Documentation of Richler’s tobacco and alcohol consumption melds with evidence of his writing habit; the fact that he was a lifelong smoker, especially, permeates our recollection of his material practice. But why has the masculine, chain-smoking and hard-liquoring writer (of which Richler is an example) cemented as a canonical or caricatured portrait in Western culture? Can the act of lighting a cigar, inhaling, and exhaling, or sipping a whiskey neuronally stimulate a novelistic methodology? Could the intoxicating repetition of such acts have triggered a characterizing detail, line of dialogue, metaphor, or psychic, spatiotemporal travelling experience? Additionally, Richler’s famous enjoyment of Schwartz’s smoked meat, the “Wilensky’s Special” sandwich, Moishes’ chopped liver with onions, and St-Viateur bagels locationally tags and sensorially textures his authorial aura and work. How did Richler’s oral fixations—his smoking, drinking, and eating rhythms—inform the chronotopes of his novels? This display probes and imagines the psychological link between oral fixation in Richler’s fictional and autobiographical worlds and creative process.


More Exhibits