Category: Debate

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Beyond the Rob Ford Sublime

by E. Martin Nolan

“What are commonly and ever more often perceived as ‘public issues’ are private problems of public figures. The time-honoured question of democratic politics—how useful or detrimental is the way public figures exercise their public duties to the welfare and well-being of their subjects/electors?—has fallen by the board, beckoning to public interests in good society,

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Rob Ford: Wearing the Wrong Tie Badly

by E. Martin Nolan

This was going to be about empathizing with Rob Ford. Then he wore that tie. I was going to claim that if literature teaches us empathy, maybe it could help us empathize with Ford. But then, by fictionalizing real people, don’t we run the risk of simplifying them and thus making it easier to vilify them?

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Learning From Gilmour

by Phoebe Wang

If there were gratifying results from David Gilmour’s interview with Emily Keeler on Hazlitt, they would include the reactions of dismay that populated international, national and local news channels, mainstream online publications, personal blogs and social media in the weeks following. Dozens of teachers, writers, editors and journalists found his “lack of interest” in teaching women writers,

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Why “Why are we surprised by David Gilmour”?

by Andy Verboom

It seems two questions occupy the same space: “Why are ‘we,’ who knew (of) Gilmour, surprised that he is consistently misogynist?” and “Why are ‘we,’ who knew nothing of Gilmour, surprised that there is such a person participating in Canadian literature and in the Canadian literary education system?” In both cases, I wager, we aren’t.

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Why Are We Surprised by David Gilmour?

by André Babyn

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”

― James Baldwin

The first and last time I purchased a novel by David Gilmour I was 18,

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Serious Heterosexual Guys for Literary Scholarship: Responding to David Gilmour

by Miriam Novick & Andrea Day

In response to David Gilmour’s now infamous Hazlitt interview, Miriam Novick and Andrea Day 0rganized “Serious Heterosexual Guys for Literary Scholarship”We have reprinted their opening speech from the event, along with an introduction from the authors. The Town Crier will continue discussing this and related issues in the weeks to come,

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Short Story Month – Taking Advice from Usher

by Andrew F. Sullivan

It is Short Story Month and we will all be paying lip service to that fact. There will be screeds bemoaning how collections are ignored by popular readers, celebrations of online publishers revitalizing the form and loud whispers about traditional publishers abandoning collections in favour of novels again and again. Each year it seems to be a perpetual underdog story and the narrative rarely changes.

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Bad Habits: Tendencies in Criticism We Shouldn’t Put Up With

by Phoebe Wang

In the weeks following the publication of my Puritan review of Matthew Tierney’s Probably Inevitable, I was reluctant to cement the dichotomy between the so-called positive and negative review, a much emphasized topic in Canadian literary criticism of late. Every critic is justified in his or her taste,

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Wikipedia’s American (Male) Novelists List: If You Don’t Like It, Change It

by E. Martin Nolan

Amanda Filipacchi has discovered that female American novelists are being moved from the “American Novelist” list to a “American Women Novelists” list on Wikipedia while male novelists remain on the “American Novelists” list.

This is sad, but Filipacchi’s New York Times piece on the subject ends on a hopeful note: since word got out,

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Submission Guidelines: Guiding Lines into Submission

by Kevin Kvas

My word count is limited, but unlike Phoebe Wang, whose Romantic defense of Creative Writing (and the Poetry Workshop) in response to my review of Matthew Tierney’s Probably Inevitable is tellingly lyrical in its self-enclosed privileging of itself as its own source text, I have no qualms about speaking in other voices.