n g t h e meaning o f t h e Word. IV The e v o l u t i o n o f Rudy Wiebe's s t y l e may be d e s c r i b e d as a s e a r c h f o r s u i t a b l e v o i c e s and languages t h r o u g h w h i c h t o 18 r e f r a c t and r e f l e c t upon t h e a u t h o r i t a t i v e Word. To a n a l y s e more p r e c i s e l y t h e i n d i r e c t means by w h i c h Wiebe a t t e m p t s t o r e a l i z e h i s e v a n g e l i c a l a u t h o r i a l o b j e c t i v e s , i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o e l a b o r a t e f u r t h e r on t h e r e l e v a n t t h e o r e t i c a l paradigms. B a k h t i n and V o l o s i n o v have each d e v i s e d a system of terms and c o n c e p t s w h i c h can u s e f u l l y be a p p l i e d t o t h e s i x t e x t s c o n s i d e r e d i n t h i s s t u d y . I t would be cumbersome t o d e f i n e e v e r y t h e o r e t i c a l t e r m i n t h e a b s t r a c t i n advance, p a r t i c u l a r l y s i n c e t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e meanings emerge most c l e a r l y w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t o f c o n c r e t e d i s c u s s i o n s of s p e c i f i c t e x t s . However, b e f o r e such d i s c u s s i o n s can be e n t e r e d i n t o w i t h any degree of r i g o u r , t h e main c o n c e p t u a l and t e r m i n o l o g i c a l framework of t h e l a r g e r t h e o r e t i c a l system s h o u l d be s u r v e y e d , n o t i n g t h e p o i n t s where i t c o n n e c t s w i t h Wiebe's a u t h o r i a l p r a c t i c e s . B a k h t i n grounds h i s t h e o r y o f t h e n o v e l on an o r a l p aradigm o f language. He m a i n t a i n s t h a t language i s r e a l i z e d i n t h e form of i n d i v i d u a l c o n c r e t e u t t e r a n c e s ( o r a l and w r i t t e n ) . . . . Each s e p a r a t e u t t e r a n c e i s i n d i v i d u a l , o f c o u r s e , b u t each sphere i n w h i c h language i s used d e v e l o p s i t s own r e l a t i v e l y s t a b l e t y p e s o f t h e s e u t t e r a n c e s . These we may c a l l speech g e n r e s . ( B a k h t i n 1986, 60) F o r B a k h t i n and V o l o S i n o v , words e x i s t o n l y i n t h e form o f c o n c r e t e s a y i n g s o r v o i c i n g s , i n t h e p a r t i c u l a r c o n t e x t s i n w h i c h human b e i n g s engage i n d i a l o g u e w i t h one a n o t h e r . 1 1 B a k h t i n and V o l o s i n o v b o t h oppose S a u s s u r e ' s t h e o r y of language w h i c h t h e y c l a i m d i v o r c e s language from "the 19 h i s t o r i c a l p r o c e s s o f Becoming" (Volo§inov 105). In c o n t r a s t t o S a u s s u r e , whose s y n c h r o n i c approach t o language p r i v i l e g e s l a langue o v e r p a r o l e , 1 2 B a k h t i n ' s and V o l o S i n o v ' s t h e o r i e s o f t h e u t t e r a n c e g i v e p r e c e d e n c e t o p a r o l e f and hence t o t h e d i a c h r o n i c i t y o f language. V o l o S i n o v argues vehemently t h a t t h e v e r y essence o f language i s r e v e a l e d i n i t s • h i s t o r y ; t h e l o g i c o f language i s not a t a l l a m a t t e r o f r e p r o d u c i n g a n o r m a t i v e l y i d e n t i c a l form bu t o f c o n t i n u o u s r e n o v a t i o n and i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n o f t h a t form v i a t h e . . . u t t e r a n c e . The r e a l i t y o f language i s , i n f a c t , i t s g e n e r a t i o n . (56) B a k h t i n and V o l o i i n o v b o t h p l a c e tremendous emphasis on t h e p o l i t i c a l s t r u g g l e i m p l i c i t i n t h i s o n g o i n g s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l p r o c e s s of r e n o v a t i n g and i n d i v i d u a l i z i n g l anguage. B a k h t i n ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h i s p r o c e s s t a c i t l y i n v o k e s a metaphor of t h e u t t e r a n c e as a m i c r o - c o s m i c p o l i t i c a l e m pire: The word does not e x i s t i n a n e u t r a l i m p e r s o n a l language ( i t i s , n o t , a f t e r a l l , out o f a d i c t i o n a r y t h a t t h e s p e a k e r g e t s h i s w o r d s ! ) , b u t r a t h e r i t e x i s t s i n o t h e r p e o p l e ' s mouths, i n o t h e r p e o p l e ' s c o n t e x t s , s e r v i n g o t h e r p e o p l e ' s i n t e n t i o n s : i t i s from t h e r e t h a t one must t a k e t h e word and make i t one's own.... Language i s not a n e u t r a l medium t h a t p a s s e s f r e e l y and e a s i l y i n t o t h e p r i v a t e p r o p e r t y o f t h e s p e a k e r ' s i n t e n t i o n s ; i t i s p o p u l a t e d — o v e r p o p u l a t e d — w i t h t h e i n t e n t i o n s o f o t h e r s . E x p r o p r i a t i n g i t , f o r c i n g i t t o s u b mit t o one's own i n t e n t i o n s and a c c e n t s , i s a d i f f i c u l t and c o m p l i c a t e d p r o c e s s . (1981, 294) T h i s " d i f f i c u l t and c o m p l i c a t e d p r o c e s s " m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f most c l e a r l y i n t h e n o v e l . B a k h t i n d i s t i n g u i s h e s t h e n o v e l from a l l o t h e r l i t e r a r y g enres on t h e b a s i s o f i t s openness t o h i s t o r i c a l change. 1 3 M u t a b l e , c a p a c i o u s , s t y l i s t i c a l l y h e t e r o g e n e o u s , "the n o v e l i s t h e s o l e genre t h a t . c o n t i n u e s t o d e v e l o p , t h a t i s as y e t uncompleted" ( B a k h t i n 1981, 3 ) . B a k h t i n argues t h a t w h i l e o t h e r genres r e s i s t h i s t o r i c a l change by o s s i f y i n g i n t o f i x e d c a n o n i c a l forms, t h e n o v e l c e l e b r a t e s i t s own h i s t o r i c i t y — i t s o n g o i n g p r o c e s s o f b e c o m i n g — b y p e r p e t u a l l y r e i n v e n t i n g i t s e l f . B a k h t i n c a l l s t h e n o v e l a "secondary (complex) speech genre" (1986, 6 1 ) , because i t r e n o v a t e s i t s e l f by a b s o r b i n g o r a p p r o p r i a t i n g o t h e r v a r i e t i e s o f u t t e r a n c e : D u r i n g t h e p r o c e s s o f t h e i r f o r m a t i o n , t h e y [ n o v e l s ] a b s o r b and d i g e s t v a r i o u s p r i m a r y ( s i m p l e ) genres t h a t have t a k e n form i n unmediated speech communion. These p r i m a r y genres a r e a l t e r e d and assume a s p e c i a l c h a r a c t e r when t h e y e n t e r i n t o complex ones. They l o s e t h e i r immediate r e l a t i o n t o a c t u a l r e a l i t y and t o t h e r e a l u t t e r a n c e s o f o t h e r s . . . . They e n t e r i n t o a c t u a l r e a l i t y o n l y v i a t h e n o v e l as a whole. ( B a k h t i n 1986, 62) The n o v e l can e x t e n d i t s b o u n d a r i e s "outward" by a b s o r b i n g o t h e r speech g e n r e s , much i n t h e same way as i m p e r i a l n a t i o n s e x t e n d t h e i r sphere o f i n f l u e n c e i n t o a l i e n t e r r i t o r i e s . But t e x t u a l e m p i r e s , l i k e p o l i t i c a l ones, become i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f i c u l t t o a d m i n i s t e r as t h e y grow l a r g e r and more complex. U n l e s s t h e n o v e l i s t t a k e s measures t o c o n t r o l t h e r e a d e r ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e a u t h o r i t y and meaning o f t h e a p p r o p r i a t e d g e n r e s , t h i n g s f a l l a p a r t , t h e c e n t r e cannot h o l d , and s e m a n t i c a n a r c h y i s l o o s e d upon t h e r e a d i n g p u b l i c . P r i m a r y speech genres may s t r i v e t o address r e a d e r s d i r e c t l y , b y - p a s s i n g t h e m e d i a t i n g i n f l u e n c e of t h e 21 a u t h o r . Thus, t h e n o v e l ' s e x p a n s i o n a r y , d e c e n t r i n g , outward- g r a s p i n g c o l o n i s a t i o n o f o t h e r genres c r e a t e s an e q u a l and o p p o s i t e need t o c o n s o l i d a t e power c e n t r i p e t a l l y and c o n t r o l meaning from a s i n g l e a u t h o r i a l c e n t r e . 1 4 As B a k h t i n e x p l a i n s , The language o f t h e n o v e l i s a system of languages t h a t m u t u a l l y and i d e o l o g i c a l l y i n t e r a n i m a t e each o t h e r . I t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o d e s c r i b e and a n a l y z e i t as a s i n g l e u n i t a r y l a n g u a g e . . . . But a t t h e same t i m e t h e r e does e x i s t a c e n t r e o f language (a v e r b a l - i d e o l o g i c a l c e n t r e ) f o r t h e n o v e l . The a u t h o r (as c r e a t o r o f t h e n o v e l i s t i c whole) cannot be found i n any one o f t h e n o v e l ' s language l e v e l s : he i s t o be f o u n d a t t h e c e n t r e o f o r g a n i s a t i o n where a l l l e v e l s i n t e r s e c t . The d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s a r e t o v a r y i n g d e g r e e s d i s t a n t from t h i s a u t h o r i a l c e n t r e . (1981, 47, 48-9) Two opposed t e n d e n c i e s t h u s c o l l i d e i n t h e n o v e l : c e n t r i p e t a l f o r c e s (which promote s t r u c t u r a l c o h e r e n c e , s t y l i s t i c homogeneity and s e m a n t i c u n i t y ) and c e n t r i f u g a l f o r c e s (which f o s t e r f r a g m e n t a t i o n , s t y l i s t i c h e t e r o g e n e i t y , and s e m a n t i c p l u r a l i t y ) . 1 5 A l l c o n c r e t e m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f language p a r t i c i p a t e i n , and may a l s o r e - e n a c t , t h i s " c o n t r a d i c t i o n - r i d d e n , t e n s i o n - f i l l e d u n i t y o f two e m b a t t l e d t e n d e n c i e s " ( B a k h t i n 1981, 272). In t h e n o v e l i t t a k e s t h e form of a s t r u g g l e between t h e "monologic" p r i n c i p l e ( a c t i v a t e d by a u t h o r i a l p r a c t i c e s w h i c h s u p p r e s s s e m a n t i c p l u r a l i t y by a s s e r t i n g t h e s o v e r e i g n t y o f one u n i t a r y language and i t s c o n c o m i t a n t u n i t a r y b e l i e f - s y s t e m 1 6 ) , and t h e " d i a l o g i c " p r i n c i p l e ( a c t i v a t e d by a u t h o r i a l p r a c t i c e s w h i c h r e l e a s e " h e t e r o g l o s s i a , " t h e m u l t i - v o i c e d n e s s and semantic p l u r a l i t y l a t e n t i n a l l c o n c r e t e u t t e r a n c e s 1 7 ) . 22 A b r i e f c h r o n o l o g i c a l s u r v e y o f Wiebe's s i x major n o v e l s r e v e a l s t h a t from Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many i n 1962 t o My L o v e l y Enemy i n 1983 t h e "two e m b a t t l e d t e n d e n c i e s " s t r u g g l e more and more v i o l e n t l y . I n i t i a l l y , t h e m o n o l o g i c p r i n c i p l e d o m i n a t e s , b u t never e n t i r e l y e l i m i n a t e s s t y l i s t i c h e t e r o g e n e i t y o r se m a n t i c d i v e r s i t y from t h e t e x t . E x c e p t f o r i t s f o u r P r e l u d e s , Wiebe's f i r s t n o v e l , Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many, appears l a r g e l y d e v o i d o f t h e l i n g u i s t i c d i v e r s i t y c e l e b r a t e d by B a k h t i n . The o r t h o d o x t y p o g r a p h i c a l f ormat o f t h e t e x t , i t s u n r e m a r k a b l e l a y o u t i n p a r a g r a p h s o f n a r r a t i o n i n t e r s p e r s e d w i t h d i a l o g u e , g i v e s Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many t h e appearance of a mono l o g i c n a r r a t i v e i n t h e a u t h o r ' s own v o i c e . Any f i s s u r e s i n t h e language o f t h e t e x t s e r v e Wiebe's r h e t o r i c a l p u r p o s e s and .are t h u s s u b o r d i n a t e d t o t h e g e n e r a l m o n o l o g i c t h r u s t o f t h e n o v e l . In h i s second n o v e l , F i r s t and V i t a l C a n d l e , Wiebe extends h i s s o c i a l and i d e o l o g i c a l p u r v i e w beyond t h e bounds of t h e t i g h t - k n i t Mennonite community s c r u t i n i z e d i n Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many. The language o f F i r s t and V i t a l Candle r e f l e c t s t h i s expanded h o r i z o n : Wiebe t a k e s s e v e r a l hegemonic speech genres of t h e c o l d war e r a i n t o h i s a u t h o r i a l c u s t o d y , where he s u b j e c t s them t o r i g o r o u s m o r a l i n t e r r o g a t i o n . Wiebe c l e a r l y h i e r a r c h i z e s t h e v o i c e s and languages d i s c e r n i b l e i n t h e t e x t . None escapes t h e o v e r t c o n t r o l of h i s a u t h o r i a l w i l l . A t t h i s e a r l y s t a g e i n h i s 23 c a r e e r , Wiebe does not e n t i r e l y e x c l u d e speech d i v e r s i t y from h i s w r i t i n g , b u t he never a l l o w s i t s e r i o u s l y t o j e o p a r d i z e t h e r e a d e r ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f h i s m o n o l o g i c r e l i g i o u s and m o r a l v i s i o n . In t h e two n o v e l s w h i c h f o l l o w , however, Wiebe s h i f t s i n t o a m u l t i - v o i c e d n a r r a t i v e mode, and t h e t e n s i o n between c e n t r i f u g a l and c e n t r i p e t a l f o r c e s i n t e n s i f i e s d r a m a t i c a l l y . W i t h The B l u e M o u n t a i n s o f C h i n a , Wiebe makes a v e r y o b v i o u s b r e a k away from a n y t h i n g t h a t r e s e m b l e s a u n i t a r y s t y l e . The m i x i n g o f languages i n t h e t e x t r e f l e c t s t h e t u r m o i l s e x p e r i e n c e d by c h a r a c t e r s l o c a t e d on many p o l i t i c a l , p s y c h o l o g i c a l and c u l t u r a l t h r e s h o l d s : r e v o l u t i o n , war, c a p t i v i t y , m i g r a t i o n , t h e p h y s i c a l h a r d s h i p s o f p i o n e e r l i f e , and t h e s p i r i t u a l c r i s e s o f r e l i g i o u s s e n s i b i l i t i e s i n s e c u l a r s o c i a l c o n t e x t s . S e v e r a l n a r r a t o r s o f d i f f e r e n t ages, b e l i e f s and c u l t u r a l a f f i l i a t i o n s a r t i c u l a t e t h e Menn o n i t e s ' s p l i n t e r e d e x p e r i e n c e o f h i s t o r y r a n g i n g o v e r f o u r c o n t i n e n t s and a p p r o x i m a t e l y a hundred y e a r s o f t i m e . I n t h e f i n a l c h a p t e r o f t h e n o v e l , however, Wiebe a b r u p t l y r e a s s e r t s h i s a u t h o r i a l c o n t r o l by d e f i n i n g a s i n g l e m o r a l c r i t e r i o n f o r e v a l u a t i n g a l l speech and a c t i o n i n t h e t e x t . In The T e m p t a t i o n s o f B i g Bear , Wiebe c r e a t e s h i s most i n t r i c a t e mosaic o f v o i c e z o n e s . 