Who Has Seen the Wind
(Toronto and Boston, 1947), a novel by W.O. MITCHELL
, tells the story of a prairie boy's initiation into the mysteries of life, death, God, and the spirit that moves through everything: the wind. The novel's greatest strengths lie in its sensitive evocations of Brian O'Connal's "feeling," sometimes associated with his various experiences of death, sometimes with a child's fundamental, inarticulate but insistent curiosity to discover the world within and beyond himself. Brian learns about life and death in town and on the prairie: the town is the setting for social conventions, institutions and hypocrisies; and on the prairie is a natural order throughout which the wind metes out its invisible imperatives, chief among them change and death. Vibrant with the serious comedy of children's dialogue, rich with poetic descriptions of the prairie in all its guises, Who Has Seen the Wind
articulates a universal theme in a classically western Canadian voice. The novel has been translated into French as Qui a vu le vent
(Montréal, 1974) and into several other languages; it was also made into a successful movie.
In his classic "Who Has Seen the Wind," Mitchell portrays the beauty and power of the prairie and the wind (photo by Ed Ellis).
Links to Other Sites
A brief audio clip featuring a talk by W.O. Mitchell from CBC Radio's "This Country in the Morning." From the CBC Digital Archives.