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Bolder Flights

Essays on the Canadian Long Poem

Edited and with a preface by Frank M. Tierney and Angela Robbeson

Publication Year: 1999

A growing number of literary historians and critics now recognize the contemporary long poem as a distinctively Canadian genre. This collection of essays leads the reader to a deeper understanding of Canadian literary cultures in terms of their local intimacies and idiosyncrasies as well as in their national contexts.

Published by: University of Ottawa Press

Series: Reappraisals: Canadian Writers

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-6

THIS BOOK EXPLORES the features of the Canadian long poem as indicators leading to a deeper understanding of our literary cultures in their local as well as their national contexts. According to the suggestion made by a growing number of literary historians and critics, the long poem is distinctively Canadian in its documentary aspects, often serving a topographical and memorial function. Accordingly, the essays collected ...

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Colonial Colonizing: An Introductory Survey of the Canadian Long Poem

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pp. 7 -30

SINCE ITS PUBLICATION in 1929 in The Kelsey Papers, the Jonsonian verse epistle in which Henry Kelsey recounts his journey in 1690-91 from York Factory (Churchill) to the Canadian plains has increasingly attracted the attention and imagination of Canadians whose interests include literary history and literary forbears. Pre-eminent among the poets and scholars who have been drawn to "Now Reader Read ..." by its prelusive position ...

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Writing and Rewriting Adam Hood Harwell's Talbot Road

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pp. 31-40

AFTER MORE THAN A CENTURY in near-oblivion, the poetry of Adam Hood Burwell was rescued from obscurity by Professor Carl F. Klink in 1963 and published in a 110-page mimeographed pamphlet. Few would now say that Burwell's neglect was well-deserved but it must be acknowledged that, in spite of Professor Klink's efforts, few have ...

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"A richer, variegated vest": Dressing Nature in Early Canadian Long Poems

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pp. 41-52

DESPITE THE DIFFERENCES between Adam Hood Burwell's Talbot Road (1818), Adam Kidd's The Huron Chief (IS30), and Joseph Howe's Acadia (1832-33), they all present an essentially masculine vision. Whether the Indian or the settler is given the role of Adam, his first love is always the land, which is invariably portrayed as female. In "Binding and ...

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Questioning the Canon: Early Long Poems by Canadian Women

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pp. 53-64

IF A CANADIAN WOMAN had written Goblin Market in1862, would it be in our canon? Would it have been canonized in the nineteenth century, and if not, would it be recovered now? With no Canadian content and with its Old World myth of goblins, this long poem would likely be condemned for being derivative, for not being distinctively Canadian. ...

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Pratt's Modernism, or Digging into the Strata

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pp. 65-80

WHEN PREPARING THIS PAPER on EJ. Pratt, I came across a statement in Smaro Kamboureli's On the Edge of Genre: The Contemporary Canadian Long Poem (1991) that Pratt had little influence on Canadian modern poetry and no influence on the long poem in Canada.1 My paper, a response to this assertion, will locate Kamboureli's critical perspective ...

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Virtu(e)al History: Interpolation in Pratt's Brebeuf and His Brethren

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pp. 81-100

TO CONSIDER EJ. PRATT in one of the current literary-critical fashions is to picture him hovering on the outskirts of genre, a bard banished to a poetic point of no return, with his clutch of unfashionable poems. "Seen from our contemporary vantage point," says Smaro Kam-boureli, "he has become the point of 'differance' [sic], standing at the coinciding ...

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The Contemporary Canadian Long Poem as System: Friesen, Atwood, Kroetsch, Arnason, McFadden

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pp. 101-114

THE WISH TO BECOME someone else serves as one of the basic tropes, an a poretic trope one might say, for Foucault's life in James Miller's The Passion of Michel Foucault. After the debate about a Foucauldian ethics,1 it is no doubt undignified to ask, but I ask, "to become who else?" A nineteenth-century evangelical woman? In order to find Foucault, ...

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David Arnason's Marsh Burning: Beginnings

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pp. 115-132

LIKE MOST FORMS OF LITERATURE the long poem occupies the middle ground between revealing and concealing all. But in the long poem there is firm and noticeable reluctance to reveal all. Neither is there any danger of all being concealed. The form entertains multiple beginnings that challenge a narrative because they both spoil the linearity of ...

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Sharon's Bottle, Malcolm's Ukelele: The Machinery of Desire in ,Confabulations

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pp. 133-138

IN READING FOR THE PLOT: Design and Intention in Narrative, Peter Brooks speaks of the "narrative motor" that drives a text, the fundamental dynamic that stimulates our desire to continue toward recognition and ending. "We can, then, conceive of the reading of plot as a form of desire that carries us forward, onward, through the text," he says. ...

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Fred Wah and the Radical Long Poem

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pp. 139-150

ONE DAY, I sat in a coffee shop in Winnipeg, wondering my way toward what it means to travel from one place to another. I was in my old city, and I belonged in this place: it was utterly familiar. Only a few hours earlier, I had been in another place, my newer home, also utterly familiar and comfortable. "Home" has been added to my ever-expanding ...

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The Voices of Elegy: or, Hurtin' Songs for Bronwen Wallace

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pp. 151-160

I HAVE TO BEGIN this paper with some kind of disclaimer. The work that I am going to be dealing with here may well seem not to qualify for the category "long poem"; indeed, it is neither long nor, strictly speaking, a single poem. Rather, it is a sequence of ten fairly short prose-poems. But, in the same way as Robert Kroetsch claimed the privilege ...

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Kristjana Gunnars' Carnival of Longing: A Passionate Reading

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pp. 161-172

THE FIRST ESSAY in Julia Kristeva's Tales of Love begins by claiming the writer's speechlessness in the face of a lover's discourse, "[n]omatter how far back my love memories go, I find it difficult to talk about them" (1). When she does attempt to articulate them, Kristeva uses words like "exaltation" and "erotics," "miraculous" and "delirium," words that turn into ...

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Accessing the Criminal Paradise in Dennis Cooley's Bloody Jack and Other Outlaw Fictions

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pp. 173-186

START AT A POINT far away, seemingly, from the Canadian long poem, although Wallace Stevens' "anecdote" does give an opportunity to view the problematics of violence and form in a surprisingly concentrated way. Stevens' jar recreates an outer landscape as inner space—Ondaatje's "W.S." holds "chaos" and "fences" in his head. The jar, ...


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pp. 189-190

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pp. 191-192

Reappraisals: Canadian Writers was begun in 1973 in response to a need for single volumes of essays on Canadian authors who had not received the critical attention they deserved or who warranted extensive and intensive reconsideration. It is the longest running series dedicated to the study of Canadian literary subjects. The annual symposium hosted by the Depart-...

E-ISBN-13: 9780776615509
E-ISBN-10: 0776615505
Print-ISBN-13: 9780776604831
Print-ISBN-10: 077660483X

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 1999

Volume Title: 21
Series Title: Reappraisals: Canadian Writers