History of Literature in Canada

History of Literature in Canada

English-Canadian and French-Canadian

Edited by Reingard M. Nischik


Camden House



The development of literature in Canada with an eye to its multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual nature.
From modest colonial beginnings, literature in Canada has arrived at the center stage of world literature. Works by English-Canadian writers -- both established writers such as Margaret Atwood and new talents such as Yann Martel -- make regular appearances on international bestseller lists. French-Canadian literature has also found its own voice in the North American and francophone worlds. "CanLit" has likewise developed into a staple of academic interest, pursued in Canadian Studies programs in Canada and around the world. This volume draws on the expertise of scholars from Canada, Germany, Austria, and France, tracing Canadian literature from the indigenous oral tradition to the development of English-Canadian and French-Canadian literature since colonial times. Conceiving of Canada as a single but multifaceted culture, it accounts for specific characteristics of English- and French-Canadian literatures, such as the vital role of the short story in English Canada or that of the chanson in French Canada. Yet special attention is also paid to Aboriginal literature and to the pronounced transcultural, ethnically diverse character of much contemporary Canadian literature, thus moving clearly beyond the traditions of the two founding nations.

Contributors: Reingard M. Nischik, Eva Gruber, Iain M. Higgins, Guy Laflèche, Dorothee Scholl, Gwendolyn Davies, Tracy Ware, Fritz Peter Kirsch, Julia Breitbach, Lorraine York, Marta Dvorak, Jerry Wasserman, Ursula Mathis-Moser, Doris G. Eibl, Rolf Lohse, Sherrill Grace, Caroline Rosenthal, Martin Kuester, Nicholas Bradley, Anne Nothof, Georgiana Banita, Gilles Dupuis, and Andrea Oberhuber.

Reingard M. Nischik is Professor of American Literature at the University of Constance, Germany.


November 2008
618 pages
9x6 in
European Studies in North American Literature and Culture
ISBN: 9781571133595
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC LIT004080, HIS006000, LIT012000
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Writing a History of Literature in Canada - Reingard M. Nischik
Aboriginal Oral Traditions - Eva Gruber
The Whites Arrive: White Writing before Canada, 1000-1600 - Ian M. Higgins
Historical Background - Guy Laflèche
Literature on New France - Guy Laflèche
Colonial Literature in New France - Guy Laflèche
Historical Overview - Dorothee Scholl
English-Canadian Colonial Literature - Gwendolyn Davies
French-Canadian Colonial Literature under the Union Jack - Dorothee Scholl
English-Canadian Literature, 1867-1918: The Making of a Nation - Tracy Ware
French-Canadian Literature from National Soladarity to the École littéraire de Montréal - Fritz Peter Kirsch
Politics and Literature between Nationalism and Internationalism - Julia Breitbach
English-Canadian Poetry, 1920-1960 - Lorraine York
The English-Canadian Novel and the Displacement of the Romance - Marta Dvorak
The Modernist English-Canadian Short Story - Reingard M. Nischik
Early English-Canadian Theater and Drama - Jerry Wasserman
French Canada from the First World War to 1967: Historical Overview - Ursula Mathis-Moser
French-Canadian Poetry up to the 1960s - Ursula Mathis-Moser
The French-Canadian Novel between Tradition and Modernism - Doris G. Eibl
The French-Canadian Short Story - Doris G. Eibl
French-Canadian Drama from the 1930s to the Révolution tranquille - Dorothee Scholl
Socio-Political and Cultural Developments from 1967 to the Present - Sherrill Grace
English-Canadian Literary Theory and Literary Criticism - Caroline Rosenthal
The English-Canadian Novel from Modernism to Postmodernism - Martin Kuester
The English-Canadian Short Story since 1967: Between (Post)Modernism and (Neo)Realism - Reingard M. Nischik
English-Canadian Poetry from 1967 to the Present - Nicholas Bradley
Contemporary English-Canadian Drama and Theater - Anne Nothof
Canons of Diversity in Contemporary English-Canadian Literature - Georgiana Banita
Literature of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis - Eva Gruber
The Quebec Novel - Doris G. Eibl
The French-Canadian Short Prose Narrative - Doris G. Eibl
French-Canadian Poetry from 1967 to the Present - Ursula Mathis-Moser
Orality and the French-Canadian Chanson - Ursula Mathis-Moser
Drama and Theater from the Révolution tranquille to the Present - Dorothee Scholl
Transculturalism and écritures migrantes - Gilles Dupuis
The Institutionalization of Literature in Quebec - Andrea Oberhuber


An ambitious project ... a broad literary history which ... (is) an excellent research tool for younger students as well as more established scholars.... The breadth of the work along with the resources it provides makes it an important addition to academic libraries. BRITISH JOURNAL OF CANADIAN STUDIES

This "transatlantic" adaptation of Kanadische Literaturgeschichte is really a new volume aimed at the international market. The 11 French Canadian and English Canadian scholars' contributions are completely new; those of the 12 German scholars are either new or revised and updated. North American readers will be interested in the conjunction of European and North American perspectives. CHOICE

This is a long overdue joint history of the literatures in Canada that will be extremely helpful to both students and scholars in the field....The book admirably combines ... the advantages of a compendium and a chronologically arranged literary history. In particular, the inclusion of both anglophone and francophone literatures is an asset that can hardly be stressed enough in its importance. ZEITSCHRIFT FUER KANADA-STUDIEN

Given its international origins and the diversity of its subject matter and contributors, History of Literature in Canada speaks with a remarkable unity of tone and narrative clarity. The chapters are universally competent, readable, well-researched, and informative. Many are also the most concise and incisive treatments of their subjects available to contemporary readers.... numerous interesting similarities and contrasts can be gleaned from comparative readings of chapters on contemporaneous literatures in French and English. CANADIAN LITERATURE

(A) welcome addition to this field. . . . For anyone - in the field already or new to it, looking at Canadian literature for itself or as a point of reference for other studies (like modern fiction, women's fiction, or children's literature), the approach this book takes is informative and helpful. REFERENCE REVIEWS

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