Canadian Literature in the Context of World Literature
One could claim that in the beginning of 19th century there did not exist a native Canadian literature. Different obstacles have to be overcome, to achieve the situation when one could start to talk about native Canadian literature as such. According to view expressed in The Columbia Encyclopedia (b), „although Canadian writing began as an imitative colonial literature, it has steadily developed its own national characteristics.” Later, “to attain any commercial success Canadian writers were forced to adapt their attitudes and methods for readers abroad. The popularity of most of the writers can be explained by their shrewd but often crude blend of romance and realism.”(2: pp. 121) Figuratively speaking, the romance as a hope but realism reminding that everything is not as simple as it looks - such mix of qualities could be characteristic for the beginning of any process.
In order to draw complete picture of the main trends in Canadian fiction, let us have a brief insight into the development of Canadian literature. As the first Canadian novelist of note was John Richardson, whose The Wacousta Syndrome (1832), a founding text of Canadian literature, popularized the genre of the national historical novel. (b) “Canadian wry […] was one major way to achieve more than local notice. Humor was an effective way of subverting perceived second – class status and was also eminently marketable in England and the United States as well as in Canada.” (1: pp. 560) With The Clockmaker (1836) T. C. Haliburton began his humorous series. (b) Also a representative of humorous and satiric genre S. Leacock is worth mentioning. Along with previously mentioned works C. G. D. Roberts published the animal and nature stories that naturally lead to the appearance of prairie novel in the beginning of 1920s.
- Canadian Literature in the Context of World Literature
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