Literary non-fiction from Yoko Morgenstern.
Photo: Danny Stoeker
Literary non-fiction from Yoko Morgenstern.
Photo: Danny Stoeker
In addition to being a gifted poet and a practicing psychiatrist, Des Rosiers is a courageous and open-minded gentleman for whom I have great respect. This, as we all know, has nothing much to do with literary merit, most of the time. I mention it because it gives me even more reason to rejoice that Quebec has chosen to celebrate Joël des Rosiers and his work with its highest literary honour.
My review of Doug Gibson's Stories about Storytellers has just appeared on the Globe Books site and no doubt in the paper tomorrow.
"I am a guy who is Vietnamese, living in France, making a Japanese movie. But Vietnamese culture is really deep inside me. Let’s say I enjoy watching Vietnamese women more than others. It’s something like that. I feel that I am a different man when I am in Vietnam compared with France. I feel that I’m not living my life fully in France, I feel as though my life is in suspension. It is not something I dislike, that’s just how it is."
Questions about the future of bookstores and libraries soon resulted in bold statements to the effect that “Bookstores will die. It’s a pity, but that’s the reality.” Booksellers fared better in this imagined future, but not by much. To the suggestion that booksellers can continue to play a role in providing advice on books, one participant cracked, “you might have difficulty living on that.” Publishers came in for some dismissive comments, as well, and radio and television got it in the neck.
Introducing fiction and poetry in translation into English -- and, in the weeks to come, a new blogue in French.
Not to mention, it's easier than ever to sign up and comment.
Not to mention the books that will follow in the new year.
Nelly Arcan, the talented and beautiful novelist who committed suicide in September 2009 (see my Globe Books post here) has published a posthumous story called Shame (La Honte) that is creating a stir.
Nelly Arcan on the cover of her second novel, Folle.
I hate to break this to you, Ladies and Gentlemen – especially if you’re still in denial about the digital revolution – but the literary future includes not only electronic books, but words and images dancing on a screen, with voice and music and other sound effects.
Letters appear, quickly metamorphose into other letters, creating new words, new meanings, and new stories. A story that might have been set in Brooklyn is transformed on screen into a story about Odessa, and then into another about Berlin.
I catch a line about being “hand in hand on uncertain ground.” It all reminds me of that line of Leonard Cohen’s about a woman “who’s gone and changed her name again.”
blue as an orange
While the Miron biography is a considerable assessment of the one of the great figures of nationalist Quebec, the publication this month of a new novel by Catherine Mavrikakis is an event, too, and one of the surest signs of vitality among a younger generation of Quebec writers.
And then there's Perrine Leblanc, aged 31.
This is, in short, the busiest time of the year for literary publishers here, perhaps even more so than elsewhere in Canada, since the Quebec industry takes its lead from France in its single-minded focus on the fall.
The heart of the novel is the brilliant and painful, detailed and multi-layered depiction of Annabel herself from his earliest years as the boy Wayne to the excruciatingly awkward and sometimes devastating experiences of the young woman Annabel in St. John’s. In scene after scene Winter wonderfully conveys a child’s literal-mindedness and imagination, a child’s consciousness of physiological transformations and emotional changes, an adolescent’s conflicts and yearnings, tensions within the family, all complicated by the salient fact of his/her gender.
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My review of Michael Ondaatje's great new novel, The Cat's Table, is now online and will appear in print in The Gazette [Montreal] tomorrow, Saturday, September 3, 2011.
Patterson Webster’s exhibition Land Marks – nicely translated as Pays sage – explores how
people shape the natural world and are shaped by it. Intrigued
when I attended the show and walked the trails, I asked Webster questions about
her work, to which she responded by email.
Her work is exhibited in a gallery setting at the
North Hatley Library (165 Main Street, North Hatley) and outdoors at Glen Villa
Gardens (1000 chemin North Hatley, Sainte-Catherine–de-Hatley), where you can walk the Abenaki and In Transit trails daily, 1–5 p.m. Enter the property on the private drive
marked with a flag. Follow signs for parking. See brochure and map. Duration of
walk: 45 minutes (1.5 km) round trip.
These works fall to the force of nature every year and are rebuilt in new formations in late spring and summer when the river releases itself from winter’s grip. The rock remains, the art vanishes, only to reappear, because the artist is moved to do so, change and transformation being essential to his aesthetic. And that’s a rather exciting concept. Ceprano’s purpose is not to create a never changing artifact, but to celebrate the phenomenon of change itself.
The site has been down, owing to server overload. Some of that is the traffic generated since the four pieces I posted yesterday, but most of it has nothing to do with this site but with another dealing with UFOs and nuclear weapons.
My webmaster suggests posting on UFOs and nuclear weapons as a way of increasing traffic. I guess it would be.
What interests me in these gardens is their design and imaginative daring, along with their thoughtful and often playful deconstruction of the garden into its constituent parts. As a writer, I am also intrigued by the power of the language used to describe them. Among the most provocative – perhaps especially for a writer -- is the Jardin de la connaissance, a “secret and strange library” of walls, benches and floors made up of used books exposed to wind and weather – and varieties of mushrooms cultivated within some of the books.
Here is a world première view of Louise Tanguay's new photograph of the controversial Jardin de la connaissance.
This French couple declared the food they had at the Auberge du Grand fleuve (131, rue Principale, Métis-sur-Mer), the best they'd had in Quebec.
Photo: Linda Leith
Next stop is prompted by a glimpse of the extravagant spires of the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges church in Trois-Pistoles, where you think you might catch a glimpse of the redoubtable nationalist novelist and publisher Victor-Lévy Beaulieu (but of course you don’t). What you do hear, is English, a few words of spoken English.