canadian ~ twenty-first century literature since 1999

Editorial: Fiction issue #19

by Michael Bryson

June 4, 2007

In my last editorial, I suggested that the "common thread through the stories . . . was the obvious one: relationships are hard." 

Since then, I'm glad to report, I've become engaged to be married. What's so hard about relationships? They're infinitely rewarding!

Ah, yes. Reality is more complicated than either of these statements suggests. Relationships are both hard and rewarding. It is also through relations with, in relation to, that we define ourselves. Or seek to.

Leonard Cohen was recently interviewed in The Globe and Mail. The interviewer asked him about desire and youth. Cohen said there was nothing like feeling desire as a young person and believing that through the consummation of that love you would emerge into a new reality.

Yes, but, the interviewer interjected. Then you discover that you are still alone.

What's left of you, Cohen replied.

I smiled at this. Yes, through confrontation with others we seek to transcend ourselves and are thrown back on our own resources, which we discover have been altered by the contact. And then we go back for more, perhaps risking less the next time around, perhaps not. Eventually, if we are lucky, we find another to connect with who refreshes us. We stop expecting transcendence and settle for a truth more grounded, but no less mysterious. One still charged with risk; it offers the hope of protection without ever giving up the possibility of destruction.

So it goes, Vonnegut would have said. Sage wisdom.

The stories in the current issue of TDR move in these spaces. They are about complex relationships that operate on both the light and dark sides of the force. These are them:

Brown Bottles
by Kathryn Mockler

Night of the Comet
by Clayton McCann

The Tough Cookie
by Salvatore Difalco

by Sandra Huber


Michael Bryson is the editor of TDR. His website is  







TDR is produced in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 

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All views expressed are those of the writer only. 

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ISSN 1494-6114. 


We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Nous remercions de son soutien le Conseil des Arts du Canada.