November 18, 2016
Leonard Cohen—acclaimed Canadian poet, novelist, singer, songwriter, musician, and wordsmith—passed away on November 7. Before his rise to prominence as a singer-songwriter in the late 1960s, Cohen was already an important voice in Canadian literature, having published several collections of poetry and two novels. In 1967, following the publication of Cohen’s controversial and critically acclaimed Beautiful Losers (1966), Canadian Literature produced an issue dedicated to Views of Leonard Cohen. The opening words from Desmond Pacey’s article in that issue, “The Phenomenon of Leonard Cohen,” provide a reflection on Cohen’s cultural influence at the time:
In naming Leonard Cohen a phenomenon, I am motivated by the quantity, quality and variety of his achievement. Still only thirty-three, Cohen has published four books of verse and two novels, and has made a national if not international reputation by his poetry reading, folk-singing, and skill with a guitar. The best of his poems have lyrical grace and verbal inevitability; his two novels are as perceptive in content and as sophisticated in technique as any that have appeared in English since the Second World War; and his voice has a magical incantatory quality which hypnotizes his audiences . . . into a state of bliss if not grace. (5)
Canadian Literature has been reviewing writing by and about Cohen since 1961, and has published several articles and one special issue of criticism on his work. The following list of reviews and articles from our archives speaks to the shifting creative and critical resonances of Cohen’s writing over time:
Reviews of Cohen’s Work
- “The Lean and the Luscious” by David Brominge originally appeared in Canadian Literature 10 (Autumn 1961): 87-88. Rev. of The Spice-Box of Earth by Leonard Cohen.
- “Love and Loss” by George Robertson originally appeared in Salute to E. J. Pratt. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 19 (Winter 1964): 69-70. Rev. of The Favorite Game by Leonard Cohen.
- “Of Beauty and Unmeaning” by Elliott B. Gose, Jr. originally appeared in Apprenticeships in Discovery. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 29 (Summer 1966): 61-63. Rev. of Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen.
- “Inside Leonard Cohen” by George Bowering originally appeared in Publishing in Canada. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 33 (Summer 1967): 71-72. Rev. of Parasites of Heaven by Leonard Cohen.
- “Cohen’s Women” by Tom Wayman originally appeared in Contemporary Canadian Poets. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 60 (Spring 1974): 89-93. Rev. of The Energy of Slaves by Leonard Cohen.
- “Prayers” by Rowland Smith originally appeared in Paradigms of Doubleness. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 104 (Spring 1985): 155-156. Rev. of Book of Mercy by Leonard Cohen.
- “Leonard Cohen: Travels with the ‘Tourist of Beauty’” by Ira Bruce Nadel originally appeared in Gabrielle Roy contemporaine/The Contemporary Gabrielle Roy. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 192 (Spring 2007): 150-151. Rev. of Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen.
Reviews of Books about Cohen
- “Critical Limitations” by Douglas Barbour originally appeared in Views of Novelists. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 49 (Summer 1971): 75-77.
- “Cohen and His Critics” originally appeared in Remembering Roderick Haig-Brown. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 71 (Winter 1976): 110-110.
- “Cohen” by Lorraine McMullen originally appeared in The Making of Modern Poetry. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 87 (Winter 1980): 118-119.
- “Diamonds and Shit” by Peter Cumming originally appeared in Urquhart and Munro. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 150 (Autumn 1996): 134-136.
- “The Two Cohens” by Norman Ravvin originally appeared in Writers Talking. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 183 (Winter 2004): 167-169.
- “Wayward Saint” by Mark Harris originally appeared in Of Borders and Bioregions. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 218 (Autumn 2013): 187.
Articles about Cohen
- “Leonard Cohen: A Personal Look” by A. W. Purdy originally appeared in Modern Canadian Poets. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 23 (Winter 1965): 7-16.
- “Beautiful Losers: All the Polarities” by Linda Hutcheon originally appeared in Lovers and Losers. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 59 (Winter 1974): 42-56.
- “The Poet as Novelist” by Linda Hutcheon originally appeared in The Structure of Fiction. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 86 (Autumn 1980): 6-14.
- “’Who is the Lord of the World?’: Leonard Cohen’s Beautiful Losers and the Total Vision” by Medrie Purdham originally in Canadian Literature 212 (Spring 2012): 86-102.
