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Marchand returns to take on Clinton

Toronto Star columnist Philip Marchand has apparently finished his leave of absence. He returns to the paper in Thursday’s edition to address what’s certainly the hottest Toronto book story of the week — former President Bill Clinton’s appearance at a Toronto Indigo on Thursday.

Marchand doesn’t concentrate on the massive lineups and busy preparations for the event (there’s plenty of that elsewhere, such as in the CP story linked to below) but considers the Clinton persona and the blockbuster memoir My Life, and wastes no time working in some Marshall McLuhan content: “He is the classic instance of Marshall McLuhan’s ‘cool’ presence, an individual utterly resistant to definition,” writes Marchand.

In considering the book, Marchand may be a bite tardy — My Life came out in June, and most of the reviews were in within days of its release — but his way with a penetrating insight is worth the wait. “Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky are non-entities,” he writes of their treatment in Clinton’s book. “He will not pay them the compliment of remembering their personalities.”

And as a much-discussed Slate piece from late June suggests, sometimes it’s debatable how well readers are served by rush judgments anyway.

Related links:
Philip Marchand on Bill Clinton
CP story on the lineups for Clinton’s Indigo appearance
Slate piece about the spate of “instant” reviews of My Life