Survival: a thematic guide to Canadian literature
"'Survival' is the most startling book ever written about Canadian literature. It is...a book of criticism, a manifesto, and a collection of personal and subversive remarks. Margaret Atwood begins by asking: 'what have been the central preoccupations of our poetry and fiction?' Her answer is twofold: 'survival and victims.' Atwood applies this thesis in twelve brilliant, witty and impassioned chapters. From Moodie to MacLennan to Blais, from Pratt to Purdy to Newlove, from Godfrey to Gibson, she lights up familiar books in wholly new perspectives." The themes are: survival; nature the monster; animal victims; early people (indians and eskimos); ancestral totems (explorers and settlers); family portrait: masks of the bear; failed sacrifices (the reluctant immigrant); the casual incident of death; the paralyzed artist; ice women vs. earth mothers; Quebec: burning mansions; and, jail-breaks and recreations.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - jtho - LibraryThing
I was required to read selections of Atwood's study on Canadian literature as part of my own CanLit classes. At the time, I found the book dry. Years later, I read the book as a whole and loved it ... Read full review
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A. J. M. Smith A. M. Klein American animal stories artist authors Beautiful Losers become Birney Bissett Brebeuf Bush Garden Canada Canadian literature Canadian Poetry Canadian writers Chapter characters Civil Elegies coffin culture David dead death E. J. Pratt Earle Birney English Canadian escape exploration F. R. Scott fact failure feel Felix fiction film Five Legs French Canadian Graeme Grandfather Grandparents hero hostile House human images immigrants Indians interest James Reaney John Newlove killed kind land landscape Last Spike Library List Literary live look Macmillan magazine Margaret mother motif Mountain Mounties Nature Northrop Frye novel Ontario P.O. Box pattern Philibert play Poets Position Four Position Three Pratt Press protagonist publishers Purdy Quebec Riel says Selected Poems Seton settlers snow society Stone Angel Street survival symbol theme there's things tradition trapped University victim vision woman