1 8 L i n g u i s t i c d e c e n t r i n g o f t h e n a r r a t i v e r e a c h e s i t s apogee i n t h i s t e x t , where any semblance o f s t y l i s t i c u n i f o r m i t y i s t o t a l l y o b l i t e r a t e d . Wiebe s h a t t e r s u n i t i e s o f n a r r a t i v e , c h a r a c t e r , t o n e , p o i n t of v i e w a n d — m o s t i m p o r t a n t — l a n g u a g e , t o p l a c e h i s r e a d e r s i n t h e m i d s t o f a v i o l e n t s t r u g g l e between c o n t e n d i n g e n c o d i n g s o f t r u t h . The T e m p t a t i o n s o f B i g Bear works as a t e x t u a l microcosm o f t h e t u m u l t u o u s , c u l t u r a l l y p l u r a l Canadian West between 1876 and 1888. Wiebe extends h i s a u t h o r i a l d o m i n a t i o n o v e r v a s t e r , more d i v e r s e and m i n u t e l y d i s c r i m i n a t e d l i n g u i s t i c domains t h a n i n any p r e c e d i n g o r subsequent work. But a g a i n , t h e f i n a l t h r u s t o f t h e n o v e l remains m o n o l o g i c because Wiebe o f f e r s a s i n g l e c r i t e r i o n f o r h i e r a r c h i z i n g t h e v o i c e s o f t h e t e x t . Wiebe c o u n t e r s e v e r y a d d i t i o n a l d i a l o g i z i n g d e v i c e he i n t r o d u c e s w i t h an e q u a l l y e f f e c t i v e means o f r e p r e s s i n g d i a l o g u e . A l t h o u g h The Scorched-Wood P e o p l e and My L o v e l y Enemy mark Wiebe's r e t u r n t o m o n o l o g i c n a r r a t i v e forms, b o t h t e x t s c o n t a i n many embedded v o i c e s . They a l s o a l l o w more t h a n one c r i t e r i o n f o r g a u g i n g t h e a u t h o r i t y and meaning o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s ' u t t e r a n c e s . In The Scorched-Wood P e o p l e , Wiebe appears t o i n d u l g e i n a s t r i d e n t r h e t o r i c a l d e f e n c e o f L o u i s R i e l , y e t c l o s e r i n s p e c t i o n o f t h e manner i n wh i c h Wiebe r e f r a c t s , h i s a u t h o r i a l v o i c e t h r o u g h a l a b y r i n t h o f o t h e r v o i c e s r e v e a l s a p r o f o u n d a m b i v a l e n c e w h i c h d i s r u p t s t h e s e m a n t i c c o h e r e n c e o f t h e t e x t . Wiebe a t t e m p t s t o r e s t o r e s e m a n t i c o r d e r a t t h e end o f t h e n o v e l , b u t t h e s u c c e s s o f 25 t h i s endeavour remains open t o q u e s t i o n . Semantic coherence a l s o b r e a k s down p e r i o d i c a l l y i n My L o v e l y Enemy, as Wiebe t e m p o r a r i l y a b d i c a t e s h i s p o s i t i o n a t t h e . c e n t r e o f a u t h o r i a l c o n t r o l . I n s u b s t a n t i a l p o r t i o n s o f t h e t e x t , Wiebe r e l e a s e s h e t e r o g l o s s i a by p l a c i n g t h e onus on r e a d e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t e a c t i v e l y i n t h e p r o c e s s o f c r e a t i n g i t s meaning. Wiebe e x p l o r e s t h e n o t i o n t h a t meaning i s s u e s from t h e d i a l o g i c engagement o f t h e words on t h e page w i t h t h e v a r i o u s , e v e r - c h a n g i n g c o n t e x t s i n w h i c h r e a d e r s i n t e r p r e t t h o s e words. Meaning t h e r e f o r e r e t a i n s "a c e r t a i n openendedness, a l i v i n g c o n t a c t w i t h u n f i n i s h e d , s t i l l - e v o l v i n g contemporary r e a l i t y ( t h e openended p r e s e n t " ( B a k h t i n 1981, 7 ) . However, Wiebe c o u n t e r s t h e p o t e n t i a l h e t e r o g l o s s i a o f t h e t e x t o f My L o v e l y Enemy f i r s t , by i n t r o d u c i n g an o m n i s c i e n t n a r r a t i v e v o i c e i n t h e l a t t e r s e c t i o n s o f t h e n o v e l ; s econd, by b r i n g i n g i n an a u t h o r i t a t i v e t e a c h e r - f i g u r e ; and t h i r d , by i n v o k i n g t h e a u t h o r i t y o f t h e B i b l e t o e f f e c t s e m a n t i c c l o s u r e . By d i f f e r e n t means (and perhaps n o t e n t i r e l y d e l i b e r a t e l y ) Wiebe may p e r i o d i c a l l y r e l i n q u i s h s e mantic c o n t r o l t o t h e many and v a r i o u s " o t h e r s " who speak i n , and engage w i t h , h i s t e x t s . But w i t h o u t f a i l , he a l s o r e c o i l s v i o l e n t l y and a b r u p t l y a t c e r t a i n key p o i n t s i n each n o v e l from t h e l o g i c a l consequences o f s u r r e n d e r i n g a u t h o r i a l 26 c o n t r o l . I n a l l o f Wiebe's n o v e l s , h i s d e s i r e f o r d e m o c r a t i c freedom and open-minded d i a l o g u e c o n f l i c t s w i t h h i s y e a r n i n g f o r t h e m o n o l o g i c c e r t a i n t i e s of a u n i t a r y m o r a l , m e t a p h y s i c a l , and l i n g u i s t i c o r d e r . T h i s c o n f l i c t between d i a l o g i c and m o n o l o g i c i m p u l s e s not o n l y i n t e n s i f i e s o v e r t i m e , b u t a l s o m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f i n a w i d e r and w i d e r v a r i e t y o f ways. The c o n t e s t e r u p t s on an i n c r e a s i n g l y l a r g e number of p l a n e s o r b a t t l e f i e l d s i n t h e t e x t , and t h e outcome i s not n e c e s s a r i l y t h e same on each one. Wiebe's t e x t s become i n c r e a s i n g l y d e s t a b i l i s e d by t h e f l u c t u a t i n g c e n t r i f u g a l and c e n t r i p e t a l f o r c e s Wiebe a c t i v a t e s ; a t any g i v e n moment, one o r t h e o t h e r might, p r e v a i l . S h i f t i n g t o a c l a s s i c a l metaphor, one may say t h a t from h i s f i r s t n o v e l t o h i s s i x t h , Wiebe n a v i g a t e s an i n c r e a s i n g l y t r e a c h e r o u s c o u r s e between S c y l l a , t h e many- headed, many-voiced monster o f u n b r i d l e d d i a l o g i s m ; and C h a r y b d i s , t h e i n w a r d - p u l l i n g w h i r l p o o l o f monologue. C r i t i c s have a l r e a d y t o u c h e d on t h i s t e n s i o n between c e n t r i p e t a l and c e n t r i f u g a l t e n d e n c i e s i n Wiebe's work, b u t no one has y e t a t t e m p t e d t o use i t as a b a s i s f o r a s y s t e m a t i c , d e t a i l e d s t u d y . 1 9 Sam S o l e c k i and R o b e r t K r o e t s c h have b o t h n o t i c e d Wiebe's " c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h Word/word" ( K r o e t s c h 1978, 1 4 ) , but have not e x p l o r e d t h i s a s p e c t o f Wiebe's w r i t i n g o t h e r t h a n i n a b r i e f , r a t h e r c u r s o r y way. 2 0 Ina F e r r i s ' a r t i c l e , " R e l i g i o u s V i s i o n and F i c t i o n a l Form: Rudy Wiebe's The B l u e M ountains o f C h i n a , " makes a shrewd and r i g o r o u s a n a l y s i s o f t h e c o n f l i c t between Wiebe's urge t o a r t i c u l a t e h i s " t r a n s c e n d e n t , t i m e l e s s v i s i o n " and h i s a r t i s t i c commitment t o "mundane r e a l i t y i n a l l i t s c o n c r e t e n e s s , c o n f u s i o n and c o m p l e x i t y " ( F e r r i s 8 9 ) . F e r r i s c e r t a i n l y r e g i s t e r s t h e t e n s i o n between m o n o l o g i c and d i a l o g i c v i s i o n i n The B l u e M ountains o f C h i n a . She condemns Wiebe's heavy-handed a t t e m p t t o bestow supreme a u t h o r i t y on t h e language of John Reimer i n C h a p t e r 13, a r g u i n g t h a t "the a u t h e n t i c v o i c e o f t h e c h a p t e r b e l o n g s t o a f u g i t i v e from a n o t h e r m o d e — t o o l d Jakob F r i e s e n " ( 9 6 ) . A l t h o u g h she does not use B a k h t i n ' s t e r m i n o l o g y , F e r r i s ' s " o t h e r mode" c o r r e s p o n d s t o t h e d i a l o g i c mode. D a v i d L . J e f f r e y p l a c e s a p o s i t i v e v a l u e p r e c i s e l y on t h e f e a t u r e F e r r i s most ve h e m e n t l y condemns: Wiebe's a b r u p t s h i f t from d i a l o g i c t o m o n o l o g i c language. In "A Search f o r Peace: P r o p h e c y and P a r a b l e i n t h e F i c t i o n o f Rudy Wiebe," J e f f r e y comes t o g r i p s w i t h s e v e r a l o f t h e same q u e s t i o n s as t h i s s t u d y a d d r e s s e s , and he c e r t a i n l y makes many i l l u m i n a t i n g o b s e r v a t i o n s . However, J e f f r e y does not i n v o k e B a k h t i n i a n t h e o r y beyond p o i n t i n g t o t h e fundamental d i s t i n c t i o n between m o n o l o g i c and d i a l o g i c d i s c o u r s e . H i s a r t i c l e a t t e m p t s no r i g o r o u s a n a l y s i s o f t h e complex i n t e r n a l p o l i t i c s o f Wiebe's t e x t s . 28 S i m i l a r l y , P i e r r e S p r i e t ' s a r t i c l e , "Rudy Wiebe's The B l u e Mountains of C h i n a : t h e P olyphony of a P e o p l e o r t h e L o n e l y V o i c e of t h e F r i n g e ? , " u n d e r e s t i m a t e s t h e a m b i g u i t y and m u t a b i l i t y o f Wiebe's r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e v o i c e s which speak i n t h e t e x t . S p r i e t r e a d s The B l u e M o u n t a i n s o f C h i n a as "the s t o r y o f t h e d i s p e r s i o n o f a t r i b e " ( 5 9 ) . He emphasises t h e c e n t r i f u g a l r a t h e r t h a n t h e c e n t r i p e t a l a s p e c t s of b o t h t h e s t o r y and t h e language o f t h e t e x t . S p r i e t i n v o k e s B a k h t i n i a n terms such as " d i a l o g i c " and "polyphony" w i t h o u t r e a l i z i n g t h e e x t e n t of t h e i r i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y w i t h h i s o t h e r , more t r a d i t i o n a l l i t e r a r y c r i t i c a l p o s t u l a t e s . A l t h o u g h aware, f o r example, o f t h e " d i a l o g i c " i n t e r s p e r s a l o f n a r r a t i v e v o i c e s i n t h e t e x t ( 6 3 ) , S p r i e t f o l l o w s D o r r i t Cohn i n p o s i t i n g a h a r d and f a s t d i v i d i n g l i n e between F r i e d a ' s f i r s t - p e r s o n n a r r a t i v e and t h e t h i r d - p e r s o n o m n i s c i e n t n a r r a t i o n employed i n t h e o t h e r c h a p t e r s . S p r i e t can t h u s make t h e a s t o n i s h i n g c l a i m t h a t Wiebe "makes no comment o f any k i n d " (63) i n F r i e d a ' s s t o r y , b u t " c l e a r l y f e e l s w i t h t h e [ o t h e r ] p r o t a g o n i s t s and does not even t r y t o h i d e h i s sympathy" ( 6 0 ) . A l t h o u g h he uses some o f B a k h t i n ' s t e r m s , S p r i e t grounds h i s c a s e on m o n o l o g i c models o f d i s c o u r s e and s o c i e t y . 2 1 The p r e s e n t s t u d y endeavours t o r e f i n e u n d e r s t a n d i n g of Wiebe's l i n g u i s t i c p r a c t i c e s by making e x t e n s i v e use o f t h e c l a s s i f i c a t o r y system d e v e l o p e d by B a k h t i n i n Problems o f Dostoevsky's P o e t i c s . B a k h t i n d i v i d e s d i s c o u r s e i n t o t h r e e main s p e c i e s . each o f w h i c h may be s u b d i v i d e d i n t o t y p e s , w h i c h i n t u r n submit t o f u r t h e r d i v i s i o n i n t o v a r i e t i e s , 2 2 Because Wiebe's t e x t s w i l l be a n a l y z e d w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o t h i s c l a s s i f i c a t o r y system, i t i s r e p r o d u c e d i n s y n o p t i c form T a b l e 1. 2 3 TABLE I ; B a k h t i n ' s C l a s s i f i c a t o r y System I . D i r e c t , unmediated d i s c o u r s e d i r e c t e d e x c l u s i v e l y toward i t s r e f e r e n t i a l o b j e c t , as an e x p r e s s i o n of t h e spe a k e r ' s u l t i m a t e s e m a n t i c a u t h o r i t y . I I . O b j e c t i f i e d d i s c o u r s e ( d i s c o u r s e o f a r e p r e s e n t e d p erson) 1. W i t h a predominance o f s o c i o - t y p i c a l " ^ V a r i o u s d e t e r m i n i n g f a c t o r s /degrees 2. W i t h a predominance o f i n d i v i d u a l l y v o f c h a r a c t e r i s t i c d e t e r m i n i n g f a c t o r s J o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n I I I . D i s c o u r s e w i t h an o r i e n t a t i o n t o w a r d someone e l s e ' s d i s c o u r s e ( d o u b l e - v o i c e d d i s c o u r s e ) : 1. U n i d i r e c t i o n a l d o u b l e - v o i c e d d i s c o u r s e : when o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n i s r e d u c e d , t h e s e t e n d t oward a f u s i o n o f v o i c e d , i . e . , t o w a r d d i s c o u r s e o f t h e f i r s t t y p e . a. S t y l i z a t i o n ; b. N a r r a t o r ' s n a r r a t i o n ; c. U n o b j e c t i f i e d d i s c o u r s e o f a c h a r a c t e r who c a r r i e s o u t ( i n p a r t ) t h e a u t h o r ' s i n t e n t i o n s ; d. I c h - E r z a h l u n g . 2. V a r i - d i r e c t i o n a l d o u b l e - v o i c e d d i s c o u r s e : when o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n i s r e d u c e d and t h e o t h e r ' s i d e a i s a c t i v a t e d , t h e s e become i n t e r n a l l y d i a l o g i z e d and t e n d t o d i s i n t e g r a t e i n t o two d i s c o u r s e s (two v o i c e s ) o f t h e f i r s t t y p e . a. P a r o d y w i t h a l l i t s nuances; b. P a r o d i s t i c I c h - E r z a h l u n g ; c. D i s c o u r s e o f a c h a r a c t e r who i s p a r o d i c a l l y . r e p r e s e n t e d ; d. Any t r a n s m i s s i o n o f someone e l s e ' s words w i t h a s h i f t i n a c c e n t . 30 3. The a c t i v e t y p e ( r e f l e c t e d d i s c o u r s e o f a n o t h e r ) : t h e o t h e r d i s c o u r s e e x e r t s i n f l u e n c e from w i t h o u t ; d i v e r s e forms o f i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h a n o t h e r ' s d i s c o u r s e , as w e l l as v a r i o u s d e g r e e s o f d e f o r m i n g i n f l u e n c e e x e r t e d by one d i s c o u r s e on t h e o t h e r . a. Hidden i n t e r n a l p o l e m i c ; b. P o l e m i c a l l y c o l o u r e d a u t o b i o g r a p h y and c o n f e s s i o n ; c. Any d i s c o u r s e w i t h a s i d e w a r d g l a n c e a t someone e l s e ' s word; d. A r e j o i n d e r o f a d i a l o g u e ; e. Hidden d i a l o g u e . W h i l e B a k h t i n ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e S p e c i e s I i s s e l f - e x p l a n a t o r y , t h e o t h e r two s p e c i e s r e q u i r e f u r t h e r c l a r i f i c a t i o n . S p e c i e s I I c o r r e s p o n d s t o what c o n v e n t i o n a l l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m c a l l s " d i a l o g u e " o r "the d i r e c t speech o f c h a r a c t e r s . " From t i m e t o t i m e , B a k h t i n a l s o r e f e r s t o S p e c i e s I I as " c o m p o s i t i o n a l l y marked d i a l o g u e , " t o i n d i c a t e t h a t p u n c t u a t i o n and o t h e r t y p o g r a p h i c a l markers d e l i n e a t e t h e words o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s from t h o s e o f t h e a u t h o r o r t h e n a r r a t o r . B a k h t i n v i e w s t h e d i r e c t speech o f c h a r a c t e r s as o b j e c t i f i e d "bounded o b j e c t s " w h i c h e x i s t i n s i d e t h e j u r i s d i c t i o n o f a u t h o r ' s u t t e r a n c e , i n a s t a t e o f s u b j e c t i o n t o t h e a u t h o r ' s " h i g h e r a u t h o r i t y " ( B a k h t i n 1984, 1 8 7 ) . 