Context North America
Canadian-U.S. Literary Relations
Publication Year: 1994
Published by: University of Ottawa Press
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IN HIS INTRODUCTION to Studies on Canadian Literature: Introductory and Critical Essays (New York: MLA, 1990), editor Arnold E. Davidson discreetly alerts his public to "the temptation to create a unifying narrative." Differences, discontinuities, and privacies must be respected, as he suggests, and especially so in first encounters. Davidson accordingly provides ...
From Adam to Multi-Ethnic Cowboy: The New History, Politics, and Geography of North America in a Canadian-American Context
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WHEN the words "Context North America" first crossed my desk, the first thing that came to my mind was a group of twelve-year-old boys, hockey, and the border. Discussion of a topic like this invites one to break down borders that, once they are established, take on an ontological force. Passing from an ordinary hockey rink in Cornwall, Ontario, to a more sumptuous but still ordinary one in Massena, New York, one loses...
The Road Home: Meditation on a Theme
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RECENT developments in postcolonial theory have resulted in a return to one of the more traditional, even old-fashioned, areas of criticism: consideration of literary themes (see Obienchina). Analysis of theme becomes a way of foregrounding cultural features that arise in postcolonial countries and distinguish them from empire. Postcolonial thematic studies undertake to show how writers speak for their place, and ...
Two Nations Own These Islands: Border and Region in Pacific-Northwest Writing
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MASS culture has had no greater success in homogenizing nation states than in Canada and the United States. In reaction, literary critics in Canada have either ignored American literature, or developed comparisons implicitly accepting, or determined to disseminate, neat binaries of difference. I include ...
Dialectic Structures in Fiction of the Wests
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ROBERT KROETSCH, in an essay with the quizzical tide "Disunity as Unity: A Canadian Strategy," advances the idea of shared or assumed story as traditionally basic to nationhood and suggests that "the writing of particular narratives, within a culture, is dependent upon these meta-narratives" (21). His example is the United States, and it follows readily enough that the underlying "meta-narrative" of classic western ...
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FROM The Last of the Crazy People (rejected by Canadian publishers on the grounds that "these things don't happen in Canada"), through The Butterfly Plague, with its coast � la Nathanael West, to Famous Last Words, with its Ezra Pound connection, Timothy Findley's stories have often been said to have an unmistakably American air about them. Yet, I will argue, it is in his most "Canadian" novel that he comes closest to...
Victor-L�vy Beaulieu and the Qu�beckization of American Literature
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FOR THE SAKE of those who may not know his work, I should explain that Victor-L�vy Beaulieu has published about thirty books in the past twenty years, including novels, stage plays, scripts for radio and television, and long literary essays such as the two that will be the main focus of this paper: Jack Kerouac (1973) and the three-volume Monsieur Melville (1978). Beaulieu is ...
Literary Magazines and the Cosmopolitanism/Nationalism Debate in Canada
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"POETRY today," wrote A.J.M. Smith in 1936, "is written for the most part by people whose emotional and intellectual heritage is not a national one; it is either cosmopolitan or provincial, and for good or evil, the forces of civilization are rapidly making the latter scarce" (in Dudek and Gnarowski 39-40). Smith and several other young writers had been trying to hasten the decay of provincialism in English-Canadian...
Canadian Women Writers and American Markets, 1880–1940
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IN 1837, when Robert Southey told Charlotte Bront� that "literature cannot be the business of a woman's life, and it ought not to be" (Gaskell 173), he was attempting to deny a basic economic reality of his own day that would endure for a good century more: that literature, or to take it down a peg, writing, was just about the only business that a woman could engage in that could satisfy her economic needs without significantly...
Roughing It in Michigan and Upper Canada: Caroline Kirkland and Susanna Moodie
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IN HIS 1965 introduction to Caroline Kirkland's A New Home—Who'll Follow? (1839), William S. Osborne observes that, "probably, Mrs. Kirkland had no equals in her day in her particular area of writing"(24). That area of writing, the collection of loosely chronological sketches drawn from personal experience in a remote frontier environment and directed at a genteel, mostly female audience as an amusement and a ...
Alice Munro and the Anxiety of American Influence
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IN ONE of the interviews she gave when The Progress of Love (1986) had just been published, Alice Munro was asked—in the usual way of such occasions—about "the effects of other writers on" her. She replied, with typical directness: "Oh, writing makes my life possible, it always has. I started serious reading and writing at about the same time, during adolescence when my life was difficult, as everybody's is, and it still ...
Canada if Necessary...
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TEACHING the Canadian literatures has often posed a particular, if not always expressed, problem for me. The problem relates to the fact that students do not always, with the exception of nationalists, find Canadian as 'interesting' as American literature. Where are, it is often asked, our heroic adventures or sense of myth? Why no 'six-gun mystique' as opposed to the stoic passivity of the Mounties? Who escapes, or seems to ...
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Page Count: 174
Publication Year: 1994
Volume Title: 18
Series Title: Reappraisals: Canadian Writers