Каминяр Дмитрий Генаддьевич: другие произведения.

The Face of Canadian Fiction: Annotated Bibliography

"Самиздат": [Регистрация] [Найти] [Рейтинги] [Обсуждения] [Новинки] [Обзоры] [Помощь|Техвопросы]
Конкурсы романов на Author.Today
Творчество как воздух: VK, Telegram
 Ваша оценка:

   Dmitri Kaminiar
   Student #995059083
   25 July 2010
   Annotated Bibliography
   Prof. Robert McFarlane
   When one is looking at a site that promotes modern Canadian fiction, one tends to see titles such "Headhunter", which talks about Kurtz from Joseph Conrad's novel "Heart of Darkness" becoming free in Toronto, or "High Chicago", which talks about crimes in Chicago. Conversely, one may find a work such as "Edith's War" that is a historical fiction, or "Late Night on Air" that takes place in a rugged wilderness instead, a romantic story. One may find many titles of fine and interesting books on a modern Canadian fiction website, but never one that shows the cities in a positive light and is fiction. Therefore, this essay will explain how that state of affairs could have come into being, by examining several novels from the Canadian history.
   Annotated Bibliography:
   1. Baird, Irene. Waste Heritage. 1939. Toronto: The Armae Press Limited, 1939. Print
   Written about the Great Depression - the years of 1930s - in Canada, Irene Baird's novel Waste Heritage was one of the first novels to open the theme of civil inequality in Canada; it also talked about the evil of the cities. Both Aschelon and Gath, the fictional stand-ins for the cities of British Columba, Victoria and Vancouver, are shown as grimy and dirty, unpleasant and unwholesome and potentially evil - certainly Matt and Eddy come to unpleasant ends by the end of the novel. Put otherwise, Irene Baird examined the rural/urban dichotomy of the Canadian culture, including literature, and used this study in her novel to present the urban Canada as something corrupt and evil, almost gothically, supernaturally so.
   Nevertheless, Waste Heritage is not as revolutionary as it may appear in comparison with the other pieces of fiction, both Canadian and overseas. The British author George Orwell wrote a similarly negative urban work, Down and Out in Paris and London, when he examines the aspects of European cities in a light no better than that of Irene Baird though in a far less gothic manner. Furthermore, another Canadian author, Stephen Leacock, wrote the pair of anthologies, Sunshine Sketches and Arcadian Adventures, in which he too used gothic imagery (in the second work), but he also involved patriotism in his works, a feature that is not as prominent in Waste Heritage.
   However, patriotism aside, Waste Heritage of Irene Baird clearly deals with Canada of the Depressive Thirties, post-WWI time period. Her characters are true to the type of people who had inhabited Canada in that time and the novel is realistic, some gothic tendencies aside. Therefore, it is safe to say that Waste Heritage truthfully shows us the life of Canada in the 1930s, both the uglier realities of those times, and the better sides of human nature, though those ones are rarer.
   2. Brand, Dionne. What We All Long For. 2005. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2005. Print
   The book of Dionne Brand creates a complete turn-around when compared to the novel of Irene Baird, Waste Heritage. The former was all about the "British" Canada, reaching the peak in Gath, a Canadian town that tried to be more British than the British were, and the latter does not have any main Anglo-Canadian characters, instead using characters of African and Asian roots.
   Nevertheless, while the characters are different, the background settings are similar - they are the urban landscape, and that urban landscape is rather gothic in spirit and hard in character. The characters of Dionne Brand have different hardships than those of Irene Baird, but all the same, their lives are not easy, and often miserable, and they do have distant kinship in spirit with each other.
   3. Classic Canadian Fiction. Web. 25 July 2010. < http://classic-canadian-fiction.suite101.com/>
   A matching website to Modern Canadian Fiction, this place on Web shows a demonstration of some the literature pieces considered that are considered classics by Canadians today. Curiously but no unexpectedly, not one of them shows a Canadian city in a flattering light, and most of them are set in the past, or overseas, even during a war, but not in Canada, which is surprising, considering that they were written by Canadian authors.
   Of course, there are answers to these queries, and one of them is that the Canadian authors have certain negative traditions about the cities, especially the Canadian ones, and the other is that there is a long tradition of fiction about both wars and history, not necessarily only Canada's. The Classic Canadian Fiction website deals with both of these traditions, as does its matching website, Modern Canadian Fiction.
