The Dangers of Critical Thought: 3 Stories

Description

156 pages
$14.99
ISBN 1-895854-25-3
DDC C813'.54

Year

1994

Contributor

Reviewed by Virginia Gillham

Virginia Gillham is university librarian at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Review

Each of these long, powerful short stories reveals the Quebec roots of
the author, and each depends heavily on lengthy, rote recitation of the
disjointed thoughts and reasonings of its central character. The
semi-random mental ruminations are the same ones in which we all
indulge, but the author does an exceptional job of capturing and
portraying them.

The first story captures the thought processes of an average,
intelligent Quebec citizen contemplating the mystery of life in general
and the issue of Quebec separation in particular. This is neither a
federalist nor a rabid separatist, but rather a longtime resident who
weighs the facts and concludes that separation is probably (i)
inevitable and (ii), on balance, the better choice. The portrayal of
this contemplation is protracted and heavily interspersed with the
citizen’s thoughts and observations on literature, philosophy, music,
individual human beings, and sex. The vehicle, while capably handled,
eventually becomes tedious. The other two stories deal with male
homosexual love, in one case requited with qualifications and in the
other case unrequited. The same analytical style is employed, but with a
somewhat lighter hand.

Though the reader may admire the craft employed in telling these
stories, and may well find the themes intriguing and well developed, the
labored pace, especially of the first story, has the potential to try
one’s patience.

Citation

Schecter, Stephen., “The Dangers of Critical Thought: 3 Stories,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 21, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/1462.