Jeet Heer writes about the late Hugh Kenner‘s discovery of modernity in a determinedly anti-modern Canada, his relationships with Pound and McLuhan (the latter, once a close friend, “quite unfairly… accused Kenner of stealing his ideas”), and other things, along the way quoting an excellent sentence of Kenner’s:

Flaubert, Joyce, and Beckett are their own greatest inventions, and the books they contrived, or had their contrivances contrive, record a century of intellectual history with intricate and moving fidelity: suffering our partner the machine to mechanize all that the hand can do yet remaining obstinately, gaily, living; courting a dead end but discovering how not to die.

(Via wood s lot.)

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