Terry Glavin, whom I mentioned once or twice on my blog, "has been named winner of the 2009 B.C. Lieutenant-Governor's Award for Literary Excellence."
The reason for awarding him this honour is cited as :"for having "an extraordinarily holistic vision that ... shows us a world where culture and nature, human aspiration, natural beauty, language, history and social justice are inextricably intertwined."
I can only judge from what I read about the man and from his own political writings, but I can say this: He is authentic and his nimble facility with words is put at the service of accurate reporting and well-argued positions. He does not shy away from calling a spade a spade and that is a rare quality in journalists and writers these days. His judgment I trust, even when I disagree with some of his avowed objects of admiration (such as Slavoj Zizek).
This is his most recent book: Lost & Left Behind.
Terry Glavin, more recently, reached nearly global fame (or notoriety, depending on your point of view) when he challenged Christopher Hitchens' account of the Galloway kerfuffle. As usual, when you speak from cognition, having gone to some trouble to dig out the sequence of events and facts that comprise a news story, your account cannot be waved away by mere rhetorical flourishes*. Faced with the evidence, Hitchens graciously admitted a week later:
"In my last column, it seems I may have done an injustice to the government and people of Canada in the matter of George Galloway's canceled visit to that country. For elucidation, please consult the following blog post."
I get the feeling that Terry is embarrassed by accolades and paeans so I'll stop right here. And just wish him continued successes and many happy returns of such honours.
* This statement made by some Canadian poster on some obscure message board exemplifies the sort of blithe ignorance I speak about here:
"We even kept that kooky British Member of Parliament out of here even though he got to make a speech in New York."
Of course no one kept Galloway out of Canada. It is the story that never happened but why be troubled by mere facts when the imagined reality is so much more convenient to one's way of thinking?
Represented in such an opinion is the cliche type of knowledge that can be gained from reading only what appeals and fits your worldview, happily oblivious of where the truth actually lies.
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Monday, April 20, 2009