The Elsewhere Community


113 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-88784-607-6
DDC 909.8





Reviewed by Lynne Perras

Lynne Perras teaches communication arts at the University of Calgary.


The Elsewhere Community comprises the 1997 Massey Lectures broadcast on
CBC Radio’s Ideas. Its author, Hugh Kenner, is a renowned professor of
English who has written over 30 highly acclaimed books on a variety of
authors and subjects. This collection, too, is impressive in terms of
its knowledge, insight, and lively style.

There are five lectures in the series, the title of which comes from
the idea of searching for knowledge and truth away from familiar
surroundings, both physical and psychological. The first lecture
describes Kenner’s first tour of Europe and the idea of such a tour
itself. The second lecture discusses the author’s relationship with
Ezra Pound. The third lecture examines a number of poets, including T.S.
Eliot, Wyndham Lewis, William Carlos Williams, and Marianne Moore, and
the fourth lecture delves into the legacies of Homer, Joyce, and Dante.
The last lecture explores finding “elsewhere” in new ways—such as
via the Internet.

Even when Kenner is engaged in literary analysis, he writes with energy
and passion. You don’t have to be a fan of English literature to enjoy
his stimulating ideas and vibrant prose.


Kenner, Hugh., “The Elsewhere Community,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 21, 2024,