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174 LETTERS IN CANADA 1991 colony with empire. Duncan is clearly pro-colony in her writing, advocating practical independence in everyday affairs; yet the British Empire with its civilizing mission has something of value to bring to the colony: the two must work together. Duncan uses marriage to illustrate necessary and ideal co-operation; there are three such pairings in The Imperialist. There is a problem with Dean's argument at this point. The marriages represent resolution and alliance, but Christie Cameron, Hugh Finlay, and Arthur Hesketh (the representatives of the imperial centre) are rapidly becoming Canadian, experiencing a transformation as each recognizes the larger possibilities of the new land; Hugh Finlay sees in Advena 'his idea [of Canada] incarnate.' The gains of the immigrants are apparent - freedom, larger possibilities. But what have Advena, Dr Drummond, and Dora gained? Might not the marriages suggest an acceptance by the immigrant of Canadian ideals? While strained at times, however, Dean's interpretation of marriage as metaphor is useful; the idealism implied by the metaphor is a quality needed to link colonial outpost with imperial centre: 'The reality of marriages between characters in the novels offers a way to reconcile central principles with the places and peoples on the margins of the Empire.' As defined by Dean, Duncan's idealism permits a 'different perspective' on the split between romance and realism, colony and empire. Like her subject, Dean becomes a mediator, taking the stance of the colonial feminist to mend the rifts between the various interpretations of Duncan's writing. (ELIZABETH THOMPSON) Alan R. Young, editor. Time and Place: The Life and Works of Thomas H. Radda/1 Acadiensis Press. 200. $16.95 paper At the end of this book, Clara Thomas quotes what she calls a 'cautionary tale' from Raddall's memoir, In My Time. He describes, with no shortage of such words as 'patronizing,' 'pretentious,' and 'always boring,' a symposium on Canadian literature some thirty-five years ago. Academics are an easy target for this sort of criticism, and they are usually highly conscious of their vulnerability to such charges, especially the last; no doubt at the symposium at which these papers were delivered, there was a nervous, self-deprecating titter among those present when the passage was read. Clara Thomas suggests that Raddall's words 'provide a salutary sort of corrective to some of our more high-flown and jargon-ridden flights.' It is an unfortunate ending to a book of which, otherwise, Alan R. Young has reason to be proud. There are papers here which challenge our accepted understandings of Raddall, and which do so with remarkably little that is 'high-flown and jargon-ridden'; there are others which are HUMANffiES 175 more down-to-earth, not to say pedestrian. Composed ·of papers originally prepared for the first Thomas H. Raddall symposium at Acadia University in 1990, the book comes close to justifying its claim to include 'a broadly representative group of literary critics and historians.' The book doesn't need its concluding panel to suggest new approaches and directions. If the reader is not stimulated by the papers in this volume to go back to Raddall's books and to look forward to further work by these critics, then the rather predictable recommendations of the panel for more textual and biographical work will not provide that stimulation. The best work in this volume is that which illuminates not Raddall only. Thus, the papers which stick in the memory are those that tease readers to think further about romance (Elizabeth Waterston), or the assumptions and biases of Canadian critics (Alan Young). Helen Buss's article convinces us of the 'rich vein of possibility in our literature' as she gives voice to the social vision of the Canadian heroine of consciousness. The historian Barry Moody, writing of 'The Novelist as Historian,' makes us think of the various ways in which we identify and define ourselves through history, by omission, by exclusion, by anticipation of a golden future, by lament for a golden past - defined by a golden age never, tellingly, realized in either history or fiction. Moody's paper complements that of Chris Ferns, who uses J.G. Farrell not...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 174-175
Launched on MUSE
2017-05-25
Open Access
No
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