2 A C o m p o s i t i o n a l l y marked d i a l o g u e p l a y s a v i t a l r o l e i n a l l Wiebe's n o v e l s , and d e s e r v e s t o be a n a l y s e d i n some d e t a i l . I n h i s f i r s t two n o v e l s , such d i a l o g u e i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i m p o r t a n t , b e i n g h i s p r i n c i p a l means o f o b j e c t i f y i n g t h e language o f o t h e r s . 31 From The Blue Mountains of China onwards, Wiebe explores more and more rigorously the a r t i s t i c and r h e t o r i c a l p o t e n t i a l of the types and v a r i e t i e s of double- voiced discourse belonging to Species I I I . To understand the appropriative strategies Wiebe employs i n his middle and l a t e r phases, i t i s e s s e n t i a l to grasp the concept of "hybridity" or " i n t e r n a l d i a l o g i c i t y , " which Bakhtin describes a b s t r a c t l y as follows: 2 5 What we are c a l l i n g a hybrid construction i s an utterance that belongs, by i t s grammatical (syntactic) and compositional markers, to a single speaker/ but that a c t u a l l y contains mixed within i t two utterances, two speech genres, two s t y l e s , two "languages," two semantic and a x i o l o g i c a l b e l i e f systems.... There i s no formal—compositional and syntactic—boundary between these utterances, s t y l e s , languages, b e l i e f systems; the d i v i s i o n of voices and languages takes place within the l i m i t s of a single syntactic whole, often within the l i m i t s of a simple sentence. It frequently happens that the same word w i l l belong simultaneously to two languages, two b e l i e f systems that i n t e r s e c t i n a hybrid construction—and, consequently, the word has two contradictory meanings, two accents. (1981, 304-5) Bakhtin d i f f e r e n t i a t e s between " u n i d i r e c t i o n a l " and " v a r i - d i r e c t i o n a l " double-voiced discourses (Types 1 and 2 within Species III) on the basis of what he c a l l s the "dialogic angle" (Bakhtin 1984, 182). The d i a l o g i c angle defines the degree to which the author's intentions d i f f e r from those of the other who speaks i n the utterance i n question. In Type 1 ( s t y l i z a t i o n ) , there i s an intention on the part of the author to make use of someone else's discourse i n the d i r e c t i o n of i t s own p a r t i c u l a r a s p i r a t i o n s . S t y l i z a t i o n s t y l i z e s another's s t y l e i n the d i r e c t i o n of that s t y l e ' s own p a r t i c u l a r tasks. It merely renders those tasks conventional. (Bakhtin 1984, 193) 32 In Type 2 ( p a r o d y ) , t h e d i a l o g i c a n g l e widens, as i t were: The a u t h o r a g a i n speaks i n someone e l s e ' s d i s c o u r s e , b u t i n c o n t r a s t t o s t y l i z a t i o n , p a r o d y i n t r o d u c e s i n t o t h a t d i s c o u r s e a s e m a n t i c i n t e n t i o n t h a t i s d i r e c t l y opposed t o t h e o r i g i n a l one. The second v o i c e , once h a v i n g made i t s home i n t h e o t h e r ' s d i s c o u r s e , c l a s h e s h o s t i l e l y w i t h i t s p r i m o r d i a l h o s t and f o r c e s him t o s e r v e d i r e c t l y o p p o s i n g aims. D i s c o u r s e becomes an are n a o f b a t t l e between two v o i c e s . ( B a k h t i n 1984, 193) B a k h t i n ' s c o n c e p t s o f s t y l i z a t i o n , p a r o d y and t h e d i a l o g i c a n g l e prove i n d i s p e n s a b l e t o a n a l y s i s o f Wiebe's a u t h o r i a l p r a c t i c e s i n The B l u e Mountains o f C h i n a , The Te m p t a t i o n s o f B i g Bear, The Scorched-Wood P e o p l e , and My L o v e l y Enemy. In a l l p a r o d y and s t y l i z a t i o n , t h e a u t h o r " r e f r a c t s " h i s o r her i n t e n t i o n s t h r o u g h t h e words o f an o t h e r . B a k h t i n ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f " r e f r a c t i o n " c l a r i f i e s t h e c o n c e p t of t h e " d i a l o g i c a n g l e , " w h i l e a t t h e same t i m e h i g h l i g h t i n g t h e i m p e r i a l i s m i m p l i c i t i n a l l s t y l i z a t i o n and parody: The a u t h o r does not speak i n a g i v e n language ( f r o m which he d i s t a n c e s h i m s e l f t o a g r e a t e r o r le s s e r - d e g r e e ) , b u t he sp e a k s , as i t were, t h r o u g h language, a language t h a t has somehow more o r l e s s m a t e r i a l i z e d , become o b j e c t i v i z e d , t h a t he m e r e l y v e n t r i l o q u a t e s . The p r o s e w r i t e r as a n o v e l i s t does not s t r i p away t h e i n t e n t i o n s o f o t h e r s from t h e ' h e t e r o g l o t language of h i s works... r a t h e r he welcomes them i n t o h i s work. The p r o s e w r i t e r makes use o f words t h a t a r e a l r e a d y p o p u l a t e d w i t h t h e s o c i a l i n t e n t i o n s o f o t h e r s and compels them t o s e r v e h i s own new i n t e n t i o n s , t o s e r v e a second m a s t e r . T h e r e f o r e t h e i n t e n t i o n s of t h e p r o s e w r i t e r a r e r e f r a c t e d , and r e f r a c t e d a t d i f f e r e n t a n g l e s . d e p e n d i n g on t h e degree t o wh i c h t h e r e f r a c t e d , h e t e r o g l o t l a n g u a g e s he d e a l s w i t h a r e s o c i o - i d e o l o g i c a l l y a l i e n . . . . (1981, 2 9 9 - 3 0 0 ) 2 6 V o l o s i n o v ' s t h e o r y o f t h e u t t e r a n c e as "an ar e n a o f t h e c l a s s s t r u g g l e " (23 ) 2 7 i m p l i e s t h a t e l e m e n t s o f s t y l i z a t i o n and parody c h a r a c t e r i s e a l l language use. In Marxism and t h e P h i l o s o p h y o f Language. V o l o s i n o v d e s c r i b e s t h e u t t e r a n c e as a space o r f i e l d where r i v a l a c c e n t u a l systems c l a s h , as s p e a k e r s a p p r o p r i a t e words " a l r e a d y p o p u l a t e d w i t h t h e s o c i a l i n t e n t i o n s o f o t h e r s " ( B a k h t i n 1981, 300). I f one s o c i a l group s e i z e s a monopoly o v e r language, so t h a t one s e t o f s t a n d a r d s o r norms e n t i r e l y p r e v a i l s , t h e v e r b a l s i g n system o s s i f i e s . I t becomes " u n i a c c e n t u a l " ( V o l o s i n o v 2 3 ) , and " i n e v i t a b l y l o s e s f o r c e " ( V o l o s i n o v 2 3 ) . But as l o n g as s o c i a l s t r u g g l e c o n t i n u e s w i t h i n t h e a r e n a of t h e v e r b a l s i g n , language " m a i n t a i n s i t s v i t a l i t y and dynamism and t h e c a p a c i t y f o r f u r t h e r development" ( V o l o s i n o v 2 3 ) . I n t h e p r o c e s s o f r e - w r i t i n g h i s t o r y and r e c o n t e x t u a l i z i n g p a s s a g e s from t h e S c r i p t u r e s i n h i s n o v e l s , Wiebe c o n s t r u c t s v e r b a l and n o n - v e r b a l s i g n s as s i t e s where r i v a l s o c i a l f a c t i o n s c o n t e n d t o a s s e r t r i v a l meanings. He redeems from s e m a n t i c d e a t h t h e c l i c h e d word o r p h r a s e , t h e s t o c k d r a m a t i c s i t u a t i o n , t h e t o o - f a m i l i a r h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t . By p u l l i n g t h e s e e x h a u s t e d , o s s i f i e d s i g n i f i e r s back i n t o t h e a r e n a o f p u b l i c d e b a t e , Wiebe r e s u s c i t a t e s them and r e s t o r e s t h e i r power t o t r o u b l e t h e mind. Wiebe t h u s e x p l o i t s t h e h i s t o r i c i t y o f w o r d s — b u t o n l y up t o a p o i n t ! A t a c e r t a i n moment nea r t h e end o f each n o v e l , he makes an a b r u p t t u r n - a r o u n d , a t t e m p t s t o q u e l l s o c i a l s t r u g g l e w i t h i n t h e a r e n a o f t h e u t t e r a n c e , and 34 endeavours t o s u b j u g a t e a l l v e r b a l s i g n s t o t h e a u t h o r i t a t i v e S c r i p t u r a l Word. Wiebe's a t t e m p t s t o r e a s s e r t a u t h o r i a l c o n t r o l do not a lways succeed, e i t h e r r h e t o r i c a l l y o r a e s t h e t i c a l l y . A u t h o r s might su c c e e d i n . r e f r a c t i n g t h e i r a u t h o r i a l i n t e n t i o n s t h r o u g h t h e v o i c e s and languages o f o t h e r s , b u t as M i c h a e l H o l q u i s t p o i n t s o u t , t h e r e a r e o t h e r r e f r a c t i n g media as w e l l , i n c l u d i n g t h a t mass of a l i e n w o r d s ' p r e s e n t not i n t h e o b j e c t b u t i n t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f t h e l i s t e n e r . (1981, 432) The meaning of a t e x t can n e v e r remain e n t i r e l y i n t h e a u t h o r ' s c o n t r o l , as Wiebe found out when t h e Mennonite community e r u p t e d i n t o a f u r o r e a f t e r t h e p u b l i c a t i o n o f Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many. 2 8 None of Wiebe's n o v e l s l a c k s d e v i c e s f o r l i m i t i n g h e t e r o g l o s s i a : such d e v i c e s a r e arrows i n t h e q u i v e r o f a l l r h e t o r i c i a n s . O n l y i n My L o v e l y Enemy does Wiebe's r h e t o r i c s e l f - c o n s c i o u s l y b e g i n t o d e l e g a t e a u t h o r - i t y t o r e a d e r s , and encourage them t o a c t as co- c r e a t o r s o f t h e meanings " i n " t h e t e x t . Even so , My L o v e l y Enemy i s a r g u a b l y marred by t h e measures Wiebe t a k e s t o r e p r e s s h e t e r o g l o s s i a a t t h e end. Wiebe cannot y e t f u l l y a l l o w t h e p r i m a c y o f c o n t e x t o v e r t e x t [which e n s u r e s t h a t ] a t any g i v e n t i m e , i n any g i v e n p l a c e , t h e r e w i l l be a s e t o f c o n d i t i o n s — s o c i a l , h i s t o r i c a l , m e t e o r o l o g i c a l , p h y s i o l o g i c a l — t h a t w i l l e nsure t h a t a word u t t e r e d i n t h a t p l a c e and i n t h a t t i m e w i l l have a meaning d i f f e r e n t t h a n i t w o u l d have under any o t h e r c o n d i t i o n s ; a l l u t t e r a n c e s a r e h e t e r o g l o t i n t h a t t h e y a r e f u n c t i o n s o f a m a t r i x o f f o r c e s p r a c t i c a l l y 35 i m p o s s i b l e t o r e c o u p , and t h e r e f o r e i m p o s s i b l e t o r e s o l v e . ( H o l q u i s t 1981, 428) D e s p i t e Wiebe's i n t e n s e i n t e r e s t i n t h e d i a l o g i c p r i n c i p l e , h i s r h e t o r i c a l p u r p o s e s f o r c e him t o r e p r e s s t h e h e t e r o g l o s s i a o f h i s own t e x t s . Nor has Wiebe y e t w r i t t e n a " p o l y p h o n i c " n o v e l . B a k h t i n d e f i n e s "polyphony" as "a p l u r a l i t y o f f u l l y v a l i d v o i c e s " ( B a k h t i n 1984, 3 4 ) . He uses t h e t e r m t o d e s c r i b e t h e a u t h o r i a l p r a c t i c e o f g i v i n g v o i c e t o "a p l u r a l i t y o f e q u a l l y - v a l i d c o n s c i o u s n e s s e s , each w i t h i t s own w o r l d " (1984, 7 ) . B a k h t i n h a i l s D o s t o e v s k y as "the c r e a t o r o f t h e p o l y p h o n i c n o v e l " (19 84, 7 ) , a d i s t i n c t v a r i e t y o f s e c o n d a r y u t t e r a n c e w h i c h n e i t h e r h i e r a c h i z e s t h e h e t e r o g l o t v o i c e s i t c o n t a i n s , nor s u b o r d i n a t e s any o f t h e s e v o i c e s t o t h a t o f t h e a u t h o r : A c h a r a c t e r ' s word about h i m s e l f and h i s w o r l d i s j u s t as f u l l y w e i g h t e d as t h e a u t h o r ' s word u s u a l l y i s ; i t i s not s u b o r d i n a t e d t o t h e c h a r a c t e r ' s o b j e c t i f i e d image as m e r e l y one o f h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , nor does i t s e r v e as a m o u t h p i e c e f o r t h e a u t h o r ' s v o i c e . I t p o s s e s s e s e x t r a o r d i n a r y independence i n t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e work; i t sounds, as i t were, a l o n g s i d e t h e a u t h o r ' s word and i n a s p e c i a l way combines b o t h w i t h i t and w i t h t h e f u l l and e q u a l l y v a l i d v o i c e s o f o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s . ( B a k h t i n 1984, 7) A l t h o u g h Wiebe uses p o l y p h o n i c n a r r a t i v e forms i n The B l u e Mountains of C h i n a and The T e m p t a t i o n s of B i g B e ar , n e i t h e r n o v e l f u n c t i o n s p o l y p h o n i c a l l y . I t must be emphasised t h a t Wiebe and B a k h t i n a t t a c h 36 e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t v a l u e s t o p o l y p h o n y . F o r B a k h t i n , t h e p o l y p h o n i c n o v e l i s a m i c r o - c o s m i c democracy, a t e x t u a l model o f a p o l i t i c a l u t o p i a . P o l yphony b r i n g s l i b e r a t i o n from t h e o p p r e s s i o n o f c l o s e d , n a i v e m o n o l o g i c c o n s c i o u s n e s s . I n Wiebe's n o v e l s , however, p o l y p h o n y c a r r i e s n e g a t i v e a s s o c i a t i o n s . I t evokes a n a r c h y , chaos, i n s a n i t y , n i h i l i s m , a t e r r i f y i n g d i s i n t e g r a t i o n o f meaning. F o r Wiebe, polyphony g i v e s v o i c e t o t h e " v o i d o f s p l i n t e r e d dogmas" (PPM 235). In a d d i t i o n , a l t h o u g h B a k h t i n a p p l i e s t h e term "polyphony" o n l y t o d i s c o u r s e , i t p r o v e s u s e f u l a l s o f o r d e s c r i b i n g o t h e r f i e l d s i n w h i c h "a p l u r a l i t y o f f u l l y v a l i d v o i c e s " can be h e a r d . P o l y p h o n y may m a n i f e s t i t s e l f not o n l y i n t h e space o f a t e x t , b u t a l s o i n t h e psyche of a c h a r a c t e r ( p o l y p h o n i c c o n s c i o u s n e s s ) , o r i n a g e o g r a p h i c a l space o c c u p i e d by a c u l t u r a l l y and l i n g u i s t i c a l l y h eterogeneous s o c i e t y . Wiebe's d i s t i n c t i v e v i s i o n and method w a r r a n t e x t e n d i n g B a k h t i n ' s d e f i n i t i o n o f "polyphony," and r e v e r s i n g t h e p o s i t i v e c o n n o t a t i o n s he a t t a c h e s t o t h e word. S t r i c t l y s p e a k i n g , i t i s i m p o s s i b l e not t o i m p a r t new s e m a n t i c nuances and v a l u e s t o words i n t h e p r o c e s s o f i n s e r t i n g them i n t o new c o n t e x t s . However, i n a s t u d y o f t h i s k i n d , w h i c h must conform t o p r e d e t e r m i n e d s t a n d a r d s o f c l a r i t y and c o n c e p t u a l p r e c i s i o n , i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o h o l d d i a l o g i z i n g t e n d e n c i e s i n check by d e f i n i n g and s t a b i l i z i n g t e r m i n o l o g y . By n o t i n g a l l d e p a r t u r e s f r o m B a k h t i n i a n usage, t h i s s t u d y seeks not t o exempt i t s e l f f r o m , but r a t h e r t o p a r t i c i p a t e s e l f - c o n s c i o u s l y i n t h e o n g o i n g p r o c e s s o f r e n o v a t i n g and i n d i v i d u a l i z i n g words " a l r e a d y p o p u l a t e d w i t h t h e s o c i a l i n t e n t i o n s o f o t h e r s " ( B a k h t i n 1981, 300). 