November 17, 2016
Les quinze dernières années ont vu un développement important de la littérature produite par des écrivains autochtones francophones au Québec. Le nombre de livres publiés se multiplie de façon exponentielle. Même si l’originalité et la qualité de cette littérature sont évidentes, l’infrastructure littéraire québécoise tarde à donner aux auteurs autochtones la visibilité requise à une véritable émergence. C’est ce créneau que Kwahiatonhk! (« nous écrivons ! » en langue wendat) s’est donné comme mission d’occuper par le SLPN, comme il n’existe au Québec aucun autre festival de ce type. Le Salon du livre des Premières Nations (SLPN) est un événement littéraire à échelle humaine où de véritables rencontres sont possibles entre les auteurs des Premières Nations, les éditeurs et, surtout, le grand public (Source: Kwahiatonk! 2016).
L’ouverture officielle, qui aura lieu le 25 novembre à la Maison de la littérature à Québec, soulignera l’œuvre de la poète innue Joséphine Bacon avec le spectacle littéraire Meshkanatsheu. Puis, le cœur de l’évènement se déroulera les 26 et 27 novembre de 10 h à 16 h, à l’Hôtel-Musée des Premières Nations à Wendake. Une vingtaine d’auteurs seront présents pour des prestations, entrevues, ateliers et discussions avec le grand public. Parmi les invités, notons Sylvain Rivard, Michel Noël, Christine Sioui Wawanoloath, Jean Sioui, Manon Nolin, Joséphine Bacon, Naomi Fontaine, Melissa Mollen Dupuis, Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Rosanna Deerchild, Domingo Cisneros et le bédéiste Jay Odjick.
Voir le programme détaillé ici.
November 16, 2016
Canadian Literature’s Issue 227 (Winter 2015), Asian Canadian Critique Beyond the Nation, is now available for order. Guest Editors Christopher Lee and Christine Kim introduce this special issue:
Extending Canadian Literature’s commitment to Asian Canadian studies, this special issue interrogates how national epistemes have become sedimented in the field itself, often in barely discernible ways. It is this self-reflexivity that we hope distinguishes Asian Canadian critique from the many cultural, activist, political, and institutional projects that have coalesced around this term. How would Asian Canadian critique look if we focused instead on transnational flows of labour, capital, and cultures as well as the logics of empire and processes of settler colonialisms? Historically, Asian Canadian communities were produced through migrations that took place in the shadow of British, American, and other empires. More recently, Asian Canadians have appeared as labourers, merchants, refugees, undocumented migrants, international students, and so on. These “racial forms” have repeatedly placed the Asian Canadian subject at the intersections of capital, empire, and nation.
—Christopher Lee and Christine Kim, “Asian Canadian Critique Beyond the Nation”
Asian Canadian Critique Beyond the Nation features articles by Guy Beauregard, Donald Goellnicht, Helen Hok-Sze Leung, Malissa Phung, Jenny Heijun Wills, and Timothy Yu; a Forum curated by Christopher Lee and Christine Kim; Opinions and Notes by Nicholas Bradley; new poetry; and new book reviews.
The new issue can be ordered through our online store. Happy reading!
November 15, 2016
Canadian Literature is pleased to welcome four new members to our editorial team!
Nicholas Bradley (University of Victoria) has joined us for a three-year term as Associate Editor of Reviews, bringing his expertise in poetry and environmental literatures to the shelves. Sarah Henzi (McGill University), a specialist in Indigenous literary studies, has come on board as Assistant Editor of Francophone Writing for the next year.
We also welcome two new Assistant Editors for the CanLit Guides project. Shannon Smyrl (Thompson Rivers University) and Ceilidh Hart (University of the Fraser Valley) will be working with CanLit Guides Associate Editor Kathryn Grafton (UBC) to bring sixteen new chapters to publication, on topics such as food as metaphor; comics and graphic texts; song lyrics; narratives of technology and identity; Indigenous and diasporic texts; and many more.
With the continued service of Poetry Editor Stephen Collis (SFU) and Glenn Deer (UBC) returning to help with reviews, we now have members of the editorial team from six different universities. We are immensely grateful to our new colleagues for joining us, and we look forward to working with them.
