By W. H. New (auth.)

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Extra resources for A History of Canadian Literature

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In time, they could mimic other models, borrow American culture, and seek American approval as an alternative to things European. Or they could, whether consciously or not, adapt their art to their own place and time, devise methods of telling their own stories, and develop an eclectic culture of their own. 2 Reporters: literature to 1867 Backgrounds Tracing Canadian literature from the beginnings through to 1867 requires the reader to think along two political planes: one observing writers sequentially against a set of events, the other observing written works as formal embodiments of separate attitudes and expectations.

By the 1920s trade art in the Arctic had effectively lost all trace of its original power of religious significance. It was replaced by Christian design and by the notion that art was crafted simply as plaything or souvenir. European myth and cultural contact The stories and expectations that the Europeans brought with them to Canada were also, however, coloured by a deep-seated, perhaps no longer even conscious mythology. They were embodied in the narrative structures and the moral and social attitudes of JudaeoChristian rituals, of riddle and folksong, of formal literary models, Renaissance customs, and the stories and fairytales that traditionally derived from Classical, Germanic, French and Celtic sources.

To speak of the sectarian Christian rivalries as a trade in souls is to distort the passion of belief which motivated individual priests, but the competitiveness of the missions has in some degree to be related to the competition for land and trade goods. The stories of the jesuits moving out into the Great Lakes, for example, are coupled with stories of the early coureurs-de-bois daring the river systems in search of furs, bending their strength in a race against freeze-up and winter. Both were deemed heroic; both also served more mundane territorial functions.

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