38 NOTES TO CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1. In The D i a l o g i c I m a g i n a t i o n , B a k h t i n i n d i c a t e s t h a t " p o l y g l o s s i a " d enotes more t h a n one n a t i o n a l l a n g u a g e , w h i l e " h e t e r o g l o s s i a " r e f e r s t o t h e " i n t e r n a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n , t h e s t r a t i f i c a t i o n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f any n a t i o n a l l a n g u a g e " ( 6 1 ) . B a k h t i n a p p l i e s t h e s e terms b o t h t o t h e a c t u a l s t a t e of language ( i t s homogeneity o r d i v e r s i t y ) t h a t p e r t a i n s i n a s o c i e t y , and t o t h e myths t h a t s o c i e t y h o l d s about i t s language. 2. I n F i r s t and V i t a l C a n d l e , f o r example, Wiebe p o s t p o n e s h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h i s moment u n t i l C h a p t e r 16. 3. T h i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f Wiebe's c h a r a c t e r s i n t o f o u r main groups d i f f e r s from, b u t i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h , George H i l d e b r a n d ' s g r o u p i n g s i n "Rudy Wiebe: t h e A n a b a p t i s t V i s i o n and t h e U s a b l e P a s t " (1977). H i l d e b r a n d d i v i d e s Wiebe's c h a r a c t e r s i n t o t h o s e who l i v e " i n a s t a t e o f n a t u r e , " t h o s e who l i v e " i n a s t a t e o f s i n , " t h e " s e a r c h i n g p i l g r i m [ s ] , " and "the redeemed" ( 3 4 - 5 ) . These f o u r groups c o r r e s p o n d r e s p e c t i v e l y w i t h t h o s e d e s c r i b e d i n t h e p r e s e n t s t u d y as "the n a i v e , m o n o l o g i c u n f a l l e n ( c h i l d r e n ) , " "the i n t e r v e n i n g c h a r a c t e r s , " "the t e a c h e r - f i g u r e s , " and "the r e a d e r - f i g u r e s . " 4.In F a r As t h e Eye Can See (Edmonton: Newest P r e s s , 1977) 123-5, Wiebe p a r o d i e s t h e use o f t h e deus ex machina d e v i c e , b u t a t t h e same t i m e q u e s t i o n s i t s a b i l i t y t o e f f e c t t o t a l n a r r a t i v e c l o s u r e . P r e m i e r P e t e r Lougheed, "the p e r f e c t deus ex machina" "(123), descends o n t o t h e s t a g e i n an immense c o a l scoop, t o t h e sound o f c r e a k i n g machinery. H i s speech seems a t f i r s t t o p u t an end t o t h e s t r u g g l e between t h e far m e r s s e e k i n g t o p r e s e r v e t h e i r l a n d and C a l g a r y Power who want t o s t r i p - m i n e i t f o r c o a l : " T h i s p r o j e c t w o u l d d i s t u r b t o o much pri m e a g r i c u l t u r a l l a n d . T h e r e f o r e , a t t h i s t i m e my government w i l l not g i v e a p p r o v a l t o Dodds-Round H i l l development" ( 1 2 4 ) . The f a r m e r s t h i n k t h e y have won. Wiebe appears t o have c l o s e d t h e s t o r y . However, John Siemens r e - opens t h e n a r r a t i v e by r e a c c e n t i n g Lougheed's s p e e c h , and dr a w i n g a t t e n t i o n t o t h e l o o p h o l e i t c o n t a i n s : "Can't you see? He's g i v e n you t h r e e y e a r s , a t most" ( 1 2 5 ) . Lougheed's s t r e s s on "not" d e f l e c t s a t t e n t i o n from h i s q u a l i f i e r " a t t h i s t i m e " ( 1 2 4 ) . The s t r u g g l e has not by any means ended. 5. As Wiebe p o i n t s out i n h i s P r e f a c e t o Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many, t h e e a r l y M ennonites were " r e s t r a i n e d from open p r o s e l y t i s i n g " ( 8 ) . E . K . F r a n c i s d e s c r i b e s how a t r a d i t i o n o f w i t h d r a w a l grew out o f — b u t o u t l a s t e d — t h e l e g a l and p h y s i c a l r e s t r a i n t s t o w h i c h Wiebe r e f e r s ; see I n Se a r c h o f U t o p i a : t h e Mennonites i n M a n i t o b a ( A l t o n a , M a n i t o b a : D. W. 39 F r i e s e n , 1955). 6. The term " C a t h o l i c " i n t h i s i n s t a n c e does n o t r e f e r s p e c i f i c a l l y t o t h e Roman C a t h o l i c Church, bu t d e n o t e s broadness, u n i v e r s a l i t y . 7. In " U n e a r t h i n g Language," Wiebe remarks on t h e i s o l a t i o n of t h e Paraguayan Mennonite s e t t l e m e n t s , and t h e i r a t t e m p t t o l i v e i n t h e p a t t e r n s o f t h e o l d R u s s i a n M e n n o n i t e v i l l a g e s s t i l l : t h e y ' r e e x a c t l y t h e same and t h e v i l l a g e s a r e named the s a m e . . . — t h e y t r y t o r e c r e a t e as much as t h e y can i n t h e South A m e r i c a n d e s e r t t h e l i f e o f R u s s i a and i t s s o c i a l p a t t e r n s . I suppose coming t o them was f o r me r e a l l y l i k e b e i n g a b l e t o go back t o t h e R u s s i a t h a t my p a r e n t s had l o s t f o r e v e r , and j u s t t a l k w i t h t h e p e o p l e t h e way t h e y t a l k e d t h e n . (Neuman 228-9). 8. See a l s o George H i l d e b r a n d : Wiebe "seeks c u l t u r a l l y more r e c o g n i z a b l e means by w h i c h t o speak t o an a u d i e n c e beyond t h e h e r m e t i c w o r l d o f e v a n g e l i c a l P r o t e s t a n t i s m " (1977, 1 ) . 9. In "The A r t i s t as a C r i t i c and a W i t n e s s , " Wiebe adheres t o t h e New C r i t i c a l a s s u m p t i o n t h a t a work of a r t s h o u l d not mean but be, and t h a t because form and c o n t e n t a r e i n s e p a r a b l e , a l i t e r a r y work cannot be p a r a p h r a s e d : "A work of a r t i s . : i t i s s i m p l y t o o complex t o p a r a p h r a s e and e x p l a i n f u l l y , s a t i s f a c t o r i l y " (VL 4 0 ) . 10. T h i s p r o g r e s s i v e s h i f t i n Wiebe's r h e t o r i c a l s t r a t e g y can be e x p l a i n e d i n p a r t by t h e e v o l u t i o n of h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f how humankind m i g h t engage w i t h t h e S c r i p t u r e s . Between 1963 and 1967, when he t a u g h t a t t h e Mennonite C o l l e g e a t Goshen, I n d i a n a , Wiebe e x p e r i e n c e d t h e Word f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e i n a c r e a t i v e , i n t e l l e c t u a l l y a d venturous c o n t e x t — a c o n t e x t w h i c h might be d e s c r i b e d as a u t h e n t i c a l l y d i a l o g i c . R e f l e c t i n g on t h i s c r u c i a l p e r i o d some f i f t e e n y e a r s l a t e r , i n an i n t e r v i e w w i t h S h i r l e y Neuman and R o b e r t K r o e t s c h , Wiebe's language evokes t h e e x c i t e m e n t o f t h i s f i r s t g l i m p s e o f t h e d i a l o g i c p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f t h e Word; [When I p u b l i s h e d my f i r s t n o v e l ] my p a t t e r n o f t h i n k i n g was s t i l l p r e t t y . . . f u n d a m e n t a l i s t o r C h r i s t i a n i n t h e sense t h a t my major s t o r i e s came f r o m a c e r t a i n k i n d o f f a i r l y narrow u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f what t h e B i b l e was t a l k i n g a b o u t , w h i c h i s how I grew up. In.some ways, I've s i m p l y never f o u n d a b e t t e r way o f t h i n k i n g 40 about the world. I think part of what you see i n The Blue Mountains of China, Shirley, i s a wider way of understanding the world-views the Bible presents to us. That i s d u e — I wouldn't want to underestimate i t — t o the time I was i n the United States teaching at a small Mennonite college. There, for the f i r s t time and over an extended period, I encountered men and women of r e a l perception who had thought through a l o t of these things, r e a l l y l i t e r a t e Christians who saw themselves as Jesus' followers and at the same time were acquainted with the thoughts of others and had brought that kind of understanding to bear on what i t means to be a C h r i s t i a n . The best thing that ever happened to me was the meetings we had every two or three weeks i n one home or another—seven or eight of us, a p s y c h i a t r i s t , a couple of theologians, a couple of l i t e r a r y people. (Neuman 242-3) 11. The term "dialogue" embraces a f a r greater range of interlocutory s i t u a t i o n s than two people speaking to one another face to face. For Bakhtin, the term "dialogue" includes a l l forms of verbal i n t e r a c t i o n , aided or unaided by technology. 12. Synchronic studies concern themselves with the l i n g u i s t i c system as i t s stands at a p a r t i c u l a r point i n time; diachronic studies examine the evolution of language across time. "La langue i s the system of a language, the language as a system of forms, whereas parole i s actual speech, the speech acts which are made possible by the language" (Culler 29). C u l l e r argues that Saussure never "deceived himself in t o thinking that language exists as a series of t o t a l l y homogenous synchronic states" (37), but rather recognized f u l l y that "because i t i s a r b i t r a r y the sign i s t o t a l l y subject to history, and the combination at a p a r t i c u l a r moment of a given s i g n i f i e r and s i g n i f i e d i s a contingent r e s u l t of the h i s t o r i c a l process" (36). In reaction to t h i s recognition, Saussure adopted the synchronic model as "a methodological f i c t i o n " (Culler 37). 13. See "Epic and the Novel," The Dial o g i c Imagination, 3- 40. 14. The "polyphonic novel" i s an exception to t h i s r ule, being a form of secondary utterance whose in t e r n a l p o l i t i c s are democratic. See Bakhtin 1984, 5-46, f o r d e f i n i t i o n s and analysis of the polyphonic novel. Wiebe's p a r t i c u l a r manner of dramatizing and evaluating polyphony i s discussed l a t e r i n the present chapter, and i n Chapter 3. 41 15. F o r f u r t h e r d i s c u s s i o n o f c e n t r i p e t a l and c e n t r i f u g a l f o r c e s , see M i c h a e l H o l q u i s t , I n t r o d u c t i o n t o The D i a l o g i c I m a g i n a t i o n , x v i i i , and H o l q u i s t ' s G l o s s a r y i n t h e same work, 425. 16. See The D i a l o g i c I m a g i n a t i o n , pp. 385-6, 425 f o r e x p l a n a t i o n s o f t h e t e r m " b e l i e f system." 17. I n C a r y l Emerson and M i c h a e l H o l q u i s t ' s E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n o f The D i a l o g i c I m a g i n a t i o n , t h e term " h e t e r o g l o s s i a " t a k e s on d i f f e r e n t meanings i n d i f f e r e n t c o n t e x t s ( t h u s i l l u s t r a t i n g t h e d i a l o g i c p r i n c i p l e ) . I t appear s t w i c e i n t h e G l o s s a r y and many t i m e s i n t h e body o f B a k h t i n ' s t e x t . Emerson and H o l q u i s t t r a n s l a t e " r a z n o r e C i e , " " r a z n o r e C i v o s t , " and " r a z n o j a z y f i i e " as " h e t e r o g l o s s i a . " " R a z n o r e C i e " appears i n t h e G l o s s a r y under t h e h e a d i n g " H e t e r o g l o s s i a " and r e f e r s t o t h e p o t e n t i a l l y i n f i n i t e s e m a n t i c p l u r a l i t y o f any a g i v e n s e t o f words, w h i c h e x i s t s as a r e s u l t o f t h e i n f i n i t e a r r a y o f c o n t e x t s i n t o w h i c h i t mi g h t be i n c o r p o r a t e d : ( " H e t e r o g l o s s i a : The base c o n d i t i o n g o v e r n i n g t h e o p e r a t i o n o f meaning i n any u t t e r a n c e . . . . A l l u t t e r a n c e s a r e h e t e r o g l o t i n t h a t t h e y a r e f u n c t i o n s o f m a t r i x o f f o r c e s p r a c t i c a l l y i m p o s s i b l e t o r e s o l v e " [ 4 2 8 ] ) . " R a z n o r e C i v o s t " a l s o appears under t h e h e a d i n g " H e t e r o g l o s s i a " i n t h e G l o s s a r y , but i s d e f i n e d e l s e w h e r e by B a k h t i n as a "mix o f v a r i e d and o p p o s i n g v o i c e s " ( 4 9 ) . " R a z n o j a z y g i e " appears i n t h e G l o s s a r y under t h e h e a d i n g "language [ i a z y k ] " and denotes "many la n g u a g e s , " o r , i n Lotman's terms, many "communication s y s t e m [ s ] e m p l o y i n g s i g n s t h a t a r e o r d e r e d i n a p a r t i c u l a r manner" ( H o l q u i s t 4 3 0 ) . " H e t e r o g l o s s i a " may t h e r e f o r e v a l i d l y be used t o den o t e many v o i c e s , many la n g u a g e s , o r many meanings ( v o i c i n g s , i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s ) o f a g i v e n u t t e r a n c e . B a k h t i n ' s c l e a r e s t d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e s e d i f f e r e n t senses o f t h e word " h e t e r o g l o s s i a " o c c u r s i n The D i a l o g i c I m a g i n a t i o n , p. 324-25. To a v o i d p o s s i b l e c o n f u s i o n , t h e word " h e t e r o g l o s s i a " r e f e r s i n t h e p r e s e n t s t u d y t o se m a n t i c p l u r a l i t y ( " r a z n o r e C i e " ) ; and terms such as " m u l t i - v o i c e d n e s s , " "speech d i v e r s i t y , " o r " s t y l i s t i c h e t e r o g e n e i t y " w i l l d e n o t e t h e m i x i n g o f v o i c e s and lan g u a g e s m a n i f e s t i n t h e t e x t ( " r a z n o r e C i v o s t , " " r a z n o i a z y C i e " ) . 