Mervyn Cater - My Father - The Original Horse Whisperer


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Before the Hollywood film ‘The Horse Whisperer’ was made a researcher came from Canada to see Mervyn Cater.  Mervyn told her his Father’s methods and how he would sit in a field with a difficult horse until that horse came up to him.  In the Hollywood recreation of it the ‘star’ Robert Redford sits in a field similarly waiting for the horse to come to him.  But this is not a Hollywood ‘recreation’ this is the real thing.  The star here is not the handsome looking Robert Redford but a real-life unpretentious man handsome in his ability to handle and recreate and tell the stories from events around him.  For Mervyn Cater as you will hear was born dyslexic.  ‘The unlettered mind has a genius’ said Adrian Bell, a theme also echoed by Walter Ong in his book ‘Orality and Literacy’.  Orality being the spoken word and with it the ability to bring forward metaphors from the back brain that put a measurement on the subject in hand.  Something he indicated that literate society in all its self-glorification has virtually lost the ability to do.  Modern literate speech is full of information but all of the information in the world is valueless if one cannot relate it.

Here Mervyn who was caned at school for his ‘literate’ disabilities and thrown out of the class tells us that if he saw anyone do anything whatever it was he could do it.  Mervyn Cater has the ability to pass wisdom, through metaphors that are the stories contained here in.  ‘Learning is by experience and apprenticeship’ said Walter Benjamin.  Ong tells us that orality, the spoken word, is more important than the written word, a bold but little understood statement.  Mervyn’s use of the spoken word is a living example of this, and George Ewart Evans gives him the credit of devoting two chapters to Mervyn and his father in his book ‘Horse Power and Magic’.

Mervyn was nevertheless disappointed that Mr Evans did not transcribe more accurately into written words those that Mervyn had conveyed to him orally.  This can be the trouble with books for they are an external second – hand perception which is not the case here!  This DVD is not only an example of the speech that literate society is losing but of the real life history of the horse and its ways.  These are not the words of a Hollywood film star actor of those of a writer, these are the first hand oral words of the sole participant of the play of life that of Mervyn Cater and his Father the Horse Whisperer.

Double DVD  Time:  3 hours Approx.  Produced:  February 2006

Product Code: NLDVD26




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