Recalling Marshall McLuhan’s Governor General’s Award for “The Gutenberg Galaxy” (1963)


The author of this article is the son of James Crerar Reaney, who was a distinguished Canadian poet, dramatist and Professor of English Literature (with whom I studied in the late 60s) at the University of Western Ontario, London. He also won a Governor General’s Award for literature, in his case, poetry…….AlexK

Marshall McLuhan @100 project: McLuhan & Londoners*

 james.reaney – July 25th, 2011


Here’s a photo from March 29, 1963 at Rideau Hall, when Marshall McLuhan is seated and reading. presumably from a copy of his 1962 Governor General’s literary award winning The Gutenberg Galaxy. That’s my dad, the late James Crerar “Jamie” Reaney smiling at the right. Dad & mom enjoyed meeting their old friends, the McLuhans, when the 1962 GGs were handed out.

Here’s the cutline for the CP Wirephoto

LONDONER HONORED — Winners of the Governor-General’s literary awards for 1962 relax at Rideau Hall after receiving specially-bound copies of their works from Gen. Vanier yesterday (March 29, 1963). They received $1,000 cash prizes. From left are, Pierre Tisseyre, Montreal publisher who accepted an award for Jacques Languirand; Kildare Dobbs, Toronto; Gilles Marcotte and Jacques Ferron, Montreal; James Reaney, London; and sitting, Marshall McLuhan, Toronto.

Hmm — $1,000 cash prize. One of dad’s mock rueful regrets was that he won his three GGs before the prize brought money. I guess he meant the big money  . . . still, $1000 in 1963 dollars. Well-done, dad.

*An occasional series celebrating the 100th anniversary of Marshall McLuhan’s birth (July 21, 1911)  with random London-tied events in his remarkable career. McLuhan died Dec. 31, 1980. He was in London & around Londoners at various times. Any help, leads, memories to help the project are appreciated.

James Reaney, poet, dramatist, English professor

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