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From the archives

Untying the Knot

A new book untangles historical confusion and contemporary anxieties about marriage

Thou Art Anxious

Decisions, decisions

Keep in Touch

Why digital connections can’t sustain health, happiness or politics

Ray Conlogue

Ray Conlogue is a former arts writer for The Globe and Mail and author of The Longing for Homeland in Canada and Quebec (Mercury Press, 1996), an analysis of the cultural and historical dimensions of Quebec’s independence movement, as well as being a translator, teacher and author of a young adult novel.

Articles by
Ray Conlogue

From Crusader to Mayor

A city hall veteran recalls a pivotal time in Toronto’s municipal history April 2016
Twenty-five years ago, Toronto writer Cary Fagan observed that people fleeing Toronto because of costly housing did so without regret because the city “has created no myth of itself to hold them.” Myths can be good or bad for many reasons. One very bad Toronto myth is that the city has no myths. John Sewell’s new political autobiography—as…

The Allure of Bias

How Quebec students view the province’s turbulent past December 2014
During the 1995 Quebec independence referendum a theatre company set up in a Montreal public square. There it re-enacted the 1837 war for Quebec independence as a series of encounters between Punch and Judy–style political hacks, with occasional heroic intervention by a rebel. I best remember the scene where Lord Durham opined that the defeated habitants were charming bumblers who might one day be…

Imagining Democracies

A Canadian philosopher shows why exporting ideas is always problematical. September 2004

Why Did They Strike?

A political generation gap—invisible to most Anglos—separates Quebec students and parents November 2012
For most Canadians, the Quebec student strike—picturesquely nicknamed the “printemps érable,” or “maple spring”—seemed to come out of nowhere this past May. About 300,000 college and university students, nearly three quarters of the province’s entire enrollment, struck against a tuition hike proposed by the Quebec government. Images of swathes of fetching young people, many displaying the carnivalesque painted faces and body language of attendees at a rock concert rather than a social…

Culture Clash

From opposing political camps, two new polemics aim to Enlighten June 2010
These two volumes could bookend any collection of writings about the old right/left philosophical schism. In fact, they would have to be bookends, since proximity would cause spontaneous combustion. The flavour of Laura Penny’s More Money Than Brains is caught in its subtitle: Why School Sucks, College Is Crap and Idiots Think They’re Right

Revisiting a Powerful Myth

A new history and an opera retell the tale of the Children’s Crusade July–August 2009
We all know, or believe we know, the story of the children’s crusade. In the year 1212, many thousands of French and German children spontaneously set out on foot toward the Mediterranean, thence hoping to make their way to Jerusalem and evict the infidels from the Holy Land. Some may remember the event from parental readings of popular children’s stories such as Jerusalem and the Crusades

Delicious Canadian Ham

Two show-off actors strut their stuff in new books. December 2008
Laurence Oliver once observed, apropos of Method actors who dig deep into personal experience for the motivation of their characters, that he had never been conscious of any motivation in his own work apart from the desire to show off. Christopher Plummer and William Shatner, casting aside Canadianness, set out to become show-offs of great…

Empire à la Carte

Mostly American thinkers dish out hegemonic wisdom in a Canadian restaurant. January–February 2008

A Rugged Utopian

A new biography tries to save a Russian anarchist from history’s bad rap. January–February 2007