The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wo bitte geht es hier zum Grizzly

By Anne C.

If I like Author X, I will like Author Y: this is the basic premise behind, which provides a graphic rendering of authors with comparable je ne sais quoi, so that readers can expand their libraries on the basis of their known favourites. This sounded good to me until I plugged in A.L. Kennedy’s name. According to the resulting literature map, her work is most akin to that of Helge Sobik, the author of such books as Barbadospractical Travel and Wo bitte geht es hier zum Grizzly, which seems to be set in Western Canada. Am I to conclude that a shared interest in our humble country and its Kanada-Stories somehow unites these two authors? Is the literature map more about geography than anything else?

I studied Sobik’s various author photos for more clues. In one, he is wearing a beautiful scarf, which I must admit I found unsettling. I’ve been spending a little too much time over at The Sartorialist, where it was recently pointed out that a scarf, especially a big one, can be clichéd. Ever since then, I can’t go out into the November cold without feeling bombarded by stereotypes and platitudes from passers-by. Perhaps Sobik wears his scarf as a reminder to keep his writing as fresh as a spring day.

But seriously, German speakers and other generally cultured people, let us know, who is this Sobik and why might we like to read him?

Pictured, me, committing more than one fashion faux-pas, last winter in Somerville, Mass.


Blogger Tricia Dower said...

That map is fun. I put in Alice Munro (natch) and its interesting logic gave me fifty authors, including Dr. Seuss, for some strange reason; I've never known Alice to rhyme. I've read only 12 of the fifty authors. What's a busy reader/writer to do?

Tue Nov 06, 12:29:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Anne C. said...

Maybe it's having an off day.

Tue Nov 06, 12:33:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Can you imagine a Dr. Suess/Alice Munro collaboration?

I'm going to try this out. I'll report back any significant findings.

Tue Nov 06, 12:59:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Anne C. said...

Why is it that I thought I'd first heard about this from Andrew?

Tue Nov 06, 01:23:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Anne C. said...

Tricia, it could also be that Seuss is on everyone's map.

Tue Nov 06, 01:32:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Well, Dr. Seuss isn't on Kurt Vonnegut's map.

Tue Nov 06, 02:48:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Anne C. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Tue Nov 06, 02:50:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Anne C. said...

I wonder why not.

Tue Nov 06, 02:50:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Probably because his is a name you could drop and get away with it.

Tue Nov 06, 10:21:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger sass said...

i typed in gabriel garcia marquez. it worked pretty well, with the exception of douglas coupland.


and i just saw the trailer for "love in the time of cholera".

[eye roll].

starring javier bardem (lover), who is also starring in a cormac maccarthy book-cum-movie (killer), who, oddly enough, was also on the list.

Tue Nov 06, 10:56:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger sass said...

you were going to write about *that*?

i want to see your take.

do it!

imagine if they knew?

Wed Nov 07, 02:37:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Anne C. said...

I'm more Coupland than Marquez. Could one really be both?

Wed Nov 07, 02:37:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Anne C. said...

Oops, I see we're cross-commenting. How weird.

Yes, I'm writing about it, but the thing is, it's fictional! Which is why it's so awkward if there are real life accounts floating around ;)

Wed Nov 07, 02:38:00 pm GMT-5  

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