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This Time a Better Earth

This Time a Better Earth: A Critical Edition

A novel by TED ALLAN
Edited and with an Introduction by BART VAUTOUR
Copyright Date: 2015
  • Book Info
    This Time a Better Earth
    Book Description:

    A young Canadian marches over the Pyrenees and enters into history by joining the International Brigades-men and women from around the world who volunteered to fight against fascism in the Spanish Civil War. This new edition of Ted Allan's novel,This Time a Better Earth, reintroduces readers to the electrifying milieu of the Spanish Civil War and Madrid, which for a short time in the 1930s became the epicentre of a global struggle between democracy and fascism.This Time a Better Earth, first published in 1939, tells the story of Canadian Bob Curtis from the time of his arrival in Spain and the idealism and trials of the international volunteers. Allan's novel achieves the distinction of being both a work of considerable literary and historical significance and a real page-turner.

    This is the first installment of a series of titles to be published in the Canadian Literature Collection under the Canada and the Spanish Civil War banner. This is a large-scale project devoted to the recovery and presentation of Canadian cultural production about the Spanish Civil War (, directed by Bart Vautour and Emily Robins Sharpe.

    eISBN: 978-0-7766-2165-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xiii-xxxiv)

    When the Spanish Civil War erupted in 1936 it enlivened the hopes and fears of many people outside the borders of Spain. Indeed, for a few short years Spain became the epicentre of the clash between Western political ideals. In many ways, the conflict marked the beginnings of what would escalate into the Second World War. The Spanish Civil War, and the antifascist cause in particular, became a focal point for those writers interested in politics as well as culture. The conflict was central to the work of many trans-nationally well-known authors such as W. H. Auden, Martha Gellhorn, Ernest...


    • PART I
      (pp. 7-60)

      Slowly the sun was dropping beyond the mountains and slowly we climbed the narrow winding path leading to the top of the hill. It was high in the Pyrenees. The air was fresh with the moisture of the clouds. The sky was a rainbow of colours fading quietly into night.

      The beauty of the surroundings was lost to us. We were tired and hungry. Our minds were filled with a million thoughts of the past, the present and what was to come. Home and yesterday were like a dream, and to-day was a dream and to-morrow was real. That’s how...

    • PART II
      (pp. 61-96)

      Next day a new kind of life began for me. Pepe showed me what I had to do and told me what was expected. We were sitting in the little cellar room now transformed into a radio studio.

      “You will deliver general news such as the war and in subsequence, the life of our city, which is the tomb of fascism, is it not? From the censor, Rosa, a wonderful woman, an Austrian, she is the censor, you will receive communiqués. You will sayallo,allo,esta estación, pardon me, this is Station E.A.R. the Voice of Republican Spain delivered...

    • PART III
      (pp. 97-134)

      Morata de Tajuna was a smelly, dirty village. We saw the inevitable church spire as we drove up the main street, the only paved road in the entire village. There were no stores open. The village inhabitants had been evacuated long ago. Some of the two-storey huts that were still standing now quartered the soldiers of the People’s Army.

      We passed piles of wreckage, results of shellings and aerial bombardments. The streets were thick with flies. Stray dogs and cats were sunning themselves and rose lazily to get out of the way of the approaching car. In the centre of...

    • PART IV
      (pp. 135-162)

      Love is good.

      It can make you forget everything. It is like being drunk on good wine. During the day you wait for the night to come and even shelling cannot harm it. . . very long.

      It was true. We had found something. But finding that made me want to find the other thing all the more. Because, in loving, one goes through a process of forgetting about one’s self, too. I learned that in Madrid.

      But there was something missing. Not in Lisa. In me. And it was missing because I knew that a man must experience more...

  6. Explanatory Notes
    (pp. 163-182)
  7. Textual Notes
    (pp. 183-204)
  8. Back Matter
    (pp. 205-205)