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c(stters in (anada• 0 I948 Edited by J. R. MAcGILLIVRAY T HE fourteenth annual survey of "Letters in Canada" follows the general plan of earlier years. Once more it has been found necessary to make a division and hold over the survey of French-Canadian and NewCanadian letters until the July issue. It is a ·matter of regret' that Professor J. C. Garrett who for several years has written a large part of the last section of the ·English survey has left the University and Canada. Some idea of how he is missed on the Quarterly may be gained from the fact that it has taken four of us to fill his place in this issue. Once more I would express thanks to publishers of Canadian books .for their friendly co-operation; to the University of Toronto Library for assistance; and to lv[iss Francess Halpenny, Assistant Editor of the University of Toronto Press, for preparing all the bibliographical lists except those for New-Canadian letters. PART I: ENGLISH-CANADIAN LETTERS I. POETRY E. K. BROWN. During the past two or three years the practising critics of Canadian poetry have been assailed by a few apologists for some of the younger poets. Two accusations have recurred. In one we are presented as so backward -looking that we have no awareness of the future. The future, it is said, will be scientific and collectivist. But the future will not be determined by science. Science does not make values. Values are in the custody of theologians, humanists, and artists. It is quite possible that the future will be collectivist in a degree that most of us on this continent find it difficult to conceive. Yet there is no reason for supposing that the arts as we have known them for millennia will perish or undergo such changes as would make them unrecognizable. They may be subject to persecution and distortion ; but the arts have met those ordeals before, and have not been ruined. Despite the powerlul impact on art of :the society in which it is created , the essential concern of art is wi1lh the humanity, not with the political and social framework of man. To suggest that collectivism will lead to a greater kind of art or an art essentially different from what we now have is mere dreaming. From the dreaming, as from dreaming about the restoration of Laval's Canada or Durham's, admirable poems may come, but it is no basis for a criticism. The apologists may not be aware of it, but what they are assailing in the practising critics is not a hostility to collectivism, or an unawareness of its nature, but a lack of enthusiastic belief in its necessity and beauty. 254 ...


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