May 29, 2023
Bringing It All Back Home
As I write this, I am sitting outside in the backyard of a rowhouse in Toronto’s East End. The wind is stirring the leaves of a big maple tree spreading its branches high above me, and stirring the ...
May 25, 2023
On Writing in Longhand
I have bad handwriting. I always have. I remember as a child being put through the terrible paces of the Canadian Penmanship books at school, which were intended to teach us to write in cursive (one of ...
May 21, 2023
Outside my window are two strands of spidersilk, about five inches apart, both slanting downwards from left to right at a sharp angle. They move semi-independently in the slight morning breeze, almost ...
May 12, 2023
Class, History, Fiction, and Form Part 5: The Speak o the Mearns
My parents are renters, so we moved houses a lot growing up. How can you expect continuity under those conditions, the steady passage of an uncomplicatedly teleological time? We can’t point to the place ...
May 10, 2023
Class, History, Fiction, and Form Part 4: I Scream of Benigni
I feel a mounting sense of anxiety that I still haven’t said everything I said I would. I have called my shot and then proceeded to chuck basketballs, tennis balls, darts, arrows, and various other ...
May 08, 2023
Class, History, Fiction, and Form Part 3: "To See Someone Who Does Not See"
So now I have to do what I said I would do and start offering some ways of escaping the individualist narrative conventions of the bourgeois novel. They will by no means be the only ways. Not by a longshot. ...
May 03, 2023
Class, History, Fiction, and Form Part 2: Is the Bicycle Dead?
Before I do anything else, I have to try to say what I mean by fictional forms. I do so with a lot of trepidation, because my sense of these things is idiosyncratic and perhaps wrong. But here goes.People ...
May 01, 2023
Class, History, Fiction, and Form Part 1
It’s Monday, May 1st. If you’re reading this in Canada or the United States, you are most likely working today. I know I am. At this very moment I am probably guiding a group of adult learners through ...