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Title: Review of 'Literary History of Canada: Canadian Literature in English' and 'The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse in English and French'
Contributor(s): Ryan, John S  (author)
Publication Date: 1968
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Abstract: This one-volume literary history is monumental, being the major effort of a large group of scholars to provide a comprehensive reference work on Canadian literature in English. Although the main attention is given to poetry, fiction, and belles-lettres, opportunity is also taken to discuss sub-literature and applied writing, folk-tale, Canadian English, Canadian publishing, the work of historians and naturalists, philosophers and theologians. This breadth of subject is a wise choice, since it shows how Canada's best writing has reflected many local, national, and universal matters. The conclusion, which comments upon and draws together the forty chapters, is by Northrop Frye who shows his competence in a field not normally associated with his name, at least in international English letters. Unlike such historians as W. L. Morton, Professor Frye is less concerned with the Turnerian theory of frontier in the functioning of the imagination. He sees the British connexion as midwife to Canadian nationhood and intellectual maturity. The lack of a Canadian writer of universal acclaim is perhaps due to the unique northern quality of the life, a (mental) climate governed by a strong seasonal rhythm, a hinterland explored from the metropolis, for every Canadian psyche.
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: Modern Language Review, 63(3), p. 695-697
Publisher: Modern Humanities Research Association
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0026-7937
Field of Research (FOR): 200506 North American Literature
220401 Christian Studies (incl Biblical Studies and Church History)
220207 History and Philosophy of the Humanities
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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