Saturday, August 19, 2006

From RM Vaughan - SO GOOD

"Part of the problem, of course, is that Coupland is Canadian and Canadians mistrust success stories. In our studied, anti-populist literary culture, anybody who sells that many books must be a fraud, a low-brow huckster. Furthermore, Coupland has committed a cardinal sin in English Canadian arts – he’s become good at more than one thing.

English Canadian arts circles consider it uppity and crass when artists stray from their humble clay-throwing pits and dare to write poetry, or - gods of tenure forbid! - throw the whole notion of “mastery” and monkish devotion to one discipline into question. No wonder Coupland lives in cheery Vancouver, where the worst thing that can happen is a shop clerk might neglect to wish you, like, a super spiritual day.

Even the characters in Coupland’s latest novel, jPod, get in on the bashing. “Oh, God. I feel like a refugee from a Douglas Coupland novel”, says one character in the novel’s opening chapter. “That asshole.”, says another. “Who does he think he is?”

Who indeed? Might I suggest he is, in fact, the most important novelist of his generation?"

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