So, is it all rubbish?
CanLit or Victoria Glendenning's remarks about our culture and literature here in Canada?
First off, I do think some of her comments were meant as affectionate teasing. Yes, they were ill-timed and in bad form, and a tad condescending(Brits from the former empire can be that way, after all, they are British),BUT, we might demonstrate a bit of a sense of humour about such remarks, demonstrate that we have a sense of humour up here in the North Way, about ourselves.
Is there a grain of truth in what she says? Yes. Does the truth hurt? More than anything.
Indeed, some of CanLit suffers from the QUIET genre of meditating upon the past, complete with granny's letters, if not from the Ukraine, perhaps from some cold corner of Canada, where nothing happens and there is nary any sex, drugs, or rock 'n roll, but everything is cozily P.C. Yawn. I've had to read and review some of these books.
But, there are many outstanding Canadian novelists who do not fit into this soporific genre. Take almost anything by Newfie Kenneth Harvey, the wonderful novel by Gil Adamson, The Outlander, a new daring collection from my adopted hometown of Montreal, Animal, from Alexandra Leggat, The Night is a Mouth, Lisa Foad,the first novel by Camilla Gibb, Mouthing the Words, and the work of Kanuk Nancy Huston, yes, she lives in Paris and writes in French, but she is nonetheless Canadian.
I'm sure there are more. Many.
In the meantime, please let's learn not to take ourselves so horribly seriously. Life is too short, forgive the cliche from this author.