Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On the art of Canadian literature part I

Once upon a time Canadians wrote about the distance between them and everyone else. They wrote about isolation, both physical and mental. They wrote about the poor noble savage - now the burden of the aboriginal problem. They remembered when they once won a war, or were a small but fierce faction of a battalion of fighting men in Europe.

What a waste of god damn time.

Canada is a nation of peoples, not people. Of ideas, not one idea. There could never be a pultzer prize for Canadian literature, because how do you properly represent the time and place that is Canada? Canadians don't all bend over and sniff each other's asses, we slap hands and smile and go our separate ways.
What folklore could there be when Canada's identity went from "that other british colony, you know, the one that didn't rebel" to, "that big ass country that's really nice and is the only bastion of forward thought and liberal social order between two entire continents!"

As they say, we are a mosaic. We are a mosaic and we spit upon the melting pot, though it might splash up and burn us every so often. In truth the glass pieces of the mosaic can cut us, but its better than being burned away until you are nothing but what is everybody else.

Canada is a space station, a harborage, a peaceful place in a maelstrom of disaster and hatred.

God damn it man, you don't write about Canada, YOU WRITE FOR HER! You write on her behalf.

You write about the world, and humanity, about people, and problems, and things. Spread out like a picnic blanket with a billion ants blitzkrieging across the checkered floor.

And most of all you write on your behalf.

Don't be a Canadian writer. Be a writer who is Canadian.

S. Sparling

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