Friday, September 25, 2009

Margaret Atwood's Labia Compared To Corned Beef

Another academic year starts; Margaret Atwood's promo. events start to bleed through the provinces. So it must be fall. I don't know if anyone's read Atwood's new book The Year of the Flood, but if you haven't you're surely jerking off to inferior material. An Eaton's catalogue, or maybe Spike TV ads. Flood is a fantastic read; I'd recommend it to anyone catheterized after minor surgery.

I went to an Atwood event last night in Toronto, and the usual crowd of supporters had gathered to kiss her feet, carry her around on a sedan chair, and generally cry in her presence. Seriously, I'm not sure why Atwood's such a Canadian deity. I know that we're not a crowded room of Updikes, but I know also that I'd love to read a book without waiting for the inevitable rape-inchoate rape scene. The maven-Atwood writes well, but you can't read her books without feeling that there's a cold-as-hell finger shoved deep up your ass.

That's just a man's point of view, so dismiss it out of hand Atwood fans. I know that Atwood doesn't hate men, she just hates John Moss (who know, by the way, walks around the city in a black watch cap and loves camping).

So, again, everyone was at this Random House-Doubleday book-hawking expo. And they'd all dressed up for Atwood. Except for one guy--an older man--who told me that he'd gone down on MA in the '70s, and compared the experience to licking hand-cut Schwartz's Montreal smoked meat that'd been left in the car overnight in February. I begged him for details, and he told me that there was really nothing more to tell, but that Peggy likes the missionary position 'cause it lets her imagine that the roof's about to cave in.

So this isn't a book review as much as it is a prurient look at the Atwood you weren't meant to see; the part usually concealed behind layers and layers of wool.

Fuck. Atwood was never better than she was in Surfacing, which, to me, is like saying that my shirt never smelled better than after I'd walked down Spadina from Bloor to King Street.

Now back to prepping for tomorrow's CanLit lecture: The Tin Flute and Canadian modernism. Drop in if you have a chance.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Alice Munro Out Of Giller Running, But Still Wants Those Pizza Pizza Coupons

The Star ran a story re: Alice Munro's hand-slap of the '09 Giller nominations. Alice wants to step aside, let other writers have a shot at taking home the cash, the award, and the little rag dolls that Margaret Atwood makes every year and hands out to nominees.

That's admirable, and I salute Alice for her gesture. She doesn't need the money; she has all the fame she can handle; her mantle is full.

But what wasn't reported in the Star's story was Munro's surreptitious acceptance of the book of Pizza Pizza coupons that comes with a Giller nomination. Pizza Pizza, which has sponsored the CanLit ceremony since its inception, has made a tradition of handing out the equivalent of a year's worth of Sundays of large pizzas. The idea is that working writers shouldn't have to worry about cooking dinner; Pizza Pizza delivers, and the fifty-two coupons are good for dipping sauce, a bottle of Coke, and chicken fingers. That's a family dinner.

I can understand why and how so few people know about the Pizza Pizza gesture. When you see that big cash prize and that black-tie dinner, the last thing you're going to drawn to is a vinyl tarp declaring the birth of the jalapeno pizza roll.

So a friend who works with the Giller administration tells me that while Munro effectively resigned from Giller consideration, she neglected to return the pizza coupons. A little off, but it doesn't surprise me. What's interesting is that the coupons don't include a tip. And all reports are that Munro doesn't tip. A famous CanLit author-at-large story has Munro at the Keg eating a New York strip steak and leaving $25.05 on a $25 cheque.

If only I could be the delivery guy who knocks on that Rosedale door.
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.
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