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Remembering Louis Dudek: ed. Skarstedt, Gnarowski, & Collins

Eternal Conversations

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Eternal Conversations: Remembering Louis Dudek

Louis Dudek, poet, professor, editor, publisher, translator and legendary Canadian man of letters, passed away on March 22, 2001. Shortly after his death, many of the people whose lives he had touched, from family members to distinguished writers, voiced the same proposal: there must be a tribute. Dudek’s influence was vast and his accomplishments breathtaking – from revolutionizing this country’s small press movement (First Statement, Contact Press, CIV/n, Delta and Delta Canada) and editing such ground-breaking anthologies as Canadian Poems: 1850-1952 (with Irving Layton), Poetry of Our Time and The Making of Modern Poetry in Canada (with Michael Gnarowski), to authoring many remarkably eloquent volumes of poetry and criticism. He was also known as ‘The Great Encourager’ during his decades at McGill University, publishing the first books of such poets as Leonard Cohen. Robin Blaser called Dudek “Canada’s most important – that is to say, consequential modern voice.” Les éditions Triptyque wrote that “Louis Dudek se situe au premier rang.” This collection of essays, poems, rare photographs, facsimiles of letters and manuscripts, simultaneously celebrates Dudek’s life and offers fresh illuminations on his life’s work.

Critical Comment

Eternal Conversations is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the life and talents of Louis Dudek and in the second wave of Canadian modernism and Montreal’s place in it. It also presents a fine study in mentorship in the arts. Plato believed that ‘fair forms beget fair practices’ – Dudek’s appreciation of beauty overflowed into many beautiful friendships.”

— Charlotte Hussey, Montreal Review of Books, 2003

“Many of the contributors state that you could never walk away from a conversation with Dudek without feeling both satisfied and frustrated, satisfied that in this mundane world of mind-numbing pursuits, you had just spent some worthwhile time with a person who valued art and ideas, and frustrated because he made you aware that there was still so much more to know and to do.”

— The Gazette, 2004

“For decades after beginning to teach at McGill University in 1951, Dudek was ‘The Great Encourager’, publishing the first books of numerous poets such as Leonard Cohen. Dudek came to Vancouver in the summer of 1962 to teach a summer course at UBC attended by several of the young writers who were producing the Tish poetry newsletter, among them Lionel Kearns. ‘Louis wanted to open us up, to make us look beyond our immediate restricted area of focus, to put our writing into the wider arena of history and learning. It was a good tonic forus at that point of our development,’ Kearns recalled in Eternal Conversations: Remembering Louis Dudek....”

— BC BookWorld, 2004

Eternal Conversations paints a loving and multifaceted portrait of Dudek the man and treats a literary icon with appropriate reverence, humour, and intelligence.”

— McGill News, 2004




Louis Dudek

Louis Dudek Author

Louis Dudek

Louis Dudek, born in Montreal, was educated both at McGill and Columbia University. In New York, as a young poet, he corresponded extensively with Ezra Pound. Back in Montreal, he joined the McGill faculty, where his lectures on literature became legendary. In combination with other key figures in the first and second waves of Canadian poetic modernism, he commenced many of the most important small magazines and literary presses of the mid-century. As a writer, critic, and cultural observer, his career has been dedicated to ongoing intellectual and artistic discussion. Justly identified as Canada’s premier man of letters, Dudek died in 2001.

Eternal Conversations,ed. Skarstedt et al, 288 pp., 6 x 9, Biography, September 2003

ISBN: 978-0-919688-75-9 (paper). . .$23.95

ISBN: 978-0-919688-77-3 (Bound). . .$32.95

* This book is “perfect bound” with an add-on hand bound cover, no dust jacket.

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Also by the Author

Dk / Some Letters of Ezra Pound,ed. Louis Dudek, 149 pp., 6 x 9, Belles Lettres, 1974 — ISBN: 0-919688-05-5 (paper). . .$14.95

Literature and the Press, 242 pp., 5.5 x 8.75, The Ryerson Press 1960, Essay — ISBN: 0-919688-50-0 (Hard Cover) ... $27.00

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