Did you see this article in the Globe and Mail? At first, I didn’t get it, but upon a second reading, I laughed because it’s eloquently written as a parody of a Canadian novel. Apparently author Rudy Wiebe’s response to a question put to him by fellow author Lawrence Hill was so ridiculous, columnist Russell Smith had to write this piece.
Lawrence Hill: “Why do funny novels get so little respect in Canada, and have you ever burned with desire to write something so damn funny that readers will fall right out of their chairs? Is that a laudable goal?”
Rudy Wiebe: “It seems to me that laughter is too easy a way to face the ‘wilderness of this world;’ you can too easily laugh yourself past the difficulties. Laughter is not a way to understand; it is, basically, a method of elusion.”
If you are not familiar with these authors (as I was not with Wiebe), Lawrence Hill is best known for his novel, The Book of Negroes. Rudy Wiebe has been publishing his work since the 1950s and has won numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Award. He is releasing a new book this month entitled, Come Back.
So can CanLit be funny? When I saw the title of this article, I immediately thought of Terry Fallis and how I recently read The Best Laid Plans which was very funny. I also think Margaret Atwood’s writing is full of wit and humour. However, I am not that well-versed in CanLit to cite more authors and give an educated opinion. But I do believe that laughter can be one of many methods of surviving and understanding life in Canada.
What are your thoughts? Can CanLit be funny? What are some of your favourite funny books by Canadian authors?