Wednesday, September 23, 2009

what a lovely war

Victoria Glendinning has stated the obvious and everyone has an opinion.

Canadian fiction has a "striking homogeneity" and "the U.S too, is a nation of immigrants, but American novelists do not bang on so about its heritage and antecedents."
She then suggested that Canadian novels are usually the product of committee thinking and maybe kind of sort of suggested that some of the work was not that great.
She did, to be fair, say that some of the Giller contestants were "brilliant."
So does this mean anything, other than maybe Glendinning could have waited until the winner was announced before putting her thoughts to paper?

No, not really.

I'm naturally curious how the Giller gets picked, so if she was going to name names or at least write an essay on her jury experience, I'd read it and maybe even pay for one of her books.
I do remember quite liking her novel Electricity about ten or twelve years back.
But when the Brits say nice things about Michael Ondaatje or Alice Munro we can feel good about ourselves; conversely it doesn't add up to much when someone across the pond holds up what can be an uncomfortably mirror.
Lets move on.

2 comments:

tom s. said...

Agree absolutely. And Noah Richler in the Globe today was just silly in response. Glendinning is a fine critic and biographer as well as novelist, and what she says may be uncomfortable to hear, but it has a lot of truth to it.

What We're Reading! said...

Richler did the best he could with a bad hand, and Glendinning is no fool; you're right, Tom.

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