18. "A zone i s a l o c u s f o r h e a r i n g a v o i c e , " ( B a k h t i n 1981, 4 3 4 ) . V o i c e zones a r e d i s c u s s e d i n more d e t a i l i n r e l a t i o n t o F i r s t and V i t a l C a n d l e i n C h a p t e r 3. 19. Numerous c r i t i c s have p o i n t e d t o t h e p r e s e n c e o f e i t h e r c e n t r i p e t a l o r c e n t r i f u g a l t e n d e n c i e s , b u t v e r y few have d i s c u s s e d t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e two. Most r e v i e w e r s and c r i t i c s m e ntion t h e d i d a c t i c i s m o f Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many and F i r s t and V i t a l C a n d l e , and t h e f r a g m e n t a t i o n o f 42 The B l u e Mountains o f C h i n a and The T e m p t a t i o n s o f B i g Bear. 20. See Ro b e r t K r o e t s c h , " M i r r o r , m i r r o r , show us a l l , " Rev. of The Scorched-Wood P e o p l e , Books i n Canada 7/1 ( J a n . 1978), 14; and K r o e t s c h ' s remarks on Wiebe's b e l i e f i n t h e " ' C a p i t a l - W ' Word" (Neuman 236). See a l s o Sam S o l e c k i , " G i a n t F i c t i o n s and L a r g e Meanings: t h e N o v e l s o f Rudy Wiebe," Canadian Forum 60 (March 1981), 5-8, 13. 21. J e f f r e y and S p r i e t a r e t h e o n l y two c r i t i c s who have a p p l i e d B a k h t i n i a n t h e o r y i n a more t h a n p a s s i n g way t o Wiebe's w r i t i n g . O t h e r c r i t i c s have a d d r e s s e d t h e q u e s t i o n of Wiebe's d o u b l e - v o i c e d n e s s u s i n g t h e o r e t i c a l models o t h e r t h a n B a k h t i n ' s . See S h e r r i l l E. Grace, " S t r u c t u r i n g V i o l e n c e : 'The E t h i c s o f L i n g u i s t i c s ' i n 'The Temptations o f B i g B e a r ' , " Canadian L i t e r a t u r e 104 ( S p r i n g 1985), 7-23; George H i l d e b r a n d "The A n a b a p t i s t V i s i o n o f Rudy Wiebe: a Study i n T h e o l o g i c a l A l l e g o r e s i s , " d i s s . M c G i l l U n i v e r s i t y , 1982. 22. See B a k h t i n 1984, 185-199, f o r e x p l a n a t i o n o f t h e s e s p e c i e s , t y p e s and v a r i e t i e s . 23. Taken from B a k h t i n 1984, 199. 24. F o r f u r t h e r d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e o t h e r ' s speech as a bounded o b j e c t , see B a k h t i n 1981, 41-50; B a k h t i n 1984, 186- 189. 25. See a l s o B a k h t i n 1981, 429. 26. See a l s o B a k h t i n 1981, 432. 27. A l t h o u g h Volo§inov d i v i d e s t h e s o c i a l w o r l d on t h e b a s i s of c l a s s , one may v a l i d l y v i e w t h e v e r b a l s i g n as an arena of s t r u g g l e between s o c i a l groups d i f f e r e n t i a t e d a c c o r d i n g t o o t h e r c r i t e r i a . 28. See Wiebe's remarks t o t h e p u b l i c r e s p o n s e t o Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many, i n "The S k u l l i n t h e Swamp," J o u r n a l o f Mennonite S t u d i e s 5 ( 1 9 8 7 ) , 8-20. 43 CHAPTER 2: PEACE SHALL DESTROY MANY B r e a k i n g Open t h e C a p s u l e I Rudy Wiebe opens C h a p t e r One o f h i s f i r s t n o v e l , Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many, w i t h a s y m b o l i c b r e a c h i n g o f t h e narrow h o r i z o n o f a c l o s e d , m o n o l o g i c w o r l d . In t h e s p r i n g o f 1944, Thorn Wiens p l o u g h s h i s w h e a t f i e l d i n t h e i s o l a t e d Mennonite f a r m i n g community o f W a p i t i i n N o r t h e r n Saskatchewan. Suddenly, a group o f C a n a d i a n f i g h t e r p l a n e s comes r o a r i n g out o f t h e s o u t h . They pass o v e r h e a d , t e r r i f y i n g t h e p l o u g h h o r s e s and e n g u l f i n g Thorn's w o r l d i n . t h e i r n o i s e . The p l a n e s a r e engaged i n a t r a i n i n g e x e r c i s e . They pose no p h y s i c a l t h r e a t t o Thorn. What t h e y s i g n i f y , however, i s t h a t World War I I has a r r i v e d . Thorn can no l o n g e r d i s m i s s t h e war as j u s t a n o t h e r s t o r y on t h e r a d i o , a f ar-away t u r m o i l f o u g h t by o t h e r p e o p l e somewhere e l s e . The p l a n e s a r e t a n g i b l e , i r r e f u t a b l e e v i d e n c e t h a t t h e w a r — w o r l d h i s t o r y - - i s h e r e , f o r e v e r y o n e , now. No one escapes i t ! "The b o u n d a r i e s o f t h e community d i s a p p e a r " 1 f o r Thorn, and w i t h them, t h e myth of i t s m o n o v o c a l i t y . H i s mind opens t o o t h e r v o i c e s and l a n g u a g e s , o t h e r c o n s t r u c t i o n s o f t h e s o c i a l ' a n d m o r a l u n i v e r s e t h a n t h a t u n i t a r y t r u t h imposed by t h e t y r a n n i c a l v o i c e of Deacon P e t e r B l o c k , who a t t e m p t s t o r e p r o d u c e i n W a p i t i t h e a l l e g e d l y s i m p l e , m o n o l o g i c , E d e n i c w o r l d l e f t b e h i n d i n R u s s i a . As B l o c k ' s h o l d o v e r Thorn's mind d i m i n i s h e s , he f i n d s h i m s e l f s p i r i t u a l l y l i b e r a t e d b u t m o r a l l y d i s o r i e n t e d , u n s u r e of how he s h o u l d r e s p o n d t o Canada's " c a l l " t o ' j o i n t h e armed f o r c e s . Wiebe t e l l s t h e s t o r y p r i m a r i l y , b u t not e x c l u s i v e l y , from Thorn Wiens' p o i n t o f v i e w . Thorn's c o n s c i o u s n e s s s e r v e s as a f i e l d where r i v a l v o i c e s and c o n f l i c t i n g s o c i a l f o r c e s s t r u g g l e f o r dominance. Wiebe b r i n g s two main c o n t e s t a n t s o n t o " l i f e ' s r e a l b a t t l e - f i e l d : t h e s o u l o f man" (PPM 162- 3 ) : 2 Deacon B l o c k , who a d v o c a t e s a r i g i d adherence t o c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n and a t o t a l s e p a r a t i o n from t h e s e c u l a r w o r l d ; and J o s e p h Dueck, Wiebe's mouthpiece, who advances t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f p r a c t i s i n g C h r i s t i a n i t y w i t h o u t d e n y i n g h i s t o r i c a l change o r c u t t i n g o n e s e l f o f f from t h e b r o a d e r s o c i a l w o r l d . These two f i g u r e s r e s p e c t i v e l y p e r s o n i f y t h e m o n o l o g i c and d i a l o g i c p r i n c i p l e s . 45 I I As h i s name s u g g e s t s , B l o c k cements t h e s e p a r a t e Mennonite f a m i l i e s and i n d i v i d u a l s o f W a p i t i i n t o a m o n o l i t h i c community. He i n s i s t s t h a t t h e y always " p r e s e n t an u n b l e m i s h e d f r o n t t o t h e w o r l d " ( 2 0 5 ) . Denying, s p e a k i n g o v e r o r p h y s i c a l l y r e m oving any v o i c e w h i c h d a r e s not say "amen", t o h i s own, Deacon B l o c k so dominates t h e p e o p l e o f W a p i t i t h a t i t comes c l o s e t o b e i n g a monovocal community. Church p o l i c y " o r i g i n a t e d a l m o s t e x c l u s i v e l y w i t h B l o c k " ( 6 8 ) , h i s " b i g v o i c e c o v e r i n g " (36) a l l . I n a t a n t r u m worthy o f J o v e , Deacon B l o c k s h o u t s down a l l d i s s e n t a t a c h u r c h m e e t i n g : "the Deacon's v o i c e overwhelmed a l l , s t e e l eyes f l a m i n g . J o s e p h ' s v o i c e was s n u f f e d ; t h e sound and t h e l o o k a b o l t t o b l a s t e v e r y o n e " ( 6 0 ) . A g a i n s t Deacon B l o c k ' s i d e a l o f a monovocal c h u r c h w i t h h i m s e l f as t h e s o l e spokesman, Wiebe's i d e a l c h u r c h community p e r m i t s m u l t i - v o i c e d n e s s . When B l o c k c h a l l e n g e s Joseph's Dueck's r i g h t t o v o i c e d i s a g r e e m e n t on t h e grounds t h a t he has o n l y been i n W a p i t i n i n e months, "Thorn su r g e d t o h i s f e e t . 'He i s a member o f t h i s c h u r c h and can speak!'" ( 6 1 ) . I t i s v i t a l t o n o t i c e t h a t Thorn's words do not n e c e s s a r i l y condemn m o n o v o c a l i t y p e r se. Wiebe d i s c r i m i n a t e s between two k i n d s o f m o n o v o c a l i t y , d i f f e r e n t i a t e d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s under w h i c h t h e y come about. I f one t y r a n n i c a l v o i c e drowns out a l l o t h e r v o i c e s , t h e n t h e community becomes a m i c r o c o s m i c t o t a l i t a r i a n s t a t e . But i f m o n o v o c a l i t y a r i s e s o u t o f a g enuine consensus between a l l i n d i v i d u a l s s p e a k i n g f r e e l y , i t s i g n i f i e s group s o l i d a r i t y , s o c i a l harmony and p o l i t i c a l e q u a l i t y . T h i s i d e a l comes c l o s e s t t o b e i n g r e a l i s e d when t h e members of t h e c h u r c h s i n g t o g e t h e r : Thorn " f e l t t h a t everyone i n ' t h e b u i l d i n g s t o o d s e p a r a t e y e t u n i t e d , one body c r y i n g w i t h one v o i c e t o t h e g r e a t known w o r t h y o f w o r s h i p " ( 5 0 ) . Wiebe here o f f e r s an image of agreement w h i c h r e t a i n s i t s d i a l o g i c c h a r a c t e r . 3 Deacon B l o c k m a i n t a i n s h i s power o v e r t h e p e o p l e o f W a p i t i not o n l y by s h o u t i n g l o u d e s t , b u t a l s o by i n t e r v e n i n g i n t h e i r d i a l o g u e w i t h God. B l o c k assumes t h e r o l e o f s o l e m e d i a t o r between t h e S c r i p t u r e s and t h e c o n g r e g a t i o n : He shows us how t o l i v e t h e B i b l e . . . . On e v e r y s u b j e c t he must p l a c e t h e o n l y word i n e v e r y man's mouth and t h e y go home and re-chew i t f o r t h e i r f a m i l y . (218) B l o c k a l s o c o n t r o l s W a p i t i ' s d i a l o g u e w i t h t h e o u t s i d e w o r l d . He i s i n v a r i a b l y e l e c t e d as a d e l e g a t e t o t h e a n n u a l Mennonite G e n e r a l C o n g r e s s , and as one o f t h e few s e n i o r men who speak E n g l i s h f l u e n t l y , t r a v e l f a r a f i e l d o r own a r a d i o , he c l a i m s a s u p e r i o r a b i l i t y t o i n t e r p r e t t h e l a r g e r w o r l d t o W a p i t i . As a r e s u l t , The men a g r e e d on a l l m a t t e r s , t h e i r o p i n i o n s on any o c c u r r e n c e o u t s i d e t h e i r own community b e i n g formed by g e n e r a l s u r v e y s o f one M ennonite German w e e k l y and by what Deacon B l o c k t o l d them. (29) . Deacon B l o c k w i s h e s t o keep i n p l a c e t h e language b a r r i e r w h i c h s e p a r a t e s t h e German-speaking Me n n o n i t e s from th e w i d e r , m a i n l y E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g Canadian s o c i e t y , and from t h e C r e e - , F r e n c h - , and R u s s i a n - s p e a k i n g i n h a b i t a n t s o f t h e W a p i t i a r e a . By s t a u n c h l y r e s i s t i n g t h e encroachment of E n g l i s h , B l o c k r e p r e s s e s l i n g u i s t i c d i v e r s i t y i n t h e Mennonite community, t h i n k i n g t o p r o t e c t h i s p e o p l e from t h e hegemony o f t h e " o t h e r ' s " l a n g u a g e . B l o c k t h u n d e r s a g a i n s t Joseph Dueck f o r a d d r e s s i n g an e t h n i c a l l y m ixed a u d i e n c e o f young p e o p l e i n t h e E n g l i s h language i n s t e a d o f i n t h e H i g h German language t r a d i t i o n a l l y r e s e r v e d f o r r e l i g i o u s m a t t e r s . Dueck's c h o i c e o f E n g l i s h s i g n i f i e s t h e v a l u e he p l a c e s on e v a n g e l i s m . By a d d r e s s i n g h i s a u d i e n c e i n E n g l i s h , he a t t e m p t s t o r e a c h o u t s i d e t h e narrow c i r c u m f e r e n c e o f t h e German-speaking community. F o r B l o c k , however, t h e c h u r c h community cannot exceed t h e l i m i t s o f t h e e t h n i c community. He p l a c e s more w e i g h t on r e i t e r a t i n g t h e M e n n o n i t e s ' c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s from " o t h e r s " t h a n on d i s s e m i n a t i n g J e s u s ' t e a c h i n g s t o f e l l o w human b e i n g s . By c h o o s i n g t o speak one n a t i o n a l language i n s t e a d o f a n o t h e r , a s p e a k e r s i g n i f i e s h i s o r her membership--or 48 d e s i r e d m e m b e r s h i p — i n a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l group. To Deacon B l o c k , t h e M e n n o n i t e s ' use o f E n g l i s h s i g n i f i e s t h e i r b l e n d i n g i n t o A n g l o - C a n a d i a n c u l t u r e . Y et t h r o u g h J o s e p h Dueck, Wiebe i n s e r t s t h e s i g n i f i e r " E n g l i s h language" i n t o an a l t e r n a t i v e system o f meaning, where i t p o i n t s t o t h e s p e a k e r ' s e v a n g e l i s t i c v a l u e s . I n Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many, Wiebe argues t h a t by s p r e a d i n g t h e G o s p e l t o o t h e r s , one i m i t a t e s J e s u s ' A p o s t l e s f a r more e f f e c t i v e l y t h a n by s e g r e g a t i n g o n e s e l f l i n g u i s t i c a l l y f r o m p r o s p e c t i v e c o n v e r t s . S p i r i t u a l b e l i e f , n ot a s p e c i a l l a n g u a g e , forms t h e b a s i s o f Mennonite s o c i a l i d e n t i t y . Wiebe e n v i s a g e s t h e E n g l i s h language as a form o f common ground, a s h a r e d l i n g u i s t i c space where t h e d i v e r s e e t h n i c groups m i g h t meet and e n t e r i n t o d i a l o g u e . One o f t h e h i s t o r i c a l s t o r i e s t h e n o v e l d r a m a t i s e s — a n d , most i m p o r t a n t , p a r t i c i p a t e s i n — i s t h e M e n n o n i t e s ' a p p r o p r i a t i o n o f t h e E n g l i s h language f o r t h e i r own e v a n g e l i c a l p u r p o s e s . Wiebe h i m s e l f spoke o n l y German u n t i l he e n t e r e d s c h o o l a t t h e age o f s i x . A H i s c h o i c e t o use E n g l i s h i n Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many i m p l i c i t l y r e p u d i a t e s Deacon's B l o c k ' s p o l i c y o f l i n g u i s t i c a p a r t h e i d , and s i g n i f i e s Wiebe's d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o r e a c h as wide an a u d i e n c e as p o s s i b l e . 