Arts & Culture

by Editor — last modified 2018-05-12T08:29:18-04:00

Content curated by Roxanne Dubois.

Critique de livre: La route du lilas d'Éric Dupont

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jan 05, 2019 10:32 AM
Le tout dernier livre d'Éric Dupont, publié l'automne dernier, a la qualité d’être prometteur. Deux femmes, une québécoise et une brésilienne, se rencontrent à Paris juste avant les évènements de mai 1968. Elles se lient d'amour, découvrent ensemble la ville, la littérature, et certaines douleurs de la vie. Dans ce roman épique qui tangue de la France au Brésil, et de Nashville à la Gaspésie, ce roman est un hommage aux personnages féminins grandioses, et à la fleur peu commune du lilas.

Year-ends and bookends

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Dec 31, 2018 10:14 AM
This year, my world was moved by current events and personal challenges. Books helped me steady my way, and so I continued reading. I have read new books, old books, classics in French and English. I have read fiction and non-fiction, in paper and electronic form. I was not particular about what I would read, so long as I kept reading. Here is a round-up of some of my favourites.

Book review: Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Dec 22, 2018 12:25 PM
Barbara Kingsolver published her latest novel in October of this year. Unsheltered was much awaited given that Kingsolver has a number of acclaimed novels under her belt, including The Lacuna and The Poinsonwood Bible. Unsheltered tells two parallel tales of families living in the same old house, in Vineland, New Jersey, about 100 years apart. The novel takes on fascinating historical elements, but overall falls below this reader's expectations.

Critique de livre: Adolphe de Benjamin Constant

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Dec 21, 2018 09:03 AM
Dans ce court roman rédigé à la hâte par Benjamin Constant, le lecteur découvre le personnage d'Adolphe, meurtrit et déchiré par le fardeau moral que lui impose sa relation amoureuse. Constant était un homme politique et littéraire du XIXe siècle, et la profondeur d'analyse sentimentale exposée dans ce roman en fait un classique incontournable.

Book Review: How Will Capitalism End? Essays on a Failing System by Wolfgang Streeck

by Editors (What's Left) — last modified Dec 01, 2018 10:00 AM
As socialists, it’s no surprise to us that the study of capitalism should be paired with an understanding of history, sociology, and politics. In Wolfgang Streeck’s 2016 book How Will Capitalism End? Essays on a Failing System he does just that. In fact, he does more than that, he gives capitalism a death sentence and it doesn’t look good.

Book review: Art after Money, Money after Art: Creative Strategies Against Financialization by Max Haven

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Nov 17, 2018 11:34 AM
Ten years after the crash, is any aspect of our daily lives unfettered by the influence of finance capital? It is clear enough that neoliberalism has permeated most layers of public governance, most social interactions, to create a legacy of starved public services, wealth inequality and powerful global capitalism. Surely art has been spared, especially in the contemporary form, which can be an expression of emotion and beauty, or even a space where criticism, resistance and subversiveness are not only allowed but expected. Max Haiven argues instead that art and money cannot be disassociated; that art is in fact dependent on capitalism and in no way apart from it.

Book review: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Nov 12, 2018 07:49 AM
At last! I finished Jane Austen's immensely popular Pride & Prejudice. It won me over, in the end, but hell, was it ever hard to get through. Such is the challenge with making your way through a list of classics. While I am always content to finish them, some are bound to be grueling reads.

Book review: The Break by Katherena Vermette

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Nov 04, 2018 05:37 PM
So far this year, I have read a number of incredible books, none of which have come close to The Break by Katherena Vermette. I finished this book months ago, and have since been haunted by some of its vivid, upsetting and heartwarming scenes. In many ways, this book is far too grand to summarize. In fact, what you will read below is less of a book review, and more of a post on why everyone in Canada should read this book.

Book review: Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Sep 09, 2018 01:51 PM
Jonny Appleseed is heading back to the Peguis First Nations community where he was born, just outside of Winnipeg, because his stepfather passed away. Such is the premise of this short, punchy first novel by author Joshua Whitehead. In this book, Jonny's character wanders through thoughts and memories, feelings of pain and joy as he attempts to gather enough money to go back to the reserve to see his mother.

L'esclave vieil homme et le molosse de Patrick Chamoiseau

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jul 16, 2018 08:24 PM
Par hasard, je suis tombée sur la référence d’un livre de Patrick Chamoiseau récemment traduit vers l’anglais. L’auteur natif de la Martinique a passé le plus clair de sa vie à ce jour à écrire, à raconter des histoires, et à défendre la création créole. Dans ce court roman intitulé L’esclave vieil homme et le molosse, le lecteur part à la poursuite de cet homme en quête de liberté. Celui-ci s’échappe de la plantation où il a passé des années interminables au service d’un maître infatigable et il court. C’est court, mais combien puissant comme petit roman !

Book review: The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jul 15, 2018 08:29 AM
Cherie Dimaline first published a novel in 2011, and should be on everyone’s list of authors to follow. Her most recent book is The Marrow Thieves, which received multiple awards and competed in the 2018 edition of Canada Reads. The novel is set in a world ravaged by climate change, where it rains almost every day and humans have been through numerous environmental catastrophes. Everyone has lost the ability to dream in their sleep, except for Indigenous people who have, in their bone marrow, a special composition that allows them to continue dreaming. As a result, they are persecuted. In this book, we get to know eight people through the eyes of a young boy, Francis also known as Frenchie, who is part of this group on the run from the marrow thieves.

Book Review: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jun 27, 2018 11:47 AM
It is a strange experience to be in the midst of reading an excellent dystopic novel when the world around you keeps showing signs that it is coming apart at the seems. Just last week, in real life, we followed the news of children being torn away from their parents and kept in child detention centres in the United States. Meanwhile, I was immersed in Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, a novel where a young woman struggles through a time of environmental depletion and fatal wealth inequality that is set in …2024. Butler’s portrayal of what we could call a future that is too close for comfort rings so true today.

Classique parmi les classiques : Les liaisons dangereuses de Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jun 06, 2018 08:06 AM
Il s’agit d’un exploit non négligeable que celui d’écrire un roman épistolaire où la trame narrative se développe entièrement au fil de lettres écrites d’un personnage à l’autre. Sur les quelque 600 pages du livre Les liaisons dangereuses, plus de 175 lettres tracent le portrait de relations troubles entre membres de la bourgeoisie française du 18e siècle. Rusé, malveillant et éperdument délicieux, ce roman occupe une place bien méritée parmi les rangs de la grande littérature française.

Lectures d'hiver

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Apr 15, 2018 10:35 AM
Le printemps tarde à réchauffer ma ville, et j’en profite pour partager mes lectures francophones des derniers mois. Je vous souhaite de trouver ici quelques suggestions pour vos lectures printanières -- le beau temps se pointera bien un jour ou l’autre.
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