Posts Tagged ‘Can Lit’


May 26, 2009

See my ghost, see my ghost.


Weighty Ghost

That song is fantastic, please download it.

Despite a windy, cold, and soon to be rainy day, the thought of summer is alive around here.  A time for hiking, camping, gardening, outdoor sports, and reading on the deck.  One of my favourite writers, Alice Munro, won the Man Booker International Prize this week.  Unlike the yearly Man Booker Prize the biennial international award recognizes an author for outstanding contributions to literature, not a specific work.  This is the third time the award has been given and Munro beat out such accomplished authors as E.L. Doctorow and Antonio Tabucchi. It’s worth noting that Margaret Atwood was nominated for each of the first two awards (2005, 2007) but failed to win. She was not nominated this year.

Alice Munro is from Wingham, Ontario, and won a Governor General’s Award with her first published work.  She is primarily known for working in the short story genre.  For more info about this incredible Canadian talent visit her Random House page.

I was inspired recently by a discussion about the state of television.  The commentators concluded that TV producers have more or less run out of new ideas.  I often wonder if our various artistic endeavours will run out of innovative techniques.  Have we pushed art, music, theatre, tv, and film to a point that future changes will be modifcation rather than innovation?  I don’t have an answer to this question but it’s worth thinking about. I suppose the biggest wildcard factor is technology.  Since we can’t predict what machines and computerized devices will be available, it’s hard to say where the boundaries will be. We can only hope that our great great grand children will still admire our creations, and that they will be able to develop their own style.


All This? For $2.50?

January 15, 2009

Force, the inertial tugs and pulls a two-dimensional being experiences when he tries to walk a straight line in three-dimensional space.

Bernhard Riemann

Quoted in

A Small Dog Barking and Other Stories

By Robert Strandquist

If you read yesterday’s post about an ecology of peace and are waiting for more, don’t worry it’s coming, just not today.  I promise it will be soon.

I want to divert your attention from serious matters today and talk about something I enjoy, used bookstores and thrift stores.  I should start by saying that I prefer to buy my clothes new, so I’m not usually found among the clothing racks at Value Village.  I do , however, like to get cheap books, records, and even tapes!  Plus I never know when I’ll find a wacky instrument to add to the collection and use on an album.  This is on my mind because of the tapes I mentioned the other day, and my recent visit to the Neighbour to Neighbour Used Bookstore where I picked up several Can Lit classics, by such renowned authors as Robertson Davies and Gabrielle Roy.  When I was in Waterloo I used to frequent Old Goat Books even if the people there kind of scared me. I know I have a loyal readership, and some transients who wander in periodically. I’d love to hear about your favourite little bookshops and thrift stores from coast to coast.

Another random thing happened today. I was flipping channels between periods of the Thrasher-Senators game, and I discoverd Sting singing opera.  A piece from Don Giovanni to be more precise.  He was sharing a duet with Angela Gheorghiu of Là ci darem la mano. What I found most interesting, beisdes the odd choice of having Sting do opera, was the vast difference in the quality of the vocal performance between the two.  Sting sounded good, as he usually does, but as soon as Gheorghiu opened her mouth it was obvious she sings on a different plane.  It’s just a reminder that what is popularly considered as the standard for musical ability generally lacks behind those who are truly the best.  I still recommend checking out the performance here.