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When Canadian Literature Moved To New York

When Canadian Literature Moved To New York

Nick Mount
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 210
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  • Book Info
    When Canadian Literature Moved To New York
    Book Description:

    When Canadian Literature Moved to New Yorkis the story of these expatriate writers: who they were, why they left, what they achieved, and how they changed Canadian literary history.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8331-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-2)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 3-18)

    They laid Bliss Carman in his grave and Canadian literature began almost immediately.

    It began, as these things do, with an argument over a body. Canada’s first and until recently only poet laureate died in his sixty-eighth year on the morning of 8 June 1929 after stepping out of the shower in his rooming house in New Canaan, Connecticut. By the time of his death Carman had spent over forty years in the northeastern United States, studying at Harvard in the late 1880s, working in Boston and New York throughout the 1890s, and from 1908 on residing more or less...

  4. Chapter 1 Lamentations
    (pp. 19-41)

    In 1906, two articles appeared in the American press that belatedly confirmed the Canadian literary presence in the United States. In June, Columbia University’sPolitical Science Quarterlypublished a study of Canadians in America by University of Toronto economist Samuel Morley Wickett. Mostly statistical, Wickett’s study alludes to several well-known individual Canadians in the States, including New York businessman Erastus Wiman and Cornell University president Jacob Gould Schurman, and adds that a full list of distinguished Canadians living in that country would have to include ‘littérateurs, clergymen, actors, members of Congress and even one diplomatic representative of the Republic’ (probably...

  5. Chapter 2 Agents of Modernism
    (pp. 42-66)

    Edith Wharton’s canonical society novels and their better-known film adaptations have now taught several generations to understand turn-of-the-century New York as the hollow core of a nation predicated upon wealth and superficial pleasures, an endless ball for the Four Hundred whose glitter barely concealed its lack of substance. It is impossible, however, to read at any depth in the popular literature of Wharton’s period and not be struck by the insatiable and seemingly genuine appetite for self-improvement. In the 1890s, at about the same time Lily Bart was lamenting the gilded manacles of life inThe House of Mirth, Americans...

  6. Chapter 3 Living the Significant Life
    (pp. 67-97)

    In August of 1892 a new publishing house and bookstore opened for business in the first floor and basement of 125 East Twenty-third Street. Advertising a complete stock of ‘Occult, Metaphysical and Christian Science publications,’ Lovell, Gestefeld and Company was the ideological love child of expatriate Canadian publisher John W. Lovell and one of his several protofeminist authors, Ursula N. Gestefeld. Designed as an outlet for Lovell’s interests in socialism, progressive labour, and the single tax (whose champion, Henry George, was a Lovell author) and Gestefeld’s in women’s rights, the firm also published books on mental science, theosophy, palmistry, astrology,...

  7. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  8. Chapter 4 The New Romantics
    (pp. 98-136)

    In November of 1894, Bliss Carman gave theChap-Booka belated review of expatriate Canadian author Gilbert Parker’sPierre and His People. In these stories of the Canadian North-West, says Carman, Parker found ‘a background well suited to his purpose, a canvas large enough for the elemental scenes he wished to portray.’ ‘For “Pierre” is not a drawing-room product – that daring, reckless, gambling, adorable half-breed. He has morals of his own, and is not amenable to our strait code of petty conventions. A sinner he may be, amanhe certainly is, and a distinct creation in our contemporary...

  9. Chapter 5 Exodus Lost
    (pp. 137-164)

    Canada’s literary exodus has attracted nothing like the attention paid to the most well-known expatriate literary community of modern times, the Americans in Paris of the next century. It’s not that scholars don’t know of it: past and present Canadian literary histories and biographies note the departure of writers in these years for other countries, and are individually if not collectively aware of most of the better-known names involved. But with the exception of James Doyle and a few others, Canadians have shown little interest in this phenomenon beyond acknowledging that it happened.

    There’s a perfectly valid reason for this....

  10. Notes
    (pp. 165-190)
  11. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 191-202)
  12. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 203-204)
  13. Illustration Credits
    (pp. 205-206)
  14. Index
    (pp. 207-218)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 219-219)