5 B l o c k ' s r e p r e s s i o n o f d i s s e n t i n g v o i c e s and h i s r e s i s t a n c e t o t h e E n g l i s h l a nguage form p a r t o f h i s campaign t o promote m o n o l o g i c v i s i o n and language i n t h e 49 Mennonite community. As B l o c k ' s v i s i o n o f t h e W a p i t i Mennonites as "a p e o p l e a p a r t " c o l l a p s e s , so'does h i s myth of Mennonite s o l i d a r i t y . Whether t h e y s t a y a t home o r l e a v e t o f i g h t a broad, members o f W a p i t i ' s Mennonite p o p u l a t i o n e x p e r i e n c e t h e World War as a cause of b i t t e r d i v i s i o n i n t h e i r own community. Some d i s c o v e r t h e i r main l o y a l t i e s l i e w i t h t h e n a t i o n of Canada, w h i l e o t h e r s l i k e B l o c k become more e n t r e n c h e d i n t h e i r b e l i e f t h a t t h e Men n o n i t e community i s — o r s h o u l d b e — s e p a r a t e . I r o n i c a l l y , B l o c k ' s s t a u n c h a v o i d a n c e o f t h e war abr o a d i n v o l v e s him i n a war a t home on two f r o n t s , a g a i n s t t h e Ca n a d i a n laws c o n c e r n i n g m i l i t a r y s e r v i c e , and a g a i n s t t h e more l i b e r a l M e nnonite f a c t i o n s w h ich no l o n g e r a u t o m a t i c a l l y o b j e c t t o p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n war. D e s p i t e B l o c k ' s e f f o r t s t o r e p r e s s d i v e r s i t y o f o p i n i o n , W a p i t i e x p e r i e n c e s a group i d e n t i t y c r i s i s , a r e - e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e c r i t e r i a o f t h e i r s o c i a l i d e n t i t y . C o n c e a l e d i n t r a - g r o u p c o n f l i c t s emerge i n t o v i e w , c u l m i n a t i n g i n t h e v i o l e n c e w h i c h e r u p t s i n t h e b a r n on t h e n i g h t of t h e c h i l d r e n ' s C h r i s t m a s p l a y . As w e l l as r e p r e s s i n g t h e Me n n o n i t e s ' d i a l o g u e w i t h o t h e r s o c i a l groups, B l o c k a l s o upholds t h e m o n o l o g i c p r i n c i p l e on t h e d i a c h r o n i c p l a n e . By r i g i d l y u p h o l d i n g t h e t r a d i t i o n s o f t h e f a t h e r s , B l o c k d i s a l l o w s t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t v o i c e s i n t h e p r e s e n t m i g h t have a r i g h t t o r e - e v a l u a t e t h e t r a d i t i o n a l m o r a l code. B l o c k e l e v a t e s c u l t u r a l ^ 7 50 t r a d i t i o n s t o t h e s t a t u s o f a b s o l u t e m o r a l l a w s . He b l u n t l y d e n i e s t h e c u l t u r a l r e l a t i v i t y and h i s t o r i c a l c o n t i n g e n c y o f h i s own m o r a l a b s o l u t e s : The g r e a t m a t t e r s o f m o r a l and s p i r i t u a l d i s c i p l i n e have been l a i d down once and f o r a l l i n t h e B i b l e and our f a t h e r s have t o l d us how we s h o u l d a c t a c c o r d i n g t o them. They cannot change.... Most do not c a r e i f t h e y b r e a k t h e t r a d i t i o n because t o them i t i s not an a b s o l u t e s t a n d a r d o f r i g h t and wrong. I n Rome, t h e y s h e e p i s h l y f o l l o w t h e Romans. But our f a t h e r s found t h e c o r r e c t way o f a c t i n g . Through t h e y e a r s , t h i s a c t i o n has d e v e l o p e d i n t o our c u l t u r e . I f we do n o t f o l l o w them i n t h e i r way, t h e n we s t a n d i n g r a v e danger of l o s i n g our e t e r n a l s a l v a t i o n . That i s why we a r e so r i g i d about c e r t a i n m a t t e r s i n t h e c h u r c h . The R u s s i a n s around o u r v i l l a g e s i n R u s s i a had t r a d i t i o n a l ways of a c t i n g t o o , b u t when t h e y came t o Canada and once knew about a c t i n g d i f f e r e n t l y , t h e y l e t t h e o l d way s l i d e because t h e new way s u i t e d them b e t t e r h e r e . But we h o l d t h a t our a c t i o n s a r e e t e r n a l l y i m p o r t a n t ; our f a t h e r s f o u n d t h e r i g h t m o r a l and s p i r i t u a l a c t i o n . (202-3) Wiebe o f f e r s g l i m p s e s o f t h i s m y t h i c a l w o r l d o f "the f a t h e r s " t o show t h e s p u r i o u s n a t u r e o f t h e m o r a l s t a n d a r d B l o c k i n v o k e s . 6 Furthermore., Joseph Dueck g i v e s v o i c e t o t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t even i f t h e "the f a t h e r s " i n n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y R u s s i a had f o u n d a m o r a l l y c o r r e c t mode o f l i v i n g , t h e i r code o f b e h a v i o u r was r i g h t and good o n l y i n t h a t p a r t i c u l a r c o n t e x t . Under d i f f e r e n t s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s , i n o t h e r h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t s , t h e same a c t i o n s m i g h t not be r i g h t a t a l l . The Second World War poses a s e e m i n g l y u n p r e c e d e n t e d m o r a l dilemma f o r t h e M ennonite community. S t r i c t p a c i f i s t s , M ennonites t r a d i t i o n a l l y a v o i d p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n war a t a l l c o s t s . I n t h e p a s t , i n t h e R u s s i a n Mennonite f a r m i n g v i l l a g e s , " r i g h t was r i g h t and wrong was wrong. Any s i t u a t i o n c o u l d b e . q u i c k l y p l a c e d i n t o one o r t h e o t h e r c a t e g o r y " ( 2 1 ) . But i n Canada i n 1944, "the c i r c u m s t a n c e s a r e more i n v o l v e d " ( 4 7 ) , b o t h i n a l e g a l and a m o r a l s e n s e . 7 Canadian law r e q u i r e s each a d u l t male o f m i l i t a r y age i n W a p i t i t o make a p e r s o n a l m o r a l c h o i c e whether t o t a k e up arms a g a i n s t Canada's enemies, p r j o i n t h e R e s t r i c t e d M e d i c a l Corps, o r a v o i d any form o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n by p r o c l a i m i n g t h e i r c o n s c i e n t i o u s o b j e c t i o n . Deacon B l o c k and h i s son, P e t e , i n v o k e t h e ways o f t h e f a t h e r s , b u t abuse t h e Mennonite i d e a l o f p a c i f i s m , by u s i n g i t as a c o n v e n i e n t excuse t o s t a y s a f e l y a t home on t h e farm t o reap (as i f i n c i d e n t a l l y ) t h e c o n s i d e r a b l e f i n a n c i a l rewards o f g r o w i n g f o o d under f a v o u r a b l e wartime market c o n d i t i o n s . The B l o c k s r e f u s e t o concede t o t h e e f f e c t o f c o n t e x t on t h e meaning o f a g i v e n a c t i o n ; t h a t i s , t h e y r e f u s e t o concede t o t h e h i s t o r i c i t y o r t h e d i a l o g i c i t y o f s i g n s . T h e i r m e c h a n i c a l adherence t o t h e M e n n o n i t e s ' t r a d i t i o n a l r e s p o n s e t o war d e n i e s t h e p o s s i b i l i t y that' a g i v e n a c t i o n , whether v e r b a l o r p h y s i c a l , s i g n i f i e s d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s i n d i f f e r e n t c i r c u m s t a n c e s . Deacon B l o c k ' s manner o f s p e a k i n g c o n f i r m s h i s adherence t o t h e m o n o l o g i c p r i n c i p l e . I n p r i v a t e d i a l o g u e as w e l l as on p u b l i c o c c a s i o n s , B l o c k makes l o n g , f o r m a l , 52 d i d a c t i c speeches, i n w h i c h a r c h a i c d i c t i o n and sonorous rhythms i n v o k e t h e d i g n i t y and i r r e f u t a b l e a u t h o r i t y o f t h e p a s t . I n d i a l o g u e , B l o c k i n t e r r u p t s and speaks o v e r h i s i n t e r l o c u t o r s , m o n o p o l i z i n g t h e f l o o r t o such an e x t e n t t h a t d i a l o g u e becomes monologue. B l o c k ' s name, f o r t h e most p a r t , a p t l y d e s c r i b e s h i s speech: u n i f o r m i n s t y l e , and w i t h a t e x t u r e f r e e o f t h e d i s j u n c t i o n s w h i c h commonly b e t r a y h e s i t a t i o n , d e c e i t o r u n c e r t a i n t y , B l o c k ' s u t t e r a n c e s have a w e i g h t y , m o n o l i t h i c q u a l i t y . However, near t h e end o f t h e n o v e l , Wiebe opens a gap between B l o c k ' s i n n e r and o u t e r speech, and shows a t t h e same t i m e t h a t B l o c k r e p r e s s e s t h e v o i c e o f t h e " o t h e r " i n h i m s e l f . B l o c k ' s monologue b e g i n s t o b r e a k a p a r t when he speaks t o Thorn o f h i s own p a s t i n C h a p t e r 15. Dashes i n t e r r u p t t h e smooth f l o w o f h i s s y n t a x , and a l o n g s i l e n c e c o n c e a l s t h e " t e r r i b l e t h i n g " (203) t h a t happened l o n g i n h i s p a s t . When Wiebe i n c o r p o r a t e s Deacon B l o c k ' s i n n e r speech i n t o t h e t e x t , i t becomes f i s s u r e d by q u e s t i o n s , d o u b t s , a c c u s a t i o n s , e v a s i o n s and c o n f e s s i o n s . The s t y l e o f B l o c k ' s i n n e r monologue, w h i c h may more a c c u r a t e l y be d e s c r i b e d as a d i a l o g u e w i t h h i m s e l f , c o n t r a s t s m a r k e d l y w i t h t h e s u r e , s e r e n e e q u a n i m i t y o f h i s m o n o l o g i c o u t e r speech: O n l y when he [ B l o c k ] was t h r o u g h t h e b u r s t o f h i s emotions d i d h i s f a l s i t y s t r i k e home. Had he p r o t e c t e d 53 E l i z a b e t h ? — f r o m a bad m a r r i a g e b u t not a shameful d e a t h . . . . As he t h r e w a f o r k f u l o f hay on t h e l o a d , he was p r a y i n g , F a t h e r g i v e me g r a c e t o keep q u i e t — t h a t I do not l i e o u t w a r d l y more th a n i s n e c e s s a r y — f o r t h e sake of p e o p l e such as t h i s . S i n k i n g l y , he knew he need say n o t h i n g , e v e r , and y e t h i s whole l i f e would be one long-drawn p e r j u r y . But h i s a c t i o n had been r i g h t ! E l i z a b e t h had weakened, m i s e r a b l y ; what good c o u l d now come of e x p o s i n g h e r s i n ? (204) Wiebe s i g n i f i e s t h e c o l l a p s e o f B l o c k ' s a u t h o r i t y by l e t t i n g h i s o u t e r speech d i s i n t e g r a t e i n t o i n c o h e r e n t f ragments: B l o c k s t a r e d l i f e l e s s , h i s mouth f o r m i n g , i n a n e l y , t h e words, " E l i z a b e t h — L o u i s — w h a t do you k now—" .... He s a i d h o a r s e l y , "God f o r g i v e h e r — a n d y o u — " And me, he added, i n t h e c l a m o u r i n g s i l e n c e o f h i s h e a r t . (208) In a number of r e s p e c t s , Wiebe's h a n d l i n g of language i n Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many c r e a t e s a d i s t a n c e between h i s own n a r r a t i v e v o i c e and t h e m o n o l o g i c v o i c e o f Deacon B l o c k . As Wiebe t e l l s o f t h e o u t s i d e w o r l d b r e a k i n g i n t o W a p i t i , h i s language l o s e s i t s m o n o l o g i c q u a l i t y : The whole y a r d b u r s t i n t o a chaos o f s q u e a l i n g p i g s , f l y i n g , squawking c h i c k e n s , C a r l o b a r k i n g , H a l s c r e a m i n g "Bang! Bang!" and t h e c a t t l e stampeding, m i l k j e t t i n g from s w i n g i n g u d d e r s , towards t h e s a f e t y o f t h e b a r n t o c r a s h a g a i n s t i t s c l o s e d d o o r i n a c o n v u l s i o n o f b o d i e s . . . . From where Thorn s t o o d , one cow l o o k e d v e r y bad.... Her c a l f would be dead a f t e r t h a t . (22) The d i s c o u r s e o f war i n v a d e s t h e n o r m a l l y t r a n q u i l d i s c o u r s e o f t h e p a s t o r a l : " b u r s t , " "chaos," " s c r e a m i n g , " " s a f e t y , " " j e t t i n g , " " c r a s h , " " c o n v u l s i o n , " " b o d i e s , " and "dead" a r e s c a t t e r e d amongst " y a r d , " " p i g s , " " c h i c k e n s , " " c a t t l e , " " m i l k , " "udders," " b a r n , " "cow," and " c a l f " ( 2 2 ) . Wiebe's s y n t a x , t o o , r e f l e c t s a c o l l i s i o n o f two s t y l e s . A f t e r a s i m p l e , unadorned o p e n i n g p r i n c i p a l c l a u s e , t h e f i r s t 54 s e n t e n c e fragments s y n t a c t i c a l l y , as e i g h t i r r e g u l a r l y - s paced p r e s e n t p a r t i c i p l e s s h a t t e r t h e u n i f i e d p a s t o r a l t a b l e a u o f "the whole y a r d " i n t o i t s d i v e r s e c o n s t i t u e n t images. Through Wiebe's m i x i n g of d i f f e r e n t s t y l e s and d i s c o u r s e s , t h e t e x t o f t h e n o v e l r e - e n a c t s t h e o p e n i n g p r o c e s s i t d e p i c t s . D i v e r s e l i n g u i s t i c elements i n v a d e t h e d i s c o u r s e o f t h e n o v e l j u s t as t h e f i g h t e r p l a n e s v i o l a t e t h e s e c l u s i o n o f W a p i t i . P e t e B l o c k s a y s , " I t ' d be n i c e t o j u s t s t a y i n t h e b u s h — n e v e r go out" ( 2 8 ) . W a p i t i i s b e h i n d a bush, o r r a t h e r , an immense expanse o f bush and s p a r s e l y - p o p u l a t e d d i s t a n c e . But p h y s i c a l b a r r i e r s cannot s h i e l d W a p i t i from t h e knowledge of t h e war. The r a d i o b r i n g s t h e d i s c o u r s e o f t h e war i n t o p r i v a t e homes, e f f e c t i v e l y a n n e x i n g W a p i t i i n t o t h e l a r g e r c o n t e x t o f w o r l d h i s t o r y : I t seemed beyond comprehension t o s i t a t supper i n a l o g farmhouse i n Canada and l i s t e n w h i l e men, a t t h a t v e r y moment, t o r e each o t h e r f o r r e a s o n s none r e a l l y knew: t o l i s t e n w h i l e a l a n d i n g c r a f t e x p l o d e d , and t h e v o i c e o f t h e announcer choked, " — o u t of t h e s k y — p a r t s o f b o d i e s f a l l i n g - - m a s s e s o f w a t e r . . . " ...A whole w o r l d l i s t e n i n g t o men k i l l i n g t h e m s e l v e s s a v a g e l y . (42-3) A g a i n , Wiebe's t e x t r e - e n a c t s t h e p r o c e s s e s o f p e n e t r a t i o n and f r a g m e n t a t i o n i t d e s c r i b e s . Here, and a g a i n i n C h a p t e r 8, t h e CBC r a d i o b r o a d c a s t i n s e r t s i t s e l f i n t r u s i v e l y i n t o t h e n a r r a t i v e . I t i n v a d e s t h e t e x t o f Wiebe's n o v e l , i n t h e same way as t h e r a d i o r e p e a t e d l y b r e a k s t h r o u g h th e b a r r i e r s B l o c k e r e c t s around W a p i t i . 