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HUMANITIES 239 and Ruth Major Lapierre analyses the effects of American soap operas on the francophone radio and television listener/viewer. Jean-Fran~ois Gauvin and Didier Lenglare examine carefully the major problem of us domination of the movie screen in Quebed Canada, much in the news these past few months, and Quebec's 'Bill 109: which was supposed to curb this same hegemony but was'put on hold' by the outgoing Parti quebecois government. (The new Bourassa regime hasyet to express itself unequivocally on the issue.) The above articles on non-literary artistic forms offer much food for thought, and establish implicit links with the texts by Ross and De la Garde, Yvan Lamonde, and Andre Joyal in Les Rapports culturels ... Both publications reviewed here raise questions whiclI will be on the Canadian/Quebec agenda for some time to come. (B.-Z. SHEK) Walter E. Riedel, editor. The Old World and the New: Literary Perspectives of German-speaking Canadians. University of Toronto Press 1984. viii, 191. $19.95 'The main figures of what is loosely referred to as German-Canadian literature' (p 6) are introduced in nine essays, eight on individual authors, one a survey of Mennonite literature. A canon is thus stipulated, the criteria of which remain vague, though they seem derived from the familiar amalgam ofCanLitsurvivalism (theessayon ElseSeel), immigrant experiences (F.P. Grove, Walter Bauer, UlriclI SclIaffer, Hermann B6schenstein ), and two notions of exile, a more general one exemplified by the Mennonites and the more specifically political one embodied by writers such as Henry Kreisel, Carl Weiselberger, and Charles Wassermann . A selection criterion seems to have been that the writers tangibly thematize in their work a here-and-now/then-and-there reflexivity while at the same time remaining 'faithful' to their European heritage. There is an almost missionary urgency of tone in some of these papers, whiclI undercuts the laudable intent to introduce these writers to a larger audience. Walter Riedel, the editor, appeals to his fellow Germanists to rally to the cause of German-Canadiana. This tone is most clearly heard in the essays by Symington (on Else Seel), Riedel (on Carl Weiselberger), and Liddell (on UlriclI SclIaffer). When it is avoided, as in the case of Hess's study on Walter Bauer, Seliger's on Charles Wassermann, and Arnold's on Hermann B6schenstein, the presentations sound more persuasive and are more readable. It is a blessing for all future historians of German-Canadian Literature that they have to accommodate the case of F.P. Grove/Greve, whose split identity D.O. Spettigue unveiled with suclI irreverent respect and ironic care some thirteen years ago. His book drew attention to the near- 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...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 239-240
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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