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Looking back at a vibrant literary decade

Quartier Concordia exhibition celebrates Montreal’s acclaimed writers of the 1960s
November 12, 2013

A new retrospective exhibition highlights the impressive 1960s literary community of what is now Quartier Concordia. | Photo by Concordia University

In the 1960s, Sir George Williams University and its surrounding downtown neighbourhood attracted some of Canada’s most brilliant literary minds.

It was a time of rapid social and political change, and these authors’ writings mirrored the opening up of Quebec society during the Quiet Revolution.

That period is highlighted in the Quartier Concordia exhibition series’ new showcase, English Literature during the Quiet Revolution.

The retrospective exhibition is designed to illustrate an exciting and intellectual atmosphere that is still alive today in the cafés and restaurants, green spaces and architecture at and around Concordia.

It features personalities who worked at Sir George Williams University, one of Concordia’s founding institutions, or lived nearby during the 1960s: Wynne Francis, Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler, Leonard Cohen, Irving Layton and George Bowering.

“As the cultural crossroad of Canada at that time, Montreal was a magnet for some of the country’s greatest minds,” says Clarence Epstein, Concordia’s director of Special Projects and Cultural Affairs. “Our university continues to benefit from this intellectual legacy and approach to critical thinking.”

Located on the vitrines of the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV Building) running along Guy Street, these installations are updated twice a year. The current exhibition will remain in place until spring 2014.

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