Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Bob Rodgers in the Garden with Marshall McLuhan

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I’m always pleased when I open my email and find the Literary Review of Canada’s newsletter. If you don’t subscribe, you might consider signing up. It will keep you up-to-date on the new issues of the LRC and the journal’s terrific online essays. “In the Garden with the Guru” by Bob Rodgers is the latest LRC online original. In the essay Rodgers remembers his neighbour and teacher, Marshall McLuhan, and argues, "McLuhan is on a comeback.... Few writers on emerging technologies get far without quoting him or using his percepts and terminology."

From “In the Garden with the Guru”

A six-foot-high hedge separated me from the garden next door but not from its voices. It was my first Sunday morning in the house I sublet on Wells Hill Avenue by Casa Loma in Toronto. I couldn’t make out what was being said but one of the voices sounded familiar. I moved closer and parted the hedge just enough for a covert glimpse of my new neighbours. A middle-aged man was lying on his back in a hammock with a book held up vertically above his head as he read aloud. Next to him a young man sat in a deck chair with a book on his lap. The young man said: “Vico’s cycles.” The older man said: “Vicious Circles.” “Viscous cyclones,“ said the young man. I was awestruck. My God, I thought, I must be the only person in the world at this moment listening to what looks like a tag team reading Finnegans Wake. Later I learned I had been witness to a regular occurrence. Eric McLuhan and his father, Marshall, were reading at each other.

Read the full article here.

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