Impulse – Volume 12 Number 3, Spring 1986

Publisher / Executive Editor:
Eldon Garnet.

Managing Editor:
Judith Doyle.

Carolyn White, Gerald Owen, and Brian Boigon.

Contributing Editors:
Sylvère Lotringer (New York), and Andy Payne.

Art Direction:
Carolyn White.

Assembly Assistant:
Werner Arnold.

Business Manager:
Sharon Brooks.

Business Assistant:
Jonathan Pollard.

Cover Design:
Carolyn White.

Author Photos:
Carolyn White.

Table of Contents:
Rodney Werden, 'Aboo'; Sarah Sheard, 'Will You Hold Them for Me?'; Stephen Hatfield, 'Stand by Your Man'; Judith Doyle, 'Echo (The Constant Nymph)'; John Greyson, 'Take Two Rivers'; Robert Everett, 'Green, Animal Husbandry'; Helen Weinzweig, 'Causation'; Matt Cohen, 'In Search of Inspiration'; Patricia Bradbury, 'The Ship'; Mel Bradshaw, 'Trip to the Waterfall'; Peter Such, 'Certain Findings'; Dot Tuer, 'Mary, Mary is Quite Contrary'; Susan Speigel, 'The Fibonacci Flip'; Donna Lypchuck, 'The Mark Of The Babe'; David Hlynsky. 'Raspberry Crunch Cocktail'; John Bentley Mays, 'Corrigenda'; Eldon Garnet, 'I Shot Mussolini (Section 3)'; Janice Williamson, 'Fundamental Rule'; Tom Sherman, 'Sex and Violence Through Television'; Fred Gaysek, 'The Story'; Chris Dewdney, 'Excerpt From a Continuing Story'; Carol Barbour, 'Interruption Interrogation Interpretation'; A.S.A. Harrison, 'Stories For the Left Hand'; Peggy Gale, 'Beasts'; Arnie Achtman, 'Swimming in Mud'; Ann Ireland, 'The Secret'; Karl Jirgens, 'Argentina Declares Independence'; Katherine Govier, 'Between Men'; Steve McCaffery, 'The Swimmer'; Colin Campbell, 'B. Mode'; Brian Shein, 'Identified Objects'; Andrew James Paterson, 'Passports of Love'; Andrew Payne, 'What Some Call Grace'.


Eldon Garnet: So many have difficulty determining the voice when they read fiction. Too often the reader's first thought is that the author is writing a confessional, at the least a psychological disclosure. Some readers imagine the author is speaking the truth. But these are the fictions of fiction. Its stories.

Judith Doyle: Not so long ago, narrativity per se was suspect, but now a lot of people are rethinking this and using fictive strategies in their work - whether it's film, video or criticism. The question always comes up - where is this voice speaking from? To whom is it speaking?

EG: For the cultural commentator, the basis of fiction is not the self or the identity of the writer, but instead it is history, the conflicts of the individual with culture.

JD: For me as a writer, one of the interesting aspects of editing this issue was to look at very recent fiction, at how it has been changing.

EG: It's been interesting to look at the vehicle of fiction, its ability to carry information, and its attention to the reader. I'm so bored reading criticism. Theory is becoming stale. I've heard it all before. I'm looking for a pleasure of text in my reading. Something warm to read; it's so cold here and the winter is only half over. Why do you think we're calling this issue, "COLD CITY FICTION"!

JD: All the fiction comes from Toronto, but the problem with calling it 'Toronto Fiction', is that it might suggest we chose Toronto for some special reason. We chose it because we live here. We were looking for a generic title. There's no thematic or formal continuity to these stories. Some of them are very conservative, very classical; others are autobiographical, or dream-association pieces. Some are writings by artists which might be used as scripts for their film or video work. Others are like essays that make a crossover between genres. So, we came up with a condition of locale which would reflect an underlying, common interest for the writers.

EG: This is a grouping of writers by their common physical environment. A cold city. It's a grouping within a limited loci - of one magazine, in one area.

JD: In the last few years, we've had an international focus. Our contributors have come from Latin America, Europe, the States, and across Canada. This time we wanted to do something closer to home. At times, 'Toronto' seemed to be almost too general. There are different cultural emphases in different quarters of the city, each with its own writing.

EG: We haven't tried to be rigorously selective. We didn't try to look at who's writing what might be called the "best" fiction in Toronto. We examined the situation and then tried to find out how the younger writers were working, and tried to represent them as best we could. We also solicited work from more established writers, and some who people consider well-known, even though they weren't well-known to us - to the literary community they are establishment figures. All the authors in this issue are included because the editors enjoyed or felt engaged with their writing; our central editorial concern was for text not reputation.

JD: I'd say only a third of the people in the issue have developed reputations as fiction writers. Another third are artists who've used language and writing in their work.

EG: More precisely they've used fiction in their work.

JD: The other third have just started writing, or are better-known as critical writers. They use fiction as a genre of criticism. It's a way of projecting certain opinions, and a certain 'self'.

EG: The inclusiveness of our editorial position reflects the overall diversity of recent writing which we have chosen to describe under the 'cover' fiction.

JD: I like fiction's capacity for a sensuality of language, and for expressing desire, with a very delicate shading. Fiction is well-suited to describe what people want, and what repels them. I've been reading articles by Dot Tuer, and I've seen videotapes by Rodney Werden, but I looked forward more to reading their new stories. I felt I'd find out more about what they're really thinking now by reading their fictional writing.

EG: What interests me is not so much the revealing of 'person', but rather the fiction writer's cultural analysis in the guise of fiction, the narrative structuring of an analysis of a culture, and society.

JD: Yes. What's in it for me - what I want to find out from reading these texts - is different from what it is for you.

EG: This issue represents a circle for Impulse.

JD: A lot of people don't realize that Impulse began as a literary journal that published almost entirely poetry and fiction by people from the Toronto area.

EG: Just by coincidence, this is the fifteenth anniversary issue.

JD: And, coincidentally, we're re-inhabiting the form that we used to maintain.

EG: A paradoxical circle.

Eldon Garnet & Judith Doyle

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