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LETTERS IN CANADA: 1935 INTRODUCTION In presenting to its readers the QUARTERLY'S first annual survey of letters in Canada~ we must make clear the object, scope, method, and limitations of the survey. There already exist various annual publications, factual and bibliographical, dealing with Canada, or with particular .aspects of Canadian life. Some of these appear below in List lA. There is no annual publication devoted t'o the cuItural and Iiterary life of the Dominion; no bibliography of books and articles on that subject, and no account of the work done in Canada in a given year, in the different departments of writing, creative and critical. This twofold need the QUARTERLY seeks to supply. It has no desire to encroach upon territory already occupied, or to duplicate 'work already being satisfactorily done. Wherever possible it contents itself with a reference to the excellent quarterly bibliographies of Canadian history, economics, and government, published by its sister journals, the Canadian Historical Review and the Canadian Journal oj Economics and Political Science. It covers a different, and a much wider field than the admirable Canadian Catalogue oj Books Published in Canada, issued annually by the Toronto Public Library, which is confined to an alphabetical list of writings puhIlshed in book-form; for the QUARTERLY'S survey extends its view to periodical literature, deals with uncollected poetry and unpublished plays, and offers some critical appraisal of the materials which it lists. On account of the extent of territory covered, and the early date of publication, it cannot pretend to the completeness of the Canadian Catalogue within its own department. To that work, when it appears, and to the bibliographies above mentioned, the 1"eader is referred. It will not be denied that letters in Canada is a legitimate and important subject of inquiry, and one in which many Canadian readers, and some outside Canada, are interested. The survey approaches the subject in a spirit of exploration. I t eschews every. element of propaganda, and it deliberately avoids the premature question, "Is there a homogeneous and significant Canadian literature?" If there is, the year's contribution to it will be found 359 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY noted (along with much else) in the pages that follow.1 The critical appraisals of the contributors represent their own opinions: 'there is 110 corporate (or editorial) responsibility for them. As the general title and the headings of the separate lists are designed to indicate, the survey does not stop short with imaginative literatUre) but extends to the literature of criticism and comment, and also to scholarship in the humanities. Its object is to furnish material for a conspectus, not merely of literature in the narrowest sense, but of that culture of which it forms a part and by which it is (or ought to be) nourished. Nor are those lists devoted to matters beYO,nd pure literature without interest and signifi,carice in themselves. They illustrate, for example, something of the place held by organized religion in the Dominion, Canada's interest in the arts, her :concern for education, and finally the effort of her universities, as they emerge from the frontier state, to take their modest share in the labour of humanistic scholarship. 'The lists differ in scope and character, corresponding to the twofold aim of the survey. List I is a series of selected bibliographies of work done by Canadians (and a few others), during 1935, which is of interest or value to the student of Canadian culture and letters. Lists II-IV, with their accompanying essays, I-III, present the year's published work in imaginative literature-Fiction, Poetry, and Drama-so far ,as we have been able to collect it to date. In List IV, Drama, we have included not only plays published, but plays produced, production being not less important and constituting a sort of publication. In List V, Miscellaneous Prose, the division is eclectic and has been suggested by the character of the material collected. List VI contains a few miscellaneous collections of prose and poetry. List VII is devoted to scholarship in .the humanities, including some important work in history and sociology, with reference for further information in the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 359-361
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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