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inexhaustible ironies in hyphenated Canadiana. Riley in his article recalls this coup while lacing his reminiscences with mind-boggling speculations. Of the eight writers featured in this volume only two, Henry Kreisel and Ulrich Schaffer, are still alive. Schaffer, some thirty years younger than Kreisel, appears then to represent the younger generation. Why, I asked myself, is there no article on Andreas Schroeder, if only to provide balance to the'anomaly' (p 144) of Schaffer? Schroeder, a German-born contemporary of Schaffer's, is a gifted author of essays, fiction, and poetry, and a talented translator. Many of the literary perspectives given here are shared by others in┬Ěthe 'Canadian mosaic.' The wider spectrum of 'ethnicity and the writer in Canada' has been opened up in Identification (ed Jars Balan, Edmonton 1981). Henry Kreisel's introductory paper there on 'The "ethnic" Writer in Canada' must be, in scope and sensitivity, among the best to date. It would make excellent compendium reading. The present volume is marred by uneven editing. Numerous inconsistencies , especially in the use of English translations for references and quotations in German, are bothersome. The total lack of English translations in Harry Loewen's essay will make this rambling paper almost useless to readers unfamiliar with German. (HARALD OHLENDORF) M.G. Vassanji, editor. A Meeting of Streams: South Asian Canadian Literature TSAR Publications. '45. $5.95 paper The acknowledgments introducing A Meeting of Streams explain that the volume grew out of the proceedings of a conference on South Asian Canadian Literature, and as in the publication of any conference proceedings, the quality of the essays is uneven. As the introduction points out, the volume itself represents a plethora of topics and viewpoints. It also raise several interesting questions. Despite its unpromising title, one of the most useful essays in the volume is Uma Pararneswaran's 'Ganga in the Assiniboine: Prospects for Indo-Canadian Literature.' The essay is a thoughtful piece that is helpful for both those who are familiar with Indo-Canadian literature and those who are not. The author points out what he sees as the strengths of the Indo-Canadian culture (poetry, songs, and dance) and then presents a down-to-earth evaluation of the progress that Indo-Canadian literature has made. The discussion abounds with aphoristic and sensible wisdom: ,An individual genius might certainlycome outof theblue; but the literary sensibility of a people is the result of slow evolution and cumulative effort.' He offers practical suggestions for encouraging literary and cultural growth: establishingand supporting Indo-Canadian newspapers and reviving the tradition of the literary page. 'Even aspiring writers HUMANITIES 241 might hesitate to contribute to community newspapers that seem to be read only for their advertisements. But community newspapers have a high circulation and the chances are that a good poem or story will be read and appreciated by more persons than if it is published in a "quality" journal.' The theme of time threads its way through the essay and the need for time in the maturing process of any literary development is one inescapable conclusion Parameswaran presents. 'Good literature needs a long gestation period, and we just haven't been here long enough.' But the author also touches on other reasons for the slow development of Indo-Canadian literature that are less philosophical. 'Yet another reason ... is the resistance of the publishing establishment.' Complementing this essay is another, written by Arun P. Mukherjee, that examines the poetry of Indo-Canadian literature. Mukherjee briefly sketches the problems facing the Indo-Canadian writer, and then proceeds to a very useful and discerning discussion of lesser-known Indo-Canadian poetry. She chooses authors worthy of discussion, and her evaluation of them is considered and mature. She does, however, exclude some of the best poets, because they are already well known. Nevertheless, her essay should whet the appetite of readers looking for new and solidly satisfying poetry. Several of the essays, like Surjeet Kalsey's 'Canadian Panjabi Uterature,' are informative and balanced, but they document the expected (the dominant themes in Canadian Panjabi Uterature are loneliness, alienation , and social concerns). Other essays like Frank Birbalsing's 'South Asian Canadian Novels in English' are more in the nature...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 240-241
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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