   4. Frye, Northrop. "Conclusion from Literary History of Canada." Canadian Writing Today (1970): 312-323. Aylesbury: Hazell Watson & Viney Ltd., 1970. Print
   Northrop Frye explains why Canadian literature is the way it is, tending to focus in the country's wild or at least rural areas rather than the urban. His essay is distinctively non-fictional and clear-cut, although also long-winded at the same time. Northrop Frye explains how the roots of Canada's literary tradition lie in its social and political history, in the country's development and the early societies of the first European immigrants (the ancestors of WASPs from the novels of Irene Baird and John Marlyn), whose lifestyles influences their distant descendants writing styles in the future centuries.
   5. Leacock, Stephen. Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. Ed. Carl Spadoni. Peterborough: Broadview Press Ltd., 2002. Print
   This work of Stephen Leacock talks about Mariposa, a little town in the backwater parts of the province of Ontario in the pre-WWI period. It is one of the earlier pieces of Canada's fiction after it became politically independent in 1867, and as such, it is full of patriotism that is also aimed at strengthening times with the British empire of the time (especially the last chapters on the elections).
   Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is undoubtedly a rural piece of Canadian fiction - as such, it contains plenty of positive messages and messages of the traditional values. Even if some of the citizens of Mariposa do not fully reflect them - they still are considerably better and more humane than their urban counterparts from the Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich. The theme of this short story collection lacks any gothic connotations; in fact, the collection's name defines the distinctively bright - almost solar - mood and the natural wholeness of Canada's countryside. It is also very likely that to Stephen Leacock that natural wholeness was closely related to what he believed were the better qualities of life in Canada and he demonstrated that in Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town.
   6. ---. Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich. 1914. Toronto: Bell & Cockburn, 1914. Print
   Alongside its abovementioned counterpart, Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich shows the rural/urban dichotomy that existed at least in the conception of Stephen Leacock and which manifested itself via these two collections of short stories. In many ways, these two collections are direct opposites of each other, both by the standards of rural/urban dichotomy and by any other. Set in USA, as opposed to Canada, Arcadian Adventures demonstrate the complete opposition to Sunshine Sketches.
   Besides the fact that the city in which Arcadian Adventures take place is located in the US, (a country with which Canada had had some very tense relations pre-WWI), the city itself is nameless, as opposed to Mariposa that at least has a name. In other words, this means that in Stephen Leacock's perception, any of the main cities of the US could be a prototype of the background setting in Arcadian Adventures. In addition, also means that to Leacock cities were not very Canadian or patriotic, unlike the smaller towns, like Mariposa.
   7. Marlyn, John. Under the Ribs of Death. 1957. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1957, 1964. Print
   The book of John Marlyn is one of the best pieces of Canadian fiction. It deals with the trials and ambitions of a young immigrant from Hungary as he tries to achieve success in this new world, as he perceives it. Eventually - and unavoidably - he fails, but even as he does that, his author creates a very realistic world of urban Canadian life in the late 1920s. Under the Ribs of Death also demonstrates the author's attitudes towards the urban Canadian life of that time, as well as his opinions of the Canadian urban society, whose members he describes very carefully, creating at the same time a dichotomy between them and Shandor's immigrant family.
   Unlike Irene Baird's novel Waste Heritage, Under the Ribs of Death takes place in the 1920s, ending just as the Great Depression begins properly. In addition, whereas Irene Baird talked only about the Anglo-Canadians (and thus differentiated between the different strata of the Canadian society, implying that the Anglo-Canadians began to turn onto themselves as the 1930s went on), John Marlyn talks about the new Canadians, the immigrants from Europe, and especially Eastern Europe and the like. Here the Anglo-Canadians are seen once more in the negative light, they are oppressors of the new immigrants, and their ideals are hollow: when the market crash comes, Shandor's new Anglo-Canadian friends are just as helpless as he is. By contrast, Shandor's old family, the new immigrants who never broke their ties with their old values that are rural (many of the immigrants from Eastern Europe were from villages or smaller towns rather than big cities), are going on fine.
   Thus, one can say that John Marlyn continues Irene Baird's tradition of emphasizing the urban part of the rural/urban dichotomy, but because he now focuses on the new immigrants, rather than the settled-down Anglo-Canadians, his novel is somewhat less patriotic than the former - but it is just as gothic as Waste Heritage or Arcadian Adventures, and just as urban.
   8. Modern Canadian Fiction. Web. 25 July 2010.
   This site offers a `cross-section' of modern Canadian fiction, including such that can be classified as urban, and thus demonstrates the contemporary literary attitudes regarding Canada. It contains historical fiction and romances, it contains both rural and urban novels - and the urban novels, as a rule, are mystery stories or anything related to that, much darker in tone than the rural novels, which are usually romances.
