Uncommon Ground: A Celebration of Matt Cohen

Uncommon Ground: A Celebration of Matt Cohen

by Graeme Gibson
     
 

In which a stellar group of writers from Canada and beyond discuss the impact of Matt Cohen's legacy — with respect and affection, and always in the spirit of the festschrift.

The more-than-thirty contributions to this volume range from accounts of significant moments spent with Matt Cohen to thoughtful commentary on his writing, and include pieces by…  See more details below

Overview

In which a stellar group of writers from Canada and beyond discuss the impact of Matt Cohen's legacy — with respect and affection, and always in the spirit of the festschrift.

The more-than-thirty contributions to this volume range from accounts of significant moments spent with Matt Cohen to thoughtful commentary on his writing, and include pieces by Margaret Atwood, George Bowering, Stan Dragland, Greg Hollingshead, John Irving, Janet Lunn, Don McKay, Alice Munro, and Monique Proulx.

Matt Cohen's thoughtful reserve combined with charm and a dazzling, absurdist sense of humour made him a rather paradoxical personality. That he felt both sun and shade in his career as a writer was apparent. He told Monique Proulx that "When a novel starts to come into my mind, it's like music...and my purpose in entering into writing it—which will be years, it's always years—is to hear it more perfectly." Yet he also told her how he sees his place in Canadian literature: "There's a room in which people are handing each other out the parts they could play, but I'm not even in the room."

While he often felt he stood outside Canadian literary fashion, Cohen spent his life creating works of a classic but deeply personal quality — from the depth of feeling in the Salem novels through the multi-century Jewish triptych that followed, to the high achievement of his last two novels, Last Seen and Elizabeth and After, and his candid, posthumous memoir, Typing: A Life in Twenty-Six Keys. He also made an extraordinary contribution to children's literature under the closely guarded pseudonym Teddy Jam. And as a translator he was a powerful forcebringing the French and English writers of Canada into a better understanding of their common ground.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780676974850
Publisher:
Knopf Canada
Publication date:
06/25/2002
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Graeme Gibson’s latest novel is Gentleman Death. Wayne Grady is the author most recently of The Bone Museum: Travels in the Lost Worlds of Dinosaurs and Birds. Dennis Lee is the poet laureate of Toronto; his latest book is The Cat and the Wizard. Priscila Uppal is a poet and the author of The Divine Economy of Salvation, a novel. Wayne Grady lives near Kingston, Ontario. The other three live in Toronto.

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