Daily Archives: July 23, 2010

TGIF: Russell Peters


Indian accent

It was hard not to be moved by the testimonials for the Centre for Comparative Literature this past week. Olga Bazilevica, for example, cited the Centre as representing everything she’s come to love about this country: our peaceful diversity, our generous expressions of tolerance.


But it’s Friday and this is our comedy slot, so let’s laugh a little at Canada (affectionately, of course) by way of our hottest standup comedian, Russell Peters — the guy who, even though he is of Indian descent, has the name of a WASP banker.

After the jump, Peters on the white Canadian accent, racial mixing, and gay Indians.

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Centre for Canadian Literature Roundup of Posts and Links


In chronological order:

Centre for Comparative Literature’s graduate student Jonathan Allan’s original post on the issue when the story began to break here.

Front page (above the fold) story in Globe and Mail here.

Roanoke College professor emeritus and editor of a number of Frye’s Collected Works Bob Denham’s letter to U of T President Naylor here.

Jonathan Allan’s account of the Centre’s unique scholarship and international communication, as well as links to the petition and the Save CompLit Facebook page here.

Centre graduate student Natalie Pendergast’s praise of the CompLit Centre and the closing of it as representative of “Canada’s cultural famine” here.

Former student of Frye, past president of McMaster University and current General Editor of the Collected Works Alvin Lee’s letter to the Globe and Mail here.

Letter to President Naylor by former Frye research assistant, current Chair of English at Baldwin-Wallace College, and editor of a number of volumes in the Collected Works, Michael Dolzani, here.

An update of developments here.

Story in The Varsity here.

Nicholas Graham of the University of Toronto on the legacy of the Centre here.

Bob Denham offers some interesting insight on a promised “Northrop Frye Chair” and its once proposed affiliation with the Centre here.

Globe and Mail Editorial on Frye and the Centre here.

Further media links, including to the Chronicle of Higher Education and the New Yorker here.

Update here.

Bob Denham’s no-nonsense response to the Globe and Mail editorial here.

A reminder to sign the petition here.

Jonathan Allan’s account of the history of the post of Professor of Literary Theory and the Centre of Comparative Literature here.

Neil ten Kortenaar, director of the Centre of Comparative Studies, in a letter to the Editor of the Globe and Mail here.

Jonathan Allan’s update on the public campaign to save the Centre here.

Frye Festival Newsletter here.

The creation of a separate “Category” for the “Centre for Comparative Literature” to assist readers here.

Graduate student Olga Bazilevica’s testimonial to the Centre here.

A reminder to sign the petition and visit the Save CompLit Facebook page here.

United Province of Canada


On this date in 1841 the United Province of Canada was created by the Act of Union, which lasted until the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.

Frye on the “anarchist tradition” in Canada in a 1969 interview, “CRTC Guru”:

Frye: There are other things in the Canadian tradition that are worth thinking about.  Thirty years ago [in the 1930s] the great radical movement was international Communism, which took no hold in Canada at all.  There were Marxist poets, there were no Marxist painters… The radical movement of our time is anarchist and that means that it’s local and separate and breaks down into small units.  That’s our tradition and that’s our genius.  Think of Toronto and Montreal (I know Toronto better than Montreal, but I think the same is true of both cities): after the Second World War, we took in displaced persons from Europe to something like one-quarter to one-fifth of the population.  In Toronto in 1949, one out of every five people had been there less than a year.  We have not had race riots,we have not had ethnic riots, we have not had the tremendous pressures and collisions that they’ve had in American cities.  Because Canada is naturally anarchist, these people settle down into their own communities; they work with other communities and the whole pattern of life fits it.  I do think we have to keep a very wide open and sympathetic eye towards radical movements in Canada, because they will be of the anarchist kind and they will be of a kind of energy that we could help liberate.  (CW 24, 92)