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Stunningly Beautiful

Added: Tuesday, May 21st 2019 at 8:36pm by ZenofKen
Related Tags: books, reading, literature, authors

I moved to Canada in the summer of 1972 soon after the introduction of draconian Canadian Content legislation. The Canadian government of that time was concerned that Canadian culture was being diluted or displaced by the unrestricted flow of American music and television and other arts flowing across the border in print and on the airwaves. Canadian Content legislation required that a certain percentage of all music and television programming aired in Canada must be of Canadian origin or have had a large degree of Canadian input in its production. Print media published in Canada, books and magazines, likewise had to have a given percentage of Canadian authorship.

Whether it helped save a distinct Canadian culture or not I am not sure. It didn't do much for Canadian music given that there was a very large Canadian presence in the rock and roll scene of the 60s and 70s anyways. These laws may have helped develop some quality television shows. In the print media it nearly destroyed an industry.

Canadian Content resulted in the publication of nearly any book written by a Canadian and these books took up 60 to 70 percent of the shelving space in Canadian bookstores. And let us be clear, except for a few Canadian writers such as Pierre Berton and Farley Mowat, the writing was universally bad. I quickly learned to avoid Canadian authors like the plague.

In the many years since then the situation has changed and some of the best writers in the world are Canadian. In that sence I guess that ultimately the Canadian Content laws were a success. 

I am talking about serious literature here, not pulp fiction. In the world of literature Canada takes a back seat to no one. David Adams Richards, Margaret Atwood, Will Ferguson, Rohinton Mistry, Robertson Davies, W.O. Mitchell, and my favorite author, David Bergen, produce some of the most breathtakingly beautiful literature in the English language.

But I missed one. 

A week ago I picked up a book by a Canadian author I was only vaguely familiar with. I knew his genre and I knew he had recently died but that was about all. I picked up a reduced price copy of his first novel, brought it home, set it aside and then foergot about it until last night.

Usually in the evening when I tire of Filipino television droning in my ear I head to bed with my MP3 player or a book. Last night it was a book, the new one I had bought and promptly forgotten. Before beginning I looked the author up online and discovered I had apparently been missing something. All of his books were critically acclaimed and award winning. That doesn't always mean something but ...

I was late getting to bed when I started and read only the first 20 pages. It was so stunningly beautiful, so well crafted, the author using words like a precision instrument. The first 20 pages blew me away. Blew  me away to the point I stopped reading and put it aside. I didn't want to be getting sleepy while reading. It deserved my full attention and time to get completely settled into the book.

I think I may have found my newest favorite author. Richard Wagamese I am looking forward to reading every word you ever wrote. How did I miss you until now.

I am off to bed now. Time to read.

User Comments

babaguhin ng pagbabasa ang iyong utak. huminto ka at pumunta sa telebisyon ng Filipino, lol

Filipino television is the most insipid, violent, mind numbing media in the world.

Mind-numbing media - that's the beauty of it; just up your viewing a little bit more and you too can be perfectly adjusted to Canadian Content literature regulations. Hope that helps heheh....*rapid exit* {#airborne.gif}

Is that why we have a lot of Canadian actors and musicians here. Canada sent them to make up for what we were sending up in the 70s....LOL

LOL Then it was a poor trade but it is really stunning that there are so many Canadian actors and muscians in the USA. Most Americans do not know that a great deal of the 60s and 70s rock came from Canadians. Can you imiagine Crosy, Stills, Nash and Young without Canadians Stills and Nash?

Now I am intrigued!  

Book review coming soon.

{#crying.gif} {#crying.gif} AND here was me thinking you were talking about me, when I read the title of your post{#angelgirl.gif} {#angelgirl.gif} .

That's it! That is exactly what the title was about - You!

{#rofl.gif} {#rofl.gif}

I know of Mgt Atwood...she s a popular author here...interesting  blog  thanks :)

Of thos authors I named Atwood is my least favorite. I will post some comments on the book itself in a day or two.

Uhmmm, gonna share the title of the book?

In one day or two. It is a short read. I made progress with it last night. In the very beginning the author does a short chautauqua that captured me for its truthfulness. It leads into the story perfectly. Being a Canadian writer and being that it is literature more than fiction I hope you will be abale to get it down there. 

Do you haunt your library? Can probably get it there especially if they do inter-library loans.

If it's in print, we can get it here, and all our libraries participate in inter-library loans!


Okay you, I want the title of that book!!

See below

Indian Horse?

Medicine Walk?

One Story?

One Native Life?


 any of those titles?



Keeper n me

His first first one. Keeper 'N Me. The first 10 pages are worth the price of the book.

I did read some of it and I do like his writing thank you for pointing me in his direction... = )

Hence, Hollywood moved to Toranto. 

Sounds interesting. I'm glad you are enjoying it. 

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