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486 LEITERS IN CANADA 1982 but by no means remarkable writer. Indeed, the best of his writing seems to have gone into his letters, and he had an enviable capacity to draw out important statements from those to whom he wrote. Clara Thomas and John Lennox have produced from all this a highly readable, well-researched book which gives a vivid picture of Canadian literary journalism between 1920 and 1960 but which, perhaps inevitably, remains just slightly out of focus. However, they bring to Deacon much of the enthusiasm and sense of purpose that he displayed so strongly himself. Yet one cannot help being puzzled at times. The series of illustrations of parents and relatives suggests a Victorian 'life and letters' in a way that makes us think twice about the eminence of the subject. At times, the archive seems to take over, and the long letters from people varying from Thomas Raddall to Grey Owl, though faSCinating in themselves , seem to have crept in from another book. Again, we sometimes get correspondence (from the Deacon colledion) arising out of reviews and causeries that are not themselves reproduced, and this results in a somewhat blurred effect. Thomas and Lennox doubtless wished (properly) to interest as wide a range of readership as pOSSible, and so far as the man is concerned they have succeeded. Those (probably a minority) who want to learn more about Deacon himself will discover a rich hoard; those who read the book for reasons of literary history will certainly be illuminated; those who are interested in the 'old-age insurance' itself will be titillated but occasionally frustrated. I wish, for example, that we had been offered an appendix with some basic information about the contents of the collection. And if two or three more pages had been allowed for the index, scholars would have been aided immeasurably. In the final analysis , however, it is absurd to be so picky. Although the subject cannot rival Elspeth Cameron's biography of Hugh MacLennan, which the University of Toronto Press produced the previous year, this is an equally handsome volume and will prove indispensable to students of Canadian literature as it developed during the first half of this century. (w.). KEITH) Evelyn J. Hinz, editor. Beyond Nationalism. The Canadian Literary Scene in Global Perspective Mosaic special issue 14:2 (Spring 1981). xi, 188. $14.95; $10.00 paper An old debate in Canadian letters sets nationalists against cosmopolitans, but any national literature, considered in local terms as expressing the imagination of a people, is nationalistic. To look 'beyond nationalism' is to explore the literary boundaries that limit, define, sustain, or confine the specifically national. The Spring 1981 issue of Mosaic offers a series of skirmishes and treaties along the border. Each essay establishes a point of contact outside Canada, which it uses to explain and assess Canadian themes, attitudes, and practices. Many offer comparisons with authors from the United States: Kroetsch and Pyncheon, Leacock and American humorists, Mitchell and Cather. Others examine the Canadian treatment of larger traditions, conventions, and genres: modernism, Judaism , romance, picaresque and travel narratives, photography. One essay considers the influence of Maritain on Callaghan and Robert Charbonneau . Three others are somewhat different. A prologue by Robert Kroetsch seems oddly detached from the essays it introduces. Robertson Davies recalls the books he admired. R.D. MacDonald argues that Malcolm Lowry treats Canada as a symbolic, spiritual landscape and pays little attention to the social and physical setting. The prevailing antagonism in this essay hints that in so far as Lowry was distant from Canada he was deficient as a writer. Several essays at once explore and illustrate the combined fascination and disapproval of America that pervades Canadian cultural criticism. America plays the delinquent to Canadian maturity. Sherrill Grace, arguing from the example of only two novels, shows the American mind entangled in ever greater, though lively, uncertainty, whereas the Canadian , as displayed in Kroetsch's Badlands, 'has greater faith in the world and the human process of naming it.' Beverly Rasporich describes humour in Leacock as 'sophisticated, pensive, literary and decorous' as well as genteel, patriarchal, and un-American. Michael Greenstein examines the portraits of ghetto and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 486-488
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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