Comments (4)

Comment Feed

Article Not Universal

Despite the lofty universal tone of the first paragraph of this piece--it otherwise appears completely of an agenda related to aboriginal issues in Canada. Why if we are becoming so Global--is there no more Universal? Everything's particular now...

dimitrios otis more than 6 years ago

A little quote...

"If you can't annoy somebody, there is no point in being a writer." - Kingsley Amis

KD more than 7 years ago

Offend? Hardly Required To Qualify As Art

While great art does at times challenge and does at times offend the entrenched elite, it is surely possible to name ten who did not offend - Tolkien, Toynbee, Fisk come immediately to mind, although Toynbee is now subject to objections that reflect more the standards and sensitivities of now than then, and Fisk is more respected than decried. Drinking hemlock is not required of art.

Peter McCann more than 9 years ago


As belated as this response is to Stephen Henighan's claim, like Peter McCann I find the "offend" thesis to be far too narrow, as are its supposed driving forces or impulses of "private demons" and "the nation. Henighan is obviously correct in suggesting that offending readers via one's demons and the channeling of a people or nation has been crucial to an incredible number of writers (i.e. Joyce, Doris Lessing, Jacques Poulin, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mordecai Richler, Murikami in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle....) but his claims are far too prescriptive. And as much as I take McCann's point that, on the whole, a Tolkein or any number of other major writers throughout time have not initially been perceived as creating works that are offensive there is no transnational nor transhistorical guarantee that they will not be perceived as offensive in another cultural context or epoch.

David Leahy more than 8 years ago