Andre Alexis Revisited

I’ve already made clear my objections to Andre Alexis’ recent Walrus article decrying the state of Canadian literary criticism (or CanLitCrit). But my relatively mild rebuke has now been superceded by Zachariah Wells’ truly devastating response in Canadian Notes and Queries, which can be found here. It should be called My Deathmatch with Andre.

An excerpt:

This is far from the only example of failing to practise what you preach. In the same essay in which you decry “personal attacks and collegiate vitriol,” as well as certain critics’ practise of “insulting” their targets, you write disdainfully of “a short, pompous man with thick, dark-rimmed glasses (a self-styled “critic”).” Just because, unlike Starnino and Bigge, you don’t name the person you’re belittling doesn’t mean that it isn’t an insult. It just means you’re less brave than they are in dishing it out. Either that, or this bespectacled little man’s a character you’ve invented.

3 thoughts on “Andre Alexis Revisited

  1. I admired your thoughtful response to Alexis as well as one by Nigel Beale in Maisonneuve, but I agree that Wells’ takes it to another level. It is very patient and controlled and, as you point out, absolutely devastating.

    “Your failure to give him his due does no harm to Metcalf, but rather to your own argument against him; assaults this feeble invariably wind up with the assailant more badly wounded than the intended target.”

    Exactly.

  2. Well, I’m here searching today, but with not much time. A friend recommended to me your post about Michaelis’ biography of Charles Schulz. I thought it was Nov 17, 07, but I must have misread. I’m sure I’ll live to search another day, because I’m about to try to read that book. Also would like when there’s more time to look at some of your animal rights’ posts.

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