Morley Callaghan: Literary Anarchist

Description

131 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography
$14.95
ISBN 1-55022-185-X
DDC C813'.52

Author

Publisher

Year

1994

Contributor

Reviewed by Thomas M.F. Gerry

Thomas M.F. Gerry is a professor of English at Laurentian University.

Review

This chronologically organized biography emphasizes Callaghan’s
interactions with European, American, and Canadian cultural figures.
Boire retells the story of the famous July 1929 boxing match in Paris,
during which Callaghan knocked down Hemingway. For Boire, this event is
deeply symbolic, representing Callaghan’s anarchist stance in all
aspects of his life (family life excepted), his rejection of all
external influences—whether European, American, or Canadian—in favor
of his own individual style and subject matter. The biographer extends
the pugilistic metaphor to the experience of reading Callaghan’s
works: “The writer must force the reader to struggle uncomfortably”
is how he summarizes Callaghan’s view of the literary experience.

Boire describes his biography as “an initial attempt to trace only
some of the intellectual lineaments that made up [Callaghan’s]
literary and personal anarchism.” The book succeeds in fulfilling its
modest mandate.

Citation

Boire, Gary., “Morley Callaghan: Literary Anarchist,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 16, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/1059.