Hugh (John Blagdon) Hood W. J. Keith - Essay

W. J. Keith

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

If sensitivity is the hallmark of the artist, one wonders how he can be anything but an outsider in a crassly insensitive age.

In this new volume of interrelated short stories [None Genuine Without This Signature], Hood offers a clue in the first narrative, "God Has Manifested Himself Unto Us As Canadian Tire" (a bold title—what story could live up to it?—but this one does). Here we are confronted by A. O. and Dreamy, who seem at first sight bitterly satiric creations crudely symbolizing a consumer society run riot. Hood saturates his prose with the rhythms and slogans of advertising. The couple are surrounded by the latest buys …; their culture consists of reading about the next sale...

(The entire section is 1151 words.)