Daniel Buck
Re: Beat me to that inquiry.
Sun Jan 09, 12:10

Bruce,
Thanks. Did not know about Ondaatje's Billy saga, and to further expose my literary blinkers, that he wrote The English Patient. Good grief, this Google fellow I obviously just consulted is a bottomless fountain of knowledge.

McMurtry heaped praise on Ondaatje's Billy as well, although there was one loud dissent. This from a 1997 interview:

<< His first book, ''The Collected Works of Billy the Kid'' (1970), a salad of poetry, prose, hypothetical news stories and photo documentary about William Bonney, made him well known at home. That book was a dissonant blast: sex was deftly, unsentimentally described; the characters were mangy, mean-tempered killers in 1880's New Mexico, and blood and alcohol were everywhere. It was a sharp-edged book, and it got into the right hands.

<< ''The ex-Prime Minister John Diefenbaker was essentially out of a job, but he was a very cantankerous, wonderful old demagogue,'' Mr. Ondaatje said. ''He read the book, and he just hated it. So he called all the cameras in for a news conference, and he said, 'This is disgusting!' There was a picture of me on the front page of the newspaper.

<< ''Only about eight people had bought the book, so it was quite sweet in some way for him to read it,'' he said with a laugh. ' >>

It just so happens that yesterday I was musing on a business idea, Cancel-you.com, that would upon request lambast you, the client, as a retrograde, commie, racist, capitalist running dog, wokey-dokey, fascist, elitist, RINO, amateur historian (ouch!), or any disapprobation of your choosing, in return for 5% of any resulting book or movie deal.

In the age of social media, the net effect of being cancelled is fame. Call it the Kardashian effect.




    • Beat me to that inquiry.olds, Sun Jan 09 11:31
      I was going to ask you. Apparently it was a 30-page consideration of Mister McCarty Bonney Kid. Do not know what became of it. (Are McConnell's papers archived at a university or historical society so... more
      • Re: Beat me to that inquiry. — Daniel Buck, Sun Jan 09 12:10
        • As I recall,olds, Sun Jan 09 14:01
          Ondaatje was savaged by a certain nationalist element in Canada for having the temerity to write about "American" subjects. Apparently Canada was peculiarly insular--and insecure--about its literary c... more
          • CanadaDan Brown, Sun Jan 16 12:38
            Canada is...well, Canada. Overrated by many. While Canada may appear to be a sort of idiot relative of ours, she got her land the same way we got ours - by taking it from them who had it first. Lift t... more
            • True, Dan.olds, Mon Jan 17 14:48
              At least about the "similar kind of dirt," though if Canada can be characterized as "a sort of idiot relative of ours," I am happy to raise high a glass to idiocy. As someone who reads his fair sha... more
              • More Canadian contributionsB.J., Tue Feb 08 1:09
                Canada’s participation in the 1944 D-Day landing at Juno Beach. 14,000 well trained Canadian soldiers rapidly hit the beach and quickly moved inland which had an indirect effect of decreasing the defe... more
                • Re: More Canadian contributionsDaniel Buck, Tue Feb 08 10:16
                  Excellent point. 12 or 13 (depending on who is counting) allied countries provided troops, with the US, Britain, and Canada landing the most. I will take this WWII nod to recommend a fine book tha... more
              • There's a few exceptions. No doubtDan Brown, Mon Jan 17 22:55
                I do admire Trudeau's willingness to go full blackface at a moment's notice. And also like us, Canada interred their Japanese citizens during WW2, for their own good, of course. They also keep the nat... more
                • Oh, I wouldn'tolds, Thu Feb 10 13:35
                  suggest trusting Cohen, just listening to him, or better yet, reading him. "Beautiful Losers" is a terrific novel and there are a number of poetry collections that are worth a look-see as well. BTW... more
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