Clark Blaise Russell M. Brown - Essay

Russell M. Brown

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[For] the three characters who unify [A North American Education,] borders are … elusive things: they are hard to locate precisely, much less to cross. Blaise's characters are … eager to move onto new ground, but the passages are [hard] for them, the dividing lines … terrifyingly divisive, and the outcome unlooked-for disaster. Blaise's protagonists turn out to be "North American" men because in moving from America to Canada, they have come to exist on both sides of a border—they are not given definition and identity by either nation. One might say that Blaise's characters are, ultimately, not so much crossers of, as men who are themselves crossed by borders. The dislocation, displacement,...

(The entire section is 979 words.)