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Minor Canon

Hors Concours Corduroy hat

Regular price $30.00 CAD
Regular price Sale price $30.00 CAD
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This hat's motto is taken—somewhat obliquely—from Donald Barthelme's "Manual for Sons," which was published as a standalone story in The New Yorker in 1975 and also appears as a text-within-the-text of his novel The Dead Father of the same year. "Manual for Sons" provides a fantastical inventory (a bestiary, one might say) of different kinds of fathers. In the entry on "fathers of daughters," Barthelme writes that "the most important thing about daughter-fathers is that, as fathers, they don't count ... to themselves. Fathers of daughters see themselves as hors concours in the great exhibition, and this is a great relief."

Now, on the one hand, this is a satirical reflection on the sexist notion that only male children "count," in that they carry on the dynastic line, and this ties in to the story's subtheme about how female agency threatens patriarchal authority. On the other hand, Barthelme's remark that "this is a great relief" suggests how the game of competitive striving (for awards, prizes, the approval of authority figures, and for dominance over other competitors) is the arena in which patriarchy is upheld—a demeaning and oppressive circus from which it is preferable to withdraw, if possible. Outside of the competition is the place to be. Rather nicely, hors concours has a secondary meaning of "unrivalled, without equal," implying that one is disqualified on the basis of having already transcended the criteria.

This item is being released to commemorate Minor Canon's one-year anniversary. Fittingly, it is a one-off, not part of any Minor Canon series.

• 100% cotton corduroy
• Soft, unstructured crown
• Cotton twill sweatband and taping
• Adjustable buckle
• Blank product sourced from China