   Together with the site on Classic Canadian Fiction, this site offers a brief tour of the books that the Canadian audience likes to read and that the Canadian authors write. Just as Stephen Leacock, Irene Baird or John Marlyn before them, the modern Canadian authors write about the cities in largely negative, and the countryside - wild or rural - in a largely positive light. Since this website shows the modern Canadian fiction, this means that some of the thematic tendencies in Canadian literature had changed relatively little, and the essay will explain as to why.
   9. Moore, Brian. Fergus. 1970. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1970. Print
   The novel Fergus is an urban novel - the setting is in Hollywood, and it is gothic, even supernatural, for the main protagonist's father returns as a ghost and begins to solicit advice to his son. Yet Fergus is also rather realistic in showing how the titular character deals with the challenges of his life such as paying alimony to his ex-wife and adapting his work into a movie script. Such features make Fergus into yet another urban novel, not unlike those of Irene Baird, John Marlyn or even Dionne Brand, where the life in cities is shown as grimy, unpleasant and superficial.
   10. ---. Life World Library: Canada. 1963. Canada: Time Inc., 1963. Print
   The book of Brian Moore serves as a hook to the essay; with its poignant chapter titles, such as "The Land God Gave to Cain' or "The Immigrant Tide", it helps to identify the Canadian attitude of the earlier half of the 20th century. It also is a non-fictive literary counterpart to the various works of fiction used in this essay. It also mentions a dichotomy - people, who would exploit Canada as opposed to those who would settle it, a mobile/immobile dichotomy of Canadian society that eventually would become the rural/urban dichotomy of Canadian fiction, though not how Brian Moore probably perceived it to be.
   11. Morris, Jan. City to City. 1990. Toronto: Macfarlane Walter & Ross, 1990. Print
   Just like the work of Nina Nelson, the collection of essays by Jan Morris deals with various cities of Canada and discusses their `characters'. This book provides an important alternate point of view of Canadian cities in literature, for the descriptions there are clearly not gothic, and thus it too makes one wonder why Canadian urban fiction often manifests in the darker side of things.
   12. Nelson, Nina. Canada. 1980. London: Redwood Burn Ltd., Trowbridge & Esher, 1980. Print
   Just like the work of Jan Morris, Nina Nelson talks about the Canadian cities from coast to coast. Unlike the authors of fiction, whether Irene Baird or Dionne Brand, her cities are clearly non-gothic and are presented in the positive light whenever possible.
   Conversely, however, Nina Nelson still uses rural imagery to influence the positive vein of her book; unlike a work of literary fiction, Canada does not create the negative imagery of any city, but there is still a definite distinction between rural and urban, between the countryside and the city, the only thing lacking are the gothic themes.
   Just like Michael Ondaatje, Nina Nelson shows that a book on Canadian cities does not have to be negative, even if it is dichotomic, and in decreasing the negative emphasis on the urban part of the dichotomy, it creates a more balanced world of a literary Canada and makes both the rural and the urban parts of it more realistic.
   13. Ondaatje, Michael. In the Skin of a Lion. 1987. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 1996. Print
   This novel written by Michael Ondaatje covers most of the pre-WWII Canadian history, but although it is urban, it is nowhere as depressive or negative as the novels of Irene Baird or John Marlyn. It provides several varied points of view and it is not fixed, but moves from place to place, creating a wider image of Canadian life (and literature) of those times.
   Another difference from the earlier novels such as Waste Heritage or Under the Ribs of Death is the better balance of Michael Ondaatje's novel: in it, the rural life is not always perfect and the urban is not always terrible. Put otherwise, such clichИs are still clearly present in In the Skin of a Lion, they have become lesser, making thus the two parts of Canada's dichotomy more balanced with each other.
   Finally, In the Skin of a Lion differs in its treatment of the new Canadian immigrants (although still from Europe, as opposed to the Asians and Africans of Dionne Brand): abhorred in Under the Ribs of Death, here they are treated much fairer. This shows the changes in Canada outside of the literary boundaries and that the non-WASP-related immigrants are becoming more prominent and more accepted in Canada's social world as well.
   14. ---. The English Patient. 1993. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 1993. Print
   This novel is an impromptu sequel to In the Skin of a Lion, re-introducing Caravaggio and Hana, and it talks about Canada's involvement in WWII. Like the other novel of Michael Ondaatje, it provides varied points of view and different insights on the `Canadian situation' during the years of war. What is more important, however, is that it takes place not in a city, but in an abandoned villa outside of it, thus continuing the rural/urban dichotomy of Canadian fiction and its tradition of historical and military fiction.
