CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

no. 1-, 1984--. Toronto, Border/lines Magazine Society. 4 issues a year. $12.00 (individuals) $9.00 (low incomes) $25.00 (institutions). Distributed by Bethune College, York University, 4900 Keele St., Downsview, Ont., M3J 1P3. Examples: no. 1 Fall 1984, no. 2 Spring 1985.

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Vivienne Denton

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

Anyone who wants to keep up with post-modernist thought in Canada will want to read this ambitious new magazine edited by a collective out of Bethune College, York University. It is one of only a handful of Canadian magazines of its kind. Subtitled "Cultures. Contexts. Canadas.," its editors are deliberately attempting to generate a Canadian statement of the new concerns. With reviews, articles, and comment on cultural events, the magazine keeps its readers abreast of post-structuralist/post-modernist movements in the arts and political and social thought.

Border/lines is as ambitious in layout as in content. In fact the layout constitutes a statement in itself. Graphics, collages, and nonsequential writing combine to produce a new ambience reflecting a world that is a tangle of discourses. The magazine's contributors explore the hidden political premises of cultural production and the title indicates the radical bent, demonstrated in the feminist, marxist, popular culture focus. Sample contributions from the first two issues include a reassessment of Barthes' Mythologies, an interview with Henry Giroux, discussions of the film-making of Judith Doyle, of the lyrics of political activist, reggae singer Linton Kwesi Johnson, and Marc Raboy contributes an article called "Radical Radio," on community radio stations in North America, which he sees as "part of the process of human emancipation." The radicalism of the magazine's thought is reflected also in the books chosen for review, on feminist and third world issues, on film, popular culture, the peace movement, and the new critical theory. Regular columns are devoted to comment on, and review of, cultural events and writings in Canada. "Scanner" is a regular listing of academic and political conferences and events, some of them fringe, others mainstream. The column "Junctures" is billed as "an open letter addressing the state of affairs within cultural journals." In this column in the first two issues of the magazine, Barbara Godard looks at special issues of journals devoted to Quebec writing and Joan Davies and Jody Borland discuss journals devoted to Canadian culture. Both discussions are provocative.

Those put off by the jargon of much writing and criticism in the post-structuralist vein will find the usually lively and concise articles in this magazine a refreshing change. The language of the movements is there, but the format and presentation, brief and not too academic, makes for writing that is not too abstruse. This magazine should be considered for any library wanting to keep up with Canadian culture. It could be exceedingly stimulating for those exceptionally alert and literate senior high school students who are anxious to keep up with current cultural trends in art, thought, and literature.

Vivienne Denton, Toronto, Ont.
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