By Elizabeth (Margaret Elizabeth Waterston
Rapt in Plaid combines mirrored image, feedback and memoir to demonstrate a curious and long-lasting connection among Scottish and Canadian literary traditions. Examples drawn from genres together with lyric poetry, narrative romance, battle fiction, kid's literature, sentimental fiction, thrillers, family novels and brief tales hyperlink Canadian writers comparable to John Richardson, Isabella Valancy Crawford, Sinclair Ross, Hugh MacLennan, Margaret Laurence and W.O. Mitchell to Scottish writers equivalent to Robert Burns, Walter Scott, Thomas Carlyle, J.M. Barrie, Robert Louis Stevenson John Buchan and George Mackay Brown.
A line is traced in each one bankruptcy from at once imitative nineteenth-century Canadian writers to fashionable Canadian works the place Scottish culture persists, occasionally reworked and infrequently distorted. full of life biographical sketches and shut research of specific passages by means of Scottish and Canadian writers are set within the context of multi-cultural, narrative, postmodern and postcolonial theories. This research illuminates the best way Scottish rules and values nonetheless wield extraordinary energy in Canadian politics, schooling, theology, economics and social mores.
Although Professor Waterston's strategy is that of a literary historian, she frames every one part during this new paintings with affectionate thoughts of studying, gaining knowledge of, and educating Scottish and Canadian literature over a sixty yr period.
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Extra resources for Rapt in Plaid: Canadian Literature and Scottish Tradition
Burns's values - the Scottish emphasis on independence and universal education and his scorn of pomposity - remained woven into Canadian culture long after his poems were commonly heard or read. 42 Part One Moure, Moritz, Michaels, Reibetanz, Tregebov - the names of these significant newly published poets in Canada now trail no Scottish echoes. But neither do their publications flow, for me at least, with the singing strength of the past. In nostalgia I turn on my car radio. ' They sing without attribution to Robert Burns, who wrote the song (K 2:527), let alone to Walter Scott, who once gave the drearn of the Highlands a universal currency.
But the real Burnsian in this turn-of-the-century group of popularizers of poetry was Robert Service. Service spent part of his childhood in Ayrshire. '30 As a youth in Glasgow, Service became a 'proletarian prig/ inciting his fellows to socialism, working for Keir Hardie's election in 1892, and only reluctantly beginning an unpoetic, unpolitical career in banking. Vagabonding westward over a six-year period (in a variety of stages, including a brief time as student for admission to McGill), he eventually wound up as a bank clerk again, in the post-gold-rush Yukon.
38 By the late 1940s and early 1950s Burns's poems appeared on college reading lists, if at all, as negative examples: illustrations of the absence of wit, of wordplay, of intellectual challenge. S. Eliot/ A would-be-stylish teacher had to pray for patience. It took considerable schooling and willingness for readers to follow and enjoy the delicate dance of images, metaphors, sound chains, and play of thought so complex that an attendance of footnotes was necessary for comprehension. This poetry led 36 Part One into a Wasteland very different from Burns's country.