Home / Robert Farley / Free Munro!

Free Munro!


This is brilliant.

Dissident writer Alice Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature Thursday morning for her fiction critical of the Canadian regime.

While not overtly political, Munro is known for stories that capture the struggles of regular Canadians. Though tolerated by the government, her work is seen as a challenge to the country’s rulers. She first gained international acclaim with her 1968 collection “Dance of the Happy Shades,” which offered a tender portrait of life under the brutal reign of then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

Munro has long been celebrated by Western writers. American novelist Cynthia Ozick once described her as “our Chekhov,” comparing her to the Russian playwright known for challenging Russia’s restrictive Tsar-era social codes.

State media in Canada reacted positively to the news, calling it a great victory for the Canadian nation and the state ideology.

For context see here.

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  • Todd

    While I regard her work as untranslatable, I agree with the sentiment here. Anyone who has been on a bus going from Buffalo to Toronto and felt the icy chill descend on the vehicle once the “Mounties” came aboard at the border, with their folksy facade of grins and official pleasantry, can only imagine what Munro endured every day of her life. This award is well-deserved, but I wouldn’t give you a Loonie for her future.

    • ploeg

      I know! It’s particularly chilling when they ask you if you are bringing any alcohol into the country.

      • njorl

        I still have nightmares that Nelson Eddy will get me dead or alive.

    • It’s a hardscrabble life in Canada, scrounging day by day under the omnipresent eye of the broad-brimmed Mounties who seem to be spaced every four feet apart. Watching. Always watching.

      They have surveillance beaver. Too. Also.

    • Lord help you if try to bring an ocelot across the border in your private train car.

      • Barry Freed

        Only 99 days to go until the new season!

      • Well, can you blame them for not wanting those crepuscular, fox-eared assholes in their country?

        • But ‘exotic’ is just people talk for ‘awesome!’

    • Byron Brown

      No one has ever voluntarily left the city of good neighbors for Toronto. It is an urban dystopia filled with oppressive functionaries and primitive Leafs fans. The extremely violent videogame GTA depicts a typical day in that metro region.

      (That bus must have been filled with fugitive Canadians who attempt to flee to the outlet malls to escape.)

      • Tristan

        No one has ever voluntarily left the city of good neighbors for Toronto.

        Scabs, in the early union days.

  • Well, shit. I thought Randall had won the Nobel for xkcd. Fuckers.

    • Jeff R.

      At least he has an asteroid. Although he does seem a little disappointed it won’t hit the earth any time soon.

  • Morbo

    Somehow I knew who wrote that before I clicked the link. I need to get out more.

    • Max Fisher

      Boo outside, click more articles!

  • State media in Canada reacted positively to the news, calling it a great victory for the Canadian nation and the state ideology.

    In fairness, they haven’t had much to cheer about up there since Ryder Hesjedal won the Giro last year. It’s no wonder this perked them up, even as they plot her untimely demise from a mØØse bite.

    • Lurker

      from a mØØse bite

      I protest your mixing of stereotypes! The letter “Ø” is only used in Danish and Norwegian, but in those languages, it is never used in double form (in addition, “Ø” is the capital form of the letter. The lower-case is “ø”, so it should at least be “møøse”.) Of the languages prevalent along the Arctic circle, it is the Finnish language that uses double vowels. We write this vowel with “ö”, which is pronounced identically, and we would write “mööse”. The Norwegians would spell the same phonemes with “møse”. (As you probably know, none of these spellings would be pronounced “moose”)


      My warmest congratulations to Ms. Munro and to the Canadian people!

      • Origami Isopod

        God, I love language geekery.

      • I am a Finn, I should point out. I know whereof I write.

        And I challenge you, sir, to a FISH SLAPPING CONTEST!

      • StagParty Palin

        From the 4th edition of the OED, released in 2037:

        † møøse2. Obs. rare.
        [a. Du. moes.]
        Animal, northern, vicious.
        1975: Monty Python and the Holy Grail. “A Møøse once bit my sister.

  • Dan

    Not brilliant, actually.

    • Origami Isopod

      Unlike your reply, you mean?

      • Dan

        There is a range of brilliant things to say about Alice Munro winning the Nobel Prize. This thing goofing on imaginary dispatches from China is not one of them.

        • Atticus Dogsbody

          You’ll need to see a doctor to remove that stick.

    • Dave

      I quite agree, not only was it a collection of the laziest conceivable inversions masquerading as satire, the funniest thing was the fact that readers needed to be reminded, twice, in the opening paragraph that it was intended to be humorous.

      Unless, of course, that IS the satire, in which case the joke’s on us…

  • Manju

    Why does the Nobel Committee hate Pink Floyd so much?

  • We’d ship her to Siberia, but ALL of Canada is Siberia! Ha ha ha!

    Wait a sec…

    • zombie rotten mcdonald, shambling dog of the imperialists

      except for Alberta, of course, which is more akin to Jupiter.

  • Anna in PDX

    That was pretty funny, actually.

  • Matt_L

    actually, the excerpt you included in your post probably had the most deft touch.

    When you include a one paragraph disclaimer saying it is satire, and a link to the Slate article that inspired you, it kind undermines the whole joke. I read it and thought, that’s pretty good, but the Onion would have done a better job with the same premise.

    Maybe this just means that The Onion is hard to beat, but I’d prefer to think that the WaPo just sucks rotten eggs.

    • It’s the Washington Post. Expecting that their readership has to be hand-held through obvious satire is probably a safe bet.

  • Matthew B.

    Check out the comments. Even with the hand-holding, there are people who just don’t get it. Which isn’t to say that the Onion wouldn’t have done this better.

  • Colin
    • Colin

      Bah – that was meant as a reply to Matt_L above.

      • Matt_L

        which is pure fucking awesomeness.

    • somethingblue

      Poor guy. They might give him, what, some flowers soon?

  • rea

    I am mystified why they’d give the prize to a second-tier Last of the Mohicans character.

  • Johnny Sack

    I don’t get it. She doesn’t deserve the prize because she’s not a dissident/political enough?

  • NewishLawyer

    I’ve been weary of Canada since they decided to pull the cord on Slings and Arrows and not allow any more seasons. I guess the final episode showing an underground and unapproved performance was just too much. The Master of Revels was not pleased.

    Though they are good at letting Stars and Rush slip out for concerts.

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  • good2go

    Oh the restrictive, brutal, Tsarist social codes that oppressed poor Canada during Pierre Trudeau’s reign. It took Canadian freedom fighters 11 years to depose him, and then he comes back for another four years! Too bad they didn’t have elections in Canada back then.

    • Tristan

      This could be an actual editorial in a Sun Media paper.

  • The real excitement for Canada here is that their previous claim for a literature Nobel was … Saul Bellow.

  • Snuff curry

    authoritarian, developing country such as China or Russia,

    This is part of the satire, right?

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