and child on the
street, can engage with and react to’ (p. 222). Harper’s cuts to arts and
culture funding serves only, according to Martel, to disempower citizens; in the letter accompanying dispatch 51, William Shakespeare’s
JuliusCaesar, Martel asks Harper directly, ‘Is it really your aim to
transform Canada into a post-literate society?’ (pp. 217–18).
In using literature and the act of reading as an act of resistance,
then, Martel works to galvanise his readers to enact their own resistance to Harper’s policies (and politics). Ultimately, Martel never