Robert Stead's novel, Grain, as a textual experience, is extraordinarily ambiguous: at times it provides a strong sense of realism, but it provides so much in addition that realism is in no way its central effect. The "high" narrative language operates as a critique of the characters; it is a language which excludes and judges them. This narrative language draws the reader into an identification with the narrator and not with the characters whom this language appears to invest with realistic detail of action, reflection, and dialogue.
In the most Lurianic section of A.M. Klein's The Second Scroll, Melech claims to have read Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling in terms of "magical circles" (inspired by the Neo-platonic circle of emanation) which symbolize the process of exile and redemption. Melech argues that there is a logic in his reading of Michelangelo's ceiling which leads from despair to hope; this logic is ultimately replaced by faith.
Works of realism can, by displacing or parodying patterns of romance, acquire access to mythic levels of human experience. Margaret Laurence, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Sara Jeanette Duncan, and L.M. Montgomery exploit the device of parallel plots and multiple endings to contrast the proper roles for the "old time" and the "new" heroine. Texts discussed include The Imperialist, Anne of Green Gables, Lady Oracle, A Bird in the House, and Lives of Girls and Women.
In Margaret Atwood's poetry, the reader is understood to be a transmitter as well as a receiver; the voice of the poem seems to assert that the reader, a nonpoet, is completely capable of "rare vision." With Atwood's verse, the language of poetry, imagistic and associative, has been fashioned to imitate the rhythms of discursive language; however, the content concerns percepts instead of concepts and evokes imagism, not ideas. Atwood's poetry is ideogrammatic and reader-involving.
Consciousness of a large, essential life force at the core of one's being seems basic to Duncan Campbell Scott's poetry. Appearing virtually in every context of his writing as its inspiration, such an experiential awareness of fundamental life reveals itself as being compelling and fulfilling, personal and intimate, unsettling and mysterious. Investigating the compelling and fulfilling quality of this transcendent encounter as it is perceived by the listener leads to the probable source of the sense of vagueness which seems to adhere to Scott's poetry.
Is Northrop Frye's The Modern Century an expression of the negative Canadian archetype manifested in Canadian literary culture? Drawing on Biblical, mythical, and liberal perspectives, Frye is working toward an ethical prophesy, focussing upon the modern experience of progress. Frye resolves that a world of a more complete identity, of not completed identity, forever lies within us and before us
Isabella Valancy Crawford's Fairy Tales are a part of the Victorian literary tradition of self-exploration through the fold and childhood traditions of fairy tales. Analysis of fairy tales by anthropologists and folklorists have concerned themselves with recording processes of transmission and clarifying original meanings; through examining Crawford's stories in relation to typical deviations from the norm, provides the reader with a key to the meaning of the stories. In her tales and fables, Crawford draws on East Indian and Native American influences and focusses on love, allegory, and the union of opposites.
In Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel, the Manawaka town dump scene between Hagar and Lottie raises themes and issues that are integral to the understanding of Hagar and the moral vision of the novel.
Much of Isabella Valancy Crawford's work is structurally and thematically informed by a recurring dialectical pattern. Amon the opposing elements in the dialectic are features of two mythologies, European and North American Indian: white and red. Crawford's manipulation of colour imagery in The Helot, reinforces an allegorical dramatization of the historical pattern of Indian-white relations in Canada.
Duncan Campbell Scott's story "Charcoal" was based on events that actually took place. The documentation of the events, as found in newspaper accounts, trial transcripts, and letters from the Indian Agent provide us with a knowledge of the events as Scott himself perceived them and thereby enable us to determine the manner in which he treated the "raw material" of his narrative.
A response to Ina Ferris' "The Face in the Window: Sunshine Sketches Reconsidered;" Ferris argues that the ending of Sunshine Sketches shows that Leacock lacked faith in his own imaginative powers. However, at the end of Sunshine Sketches, the author has indeed succeeded in his imaginative endeavour and manages to highlight the power of fiction to control the emotions of readers.
A response to both Michael Taylor's article "Snow Blindness" and Francis Zichy's article "Each in His Prison/Thinking of the Key: Images of Confinement and Liberation in Margaret Avision." Avison's poetry suggests that the world must not be received in the mimetic sense, but envisioned as if it were seen for the first time.