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'THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY IV. THE REMAINING , MATERIAL '(Lists I, V, VI, VII)l The remaining material is so extensive and varied as almost to defy brief comment, involving, as it does, hundreds of entries (only a few of which can be mentioned) in a score of different fields. But the extensiveness and variety are significant as well as embarrassing; for they indicate a healthy activity in those out~ying provinces of letters, where competence, if not distinction, is easier to achieve than in creative literature. Many of the items lie, of course, very near the border-line (itself indefinite) of pure literature, notably some of those in V (a) and (b); and some have been drawn into the review of fiction. Avoiding these latter, we may direct our attention first to the essay, and to narrative and descriptive writing, and then to scholarship in the humanities, including some of the material presented in List, I. * * * An important event is the collection of Mr. Broadus's essays in Saturday and Sunday, a title happily suggestive of the literary recreations of a 'man engaged in the business of teaching. Canadian literature pays a heavy tribute in its best talent to the United States; but Canadian scholarship takes some toll in return. Mr. Broadus is one of Canada's gains-primarily in scholarship, but, as this volume reminds us, in letters as well. The chief lesson of the collection seems to be the value of developing the resources of the Canadian scene, which are very far from being exhausted, especially in the essay. The writer would not claim Mr. Grove's power of description (manifested a few years ago in Over Prat"rie Trails); but coming from Harvard to Edmonton, when Edmonton was "the end of the line," his vision was sharpened by the strangeness of it all. He has long ago adopted us-though he can still pJay the exile for literary purposes; but time and familiarity have not blunted the vision, and the changing West wjll live for the next generation in these sketches, written at intervals over a quarter of a century. To them he has added some critical essays (in which Saturday draws on the treasures of the rest of the week). There is space to mention but two: the charming study of witty Thomas Fuller, the "dear, fine, silly old angel" of Charles Lamb's love, and the equally engaging and illuminating essay on Richardson. lSome of the notices in biography, history, and the socjal sciences are by Professor A. Brady. 396 LETTERS IN CANADA: 1935 Appreciative criticism informed by scholar.ship has never in Canada done anything better than these two. * * * Notable in the class of narrative and descriptive wrItmgs is Mr. Charles BeWs Who Said Murder? It is the single representative of a class popular in England, the account of celebrated crimes and trials. Mr. Bell's sketches are exceedingly well done} having (as is elsewhere suggested) many of the qualities of "first-rate det~ctive fiction-a powerful story-interest, almo'st unfailing vividness (achieved without seeming effort in Mr. Bell's not brilliant, but thoroughly workmanlike prose), and considerable psychologic.al insight. But their greatest value lies elsewhere: they are sober history written by a careful and almost uniquely equipped " observer, and as such they should be of interest to every student of Canadian police methods and criminal justice. Good stories can still be heard in Canada of the trail of '98; but they must be less common now than twenty years ago, and in twenty more where will they be? Unless, that is} they fall in the way of Mr. Angus Graham, who, in The Go/den Grindstone, has rescued and set forth the adventures of Mr. George Mitchell with Indian, Eskimo, and element, in those stirring days. I t is difficult to apportion credit between narrator and recorder, but somehow, probably by a happy combination of qualities, a good book has got itself written-effective in arrangement, interesting in narrative, lively in description, and valuable, among other things, for its record of Eskimo life before the Eskimo became respectable. The Indians, apparently, were always respectable, though they came within an...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 396-411
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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