In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

284 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 to know that similar oppositions are at work in literature. This hierarchy exists in Canada with the valorization of automatisme, the colour-field work of Jack Bush, or the aggressive technique and rhetoric of Harold Town over the more representional work of women contemporaries such as Prudence Heward, Kathleen Munn, and Molly Lamb Bobak. In his final chapter Wilmott tackles that other Achilles heel of Canadian modernism: regionalism. Here he argues that the invisible modern cities in rural (and regional) Canadian novels are present, even if we don=t see them, and I think he is absolutely spot on. Surely that is exactly what presses in on the stories in Grove, Wilson, Watson, Raddall, Buckler, and many others! Put simply, Wilmott reminds us that just because the setting is rural does not mean that modernity is not a force to be reckoned with or that the narrative and stylistic resources of the writer are not modernist, even as they express what Wilmott calls an anti-modernist agenda. Although I would argue with Wilmott=s term anti-modernist (I prefer categories of modernisms that include the realist and the expressionist), he explains his term and uses it consistently to describe the resistance to modernity pressing in on regional spaces. In Unreal Country Wilmott reopens a debate about the relationship between modernism and national identity that was once fiercely joined by our poets. With his study to build on we can now re-examine the role of the novel B that form most congenial to nation-building ideology B in the delineation of a modern nation state. As we engage in this discussion, we may also question the (to my mind) suspect term postcolonial, which crops up several times in this study. Just as Wilmott has demonstrated the complexity of Canadian modernism, so it remains to unpack the contradictions inherent in Canadian postcoloniality. We were, I am convinced, modernist, and we also have been postmodern, but have we ever been postcolonial? Perhaps that=s a subject for Wilmott=s next book. (SHERRILL GRACE) Mark Moss. Manliness and Militarism: Educating Young Boys in Ontario for War Oxford University Press 2001. viii, 222. $21.95 The theme evident throughout Mark Moss=s book is that >manliness and militarism= are foreign to Canada. Specifically, the work agruges these constructs are products of the pernicious influence of the United States and Great Britain. The work discusses the social conditioning of boys for war through youth organizations, drill practice, hunting, the Baden-Powell movement, sports, and toys. In doing so, Manliness and Militarism attempts to fill a large gap in the Canadian historiography. Although much has been written about the origins of the First World War and of Canada=s initial response to it, the role of militarism in Canadian society in the years directly preceding the humanities 285 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 war has heretofore been ignored. The book features exhaustive research from wide-ranging primary sources and well-chosen quotations from international writers on the period. Yet there is a pervasive presentism that reduces much of the argument to hindsight, portraying Ontarians in the first decade of the 1900s as actively anticipating the coming of war. Evidence does not bear this out. In his conclusion, Moss states, >It is not too much to claim that, by 1914, most aspects of young men=s lives were oriented towards the military.= Why, then, were so few serving before the outbreak of the war? In reality, the total August 1914 strength of the Canadian military surely speaks to a long tradition of neglect rather than a veneration of militarism. What about widespread opposition to national military service in Canada from 1867 to 1914? In fact, Colonel W.H. Merritt and other proponents of compulsory military service mentioned in the narrative were widely ignored. The conscription crisis surely reveals some dissent. Although beyond the chronological scope of the work, the analysis does not help explain the fact that there were more votes in the 1917 federal election against conscription in Ontario than anywhere else. Furthermore, the...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 284-286
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.