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Philosophy Essays

First Person Plural

by (author) George Melnyk

Publisher
Frontenac House
Initial publish date
Dec 2015
Category
Essays
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781927823422
    Publish Date
    Dec 2015
    List Price
    $19.95

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Description

First Person Plural by George Melnyk is a collection of essays on the subject of identity and self-image. The book begins with the author’s personal memoir as a Canadian of Ukrainian heritage who arrived in Canada from a “displaced person” camp after the war. It also studies similar questions of identity and image as they affect other persons, including the Serbian-Canadian novelist David Albahari, artists Natalka Husar and Marie Elyse St. George, and Leonard Cohen. Other essays deal with the bombing of Hiroshima as portrayed by Japanese manga comic books, and the perception and image of movie stars like Marilyn Monroe.

About the author

George Melnyk is an associate professor of Canadian studies and film studies in the Faculty of Communication and Culture, University of Calgary. He is a cultural historian who specializes in Canadian cinema. Among his film publications are One Hundred Years of Canadian Cinema (2004) and Great Canadian Film Directors (2007). Most recently he has published The Young, the Restless, and the Dead: Interviews with Canadian Filmmakers (2008) in the Film and Media Studies series at WLU Press.

George Melnyk's profile page

Editorial Reviews

A seasoned essayist, George Melnyk has returned to the form with a flourish. Essay is his ideal genre. From the French, “essayer,” to try, it provides the same pleasures as the short story – pithiness, reverberating in ambiguity. After all, no one is ever guaranteed certainty of outcomes from one’s “trials.” While Melnyk has always deployed the first person singular pronoun as a narrator, in First Person Plural he invites his readers to encounter him (in his encounter with artistic, literary and cinematic projections) as a plurality of persons (for which he devises a clever taxonomy, variations on “person”). Recently, such writers as Lorna Crozier, Sue Olding, Myra Coulter and Jane Silcott have turned to the essay in the form of intensely personal, even interior, narratives. Melnyk’s essays, by contrast, contain multitudes, as he juggles public, social, private and secret selves in relationship with the desired “other.” But the main effect is of a cross-examination of the personae that constitute an autobiography, which he now makes public. There’s no going back for Melnyk: “Publication,” said Marshall McLuhan somewhere, “is the self-invasion of privacy.” ~Myrna Kostash

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