Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Jean Béliveau

Why the need to speak of him?
Why the need
To tell stories
About the time 
You saw him play
The game
In person
Or on TV
Or never did?
Or about the time 
He was there
In the flesh
You waited in line
And he took the time
To talk to you
To ask you how you are
Shake your hand
Or the time he pointed
Called you over
Yes, you,
Offered to sign your shirt
Or an old program
Or a card?
Why the need to speak 
Of his presence
His prowess
His charisma
His talent
His common touch
His grace
His elegance
His humility?
Why the need to speak of him
As if you lost 
A mentor
close friend?

Why the need?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Microserfs by Douglas Coupland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The thought that I had as I came to the conclusion of this novel is that if this book were transported back in time 100 years readers from that time would barely recognize it as written in English. I mean we read novels written 100, even 200 and 300 years ago with ease and pleasure (Dickens, Jane Austen etc.) They are stories we can still recognize. The language starts getting dicey for us about 500 years ago, Shakespeare's time. The language requires deciphering, and the references some research and context. Now I'm not saying that Douglas Coupland is the Shakespeare of the digital age - he doesn't possess Shakespeare's gift for drama, narrative or lyricism. But there is something undeniably compelling about a writer who can absorb so much of contemporary culture, process it through the machine of his imagination, and fashion a document that accurately and poignantly captures the strangeness, rhythm, language, and condition of our special time and place. So will Microserfs, a book that describes a group of coders working for the GM of the digital age, be read 100 years from now? It just might.    

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