The Screenplay-novel Manifestos

Less is more vivid

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Although the following article by Matthew Firth may seem at first as if it only applies to people interested in cultural comparisons between the United States and Canada, it's about much more than that. It's recommended to anyone interested in the dynamics between" small" culture and Big Culture (the capital letters are appropriate for the latter because, in its power and institutional hubris, Big Culture is analogous to Big Science).

In fact, this article by Firth is part of a larger debate.
And, given that in some quarters the novel has been declared dead while in other quarters it is being transformed into a brand (Literature TM), this is a debate that has to take place in all countries:

Its a national pastime in this country to differentiate between Canadian this and American that. Sports, culture, politics, history, climate, international diplomacy, guns, abortion, health care, social policy, dope smoking, sexual behaviours, etc. the list goes on.

One of the few things I remember from high school was a Grade Ten history lesson on the "cultural mosaic" (us) versus the "melting pot" (them). Wouldn
t Miss Jewel (though I reckon shes dead) be proud of me now citing this lesson twenty-five years later. Trite, maybe, but early on we develop biases when measuring us Canucks against them Yanks. And biases are like opinions, generalizations and assholes: ubiquitous.

But what of the micro press? Surely the noble art of smaller than small book publishing is above all this us-and-them stuff. There must be more similarities, you
d think, than differences....

To read the rest, click here

[more on this later]


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