Patriarchal conventions in Isabel Huggan's stories force the narrator into subversive storytelling in order to get at the truth. The point of view is that of a child, but the insights are adult. Autobiography -- whether fictive or not -- allows the narrator (and, presumably, the writer) to seek an intimacy with history that will give a wider social meaning to individual identity. Gender roles are always significant to these stories, as girls and boys relate to and betray each other through prescriptive patriarchal constructions. These stories both reflect and refute the construction of female sexual identity.
Workman focuses on the relevance of the third epigram of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, which is a Sufi proverb. The character Offred is linked to Sufi mysticism, which by its nature is subversive to mainstream religious authority and hierarchy. The character's recognition of an inner spirituality is a subversion of the repressive and prescriptive fundamentalist society into which she has been assimilated. Moira, Offred's rebellious and life-affirming lesbian friend and alter-ego, is compared favourably to the mystic "saints" of Sufism, many of whom are women. Offred reveals the complex relationships that exist between language and power and how entire value systems can result from playing with these features.
Linguistics and post-structuralist criticism are observed in studying Mavis Gallant's fiction. Through her characters, Gallant examines ideological issues such as sexism, imperialism, and nationalism. There is a constant collision of ideological perspectives so that the reader is alternately interpolated, drawn into events, and distanced thus engaging the reader into a critical debate. This collision, the tension between ideological perspectives, is what gives birth to art itself. Gallant also examines the uncomfortable relationships between art and money, and between politics and religion.
Compares and contrasts Isabella Valancy Crawford's "Malcolm's Katie" with Archibald Lampman's "The Story of an Affinity." Superficially, it appears that Lampman's story is more progressive, in terms of contemporary sexual mores, than is Crawford's poem. In "Malcolm's Katie," the heroine is typically small and timid; Katie's stature (and her actions) are manifestations of romance convention and a reflection of social reality. Lampman's story, perhaps a response to Crawford's poem, envisages women on a socially and morally equal footing with men, which is reflected physically in the stature of Lampman's women. However, there is some suggestion that Crawford's poem is more radically, albeit subtly, subversive.
The role of the lumpenproletariat in William Kirby's The Golden Dog and in Thomas Raddall's Roger Sudden is a vital if usually overlooked one. These characters, although secondary at best, play a vital thematic part in both novels. In The Golden Dog, their presence exhorts others to charity, therefore (the novel implies) saving the givers' souls. They also act as guardians of songs and folk traditions. In Roger Sudden, their role is more overtly, if vaguely, political: the lumpen manifest a larger, autonomous historical force, an imminent life-idea, a national essence. In times of emigration and pioneering, the innate tradition and unity of the lumpenproletariat enforces a larger national unification.
The limitations and weaknesses inherent in Pratt's writing are especially evident in "The Parable of Puffsky," which propagates racist stereotypes under the guise of an anti-materialist message. Pratt's tendency is towards facile cultural generalizations. The poet's considerable prosodic skill enables him to didactically underline his ideas; for example, the reiteration of masculine rhymes lend considerably to the declarative -- and thus authoritarian -- nature of the poem. Since "Puffsky" is apparently an anti-materialist piece of work, the racial undertones are usually overlooked.
La réhabilitation des formes fixes médiévales se voit bien et dans l'oeuvre d'Émile Nelligan et dans celle de ses influences. Le rondel chez Nelligan s'adapte bien à sa sensibilité de poète maudit symbolique. Cohen discute ici de l'influence de Verlaine, du Parnasse contemporain (et surtout d'Heredia), de Banville et de Rollinat dans l'oeuvre de Nelligan. En faisant l'analyse de dix rondels, Cohen démontre comment Nelligan a pu dépasser ses modèles et comment il a perfectionné le rondel dans sa poésie. Nelligan peut imiter l'art de ses influences, mais il change la forme traditionnelle du rondel afin qu'elle soit conforme à son idée de la poésie: résonance, hantise et système clos.
This article is, in part, a response to Philip Stratford's All the Polarities, a book which discusses the differences between French and English novels. Robertson Davies's Fifth Business and Michel Tremblay's La grosse femme -- both of which are peculiarly absent from the study -- juxtapose the material world with that of the mythic or magic. Davies's novel contains an exteriorizing, distancing, literate style, while the style of Tremblay's novel is immediate, sensuous, and oral. The two novels are similar in terms of characterization, theme, and symbolism; as well, they share a kind of mystical fatalism that tends to undermine political ideology.