Aug 252010

DG enjoys the way other people like to make up sound-bite narratives about his life and then publish them in large newspapers. This particular angle is poignant. The lonely hero, finding his path solo, forgotten, unnoticed, friendless, a man without a country, stranger, outsider, off the grid (completely–he doesn’t even know what the grid is), a craggy, moss-eaten hermit dwelling in the barren lands, the old bull moose with spider webs in his antlers, the Fisher King, etc. But, you know, you read this stuff (and when Elle came out what a terrific writer I am, etc. etc.) and it bears so little on your real life that you have the distinct impression that there is another DG, a double, call him DG2, out there, a composite of readers’ and reviewers’ imagined DGs, just as Don Quixote was haunted by a second fictional Don Quixote who was wandering around Spain telling everyone he was the real Don Quixote. Luckily, I kind of like DG2. We met once in Montreal at the Old Bagel Factory and walked down the Main to The Shed and had a drink and talked about old times (his old times were much more scandalous than mine, of course–once in a while we happened upon a memory we had in common, not too often, and, yes, he is better looking than I am, and maybe 10 years younger). Then we parted company and I drove back to Oblivion where the blue dog and Hobbes had completely forgotten me, so I felt at home.

Flying Under the Radar: 10 Underrated Canadian Authors | Afterword | National Post.

  15 Responses to “In the suburbs of oblivion”

  1. Are you sure there isn’t yet another DG? A DG3 perhaps. I think I had lunch with him in Toronto once. I sometimes feel there are as many versions of us as there are people we bump up against, each with their own impression of who we are.

    I love how the second fictional Don Quixote haunts DQ1, and how his entirely fictional story becomes legend through all the copycat authors writing their own versions. The novel doesn’t get much better than DQ.

  2. Oh, to be underrated…

    • Yeah, something to shoot for. It was my ambition from an early age, and I’ve made it. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me.

  3. Nice job! Just saw this on another blog. I’m assuming this is the website of DG2…if not, sorry. My mistake.

    • No doubt DG2. But are you Ross, the VCFA student, or the other Ross, Ross23, you know, the bad seed, his double?

      Seriously, glad to see you on the blog. Glad you broke your code of silence finally.

  4. Well, I certainly agree with the final sentence.

  5. It may have been DG3…so hard to tell them apart. The press have to make sound bites, to translate reality into their own language of stereotypes. Your lonely hero persona is a pretty good one as personae go. I hate how interviews with women writers/artists always begin with a physical description–“she tossed her auburn hair and adjusted the collar of her red silk blouse.”

  6. so much better to be underrated than overrated, don’t you think?
    Thanks for letting us know the real DG a little on NC!

  7. Are there any Canadian writers — or others, for that matter — who are rated “just right” (cf. bears, three: chairs, porridge, beds, etc.). I’m guessing no. Isn’t it better to be underrated than overrated? Isn’t that an honour (huh-oh, I just got a red squiggly line that last word)?

    • The truth is it isn’t anything, just c(v)ulture babble about a person they think they know something about. You know all these articles we read on NC about the the state of the culture, the publishing industry, the novel, etc. are just occasional pieces meant to fill empty media space between ads. Most of them run the usual ideas by us again and again like washing your clothes over and over in the same water. The underrated writer list is just another cliched media hook on which to hang a group of writers who are otherwise sitting home minding their own business. When the babble is about me personally it just puts all the rest into a kind of whimsical perspective. Oh, I think, this is what it’s like to be on the other side of all those urgently pompous analyses about what is wrong. As I say, and it isn’t actually a complete joke, it makes you feel like there is more than one DG.

      p.s. Watch it. Remember I am the only one on NC allowed to make Canadian jokes. You could lose your lawn bowling privileges.

  8. Sorry I missed this.

  9. I read both lists–underrated and overrated–and have to agree that DG and all of his multiple personae are on the good list–the list of writers who are doing interesting things with the novel or short story, the cool list, the list to aspire to.

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