A practical guide for new Canadians - Step Five, by Felicia Mihali

1 February 2013

Step Five: Ideology

You have to stop making comparisons between this political system and the one you left behind. The one back home may have been funnier to watch, but don’t forget how ineffective it was. So ineffective, in fact, that you decided to leave the country despite the good laugh you had over the political debates. Politics will be less funny in Canada.

Photo: Martine Doyon




Space for a Pen, part III, by Kenneth Radu

9 December 2012


John Ruskin attached a tower to his bedroom on his mountainside estate, Brantwood, on the shores of Coniston Water in Cumbria. Unlike Sackville-West’s, his tower room windowed on all sides, almost a capsule, offered a corner in which to escape from recurring nightmares or to watch the stars.


Space for a Pen, part II, by Kenneth Radu

6 December 2012

I think of Virginia Woolf’s essay and cabin, Vita Sackville-West’s tower, and Carlyle’s study, their necessary, self-imposed isolation, and wonder how Jane Austen managed to produce six scintillating novels, at least two of which are masterpieces, in the midst of the busy domesticity of a small house where servants and family bumped against each other crossing a threshold.


Vita Sackville-West's Tower and White Garden at Sissinghurst 
 
Space for a Pen, part I, by Kenneth Radu

5 December 2012

Though Carlyle was a literary giant of quasi-mythic proportions and a hero to Victorians, his theories and writing are largely forgotten or ignored outside of university departments of English. That is the fate enjoyed by many a writer, and one need not be dead.

Letter from Guatemala, by Guy Tiphane

21 November 2012

Salvador Dali's images of The Divine Comedy in Antigua, Guatemala

 

Canto 13: The Wood of the Suicides: 
“Look well, for here one sees things which in words would be incredible.

Speaking of Books, by Ann Charney

30 October 2012

Stories will still need to be told, and writers will continue to tell them. It’s not unreasonable to assume that the written word will persist, even if it’s in ways we can scarcely imagine.


Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition
A Wake-up Call on the State of Canada's Publishing Industry, by Linda Leith

25 October 2012

The D&M story should be a wake-up call to Canadians. Canadian literature has thrived nationally and internationally thanks to measures put in place to support Canadian writing and publishing. The measures currently in place, though, were designed for a bygone era. It’s time to revisit those measures, and fast.

Photo: Eléonore Delvaux-Beaudoin

Auction of original illustrations from Canadian pIcture books

3 October 2012


Le Funambule  © Marie-Danielle Croteau, Josée Bisaillon et les éditions Les400 coups, 2010

Works by Stéphane Poulin, Marie-Louise Gay, Stéphane Jorisch, Janice Nadeau, Michael Martchenko, Barbara Reid, Philippe Béha, and others on the block at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. 

Jean-François Lisée is off to a good start in his Ministerial rôle, by Linda Leith

21 September 2012

There have been too many shows of impatience and anger, with each side blaming the other. With few exceptions, this has all been a question of words -- sharp words, throw-away words, unthinking words -- but they have succeeded in hardening attitudes and deepening divisions. Fine words are not all it takes to improve matters, but they can help a great deal in such a language-obsessed city as Montreal.

Letter from San Francisco: The future of reading, by Guy Tiphane

4 September 2012

I once had a conversation with Doug Engelbart, the inventor of the computer mouse and, I would say, most concepts in interactive computing. He predicted that one day we would have all our experiences delivered to our senses electronically. It sounded unbelievable back then, but it is much more believable now.

Gaudy is Good: Bath and Brighton Pier, part III, by Kenneth Radu

29 August 2012

The carousel towards the latter end of the Brighton Pier, just before the roller coaster, is grotesquely beautiful, and enthrals the children and older bystanders for that reason. So vividly painted, the horses eerily distorted as they circle and bob, transfixed on a silvery pole to which half-terrified and half-delighted kids hang on and ride. Like all such carousels, this one unapologetically violates principles of aesthetic restraint, nightmarishly stunning as it spins to blaring music above the water.

Gaudy is Good: Bath and Brighton Pier, part II, by Kenneth Radu

25 August 2012

It’s absurd to compare the Pier, not to mention the giant Ferris wheel circling above the beach, to the gleaming perfection of the famous Assembly rooms in Bath, but absurdity is intrinsic to the Pier, so all comparisons are sublimely ludicrous.

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