Hollywood, Move Over for CanLit

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In case you might have thought that Canadians and the Canadian publishing industry as a whole is immune from the same type of unacceptable behaviour currently rocking Hollywood, Mike Spry would have you think again. In a piece titled “No Names, Only Monsters: Toxic Masculinity, Concordia, and CanLit,” Mr. Spry offers a firsthand look into the darker, less-than-glamourous side of publishing and writing in Canada.

It’s a very well-written piece, but I think the following quote from the above link sums up much of the article:

The community of Canadian arts and letters has long preserved a culture of impropriety and abuse that would make Hollywood blush. Truth is, there’s no such thing as a CanLit “community”. It simply does not exist, not in any form that respects or understands the meaning of “community”. What there is instead is a network of heavily subsidized writers, professors, critics, and publishers who engage in campaigns of pamphleteering built on forced volunteerism and a false sense of self-importance. The root of the problem is predation, counterfeit agency, and a substantial sense of entitlement—teachers, mentors, publishers, editors, critics, and writers who manipulate, abuse, and ultimately destroy the aspirations, ambitions, and sometimes lives of young writers in perpetuating that system of entitlement.


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