The image of Ron Dart that stands out most strongly in my mind is a tall, lanky, dark-haired man on a snow-covered peak in the pristine wilderness of the interior of British Columbia. There is, in him, some-thing of Rousseau’s solitary wanderer. Although he’s innately social and seems to have friends of all sorts and conditions everywhere in the country, I think that he’s probably most truly himself when he’s alone with his thoughts. Because thoughts he has aplenty. He has published over twenty books. He produced one of the most innovative and imaginative literary magazines in the country. And although he ponders deeply on the wisdom of the past, that doesn’t prevent him from spreading his ideas by blogging in the present. He’s both a Renaissance man and a web 2.0 man at the same time.
Why then is Dart not as well known as he should be? If he taught in a major urban centre like Vancouver or Toronto there would be greater recognition of the range and quality of his output. I think the real reason, though, is the sheer originality of his thought, of which this collection of essays is a fine example.