Co-editors of The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature Write Foreword to Newly-Released Japanese Translation
November 10, 2016
We would like to congratulate former editor of Canadian Literature, Professor Eva-Marie Kröller (UBC Department of English), as well as former editorial board member and contributor Coral Ann Howells (Professor Emerita, University of Reading; Senior Research Fellow, Institute of English Studies, University of London) on the release of a Japanese translation of their co-edited volume The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature.
The translation—entitled Kemburijji-ban Kanada Bungakshi—was published this past August as an 830-page volume, and took four years and 26 translators to complete, with Toshiko Tsutsumi, Takayasu Oya, and Ayako Sato as general editors.
The book connects Japanese audiences to a complete history of Canadian writing featuring works by Indigenous, francophone, and multicultural authors, including Japanese-Canadian writers. The foreword to the translation is jointly authored by Professor Kröller and Howells.
We are pleased to celebrate research in Canadian literature by and for Japanese scholars and students, and invite you to visit Canadian Literature’s archives for other works of Professor Eva-Marie Kröller:
- “Editing The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature“ by Manuela Costantino.
- The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature. Reviewed in “A Cambridge History of Distinction” by Claire Omhovère.
- The Cambridge Companion to Canadian Literature. Reviewed in “All About CanLit” by Rocío G. Davis.
Editorials by Kröller
- “Archives and History” by , , , , and
I ham very much Sopriced of you not Riting to me Soonerby
Or Shall a More Enlarged View Prevail?by
The City as Anthologyby
Articles by Kröller
For a complete list of Kröller’s works, please click here.
Editorial by Howells
Book Reviews by Howells
- “Shadow Play” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Agency & Affect. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 223 (2014): 135-37.
- “Imagination’s Life” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Letters & Other Connections. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 134 (1992): 158-159.
- “In My Fashion” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Queerly Canadian. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 205 (2010): 189-190.
- “Mythologizing History” by Coral Ann Howells Published in First Nations Writing. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 167 (2000): 149-151.
- “Sketches, Fragments and Echoes” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Canadian Literature 154 (1997): 183-185.
- “Writing Women” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Hispanic-Canadian Connections. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 142-143 (1994): 221-223.
- “Dynamics of Memory” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Systems of Value, Structures of Belief. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 128 (1991): 182-183.
- “Up in the Air” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Poets’ Words. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 115 (1987): 150-152.
- “Acts of Survival” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Canadian Literature 206 (2010): 196-197.
- “Context Is All” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Canadian Literature 206 (2010): 191-193.
- “Writing Family History” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Context(e)s. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 195 (2007): 166-168.
- “Surfaces and Secrets” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Canadian Literature 188 (2006): 158-159.
- “Mythologizing History” by Coral Ann Howells and Judith Leggatt Published in Women & the Politics of Memory. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 186 (2005): 126-127.
- “Bad News” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Writers Talking. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 183 (2004): 92-93.
- “Regulated Anger” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Literature & War. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 179 (2003): 107-109.
- “Double Vision” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Archives and History. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 178 (2003): 160-161.
- “Canadian Panorama” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Archives and History. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 178 (2003): 161-162.
- “Lest We Forget” by Coral Ann Howells. Published in Canadian Literature 173 (2002): 114-116.
- “Wastelands” by Coral Ann Howells. Published in Female Subjects & Male Plots. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 137 (1993): 107-108.
- “Imagining Native” by Coral Ann Howells. Published in Native Writers & Canadian Writing. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 124-125 (1990): 307-308.
- “Women & Les Mots” by Coral Ann Howells. Published in Slavic and East-European Connections. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 120 (1989): 177-179.
- “The Gaiety of Dread” by Coral Ann Howells Published in Poets & Politics. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 105 (1985): 165-166.
For a complete list of Howells’ works, please click here.
October 31, 2016
From November 2nd to 4th, our online store will be temporarily out of service for updates. Please contact can.lit(at)ubc.ca to process any subscription or issue orders.
We look forward to bringing you improved usability, and thank you for your patience!
October 27, 2016
There is a saying in Dutch: Never do you forget the language in which your mother loved you. For me, that language is English. Like many new immigrants, my parents raised my siblings and I to speak and think in the language of the new home. My mother watched in quiet curiosity as I hoarded books from the library. Like my sister’s daughter, who is now 11, I read at the breakfast table, in the car, on the bus, even while walking. She must have been certain that I dreamed in English because it was the only language that I had, and the one in which she had loved me.
