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Spoof - Great Canadian Novel Discovered
by Pierrot Button

"At first, I thought it was just a bunch of old grocery lists." That's what initially flashed through University of Personitoba professor Ian McBugle's mind when he stumbled over an old file cabinet belonging to the late Winnipeg writer Fred Blott, author of such immortal works as Famous Civil Servants Who Wouldn't Return My Phone Calls and 100 Things to Do with an Expired Coupon.

In an exclusive interview, McBugle spoke to us about his amazing find.

"I was just rummaging around in Blott's basement he was a real packrat, never threw anything away when I tripped over this dusty old file cabinet. The door popped open, and inside was a manila folder labeled `Grocery Lists.' Was I excited!"

McBugle, whose edition of the Complete Blott reached 27 volumes last year with the publication of Things to Do: The Collected Memos, did have some anxious moments when he saw that parts of the manuscript had been nibbled away.

"Must have been mice, or maybe rabbits - Fred was a dedicated rabbit collector, used to joke that he had `Hares on the brain.' But I didn't let it faze me - it was obvious that this was a major work in the Blott canon."

Professor McBugle has very generously allowed us to reproduce-for the first time ever! - a few pages from his amazing find. Below, with his comments, are some of the original words from one of CanLit's most honoured authors.

"You can see the importance of some of Blott's characteristic themes in these excerpts," McBugle notes. "Milk and eggs figure prominently in Things to Do: The Collected Memos, although the relatively greater role played here by bread, cheese, and marshmallows is striking; Blott specialists - we call ourselves `Blotters,' tee-bee -will need to revise their thinking on these matters. And the reconstruction of the damaged material is clearly a matter of the greatest importance - fortunately, the Canada Council has already allotted a multimillion-dollar grant for what will undoubtedly take a team of scholars many years to accomplish."

So what does this all mean for the future of Canadian literature? Since we don't have a clue, let's let Professor McBugle have the last word: "This is the biggest thing that's happened in CanLit since Money Callaghan broke his shoelace while boxing with Ernest Hemingway, and it's really going to put Blott on the landscape."


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