Monday, December 15, 2008
Brian Fawcett memorializes/reviews my late friend Bruce Serafin. Two paragraphs seem particularly pertinent to topics that move through this page almost daily, like winter storms:

"As a younger writer, Serafin wrote the same elegant and clear prose you’ll find in Stardust. But late in his life he developed a unique ability to penetrate the brassy surfaces of the self-serving bullshit Vancouver’s political, economic and cultural elites churn out to maintain their illusions, and he kept that willful refusal to be fooled by the city’s glamourous but perspective-distorting scenery to the end of his life. The political animal in him, with its highly developed powers of empathy, could not, I think, accept that a city with cultural and physical assets so rich and remarkable could produce an intellectual and social climate so pedestrian and violent. There was, as a consequence, a magma of rage at Vancouver’s waste and inequity that percolated just beneath the surface of what he wrote in the last ten years of his life. It was not always a productive rage, either. For literally decades, he was paralyzed by it, and it often blistered his judgment when he did write."

"Indeed there exists, in everything Serafin wrote and did, the studied naiveté of someone who knows what the rules are but can’t live with them. It explains, sort of, the distaste for authority that pervades everything, the refusal to accept any of the comforts of the most limited collectives, even those of other writers who liked and admired him, and his refusal to shape his two books to meet the demands of any other audience than his own obscure muse."

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