From Patrick Coleman: Les Boys of October

2011-06-28 22:16:25

Quebec novelist Louis Hamelin is a talented writer with a genuine passion for his cause, but his new book La Constellation du lynx is remarkable as much for what it leaves out as for what it includes.

Q&A with Bharati Mukherjee

2011-06-28 06:32:13

LL: You have been writing about the culture shock experienced by immigrants from India in the United States for 40 years or more. Do you see yourself as being a pioneer in this exploration of the immigrant experience?M

BM: My short and emphatic answer: Yes.

From Tom Ložar: Trieste and the Meaning of Ignorance

2011-06-24 13:56:44

The assumption in “One Night at the Risiera” that the Risiera killed mainly Jews and the silence about the other victims may just be examples of Morris’s fabled carelessness and the ignorance of her reviewers, in homage to her lyrical cluelessness.

So, do you believe me, or the great Jan Morris? Do you trust me or the woman who says that Toronto is on Lake Superior, that there is a great hatter on a street in Toronto called Spandia, and that Yonge Street runs all the way to the “prairie farmlands”?

In Mukherjee's India, Old Meets New

2011-06-17 22:43:00

Bharati Mukherjee’s new novel represents not only a new departure but also the latest instalment in a substantial and satisfying body of work. 

 
From Tom Ložar: Doctored !

2011-06-07 19:10:31

The translation, from Slovenian, of Tom Ložar's column in the Maribor daily Vecer on March 29, 2011, soon after Germany’s Defence Minister Karl-Theodor von und zu Guttenberg resigned when it was discovered he had plagiarized his doctoral thesis.

From Elaine Kalman Naves: Peter Behrens' The O’Briens

2011-05-31 08:20:24

Members of the eponymous family are so bicultural that their conversation often and readily slips from English to French. It’s difficult not to read into the author’s intent the desire to pen “a” if not “the” great Canadian novel.

The AGO goes AbEx: All in the Family -- and a side of dystopian doom

2011-05-30 13:37:32

The family feel comes from the vivid sense of a movement, even quite literally of clubbiness that comes from the "Club" where artists and hangers-on congregated in a loft on East Eighth Street. Individual as they were and very different as is their work, they also knew each other and were keenly aware of themselves as a group.

[And the side? Edward Burtynsky's stunning "Oil," at the ROM.]

 

 

Monsieur Montreal Culture: The Passion of Simon Brault

2011-05-27 09:58:04

Not just Monsieur Culture Montréal, in other words, but Monsieur Montreal Culture. Brault wasn’t playing to a particularly mixed crowd. There might have been 300 of us in the audience, and I saw only a couple of other Anglos and one Spaniard; there were undoubtedly other non-Francophones I did not recognize, but there were no Anglophone media other than myself, if I can be counted a journalist. La Presse covered the event, but The Gazette did not. There are times, even today, when Montreal seems to live on one planet in English and on another one in French.

The Lion in Winter: Gore Vidal

2011-05-21 16:51:30

When Raboy passed the torch to the audience, a young woman went up to the microphone to ask Vidal, “What is the most important thing in life for you?”

Vidal thought for a moment before saying a single word, “Anaesthetic.” 

Anaesthetic there had been and anaesthetic there would be.

Whimsy in Granite: Hope Cemetery

2011-05-18 16:49:44

THERE IS NO ROOM

FOR SECOND PLACE.

THERE'S ONLY ONE PLACE,

AND THAT'S FIRST PLACE.

-- Inscription on Davis soccer ball gravestone, Hope Cemetery, Barre VT.


Bravo to CALQ on its Forum on Quebec writing -- with an aside

2011-05-13 08:15:56

I find myself wondering if there might be a storytelling session for children in English one of these days -- an Heure du conte en anglais. All of which is reason to be encouraged by the organization of the Forum itself -- and by the evident care taken to be inclusive.

From Kenneth Radu: Comment on Writing in the Time of Nationalism

2011-05-10 12:41:45

"Written in a gracefully accessible prose and enlivened by a wry wit, unaffectedly modest but confident in tone, alert to resentments and undercurrents, on this subject which she knows so intimately and thoroughly, Leith’s book is a necessary read. Besides, I am indexed. And one feels one has arrived when one has been indexed." -- Kenneth Radu

 

 

 

 
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