Canadian Separatist Literature
Wed Dec 10, 2008
I’ve always thought that the manifest ludicrousness of the Quebecois elements in Infinite Jest was a clear indicator of the diegetic embeddedness of much of the book, but I have learned from two review articles* in SFS that bizarre extrapolations about many different varieties of Canadian separatism have a rich literary history. Wallace, who enjoyed science fiction, might well have read some of them. Heinlein’s Friday, for example seems about on par from a plausibility perspective, if lacking in the grotesquerie of Wallace’s scenario.
There is even a suggestively subtitled novel on the subject by Patrick MacFadden, Rae Murphy, and Robert Chodos called Your Place or Mine? An Entertainment (Deneau & Greenberg, 1978).
*John Bell, “The Persistence of Division: Further Examples of English-Language Science Fiction concerning Canadian Separatist Conflicts,” SFS, 11.2 (Jul., 1984): 190-193 and John Bell, “Uneasy Union: A Checklist of English-Language Science Fiction concerning Canadian Separatist Conflicts,” SFS 9.1 (Mar., 1982): 82-88.