   In some ways, The English Patient is a typically Canadian book, but because it deals with Canadian people overseas and their participation in the WWII. However, it also tries to distance itself from the rural/urban dichotomy of Canadian fiction, as well as to illustrate the increasing internationalism of Canada and the rest of the world, and it succeeds on both counts.
   15. Pacey, Desmond. "Fiction 1920-1940." Literary History of Canada: Canadian Literature in English 2 (1965): 41-58. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965. Print
   This chapter in from a longer work provides an important overview of the Canadian fiction in the first half of the 20th century and conceptualizes the potential troubles that plague Canadian literature even today, including the urban genre. Desmond Pacey talks at lengths about historical fictions and romantic idylls that constitute the bulk of Canada's fiction in 1920s-1940s and tries to differentiate between them and other works of literary genre.
   The work of Desmond Pacey helps to lay down the groundwork rules that are used to write Canadian fiction even now; the website of Modern Canadian Fiction shows this clearly, and once Desmond Pacey's work is read, it becomes clearer still.
   16. Ross, Sinclair. The Lamp at Noon and Other Stories. 1968. Toronto: McClelland & Steward Ltd., 1968. Print
   This collection of short stories demonstrates the negative sides of life in rural Canada and contrasts sharply with the classical depiction of rural - or wild - Canada in Canadian literature. The short stories in The Lamp at Noon are written in the same realistic-gothic vein as the urban novels of other Canadian authors of the time, such as Irene Baird or John Marlyn, making one realize that their depictions of the harsh Canadian cities might be skewed.
   The characters of Sinclair Ross are often depicted as Anglo-Canadians as well, instead of immigrants, something that relates him to Irene Baird as well. His short stories are clearly Canadian in spirit, but they are also Anglo-Canadian, unlike those of the much later authors, such as Michael Ondaatje or Dionne Brand, even John Marlyn.
   Sinclair Ross helps to create an opposite picture of Canada during the 1930s as opposed to the Waste Heritage of Irene Baird's, who makes the countryside appear wholesome and attractive as opposed to the cities. Sinclair Ross, however, shows that that was not so back then, and shows a sharp exception to the assumptions of Desmond Pacey, who claims that nothing worthwhile was written about Canadian prairies other than romances.
   17. Roy, Gabrielle. The Road Past Altamont. 1966. Toronto: McClelland & Steward Ltd., 1989. Print
   This novella is a tale of a young girl, whose life alternates between urban and rural settings. This novel discusses Canadian way of life in the early 20th century and helps to drive home the idea that to seek true enlightenment one needs to leave the city and travel along the countryside. That idea fits neatly into the ideas of Northrop Frye regarding the rules of Canadian fiction and certainly emphasizes them as well.
   18. Sime, J.G. Sister Woman. Ed. Sandra Campbell. Ottawa: The Tecumseh Press, 2004. Print
   This is a collection of short stories that deal with the life of women in Canadian cities, set in a tone that matches most of Sime's contemporary authors, yet it is different from them by dealing primarily with women, not men, and showing signs of a more optimistic view of Canadian life that includes urbanism in the future. However, just as Nina Nelson's non-fiction book on Canadian cities, J.G. Sime's urban world either acquires rural-like qualities when it appears more positive, or it does not, and in that case, it appears just as negative as the cities perceived by Irene Baird, John Marlyn, or even Dionne Brand.
   19. Urban Fiction. Web. 25 July 2010. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_fiction>
   A relatively short and concise summary as to what urban fiction actually is, as opposed to something that is `rural fiction' or fiction that takes place in a wilderness.
   20. Wiseman, Adele. Crackpot. 1974. Toronto: McClelland & Steward Ltd., 1978. Print
   This novel continues the theme set by J.G. Sime and discusses further, how women are used to emphasize the negative aspects of Canada's urban life and literary tradition. Moreover, Adele Wiseman's heroine is a prostitute, a character that seems to emphasize some of the negative urban connotations in Canadian literature. Yet, because her character is quite likeable and sympathetic, it challenges some of the old Canadian literary clichИs, just as Dionne Brand's novel What We All Long For does.
 Ваша оценка:

Связаться с программистом сайта.

Новые книги авторов СИ, вышедшие из печати:
Э.Бланк "Пленница чужого мира" О.Копылова "Невеста звездного принца" А.Позин "Меч Тамерлана.Крестьянский сын,дворянская дочь"

Как попасть в этoт список
Сайт - "Художники" .. || .. Доска об'явлений "Книги"