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From the archives

Paper Rout

Postmedia in the gutter

Past Trauma

Richard Wagamese and an Indigenous literary resurgence

Family Pride

Profiles in gay life

Martin Laflamme

Martin Laflamme is a Canadian diplomat, currently posted to Taiwan. The views presented in the magazine are his own.

Articles by
Martin Laflamme

Writings on the Wall

Two inside looks at China March 2024
The People’s Republic of China has an image problem. Skim the world’s headlines for the last few years, and you may well be overwhelmed with reports of the regime’s aggressive diplomacy, its interference in the domestic affairs of other nations, its use of arbitrary detention to achieve political goals, or its abuse of human rights in…

Diplomatically Speaking

An envoy’s many years of service April 2023
The man was a complete stranger. As if out of nowhere, he lined up behind the young woman at the downtown currency exchange office. He seemed friendly enough and was soon peppering her with questions about her upcoming trip: a visit to Moscow in December 2003. Their banter, innocent on the surface, continued for a…

Starchitect Saga

Two new accounts chart the emergence of Frank Gehry’s genius. January–February 2016
It was a disaster. At the very least, it was turning into a highly embarrassing professional failure. By the late 1990s, close to a decade after Frank Gehry had been given the commission to build the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the project that would transform the downtown core of the city and become one of the new century’s most iconic constructions was in serious…

The Diplomatic Dance

Three "old hands" at External teach one of the new boys some lessons. October 2005

Reluctant Nationalistic Hero

One of Quebec's greatest painters sought artistic but not political fame May 2014
Paul-Émile Borduas was anything but a quitter. Like all good artists, he constantly tried to push the boundaries, and when he hit a dead end, he looked for a different way forward. Forebears like Renoir, Degas and Manet, he later wrote, had closed “the cycle of naturalism.” Soon afterwards, he felt, the Cubists had slammed the doors of individual expression…

Thought in Action

A passionate doctor’s journey through war zones in Spain and China. July–August 2009
Norman Bethune spent less than two years in northern China, but during that time he worked feverishly. When he was not at the front, directly providing for the injured, he devoted much of his time and energy trying to transform peasant boys into medical assistants. He did not rest when things quieted down. At the very…

Our Man in London

Canada-U.K. relations examined through a personal prism. December 2006