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  1. #1

    Default Recommend me a read from your homeland

    Recommend me a read from your homeland and when I get around to reading it I will blog about it, I got the idea when Aquarelle recommended that I read Ethan Frome (following my talking about Erich Fromm and the names being similar), but it does not necessarily have to be a novel, it could be a manifesto or a religious book or poems or news article. Its up to you.

    Cheers, I hope you find this a good idea.

  2. #2
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod is a great Canadian novel.

    Plot-wise you could argue that it's in the overdone Canadian tradition of novels about salt-of-the-earth working class people struggling in a mining community with family issues and alcoholism. (There are seemingly billions of Canadian novels with more or less this theme.) BUT, it's just a beautifully written book with tremendous insights into human nature, and set in some very characteristic Canadian landscapes - although not the ones I know, as I grew up on the West Coast and this is the East Coast. I highly recommend it, anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod is a great Canadian novel.

    Plot-wise you could argue that it's in the overdone Canadian tradition of novels about salt-of-the-earth working class people struggling in a mining community with family issues and alcoholism. (There are seemingly billions of Canadian novels with more or less this theme.) BUT, it's just a beautifully written book with tremendous insights into human nature, and set in some very characteristic Canadian landscapes - although not the ones I know, as I grew up on the West Coast and this is the East Coast. I highly recommend it, anyway.
    By your fellow Canadian Kate Beaton (who grewp at the Atlantic coast)



    Her comment: Here is an extra little comic, one I made about Atlantic Canadian literature. Read it, and you too can feel as though you attended a high school in my province!
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    @Red Herring - thanks, I love Hark A Vagrant (@EJCC has recommended them to me too) and that is SO SO spot on!

    There's a similar variation from the Prairies too, with farming instead of mining. On the West Coast it's more likely to be forestry, though in my experience with West Coast literature there's more adultery and less alcoholism. You'd get a weird idea of Canadians from our books...
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    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    There's a similar variation from the Prairies too, with farming instead of mining. On the West Coast it's more likely to be forestry, though in my experience with West Coast literature there's more adultery and less alcoholism. You'd get a weird idea of Canadians from our books...
    You mean this one?

    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    LOL!! Spot on again. No wonder I tended to find Canadian lit so dull. These versions are much more amusing when you recognize the formula!

    Funny thing is, my mom is from Finland and it seems a lot of their literature is similar. Lots of farms and lonely alcoholics. Finns and Canadians are more alike than she'd mostly be willing to admit.

    It's not that such tropes HAVE to be dull or formulaic, but they so often are, even when written in "literary" style - there's kind of a Canadian literary formula that is just so ho hum to me. It has to break out and be exquisitely written and insightful, like No Great Mischief.
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    A River runs Through It - Norman Maclean
    Set in my hometown in Montana. Made into a movie staring Brad
    pitt and some other people...

  8. #8

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    Thanks guys, since these are classics they're all cheap on Amazon, sweet as.

    I wonder if there'd be any irish equivalent of those toons, probably all rants about the Church and sex. Or the brits. Or protestants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Thanks guys, since these are classics they're all cheap on Amazon, sweet as.

    I wonder if there'd be any irish equivalent of those toons, probably all rants about the Church and sex. Or the brits. Or protestants.

    Irish poetry seems to be about all sorts of things. I haven't actually read all that many Irish novels - I absolutely love William Trevor's short stories and some of his novels, though (The Story of Lucy Gault is incredibly moving.)

    But I saw quite a lot of Irish theatre when I lived there. It was usually fantastic, but it mostly followed a sort of theme of "peasants or working class people bravely sticking up for themselves against oppressive Brits and rulers, interspersed with lots of hilarious black humour. Then something hideously dreadfully tragic happens at the end. Also, Irish mothers and sons have weird obsessive relationships."
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Irish poetry seems to be about all sorts of things. I haven't actually read all that many Irish novels - I absolutely love William Trevor's short stories and some of his novels, though (The Story of Lucy Gault is incredibly moving.)

    But I saw quite a lot of Irish theatre when I lived there. It was usually fantastic, but it mostly followed a sort of theme of "peasants or working class people bravely sticking up for themselves against oppressive Brits and rulers, interspersed with lots of hilarious black humour. Then something hideously dreadfully tragic happens at the end. Also, Irish mothers and sons have weird obsessive relationships."
    I like James Joyce, although you sum up the Irish well enough, the great gaels of ireland were the men God made mad, for all their wars were merry and all their songs were sad.

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