F.P. Grove, in his main autobiographical creations A Search for America, Over Prairie Trails, and In Search of Myself, fails to be extravagant enough to achieve a new identity. He methodically manipulates connections between travels in geographical and psychological space, and he is a no less accomplished poseur or trickster in his life as a writer in North America than in his past in Europe. By focusing on metaphors, puns, and related linguistic foregrounding, one can observe Grove's complex game of hide-and-seek with the reader; that is, one can see that the actualities of Grove's European past are intricately concealed behind biographical innuendoes and a deceptively simple foregrounding of North American incidents and setting.
F.P. Grove was a German a writer who committed "suicide" and became, by this act, an anonymous person, an underground man. We say he was an immigrant, though he would have seen himself as an exile -- a moral, psychological condition. Germany, being German, and being a writer in German would have been the reference terms for him in the situation of exile, the positive poles of reflective concern in a place -- North America -- that had no reality for him, that was a negative entity, nowhere. As we can see in his letters to Warkentin, Germany held Grove, attached him to its existence. By leaving it, he left history; by leaving history, he left his individuality. The compact between history and society in Europe placed the identity of the individual into a concrete, metaphysically unproblematic world. What Grove's arrival in North America did was to destroy this compact.
In the visionary poems that must be considered central to Archibald Lampman's canon, there is present the subtle and alert consciousness, the clarity of vision, the unclouded focus on things as they are, that are the requisites for a rational, realistic, and comprehensive understanding of humankind's relation to the world, to the "All," and to Time. By examining Lampman's verse, one can demonstrate that, for Lampman, true insight meant seeing and understanding the world, with all its tensions and opposition, comprehensively. For him, the only acceptable reason for leaving the world of men was to return to it regenerated, with a reformed and reforming humanitarian vision.
Dans Pélagie-la-Charrette, Antonine Maillet utilise à maintes reprises la répétition, la reprise, le parallèle, le refrain et le reflet afin d'encadrer son texte. Pour bien comprendre la complexité du roman, on doit étudier le dédoublement sous tous ses plans, à savoir la narration, la rhétorique et l'intrigue. C'est en utilisant une double narration, en démontrant des symboles doublés et en projetant un récit fictif dans un récit historique que Maillet réussit à maintenir la répétition comme élément structural et comme symbole de la tradition orale acadienne.
The interests of most critics who have commented on the lyricism of W.O. Mitchell's Who Has Seen the Wind have tended to be primarily thematic rather than stylistic, so that observations about style have either gone undocumented or been supported simply by quoting a "poetic passage" from the novel without any attempt at analyzing the style to account for lyric effect. Yet, those defining features of the lyric mode that combine to create the requisite, single, unified impression -- the subjective, personal, and imaginative view of a subject, the intense, even ecstatic, emotion evoked in the lyrical writer by the subject, and the careful attention paid to the music in the sounds of the words by which the subject is expressed -- all these features of lyricism are clearly identifiable in the most memorable passages of Who Has Seen the Wind.
Two facets of the Narcissus myth are reflected in contemporary Canadian fiction: Narcissus and his fate symbolize the destructive nature of self-love and the complementary possibility of union with nature. These two facets of the myth, then, can be seen as influencing the choice and treatment of symbols, images, and characters in different Canadian novels. In this regard, we frequently see novels which have artists as their protagonists -- novelists writing themselves into their fiction. In many of Margaret Laurence's novels, characters, to varying degrees, suffer from the narcissistic trait of self-love. Bodies of water play important roles in Canadian fiction, a symbolic characteristic which stems from the myth. Suicide -- another act contained in the myth -- is also quite common in Canadian fiction. Finally, many parallels with the Narcissus story can be ascertained when one closely examines Margaret Atwood's Surfacing and Robert Kroetsch's Badlands.
In Malcolm Lowry's collection of short stories Hear Us O Lord from Heaven Thy Dwelling Place, the significance of the past is a thematic concern shared by the diverse tales. In "The Bravest Boat," a sense of fate, which is located in the past, is shown as operating positively. "Through the Panama" transmits a message of human contact through the use of literary history and allusion. "Strange Comfort Afforded by the Profession" also refers back to a literary history which provides the protagonist with biographical models for too brief a life and transcendence of time through art. "Elephant and Colosseum" defines the past as an unambiguously positive force that invests the present with feelings of harmony, comfort, and communion. In "Present State of Pompeii," Lowry suggests that the rubble of a past civilization may exemplify -- even bequeath -- the fragility of the present estate. "Gin and Goldenrod" indicates that, with an honest reckoning of the past, there can be optimism about the future. Finally, in "The Forest Path to the Spring," the protagonist, by using the past in both art and life, frees himself from the negation of the future.
Although Malcolm Lowry has linked the Consul's travels on the last day of his life to the movements of Ixion, Faust, and Adam, none of these figures provides a completely satisfactory poetic analogue for the agonies inherent in the Consul's journey. However, if we look behind Under the Volcano's twentieth-century dialogue and behind its ironic almost self-mocking tone to its deeply serious poetic centre, we find a work remarkably similar in characterization, imagery, diction, and structure to Shelley's "Alastor."
The attempt of the Twenties to find for Canadian writers a ground somewhere between narcotic and arcane literature failed. The Canadian Bookman and the Canadian Authors Association, representing Canadian authors at the beginning of the modern era, failed to effect the looked-for revolution in Canadian literature; the Canadian authors, now at the end of modernism, seem likely once again to fossilize the achievements of the past quarter century in the mire of self-congratulation. The Canadian reading public is left to be mystified by the spectacle. There is perhaps cause left for optimism in the very fact of national cultural review, as yet again a forum is created for the meeting of authors, publishers, and critics. This time, too, the narcotic Media have been summoned to the reckoning of Canadian culture. But it is not so certain that this is to be an era of ideas.
The novel Such Is My Beloved by Morley Callaghan has a distinct relation to the story "Grace" in Dubliners by James Joyce, and the relation throws light on Callaghan's influences, on the interpretation of his novel, as well as the part played by the Roman Catholic Church in his fiction. Both authors are concerned with the separation of Christianity and the bourgeois world; both are concerned with what "grace" is as an assistance to virtuous action; and both use a character called "Dowling." Thus, based on these similarities, Callaghan scholars might be invited to look more closely at Joyce as a source and influence in matters of style and ironic form as well as in matters of situation and character out of which his fiction has sometimes been modelled.