Wed, 8 October 2014
In Toronto's Bloordale, Colin Marshall talks with Russell Smith, author of such novels as How Insensitive, Noise, Muriella Pent, and Girl Crazy, as well as style and culture columns in The Globe and Mail, the book Men's Style: The Thinking Man's Guide to Dress, and the e-book Blindsided: How Twenty Years of Writing About Booze, Drugs and Sex Ended in the Blink of an Eye. They discuss whether characteristically Torontonian style choices exist apart from women with business clothes and incongruous running shoes on the way home from work; what got him writing about his cases of retinal detachment; how and why, years before that, he became the novelist who defined young urban Toronto in the 1990s; the internationalist element of Toronto that still remains "electrifying"; whether anyone still longs for the crack-dealing days of gentrifying neighborhoods like Bloordale; the effect of a Starbucks location on house prices (and his own presence as an indicator of coming price hikes); how he got from the academic track, writing on "feminist approaches to symbolist poetry," to the nightlife track; his brief time as a "terrible restaurant critic"; his readers' eagerness to hear him correct common men's style blunders; how much the Toronto of 2014 resembles the one he first came to from his native Halifax; the rise of private, members-only clubs in the city and the importation of "wealthy urban anywhere"; Toronto as Canada's magnet, challenged only by Montreal at first and only by Vancouver now; his view of thus "spectacularly ugly" city and his years in the presumably more attractive Paris; why he thinks hipsters inspire such ire; fiction's near-entirely female readership, and the problems that poses for the "ardent heterosexualist"; the unwritten Toronto books he'd like to read; and what stories don't get told because of the "prim politics" instilled in university-educated writers.
Direct download: NCC_S4E57_Russell_Smith.output.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:14pm UTC