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LETTERS l!N CANADA: 1948 263 36 pp.). ]AQUES (EDNA), Hills of home (Toronto, A11en, xii, 80 pp., $1.25). JosEPH (A. C.), AJ... PAT pseud., Roger: a collection of verse & yarns from "the troops"; pt. 2 (Toronto, the author, 304 Brunswick Ave., 1947, 46 pp., SOc.). KLEIN (A. M.), The rocking chair and other poems (Toronto, Rye.rson, viii, 56 pp., $2.25). LACEY (G. M.), On reeds from Niso's stream (Boston, Bruce Humphries; Toronto, Ryerson, 88 pp., $2.75). LAYTON (IRVING), Now is the place (New writers series, no. 6; Montreal, First Statement, 58 pp., $1.25). LE PJ\N (DouGLAS), The wounded prince and other poems; introduction by C. DAY LEWIS (London, Eng., Ghatta & Windus; Toronto, Oxford, viii, 39 pp., $1.50). MACKAY (L. A.), The ill-tempered lover and other poems (Toronto, Macmillan, viii, 72 pp., $2.00). NEEDLER (G. H.), The Battleford column: versified memories of a Queen's Own corporal in the Northwest Rebellion, 1885 (Montreal, Provincial Publishing Co., 92 pp., ill.). RuARK (FLETCHER), Mosaic and other poems (Walkerville, Ont., the author, Box 106, x, 157 pp.). RYERSON POETRY CHAP-BOOKSJ The bitter fruit and other poems, by M. E. CouLBY (8 pp., 60c.); Figure in the rain, by GENEVIEVE BARTOLE (7 pp., SOc.); Midwinter thaw, by LENO:RE PRATT (12 pp., 60c.); Myssium, by A. N. LEVINE (8 pp., 60c.); New York nocturnes, by ARTHUR. .STRINGER ( 12 pp., 75c.); Not without beauty, by J. A. B. McLEISH (8 pp., 60c.) (Toronto, Ryerson). SJ\SKATCHEWAN PoETRY SociETY, The Saskatchewan poetry book, 1948-49 (Reg.ina, the Society, 2514A, 15th Ave., 39 pp.). SMITH (A. J. M.) ed., The book of Canadian poetry: a critical and historical anthology; rev. ed. (Chicago, University of Chicago Press; Toronto, Gage, xxiv, 487 pp., $5.00). SMITH (NoRMJ\), The hill and far away (Halifax, Imperial Publishing Co., 60 pp., 75c.). TUPPER (C. A.), The gleaming edge; with a foreword .by THEODORE GooDRIDGE RoBERTS (Foxboro, Ont., the author, Box 45, 1947, 39 pp., $1.00). Wl:IALLEY (GEORGE), No man an island (Toronto, Clarke Irwin, viii, 72 pp., $1.50). II. FICTION CLAUDE T. BISSELL By reason of his first two books, Mr. Hugh MacLennan had firmly .established himself as one of the more impressive contemporary Canadian nove]ist.s. Although I do not think that Mr. MacLennan's third novel, The PrecipiceJ which appeared in 1948, will add to his stature, it demands extended comment n only for the insight it gives us into the development of a serious and intelligent writer. In many ways, The Precipice is Mr. MacLennan's most involved and elaborately designed novel. His first novel, Barometer Rising, leaned heavily upon a plot that was ingenious but rather transparently contrived. In his second novel, Two Solitudes, the emphasis changed, broadly speaking, from plot to theme. Here Mr. MacLennan was concerned with the conflict between two races; he was trying to write a sort of twentieth-century parable that would supply an answer to Lord Durham's famous indictment of the "two nations warring in the bosom of a sing]e state." In his latest novel, Mr. MacLennan is, if anything, more concerned with theme, or more accurately, with a set of ideas, than he was in Two Solitudes. From the point of view of pure story-telling, The Precipice is the least successful, the least adroitly sustained, of Mr. MacLennan's three novels. We have nothing, for instance, to match the splendid first part of Two Solitudes, the moving story of Athanase Tallard's struggle to achieve a 264 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY reconciliation between hls ancestral heritage and his realistic acceptance of the new age. Reduced to its simplest elements, The Precipice is the story, familiar alike to movie-goer and to reader of magazine fiction, of how the small-town girl is wooed by the glamorous hero from the big city, of how they are married, and of how their marriage follows the common pattern of early rapture, of mounting tension, and of eventual reconciliation . But a summary of plot is rarely fair to the work of any novelist, and certainly it is not fair to The Precipice. For, as I have...


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