Critical Spaces

September 1995
148 pages
22.8x15.2 in
Literary Criticism in Perspective
ISBN: 9781571130747
Format: Hardback
Camden House

Critical Spaces

Margaret Laurence and Janet Frame

Lorna Marie Irvine

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First major critical study and comparison of two important female writers, the Canadian Margaret Laurence and the New Zealander Janet Frame.
This volume investigates the past four decades of criticism devoted to two major female contemporary writers: the New Zealander Janet Frame, and the Canadian Margaret Laurence, author of A Jest of God. The first extensive study to compare the two, it considers early close readings meant to promulgate each writer's work, and traces the various influences of narrative, feminist, postmodernist, and postcolonialist theory on a wide-ranging selection of commentaries. The book also focuses on connections among writers, critics, and a country's mythologies of nationalism, and, of particular significance to Canada and New Zealand, how literatures and commentaries on it illustrate national and international uses of power. Throughout, Professor Irvine points to similarities between the writers' careers, their influence on the development of the literary histories of their respective countries, their ambivalent feelings about England, and, finally, their concern with certain marginalized groups, such as the Maoris. An extensive bibliography completes the volume.


Irvine's accomplishment in surveying the considerable body of criticism of two major authors deserves credit and appreciation. ZEITSCHRIFT FUER KANADA-STUDIEN
"A descriptive account of some of the processes by which canon-formation operates in different cultural systems..." MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

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