Intercultural Encounters with Alice Munro. Introduction
The opening concert of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra in its 2015–16 season will premier Alice Munro’s last short story collection, Dear Life (2012), as “a multi-media immersive experience,” “a form of sonic reincarnation” of the writer’s “vision of childhood in small-town Ontario” contrasted with “the Romantic European perspective on a child’s vision of heaven as expressed in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4.”1 Alexander Shelley, current NAC Orchestra Music Director, made this intriguing announcement while also expressing desire to share with the audience his passion and delight in Canadian literature, art and film. This intersemiotic translation of Dear Life into a narrative as soundscape creating conditions for visceral enjoyment and pleasure in Munro’s writing, coincides with the rationale behind our project which also aims at achieving a unique immersive experience of “listening” to and taking pleasure and enjoyment in the art of the 2013 Nobel Laureate in Literature. To show the complexity of Munro’s life and work as commented upon, translated and transmuted through the imagination of contributors representing a variety of cultural backgrounds, we have planned a collection of texts for which, following the music metaphor, we adopted a symphonic structure with such four distinct sections or movements as Reminiscence, Interpretation, Adaptation and Comparison.
The musical genre of symphony in general denotes pluralism, which in this collection relates not only to the variety of readings and methodologies proposed by the contributors from Poland, France and Canada, but also to pluralistic perspectives on reality offered...
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