January–February 2020

Contents Related Letters

. . . and a Collector’s Appeal

In my endeavours to collect the first 1,000 books from the Penguin Main Series, I’m still missing seven: Beatrice Kean Seymour, False Spring (no. 324); The Times Second Crossword Book (no. 367); Lewis Robinson, The General Goes Too Far (no. 383); Anthony Berkeley, Panic Party (no. 402); Anthony Berkeley, The Second Shot (no. 409); Richard Keverne, Artifex Intervenes (no. 410); and Morley Adams, The Third Penguin Crossword Puzzle Book (no. 460). I think 993 out of 1,000 is pretty good, considering that I’m not exactly in the centre of second-hand bookshops!

I could also use earlier editions of Margery Allingham, Death of a Ghost (no. 379); Richard Keverne, William Cook: Antique Dealer (no. 384); Dorothy Hughes, The Bamboo Blonde (no. 397); and Graham Greene, Brighton Rock (no. 442).

So if any of you happen to be browsing around anywhere in the world, please keep an eye out and don’t hesitate to buy any of my missing titles. The Literary Review of Canada has agreed to put us in touch if you’re successful.

Nick Rundall

Re: “Fake Views,” by Kyle Wyatt

Thank you for your editorial on digital mapping. My own experience with the GPS system in my 2016 Volkswagen Golf confirms your concerns with the “misplaced objective authority” that digital mapping assumes for us. Yes, my GPS system usually takes me to any destination that I ask of it, and it is indeed superior to conventional analog maps in all the roads it shows me. At the same time, its maps make arbitrary and potentially misleading choices about the communities I pass by — often highlighting minor locations rather than showing me places I might be able find gas or an ice cream cone. I have been monitoring this over the past year and a half, and find this a consistent pattern, whether in the United States or southwestern Ontario.

My observation is that digital mapping is narrowing our understanding of the world just as digital communications do in many other ways. Absolutely, my digital subscriptions take me to my favourite Globe and Mail columnists more quickly and efficiently than a physical paper ever can, but can they fulfill me with stories or issues or columnists as a printed weekend edition does?

We don’t know what we don’t know, and with digital communications we are becoming more and more enamoured of ourselves — less curious and more distracted by the larger world.

Ernest J. Dick
Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia

Re: “Mercury Rising,” by Craig Taylor

Craig Taylor’s instructive article has challenged me to voice my opinion on another topic. The challenges of climate change will not be solved until the “monied class” (referenced in the same issue by Pamela Divinsky) has figured out how to deal with threats to the environment, while maintaining or improving stock prices and salaries. An urgent question becomes: Are corporate board members willing to rise to the challenge?

C. H. Diltz
Uxbridge, Ontario

Re: “Peace Out,” by Graeme Young

Totally revamped for 2020: new design, way more articles, and a great selection of reviews as well as essays. My favourite is probably Graeme Young’s honest, if uncomfortable, look at Canada’s role in the world.

via Twitter

Re: “Claim Game,” by Sasha Chabot-Gaspé

As settlers try to go about partnerships and friendships, learn reciprocity and humility . . . this piece is so important and such a blessing.

via Twitter

Re: “A Question of Our Time,” by Mayann Francis

This was such a captivating and touching read. Dr. Francis’s words, whether written or spoken, are truly inspiring. A great read that I would personally recommend.

Kayler Mutyabule

The Literary Review of Canada welcomes your comments and feedback, which we may edit for length, clarity, and accuracy. Write to letters@reviewcanada.ca.

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