04w15:2 Pico Iyer

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 15 number 2 (Pico Iyer)
“I saw Pico Iyer in Pages today, ” I said.
“So?” she said.
“I thought you’d find that interesting,” I said.
“I don’t see why I would,” she said. “I honestly don’t care.”
“I think you’re just saying that,” I said.
“My god, no! What is the big deal? It’s like at the Rodney Graham opening, everyone was oooing and aweing, ‘look, it’s Margaret Atwood…”
“Margaret Atwood was at the Rodney Graham opening?”


Leonard Cohen Unplugged | Pico Iyer
“And so, as time passes, I really do begin to feel I am watching a complex man trying to come clear, a still jangled, sometimes angry soul making a heroic attempt to reduce itself to calm. As day passes into night and day again, he comes into focus, and out again, like the sun behind clouds, now blazing with a lucent high intensity, now more like the difficult brooder you might imagine from the records. ‘He’s a tiger,’ I remember a women in New York telling me, ‘a very complicated man. Complicated in a very grown-up way. I mean, he makes Dylan seem childish.’ The first time she met him, he congratulated her on a book she’d written. As their meal went on, he added, ‘Your writing is a lot more interesting than you are.’ ”

The last refuge: on the promise of the New Canadian fiction | Pico Iyer
“The English Patient captured me, as it did many others, with a language at once precise and ornamental, and with love scenes that throw open the windows of the stuffy house of English letters to let in a new, exotic light. But what made the novel most resonant, as well as popular, was its meticulous and highly self-conscious attempt to chart a new kind of identity outside the categories of the Old World’s order. ‘We were German, English, Hungarian, African–all of us insignificant to them,’ says the title character, as he thinks back to an ‘oasis society’ before the war in which people from everywhere assembled to map the North African desert. ‘Gradually we became nationless. I came to hate nations.’ His closest associate among the explorers died, he recalls, because of nations. And as he reminisces about the tribal flow of post-national souls coming together in the desert, he–and we–cannot fail to notice that the people around him in the villa, too, are ‘international bastards,’ in his phrase, moving around one another, as the novel repeatedly puts it, like separate planets, ‘planetary strangers.’ ” | A response

Pico Iyer’s Mongrel Soul | Dave Weich
“Dave: You do like Toronto a lot, though. It’s not perfect, but Toronto seems to represent the hope you have for how cities might develop.”
Iyer: Yes, partly because the government is very self-consciously and earnestly trying to draft what is essentially a multicultural bill of rights. Canada, in general, and Toronto, in particular, is small enough and malleable enough to be shaped into a workable international community. The other reason why I was drawn to Toronto initially was that every few months I’d get a book through the mail, and it would be the most exciting and unprecedented book I’d run into. When I looked at the back, it seemed the author was always from Toronto. Michael Ondaatje is the obvious example. But Anne Michaels and so many others who are making this new Canadian literature – and Canadian literature is as resurgent as any, though it’s being made largely by people from Tanzania and India, Sri Lanka, The West Indies, and other places – many of these authors are imaginatively trying to construct new notions of a community beyond nations, as in The English Patient […] Toronto seems in certain small, practical ways, to be trying to fashion a new sense of order, how to make a peace between cultures, and its writers seem to sense that they’re living in the midst of something very exciting. Also, of course, Toronto is the birthplace of the Global Village – that’s where McLuhan wrote about it. […] Toronto provides a counterpoint, in my prejudiced opinion, to Los Angeles, for example, or Atlanta. ”

Flying to the Global Village | What is The Message? – The McLuhan Program
“But instead Toronto exemplifies that, of any physical space, airports represent a lack of placeness (and occasionally time) quite analogous to the electronically-induced global village conditions that we all now experience. The fusion of global cultures demonstrated in this collection of artists’ work from Spain, Germany, the U.S. and Canada exemplifies that, ‘the artist is always engaged in writing a detailed history of the future because he is the only person aware of the nature of the present,’ as McLuhan said. The future is the creation of a new global culture that is not necessarily tied specifically to geographical location, but rather linked to creating trans-cultural shared immediate experience. This is what the GTAA has accomplished. From the Times article, we learn that the customary ‘Welcome to Canada’ sign was removed from the arrivals gates so as not to interfere with the art. ”

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emailed by Timothy on Tuesday 06 April 2004 @ 10:38 PM

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