55 Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many i s Wiebe's most s t y l i s t i c a l l y u n i f o r m n o v e l , y e t i t s homogeneity i s not as c o m p l e t e as i t might seem. Even a t t h i s e a r l y s t a g e i n h i s w r i t i n g c a r e e r , Wiebe i n c o r p o r a t e s what B a k h t i n c a l l s " e x t r a - l i t e r a r y g e n r e s " (1981, 33) i n t o h i s t e x t . The d i f f e r e n t v o i c e s and languages w h i c h speak i n t h e t e x t o f Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many i m p l i c i t l y s i g n i f y Wiebe's r e j e c t i o n o f t h e m o n o v o c a l i t y urged by B l o c k . I l l As B l o c k ' s name co n n o t e s t h e m o n o l o g i c p r i n c i p l e , J oseph Dueck's evokes t h e d i a l o g i c . By u r g i n g t h e Mennonite community t o contend w i t h t h e f a c t t h a t t i m e s have changed, and t h a t t h e y no l o n g e r have e x c l u s i v e c o n t r o l o v e r t h e meaning of t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l code of b e h a v i o u r , Dueck draws a t t e n t i o n t o d i a l o g i c p o s s i b i l i t i e s on b o t h t h e s y n c h r o n i c and t h e d i a c h r o n i c p l a n e s . Dueck causes Thorn and o t h e r young p e o p l e i n t h e community of W a p i t i t o u n d e r s t a n d t h a t even t h e most s i n c e r e c o n s c i e n t i o u s o b j e c t o r s f i n d t h e m s e l v e s p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t h e war i n v o l u n t a r i l y . The o p t i o n o f not p a r t i c i p a t i n g no l o n g e r e x i s t s , as Annaraarie Lepp e x p l a i n s : i t was f i n e t o say, "We can have n o t h i n g t o do w i t h war" when...wars were s k i r m i s h e s on t h e n e x t 56 q u a r t e r and t h e k i n g who l e d h i s t r o o p s t o a day's v i c t o r y won. Then i t was p o s s i b l e — [ n o t t o j o i n i n . But] t h e whole w o r l d i s now i n i t . We c a n ' t a v o i d i t . F a t h e r r a i s e s p i g s because t h e p r i c e i s h i g h : some men c h a r g e d up t h e Normandy beaches l a s t Tuesday w i t h our bacon i n t h e i r stomachs. (47) Joseph Dueck pushes Annamarie's argument t o i t s m o r a l c o n c l u s i o n : G i v e n a war s i t u a t i o n , we Mennonites can p r a c t i s e our b e l i e f i n Canada o n l y because o t h e r C anadians a r e k i n d enough t o f i g h t f o r our r i g h t t o our b e l i e f . The g o d l e s s man t h e n d i e s f o r t h e b e l i e f o f t h e C h r i s t i a n ! (60) An u n p r e c e d e n t e d h i s t o r i c a l s i t u a t i o n — t h e Second World War — makes a m b i v a l e n t t h e m o r a l i t y o f t h e M e n n o n i t e s ' t r a d i t i o n a l r e f u s a l t o f i g h t , w h i c h p r e v i o u s l y had been o n l y r i g h t . The a c t i o n i t s e l f does not change, b u t i t s meaning becomes s u b j e c t t o r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n each new h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t . As Thorn v a c i l l a t e s o v e r whether he s h o u l d t a k e t h e measures n e c e s s a r y t o g a i n l e g a l exemption from t h e Canadian war e f f o r t , Wiebe e x p l o r e s what B a k h t i n might c a l l d i a c h r o n i c d i a l o g i c i t y , t h e o n g o i n g s o c i a l p r o c e s s o f r e i n t e r p r e t i n g any known event o r t r a d i t i o n a l c o u r s e o f a c t i o n . Dueck a l s o argues t h a t no s o c i e t y i n t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y can l i v e i t s h i s t o r y e n t i r e l y a l o n e . D e s p i t e b e i n g i n s u l a t e d from t h e o u t s i d e w o r l d by v a s t t r a c t s o f u n i n h a b i t e d b u s h l a n d , W a p i t i ' s h i s t o r y i s not autonomous, but bound i n t o t h e l a r g e r c o n t e x t o f t h e h i s t o r y o f t h e Canadian n a t i o n and t h e w o r l d . Under Joseph's i n f l u e n c e , t h e 57 Mennonites o f W a p i t i b e g i n t o u n d e r s t a n d t h a t t h e y must contend not o n l y w i t h "the shock o f t h e new,"-8 new b u t a l s o w i t h t h e shock of s o c i a l l y a l i e n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f t h e i r b e h a v i o u r . The Second World War b r i n g s a p o w e r f u l , i n v a s i v e " o t h e r , " i n t o t h e i r l i v e s , an " o t h e r " who c l a i m s an e q u a l , i f not s u p e r i o r r i g h t t o c o n f e r meaning on t h e i r a c t i o n s . The l e g a l a u t h o r i t y o f t h e s t a t e comes i n t o d i r e c t c o n f l i c t w i t h t h e m o r a l a u t h o r i t y o f t h e B i b l e , t r a n s f o r m i n g t h e a c t o f n o n - p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t o a n o n - v e r b a l pun. "Non- p a r t i c i p a t i o n " f i t s i n t o two c o m p l e t e l y s e p a r a t e systems of meaning, each r e c o g n i z e d as s u premely a u t h o r i t a t i v e by t h e s o c i e t y w h i c h propounds i t . Dueck draws a t t e n t i o n a l s o t o t h e p l u r a l i t y o f l i n g u i s t i c s i g n systems w h i c h o p e r a t e i n a l l s o c i e t i e s . H i s l e t t e r t o Thorn h i g h l i g h t s t h e many languages spoken i n W a p i t i : "Dear Thomas: "You a s k e d me why I w r o t e 'Thomas' t o you when I n ever spoke so f o r m a l l y . W e l l , t o t e l l you t h e t r u t h I r e a l l y d i d not know how t o w r i t e y o u r name, s i n c e i n W a p i t i i t ' s spoken 'Tom' i n E n g l i s h and 'Thorn' i n Low German and 'Thomas' i n H i g h German. You can assume t h e r e f o r e t h a t I am w r i t i n g i n none of t h e s e languages but t h e c o r r e c t B i b l i c a l form o f t h e name as g i v e n i n t h e K i n g James v e r s i o n : t h e name o f t h e man whose eyes were open b u t c o u l d not see." (160) I t i s v i t a l t o n o t i c e t h a t a l t h o u g h Dueck draws a t t e n t i o n t o W a p i t i ' s l i n g u i s t i c p l u r a l i t y , he does not g r a n t t h e languages e q u a l s t a t u s , b u t p r i v i l e g e s an E n g l i s h v e r s i o n o f t h e New Testament as most a u t h o r i t a t i v e and p a r a d i g m a t i c . 58 A s i m i l a r p a t t e r n emerges w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e f o r m a l p r o p e r t i e s o f Dueck's u t t e r a n c e s . H i s c o n t r o v e r s i a l t a l k t o t h e y o u t h m e e t i n g t a k e s a d i a l o g i c , q u e s t i o n - a n d - a n s w e r form: " I o u t l i n e d my i d e a s i n t h e form o f q u e s t i o n s . . F i r s t : what i s t h e b a s i c f o r c e o f t h e C h r i s t i a n ' s l i f e ? U s i n g S c r i p t u r e , T t r i e d t o g i v e t h e answer as Love..." (60) Joseph engages i n d i a l o g u e w i t h t h e S c r i p t u r e s . The C h r i s t i a n f o r m u l a t e s t h e q u e s t i o n s ; t h e B i b l e answers them. However, Dueck's d i a l o g u e w i t h h i s a u d i e n c e — a n d Wiebe's d i a l o g u e w i t h h i s r e a d e r s - - r e m a i n s s t r i c t l y p e d a g o g i c a l : "someone who knows, and p o s s e s s e s t h e t r u t h i n s t r u c t s someone who i s i g n o r a n t o f i t and i n e r r o r ; . . . i t i s t h e i n t e r a c t i o n o f a t e a c h e r and a p u p i l " ( B a k h t i n 1984, 8 1 ) . A l t h o u g h J o s e p h Dueck f u n c t i o n s as Wiebe's main proponent o f t h e d i a l o g i c p r i n c i p l e , Wiebe never e n t i r e l y r e a l i z e s t h a t p r i n c i p l e ' i n Dueck's u t t e r a n c e s . Dueck's l e t t e r t o Thorn i n C h a p t e r 12 p r o v i d e s t h e c l e a r e s t example of t h i s c o n t r a d i c t i o n . The l e t t e r opens by s i t u a t i n g i t s e l f i n a d i a l o g i c c o n t e x t : "you a s k e d me why I w r o t e . . . " ( 1 6 0 ) . Dueck o b v i o u s l y answers a q u e s t i o n posed e a r l i e r by Thorn. The l e t t e r i d e n t i f i e s i t s e l f as a r e j o i n d e r , an u t t e r a n c e i n an o n g o i n g i n t e r l o c u t o r y exchange. Dueck's l e t t e r a l s o p e r f o r m s t h e v i t a l work o f d i a l o g i z i n g t h e word "peace," b u t such d i a l o g i z a t i o n has t h e u l t i m a t e aim not o f a b o l i s h i n g t h e s e m a n t i c / l i n g u i s t i c h i e r a r c h y , b u t o f r e p l a c i n g one 59 p r i v i l e g e d meaning/language w i t h a n o t h e r . The dominant i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f "peace" i n Canada i n 1944 opposes "peace" t o p h y s i c a l w a r f a r e between n a t i o n s . Wiebe d i a l o g i z e s "peace" by s e t t i n g a g a i n s t t h i s dominant s e c u l a r d e f i n i t i o n , a number o f common C h r i s t i a n a l t e r n a t i v e s : Matthew's " B l e s s e d a r e t h e peacemakers" (162); t h e e x p r e s s i o n " t o h o l d one's peace" ( 1 6 2 ) ; t h e peace o f s o c i a l harmony; t h e " s t a t e o f s a f e t y and b l e s s e d n e s s " p r o m i s e d by God t o I s r a e l i n t h e O l d Testament ( 1 6 2 ) ; and t h e " h o r r i b l e j o k e " o f t h e a n g e l s ' "Peace on e a r t h " w h i c h was f o l l o w e d by t h e s l a u g h t e r of t h e babes of Bethlehem ( 1 6 2 ) . The word "peace" r e s e m b l e s an o b j e c t p u l l e d between s e v e r a l g r a v i t a t i o n a l f i e l d s . I n d i f f e r e n t c o n t e x t s , i n d i f f e r e n t speech genres o r d i s c o u r s e s , t h e meaning o f t h e word changes. However, Wiebe does not l e t "peace" f l o a t between d i s c o u r s e s i n a s t a t e o f s e m a n t i c n o n - f i x i t y . He c l o s e s t h e d i a l o g u e between t h e d i f f e r i n g v o i c i n g s o f "peace" by i n s e r t i n g t h e word i n t o t h e c o n t e x t o f J e s u s ' s t e a c h i n g s : " A c c o r d i n g t o C h r i s t ' s t e a c h i n g , peace i s not a c i r c u m s t a n c e b u t a s t a t e o f b e i n g . The C h r i s t - f o l l o w e r has t h e peace o f r e c o n c i l i a t i o n w i t h God and t h e r e f o r e t h e peace of c o n s c i o u s f e l l o w s h i p w i t h God t h r o u g h God i n C h r i s t . Peace i s not a t h i n g s t a t i c and unchanging: r a t h e r a m i g h t y i n n e r r i v e r ( r e a d I s a i a h 48:18) t h a t c a r r i e s a l l o utward c i r c u m s t a n c e s b e f o r e i t as i f t h e y were d r i f t w o o d . T h i s was t h e peace C h r i s t b r o u g h t ; he never compromised w i t h a sham s l o t h f u l peace, as we want t o . He s a i d , 'Do not t h i n k t h a t I have come t o b r i n g peace on e a r t h ; I have not come t o b r i n g peace, but a sword.' He b r o u g h t no outward q u i e t and c o m f o r t such as we a r e e v e r p r a y i n g f o r . R a t h e r , he brou g h t i n w a r d peace t h a t i s i n no way a f f e c t e d by outward w a r . . . . But I must s t o p p r e a c h i n g ! " (162-3) 60 As t h e K i n g James v e r s i o n of t h e B i b l e p r o v i d e s "the c o r r e c t B i b l i c a l form" o f Thorn's name, t h e t e a c h i n g s o f J e s u s , s u p p o r t e d by I s i a h , p r o v i d e s t h e p r i v i l e g e d d e f i n i t i o n o f "peace." O n l y w i t h t h e a i d o f t h i s d e f i n i t i o n can t h e paradox i m p l i c i t i n t h e t i t l e of t h e n o v e l be r e s o l v e d . The s t y l e o f Dueck's l e t t e r , and many o f h i s o t h e r extended u t t e r a n c e s , has a m o n o l o g i c , s e r m o n - l i k e q u a l i t y . D e s p i t e p r o c l a i m i n g t h e m s e l v e s r e j o i n d e r s i n d i a l o g u e , o r t a k i n g t h e form o f a s e r i e s o f q u e s t i o n s and answers, Dueck's u t t e r a n c e b e a r a l l t h e marks o f a u t h o r i t a t i v e d i s c o u r s e , a v a r i e t y o f mo n o l o g i c language w h i c h B a k h t i n d e s c r i b e s as f o l l o w s : A u t h o r i t a t i v e d i s c o u r s e . . . remains s h a r p l y demarcated, compact and i n e r t : i t demands, so t o speak, not o n l y q u o t a t i o n marks b u t a d e m a r c a t i o n even more m a g i s t e r i a l . . . . I t s s e m a n t i c s t r u c t u r e i s s t a t i c and dead, f o r i t i s f u l l y c omplete, i t has b u t a s i n g l e meaning, t h e l e t t e r i s f u l l y s u f f i c i e n t t o t h e sense and c a l c i f i e s i t . (1981, 343) Wiebe p r e s e n t s h i s c e n t r a l message i n t h e form o f Dueck's l e t t e r , t h u s s e t t i n g i t o f f from t h e " o r d i n a r y language" o f th e r e s t o f t h e t e x t . T h i s s p e c i a l d e m a r c a t i o n h e l p s i m p a r t a m o n o l o g i c , a u t h o r i t a t i v e q u a l i t y t o Dueck's d i s c o u r s e . The l e t t e r c eases t o f u n c t i o n as a r e j o i n d e r i n a d i a l o g u e between two c h a r a c t e r s , and t a k e s on t h e q u a l i t i e s o f e x p l i c i t m o r a l i n s t r u c t i o n a d d r e s s e d d i r e c t l y t o t h e r e a d e r . In B a k h t i n ' s t e r m s , Dueck's l e t t e r sounds as d i r e c t , unmediated a u t h o r i a l d i s c o u r s e . 