Wilfred Cude
The Ph.D. Trap R E V I S I T E D
Copyright © Wilfred Cude, 2001 | Click here to buy!


These letters are published with permission from William Whitehead, literary executor for the late Timothy Findley.

To view the original letters, click here.

Stone Orchard
Post Office Box 419
Cannington, Ontario
L0E 1E0

February 21, 1990

Professor Derek Wood
Chair, Department of English
St. Francis Xavier University
Antigonish, Nova Scotia
B2G 1C0

Dear Professor Wood:

I am writing in full and heartfelt support of Wilfred Cude's application for the temporary position of Assistant Professor in your Department.

I must say, at the outset, that ­ quite simply ­ there is no other Canadian academic whose published writings about my own work have been so consistently accurate in their interpretations, so thought-provoking (and occasionally, so revealing to me as author of the works) or so lucidly presented. Whenever I encounter one of Wilfred Cude's analytical pieces, I know I can relax ­ which is not often the case, I must admit, given the number of critical examinations which seem to have missed what I was about while doing the writing.

I first met Wilfred Cude when I visited Antigonish during a promotional tour in 1982, and the Dundurn Press profile that resulted from that meeting remains the one article whose reprints I still offer when asked for an overview of my earlier work. Having now met Wilf (and some of his students) on subsequent occasions, I am delighted to be able to back up his application with my most sincere and totally unqualified enthusiasm. He can obviously foster a student's love of the written word; he is one of the most articulate people I know ­ both in person and on the page ­ and ­ having followed the positive reaction to The Ph.D. Trap ­ I know how committed he is to everything that is most effective in academic matters.

I am very happy to be able to write about someone who claims so much of my admiration, and would be made even happier ­ in behalf of your Department and your students ­ to know that Wilf's application had been successful.

Cordially yours,
Timothy Findley



#201 - 72 Ontario Street
Stratford, Ontario
N5A 3H2

October 5, 2001

The Secretary of the Senate
Room 210, Arts & Administration Building
Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 3J5

Dear Secretary:

I am writing in the strongest support of the nomination of Wilfred Cude to receive an honorary doctorate from Dalhousie University.

I have known Wilfred Cude for twenty years, and during that time, he remains the most consistently accurate, interesting and provocative of all academics who publish interpretations of my writing. I have, over the years, visited his classes ­ and find him just as articulate in person as on the page. Furthermore, I have never encountered anyone who is more dedicated or better equipped to foster both love and understanding of literature among his students.

As someone who is totally non-academic (having left secondary education after its first year), I am both aware and admiring of both his books concerning some of the weaknesses of the post-graduate world. And, given my tremendous enthusiasm for Wilfred Cude's accomplishments in the academic world, I am both puzzled and deeply regretful that he has never received the degree of Ph.D.

I therefore urge that the most generous consideration be given to his nomination. For Dalhousie University to confer on Wilfred Cude an honorary Doctor of Letters would be, in my eyes, a signal to the Canadian academic community of how perceptive and generous the Nova Scotia members of that community can be.

Cordially yours,
Timothy Findley

Wilfred Cude  

Chapter One
Time's Toll

Whatever its possessors may say to the contrary, the North American doctor of philosophy degree is not so much about scholarly attainment as it is about power: sheer, naked, inexorable economic and social power. Originally intended as the certificate attesting specialized preparation for research in the major scholarly disciplines,...




This book, let me stress at the very beginning, is designed to effect positive change in a central academic institution now painfully and destructively faltering. While nearly all the standard literature concerning our contemporary university structure is unrelievedly laudatory,...