Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Derisive Blog Entries Caused By Re-Reading Soucouyant

Yesterday I re-read Soucouyant. You know what, I was wrong about it: Chariandy's done solid work, and I was too quick to call it another "postcolonial affirmative (re)action."

The first time I read it I borrowed a copy from the library. The second time I bought my own text: $19.95 at Chapters. They had one slim edition, representing, to me, the tremendous force behind marketing and selling Canadian fiction.

"It's about a black woman and a black-Asian son," one customer told me. "Who wants to read about the world's fastest convenience store owner."

I told her that it didn't have much to do with either of those things--that the protagonist was something like Sri Lankan and Jamaican.

"Ohhhh," she said. "So it's kind of like a John Irving novel."

I go through stages where I'm alternately happy and seething about and over Canadian fiction. Yesterday, in talking about arts funding, Stephen Harper said that the average Canadian gets home from work, turns on the TV, and spends the rest of the night complaining about those ritzy authors being feted in the most expensive hotels with the most expensive Scotch. That's an interesting idea. I guess it'd be better if, say, the average Canadian got home from work, turned on the TV, and ate dinner to a lovely L.M. Montgomery monologue, broadcast live from the steps of Parliament. They'd ride home in their phaeton, unlace their boots, then sit down by the coal stove. "Ma! The poem readin's a startin'! Quick, bring the ham!"

"What about a book? Andrew Pyper's got a new one--"

"I said ham!"

Can you turn Soucouyant into a movie? Who'd play the narrator? Daniel Radcliffe in blackface? I can see Maya Angelou as the mother.

I don't really like Maya Angelou. Once I heard her talking about God. It was in an interview with an ABC reporter.

"You talk a lot about being descended from God," the reporter said.

"Who said anything about descended from," Angelou shot back.

I realize that I don't like Canadians very much. I'm tempted to write Canadian jokes that no one'll ever read. I was up at a farm ten years ago--this was a place way up north with no running water and no septic tank. They had an outhouse with an old Chatelaine in use as toilet paper. It was much too glossy. But there was a guy, sitting on a fence, reading a copy of Over Prairie Trails. I hate that book, but I was still impressed.

"Reading it?" my grandfather asked. (He was with me.)

"No," the guy said. "Just trying to see which pages got the fewest print." He paused. "Gonna wipe my ass with it."

No comments:

All Posts On This Site Are Intended As Juvenalian Satire. If They Veer Into Horatian Satire, That's OK Too. Just, Please, Don't Take Them Too Seriously. PhD Students Can't Afford Libel Suits. CUPE Doesn't Cover Court Costs.
Site Meter