La Peuplade

Wigrum

La Peuplade Books

Wigrum

Daniel Canty

Novel

In late October 1944, Sebastian Wigrum disappears from his London home. An elusive character, traveller of mirrors and vanishing points, living on the blurred border between fact and fiction, he is one of those exceptional figures endowed with the power of vanishing before our eyes.

We know little about him except that he was curious about the world, perhaps disappointed by love. His legacy, however, is ours: that one for whom living meant collecting left in his wake more than a hundred objects that illuminate with an uncertain light the history of our time.

This book offers the bittersweet inventory of the Wigrum estate. A combinatorial novel, a dizzying scaffold of erudition and “unknowledge,” Wigrum exists precariously between the world of stories and the world where the lives of readers unfold. Those willing to venture inside will live by only one slogan: if I can believe all the stories that are told to me, you are just as capable.

Publication: October 24, 2011
208 pages, 978-2-923530-33-8, $24.95,
Rights : World English

Praise for Wigrum

A clever formalist, Daniel Canty writes a strange and moving text that challenges how we think of writing. A narrative that unfolds through a catalogue of disparate objects, a kind of literary labyrinth.

Guillaume Corbeil, chaîne de lecture de Radio-Canada

The result of a decade-long work, Wigrum is an impossible metanarrative coupled with a physical object that is both sober and sophisticated, and whose minimalist refinement leads to fascination without trying to impose it.

Thierry Bissonnette, Québec français

This unclassifiable novel is both a collection of stories and a story about a collection. The pleasure of this novel, whose pretence is to list the inventory of Wigrum’s unlikely legacy, is to distil fiction.

Catherine Lalonde, Le Devoir

Every object has a story, and some are more amazing then others. We recognize behind the 101 wonders gathered here the teeming imagination of the author, Daniel Canty, who joined forces with artist Estela López Solis to create Wigrum, a book unlike any other.

Martine Desjardins, L’Actualité

Wigrum is a novel, but it’s also a world of possibilities. It’s a cabinet of curiosities, a journey through time, a “livre-objet,” a little wonder. The book itself is superb.

Myriam Daguzan-Bernier, Ma mère était hipster

With Wigrum, a very peculiar cabinet of curiosities, readers should expect plenty of humour and veiled references. This is an original work, though it is difficult to categorize it as a novel. What we have here instead is a true literary approach that will satisfy the curious reader.

Mélanie Robert, Voir

Assembled like a catalogue of extraordinary objects, Wigrum not only reflects this fascination with heterogeneous collections, but carries it to completion, describing false objects in a novel without a story that nonetheless contains the eccentric yet authentic fragments of the scholarly and artistic culture of the last two centuries.

Mathieu Arsenault, Doctorak, go!

Here’s a disconcerting novel, a new genre. An inventory! It opens with Sebastian Wigrum, his story, his passion, his daily routine. Wigrum is a great collector who disappears in 1944 after a bombardment of London. There follows a presentation of the collection by one Joseph Stepniac. Then, the inventory itself: a list of more or less fantastical objects that strike the imagination by their anachronism. Computer objects, electronics, historical objects, useless objects, all find their place among the collection for a reason or another. The final part of the novel introduces Daniel Canty, the author, who distinguishes between the facts coming from fiction and the fictional facts that deconstruct what was built in vain. Unique and fascinating!

Shannon Desbiens, Le libraire

An original, unique work, and a writer working off the beaten tracks. I remained a little dazed by the magnitude of this undertaking that violates all rules and turns out to be extremely effective.

Littérature du Québec, Yvon Paré

Wigrum is a Gesamtkunstwerk, a hyper-collection. If the title page says “Novel,” it is probably to better highlight the dimension of individual experience to which this atypical work refers. … The foggy man that is Wigrum (literally, “wig rum”) murders the certainties of recollection as much as those of oblivion. The author defines himself at the end of the book as “the blind witness of our consciousness.” This wig liqueur isn’t an ode to the remains, but to what writing can do, namely propose links between things.

Sophie Coiffier, Revue du centre international de poésie de Marseille

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