9 Perhaps Dueck's "But I must s t o p p r e a c h i n g ! " (163) b e t r a y s Wiebe's own awareness t h a t h i s p r o s e l y t i z i n g has become t o o o v e r t a t t h i s p o i n t i n the t e x t . IV The m o n o l o g i c a s p e c t s o f Joseph Dueck's speech r e f l e c t Wiebe's i n a b i l i t y t o embrace a l l t h e r a m i f i c a t i o n s o f t h e d i a l o g i c p r i n c i p l e , d e s p i t e h i s m i s g i v i n g s about m o n o l o g i c v i s i o n and l a n g u a g e . As Wiebe's hero s e a r c h e s f o r "the p a t h of God's r e v e l a t i o n " ( 2 3 7 ) , he f i n d s t h e p o l y p h o n i c " v o i d o f s p l i n t e r e d dogmas" (235) no l e s s repugnant t h a n "one man's m i s g u i d e d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t r a d i t i o n " ( 2 3 7 ) . Thorn f e a r s t h a t by d e v i a t i n g from t h e ways of t h e f a t h e r s a d v o c a t e d by Deacon B l o c k , he w i l l i n e v i t a b l y f a l l , l i k e Hank and Herb Unger, i n t o m o r a l n i h i l i s m . Hank b o a s t s of s h o o t i n g down " N a z i p i g s " s t r i c t l y f o r f u n ; Herb i s l a z y , b i t t e r , u n c o - o p e r a t i v e and o p e n l y contemptuous of h i s n e i g h b o u r s . I n t e r e s t i n g l y , t h e p e r t i n e n t q u a l i t y o f Herb Unger's speech i s i t s e l u s i v e a m b i g u i t y and s e m a n t i c openness. Through d o u b l e - e n t e n d r e and n e u t r a l i n t o n a t i o n , . Herb r e f u s e s t o commit h i m s e l f t o any s i n g l e meaning, and thus evades Thorn's e f f o r t s t o d e f e a t him i n d e b a t e : "He spoke i n t h a t p e c u l i a r l y e x p r e s s i o n l e s s v o i c e t h a t he c o u l d 62 employ o f such o c c a s i o n s ; t o each of them h i s words meant something q u i t e d i f f e r e n t " ( 9 9 ) . I f B l o c k ' s v o i c e e p i t o m i s e s t h e o p p r e s s i v e e f f e c t s o f m o n o l o g i c v i s i o n , Herb Unger's u t t e r a n c e s p o i n t t o t h e danger which l i e s a t t h e o p p o s i t e extreme. The p l u r a l i t y o f a c c e n t s l a t e n t i n Herb's u n a c c e n t e d d i s c o u r s e h i n t s a t t h e consequences o f a p p l y i n g t h e d i a l o g i c p r i n c i p l e t o t h e B i b l e . What happens t o t h e meaning and a u t h o r i t y o f t h e S c r i p t u r e s i f one concedes t o t h e m u l t i - a c c e n t u a l i t y , t h e h i s t o r i c i t y and c u l t u r a l c o n t i n g e n c y o f a l l v e r b a l s i g n s ? I n t h e o r y , God's Word c o u l d d i s s o l v e i n t o a cacophony o f c o n f l i c t i n g r e l a t i v e t r u t h s and m o r a l l a w s . P a s t o r Lepp c o n v i n c e s Thorn t h a t "the t e a c h i n g s o f C h r i s t , r i g h t l y a p p l i e d " (87) o f f e r t h e s o l u t i o n t o a l l m o r a l problems; t h e B i b l e c a r r i e s t h e s e " t e a c h i n g s " down t h r o u g h h i s t o r y . But i f t h e B i b l e can be r e - i n t e r p r e t e d i n each c o n t e x t o f r e - r e a d i n g - - b y r e i n f l e c t i n g i t s words, r a n k i n g i t s p a r t s i n t o new h i e r a r c h i e s , and a n n e x i n g i t i n t o new h i s t o r i c a l and v e r b a l c o n t e x t — h o w may Thorn know whether o r not he a p p l i e s J e s u s ' t e a c h i n g s " r i g h t l y " ? The d i a l o g i c p r i n c i p l e , t a k e n t o i t s f u r t h e s t extreme, c o n t e n d s t h a t a l l r e a d i n g s a r e e q u a l l y a u t h o r i t a t i v e and s e m a n t i c a l l y " r i g h t . " Wiebe g l i m p s e s , b u t does not r i g o r o u s l y i n v e s t i g a t e t h e s e q u e s t i o n s i n Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many. He r e t r e a t s from a v i s i o n o f a p o l y p h o n i c B i b l e v i a t h e n o t i o n o f t h e " l i t e r a l " r e a d i n g . I n Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many, a l i t e r a l r e a d i n g of t h e B i b l e r e l e a s e s w h i c h e v e r meaning appears most " n a t u r a l " i n t h a t p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r a l and h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t . F o r example, Thorn argues t h a t "the B i b l e t e a c h e s 'Love your n e i g h b o u r as y o u r s e l f . ' That means, i f y o u ' r e concerned about y o u r own s a l v a t i o n , be c o n c e r n e d about h i s t o o " ( 1 9 5 ). Thorn i n t e r p r e t s " neighbour" not i n t h e metonymical sense o f " h u m a n i t y - i n - g e n e r a l . " He r e f u s e s t o be f o r c e d , as was h i s o l d e r b r o t h e r , D a v i d , t o go t o f a r away p l a c e s such as I n d i a i n o r d e r t o l o v e h i s n e i g h b o u r . I n Thorn's mind "nei g h b o u r " denotes t h e p a r t i c u l a r n e i g h b o u r s he f i n d s about him i n h i s own h i s t o r i c and c u l t u r a l l y s p e c i f i c c o n t e x t : namely t h e Moosomins and t h e M a c k e n z i e s and t h e L a b r e t s . By i n t r o d u c i n g t h e B i b l e t o n e i g h b o u r s whose h i s t o r y and c u l t u r e d i f f e r r a d i c a l l y from h i s own, Thorn p l a c e s t h e B i b l e i n a new c o n t e x t o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Thorn c o n d u c t s t h e B i b l e c l a s s e s on h i s n e i g h b o u r s ' "home ground," r a t h e r t h a n i n t h e c h u r c h o r s c h o o l b u i l d i n g s w h i c h , i n t h e i r minds, s i g n i f y " f o r e i g n t e r r i t o r y . " I n t h e i r own homes, t h e M e t i s c h i l d r e n annex t h e s t o r i e s i n t o t h e i r own c u l t u r a l l y - and h i s t o r i c a l l y - d e t e r m i n e d systems o f meaning, r e l e a s i n g i n t h e p r o c e s s , h i t h e r t o s u p p r e s s e d meanings of t h e t e x t : As he [Thorn] was d r a w i n g n e a r t h e c l o s e , n e a r l y d i s c o u r a g e d , some s t r a n g e b i b l i c a l d e t a i l c aught a t 64 s m a l l Judy M a c k e n z i e and she, tongue l o o s e n e d a p p a r e n t l y by t h e home s u r r o u n d i n g s , f o r she had ne v e r b e f o r e spoken even when q u e s t i o n e d d i r e c t l y , a s k e d w i t h wide eyes, "Mr Wiens, you e v e r e a t g r a s s h o p p e r s ? " " W h y — n o — I — " n o n p l u s s e d P r o u d l y , " I d i d one, l a s t summer. Phooey! They're t e r r i b l e s a l t y ! " . . . . B u t s t r a n g e l y , when t h e l a u g h t e r eased and he e x p l a i n e d t h a t P a l e s t i n i a n l o c u s t s were q u i t e d i f f e r e n t f r o m Canadian g r a s s h o p p e r s and t h a t t h e d i e t o f " l o c u s t s and honey" meant t h a t J ohn, l i v i n g i n t h e w i l d e r n e s s , a t e o n l y such f o o d as t h e r e g i o n n a t u r a l l y p r o v i d e d , J a c k i e L a b r e t a s k e d q u i e t l y , "Did he l i v e l i k e us when we go h u n t i n ' i n summer — b e r r i e s and f i s h and s t u f f ? " The u n e x p e c t e d p a r a l l e l amazed Thorn. "Why y e s , J a c k i e . John t h e B a p t i s t l i v e d l i k e t h a t , s i m p l y , e a t i n g what God p r o v i d e d . He was t o o busy d o i n g h i s j o b t o be c o n c e r n e d w i t h n i c e l y cooked meals As he spoke, Thorn sensed a new element o f c o n t a c t w i t h t h e c h i l d r e n w h i c h he had not b r u s h e d b e f o r e . He c o u l d e x p l a i n John's g r e a t u rgency as he w a i t e d and t a u g h t i n t h e J o r d a n i a n w i l d e r n e s s , p r e p a r i n g a way f o r t h e Redeemer, and t h e c h i l d r e n f o u n d a k e r n e l o f t r u t h i n h i s s t o r y . Thorn c o u l d but m a r v e l a t t h e a t t e n t i o n on th e f a c e s b e f o r e him, and t h e s t r a n g e p a t h by wh i c h i t had a r r i v e d t h e r e . ( 1 8 9 ) The M e t i s c h i l d r e n ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s have v a l u e p r i m a r i l y because t h e y p r o v i d e Thorn w i t h an o p e n i n g t o e x p l a i n t h e mon o l o g i c " r i g h t r e a d i n g " o f t h e S c r i p t u r e s . The i n d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e i n "a k e r n e l o f t r u t h " i m p l i c i t l y concedes t h a t a s t o r y might h o l d more t h a n one v a l i d meaning. And y e t , by i n v o k i n g t h e n o t i o n o f " a r r i v a l , " Wiebe i m p l i e s t h a t u n t i l t h e c h i l d r e n f i n d t h e same k e r n e l o f t r u t h as Thorn a l r e a d y p o s s e s s e s , t h e i r C h r i s t i a n i t y must remain n ot q u i t e a u t h e n t i c . A l t h o u g h Wiebe cannot t o l e r a t e t h e monologism o f B l o c k ' s B i b l e , w h i c h remains s e m a n t i c a l l y l o c k e d i n t h e dungeon of a s i n g l e c u l t u r a l and h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t , n e i t h e r can he f u l l y a l l o w t h e B i b l e ' s h e t e r o g l o s s i a . I n Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many r o n l y p e d a g o g i c a l d i a l o g u e t a k e s p l a c e between 65 d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l groups on t h e s y n c h r o n i c p l a n e . Nor, as t h e n o v e l ' s d u a l t i m e scheme d e m o n s t r a t e s , does Wiebe g i v e f r e e r e i n t o t h e d i a l o g i c p r i n c i p l e on t h e d i a c h r o n i c p l a n e . The n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e o f Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many e s t a b l i s h e s two models of t i m e : one l i n e a r , t h e o t h e r c i r c u l a r o r c y c l i c a l . The main n a r r a t i v e t a k e s p l a c e i n h i s t o r i c a l t i m e , between s p r i n g and C h r i s t m a s , 1944. Each day, t h e r a d i o b r i n g s news o f t h e l a t e s t d i s a s t e r s and v i c t o r i e s on t h e European f r o n t . No-one can f o r e s e e p r e c i s e l y what w i l l happen n e x t ; h i s t o r y o f f e r s no p r e c e d e n t o f a war f o u g h t on so huge a s c a l e . The d i a l o g i c p r i n c i p l e f e e d s on a l i n e a r model of h i s t o r y such as t h e main n a r r a t i v e o f Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many p r e s e n t s . Each u n p r e c e d e n t e d moment o f f e r s a new c o n t e x t i n w h i c h t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e meaning o f e v e n t s and words. However, Wiebe s t r u c t u r e s h i s n a r r a t i v e i n a manner wh i c h c r e a t e s a c o u n t e r p o i n t between t e m p o r a l l i n e a r i t y and c i r c u l a r i t y . The c i r c u l a r model does not deny t h e d i a l o g i c p r i n c i p l e but i t does r e p r e s s h e t e r o g l o s s i a ( o r r e a l i z e d d i a l o g i c i t y ) by d i m i n i s h i n g t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e u n p r e c e d e n t e d elements i n c o n t e x t o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . The f o u r P r e l u d e s , w h i c h c o r r e s p o n d t o t h e f o u r seasons o f t h e y e a r , t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e a n n u a l l y r e c u r r i n g C h r i s t i a n f e s t i v a l s such as C h r i s t m a s and E a s t e r , e n v i s a g e h i s t o r y as a s e r i e s o f c i r c l e s , a s e r i e s o f r e p e t i t i o n s o f t h e same p a r a d i g m a t i c e v e n t s . T h i s 66 c i r c u l a r model, by e m p h a s i s i n g t h e r e s p e c t s i n w h i c h h i s t o r y r e p e a t s i t s e l f , c r e a t e s t h e t h e o r e t i c a l p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t d i f f e r e n t g e n e r a t i o n s w i l l a r r i v e a t t h e same f u n d a m e n t a l c o n c l u s i o n s , t h e same p e r c e p t i o n s o f t r u t h , v a l u e , m o r a l i t y and meaning. A g a i n , Wiebe acknowledges t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t many v o i c e s may i n d e p e n d e n t l y a r r i v e a t t h e same u n i t a r y t r u t h , and t h a t "agreement [may] r e t a i n i t s d i a l o g i c c h a r a c t e r " ( B a k h t i n 1984, 9 5 ) . By c o n s t r u c t i n g t i m e as b o t h l i n e a r and c i r c u l a r , Wiebe a t t e m p t s t o r e c o n c i l e t h e d i a l o g i c p r i n c i p l e w i t h t h e e t e r n a l t r u t h s and v a l u e s o f C h r i s t i a n i t y . 1 0 And a t t h e end o f t h e n o v e l , Wiebe r e a f f i r m s t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a t i m e l e s s T r u t h - w i t h - a - c a p i t a l - T . As t h e f i g h t e r p l a n e s b r e a c h e d Thorn's narrow s o c i a l h o r i z o n i n t h e n o v e l ' s o p e n i n g scene, t h e c o n c e p t o f e t e r n a l , e x t r a - h i s t o r i c a l T r u t h b r e a k s i n t o Thorn's f i e l d o f v i s i o n , i n t h e form o f t h e s t a r w h i c h , i n t h e c h i l d r e n ' s C h r i s t m a s p l a y , appears i n t h e n i g h t sky. Wiebe b r e a k s t h e c a p s u l e o f l i m i t e d v i s i o n t w i c e , i n o t h e r words: once when t h e b o u n d a r i e s o f t h e W a p i t i c h u r c h community a r e b r o k e n open, and a second t i m e when t h e b o u n d a r i e s o f t h e m u l t i - v o i c e d s e c u l a r h i s t o r i c a l w o r l d s u d d e n l y v a n i s h — " t h e c u r t a i n was ope n i n g " ( 2 3 1 ) — t o r e v e a l a t r a n s c e n d e n t , e x t r a - h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t , i n w h i c h u l t i m a t e , m o n o l o g i c T r u t h , V a l u e and Meaning come i n t o b e i n g . A s i m i l a r r e c o i l from t h e d i a l o g i c p r i n c i p l e o c c u r s w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e Word. D r i v i n g home from t h e p l a y , and from t h e v i o l e n t t r a v e s t y o f t h e p l a y which e r u p t s a f t e r w a r d s i n t h e b a r n , Thorn y e a r n s t o undo l i n e a r h i s t o r y , go back t o t h e d i s t a n t p a s t , and r e c o v e r t h e l o s t o r i g i n a l meaning of t h e Word: C h r i s t ' s t e a c h i n g s s t o o d c l e a r i n t h e S c r i p t u r e s ; c o u l d he but s c r a p e them b a r e o f a l l t h e i r a c q u i r e d meanings and see them as t h o s e f i r s t d i s c i p l e s has done, t h e i r f e e t i n t h e d u s t o f G a l i l e e . (237) Wiebe e n v i s a g e s t h e o n g o i n g p r o c e s s o f r e n e w i n g t h e Word d i a l o g i c a l l y as an e t e r n a l a pproach t o t h i s p o s t u l a t e d o r i g i n a l a u t h o r i t a t i v e Word. T h i s p r o v i s o t h a t d i a l o g i c p r o c e s s e s of d i s c o v e r y must always have a p o s t u l a t e d anchor o r g o a l s i g n i f i e s Wiebe's r e l u c t a n c e t o r e l i n q u i s h m o n o l o g i c v i s i o n . V A l t h o u g h Wiebe b e g i n s t o e x p l o r e t h e d i a l o g i c p r i n c i p l e a t a t h e m a t i c l e v e l i n Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many, he shows l i t t l e i n t e r e s t a t t h i s s t a g e i n d e v i s i n g e f f e c t i v e means of a c t i v a t i n g i t i n h i s t e x t . Wiebe does not as y e t heed h i s own a d v i c e about s p e a k i n g i n d i r e c t l y : on many o c c a s i o n s i n Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many, t h e h i s t o r i c a l l y c o n c r e t e s t o r y o f f e r s t o o t h i n a camouflage f o r Wiebe's m o n o l o g i c m o r a l and s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l r h e t o r i c . A l m o s t a l l t h e d i a l o g u e m a n i f e s t 68 i n t h e n o v e l t a k e s t h e form o f " c o m p o s i t i o n a l l y marked d i a l o g u e , " 1 1 and Wiebe a l l o w s l i t t l e o r no doubt as t o where he s t a n d s i n r e l a t i o n t o each o f t h e v o i c e s which speak i n t h e t e x t . Peace S h a l l D e s t r o y Many c o n t a i n s no " ' g r e a t d i a l o g u e ' i n w h i c h c h a r a c t e r s and a u t h o r p a r t i c i p a t e w i t h e g u a l r i g h t s " (