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David McGimpsey

David McGimpsey
(Coach House Books)
This is not a book of poems about TV as much as it is about the memory of TV, the way time spent in front of the tube bleeds into the time spent away from it. What you get in former Coast TV columnist McGimpsey’s Sitcom is a resonant image of the headspace---the thought patterns---created by much TV watching as one way of living in this day and age. (Go immediately to the anti-Bono verse “Fáilte” on page 82 for an example.)

References to specific shows, events---pop culture moments---and characters at first read appear random and scattershot. Read again. Then you begin to see that the author attaches deeper values and meanings to these figures and fables---moreover, that it is possible to do so.

Sitcom is a struggle for meaning or connection in a time when it seems like nothing, no one, slows down enough, or long enough, to find it. Sure, it’s paradoxical to turn to television as a means to find it, but that is, after all, why we watch it---for meaning and connection in one form or another, along with entertainment. 

This is not a “side-splittingly funny” book as charged on the back jacket, but it is frequently humorous and piquant.

McGimpsey reads as part of the Halifax International Writers Festival in April. 

Sean Flinn
type: book

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Vol 26, No 43
March 21, 2019

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