For a ruthless criticism of everything existing

I started writing Pinata Diplomacy three and a half years ago in the McGill Daily. I had included in my columnist application a few clips from high school, where I used my position as opinion editor of the student paper to complain about the many hypocrisies of my suburban New[Read More…]

With new novel, Jeffrey Eugenides is keeping it real Jeffrey Eugenides began his new novel, The Marriage Plot, with a single idea: his female protagonist, an English student at Brown University in the early 1980s, is discovering love while the postmodern theorists she reads in her classes are deconstructing the very concept. The book, as he conceived it,[Read More…]

This is what university looks like

It’s always been unclear to me on what grounds those T-shirts labeling Harvard “America’s McGill” seek to compare the two universities. Clearly, they’re a response to people labeling McGill “Canada’s Harvard,” but that doesn’t answer my question. The implication is that the two universities are comparable in things such as[Read More…]

The filling of a bucket

Despite the obligatory pledges to myself that precede every semester, promising that this time will be different, I always end up choosing one or two classes to prioritize over the others. I track down interesting texts mentioned off-handedly by the professor. I start researching the day an assignment is announced.[Read More…]

Exploring Montreal Ryan Reisert When Mark Twain visited Montreal in 1881, he told guests at a banquet held in his honour that it was his first time visiting a city where you couldn’t throw a brick without breaking a church window. He reported hearing of plans to build one more: “I[Read More…]

Arguably hits hard

Living alone in first year, pushed strongly toward my introverted side by the solitude, I found a strange kind of comfort watching the YouTube videos of essayist Christopher Hitchens lecturing and debating the opposition. An overweight, potentially drunk, white-suited, occasionally bearded, smart-aleck British ex-pat eviscerating rabbis and theologians, dropping opinions[Read More…]

Revolution: the dress rehearsal

  Imagine my frustration—reclined in shaded grass next to Redpath Museum, newspaper folded in hand—at being subjected to the croaky, amplified ramblings of some student “leader” exhorting the loyal troops to, say it with me now, “Stand up, fight back!” I couldn’t concentrate and, with no classes in the afternoon,[Read More…]

Nothing to look foward to in looking back

Though stuffed into only 150 pages, Julian Barnes’ new novel, The Sense of an Ending, is a very big book. This thin volume trades in themes one might only expect to find in a real doorstopper of a book, a fat Bildungsroman, a sweeping history of a life. Barnes’ book[Read More…]

Pay no attention

It was the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw who first compared writing a column to standing under a windmill: as soon as you’ve dodged one blade, another is rounding the bend and heading straight for you. As a writer, I find the comparison apt. As a reader, however, you should[Read More…]

Crossing the line

Unless, out of sympathy for international labour, you’ve rigged some kind of Rube Goldberg-esque device that delivers the Tribune straight from our printer in Saint-Leonard to your doorstep, it’s safe to assume that you picked this newspaper up somewhere on campus. That means you probably crossed the MUNACA picket line[Read More…]

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