Daily Archives: August 2, 2010

“Civic Holiday”


That’s how calendars and daytimers blandly render this day in Canada — “Civic Holiday” —  because each part of the country has its own designation for it (Frye’s Canadian “anarchism” at work, er, play).  In New Brunswick, Ed Lemond of Moncton’s Frye Festival advises me, it’s New Brunswick Day because New Brunswick evidently lives in a New Brunswick-centric universe.  (Good for you, New Brunswick.)  In Ontario, it’s Simcoe Day — as in John Graves Simcoe, who only abolished slavery in Upper and Lower Canada in 1793, so I guess there’s no reason he should have a national holiday dedicated to him.

How else do we know it’s a holiday in Canada?  Well, for one thing, for the first time ever that I’m aware of, we had way more visitors from the U.S. than from Canada.  In fact, our traffic today was business as usual from all around the world.  But today Canadians were chillin’ it.

Our Readership


We’re coming up on our first anniversary, and we are doing pretty well: more than 900 posts and counting.

Our readership has settled comfortably between about 8000 and 10,000 visits per month, which of course means about 100,000 per year.  Our page views are about quadruple that, which means that, on average, our visitors are reading four pages per visit.  We hope to do even better in our second year. We have received visits from about 100 countries from every continent (excepting Antarctica, although we remain cautiously optimistic).  On any given day, we’ll get visits from about 30 countries, and it’s clear we’ve got regular readers all around the world who check in with us every day, sometimes multiple times a day.  We are still learning how to use our new Facebook page to extend our reach further and to bring different elements of the Frye community together.

As always, we invite you to submit posts of your own.  We can’t have too many Guest Bloggers and, you may have noticed, we are drawing more of those from more communities of readers.

Alexander Graham Bell


Plaque commemorating the first telephone exchange in the British Empire in the old Exchange Building at 8 Main Street East in Hamilton, Ontario

On this date in 1922 Alexander Graham Bell died.

Frye in his “Convocation Address, University of Bologna” (April 24, 1989):

In Canada, with its sparse population, immense area, and physical obstacles separating each part of the country, communication has always been a major preoccupation.  Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Alva Edison both lived a good deal in Canada; the building of railways and bridges and canals have formed much of Canadian history, and a fair number of Canadian intellectuals have been philosophers of communication theory.  (CW 10, 343)

Centre for Comparative Literature: A Testimonial


Brian Chappell in his blog describes giving a paper at the retirement for Linda Hutcheon and makes an appeal on behalf of the Centre for Comparative Literature here.

Money quote:

I’m writing because the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, home to some of the biggest names and ideas in the field, but more importantly, as I hope my story’s shown, to genuinely nice people who study literature brilliantly and enthusiastically for its own sake, is on the verge of extinction due to the poor economy.  I invite you, if the spirit or my story moves you, to sign this petition to help save a program whose closure would severely wound the important work we do in literary studies and set a dangerous precedent for the status of the humanities in the eyes of university administrations.