—Madeleine Thien, “But, I dream in Canadian”
Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing has won the 2016 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction. The novel follows “the lives of two successive generations—those who lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution in the mid-twentieth century; and the children of the survivors, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square in 1989, in one of the most important political moments of the past century” (from Random House Canada).
Do Not Say We Have Nothing is also a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Man Booker Prize, and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. We are proud to congratulate Thien on this honour, and we invite you to visit Canadian Literature’s articles on and book reviews of her work:
- “Uncertain Landscapes: Risk, Trauma, and Scientific Knowledge in Madeleine Thien’s Certainty and Dogs at the Perimeter” by Tania Aguila-Way. Published in Science & Canadian Literature. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 221 (2014): 18-35.
- “Forgetting Loss in Madeleine Thien’s Certainty” by Y-Dang Troeung. Published in Canadian Literature 206 (2010): 91-108.
- Certitudes. Reviewed in “La réalité et ses ailleurs” by Pamela V. Sing.
- Certainty. Reviewed in “Dispersed Geographies” by Gillian Roberts.
September 16, 2016
LiterASIAN is a literary festival celebrating Pacific Rim Asian Canadian writing, hosted by the Asian Canadian Writer’s Workshop Society. From September 21st to 25th, museums, libraries, and learning centres across the city will host workshops and panels led by critically acclaimed authors such as Paul Yee, SKY Lee, Joy Kogawa, and many more. Students can register for free using the literasian promotional code at literasian.com.
In recognition of this event, Canadian Literature is pleased to offer a promotion for our upcoming special issue, Asian Canadian Critique Beyond the Nation #227. Guest editors Christopher Lee (UBC) and Christine Kim (SFU) argue that the issue extends the journal’s “commitment to Asian Canadian studies” even as it “interrogates how national epistemes have become sedimented in the field itself, often in barely discernible ways. It is this self-reflexivity that we hope distinguishes Asian Canadian critique from the many cultural, activist, political, and institutional projects that have coalesced around this term.”
Asian Canadian Critique Beyond the Nation features articles on film, art, poetry, and fiction by Timothy Yu, Jenny Heijun Wills, Guy Beauregard, Helen Hok-Sze Leung, Donald Goellnicht, and Malissa Phung, as well as a discussion forum with Smaro Kamboureli, Robert Diaz, Y-Dang Troeung, Masumi Izumi, Lisa Yoneyama, and Iyko Day.
Visit canlit.ca/single-issues and use the discount code literasian2016 for 25% off this special issue today! The discount is open to all interested readers and is not limited to event attendees.
September 1, 2016
Canadian Literature’s Issue 226 (Fall 2015), Emerging Scholars, is now available for order. Sheila Giffen and Brendan McCormack, our journal assistants, interrogate what it means to be an emerging scholar:
When we sat down and discussed the simple question “What is new?” we quickly realized how it opens to other, complex questions concerning novelty that we both find ourselves contending with as we imagine how to position our work as graduate students—Sheila in transnational literature and postcolonial theory, Brendan in Canadian and Indigenous literatures. What are the implications of claiming newness in scholarly work? What past or present conditions give rise to novelty? How might charting the new also involve a process of historicization and return? As scholars, how can we do the work of situating our current condition within a genealogy of thought that contextualizes critical moments and turns? Reflecting beyond the specific call for this issue led us to speculate more widely on the idea of newness itself as a concept we’ve broached in our thinking as emerging scholars—what is new?
—Sheila Giffen and Brendan McCormack, “What’s New?“
Emerging Scholars also features articles by Ariel Kroon, Dominique Hetu, Christina Turner, Kristina Getz, and Christopher Doody; interviews with Orly Lael Netzer, Rebecca Fredrickson, Brandon Kerfoot, Katherine Meloche, Mini Aodla Freeman, Keavy Martin, Julie Rak, and Norma Dunning; new Canadian poetry by Stephanie May McKenzie, Norman F. Cornett, Cassidy McFadzean, Stephen Heighton, and Douglas Walbourne-Gough; and book reviews.
The new issue can be ordered through our online store. Happy readings!
July 5, 2016
It is with great sadness that we at Canadian Literature mark the passing of Herb Wyile, Editorial Board member since 2012. Herb published his first book review in the journal in 1991 and has contributed valuably ever since. He was a kind man with a lovely chuckle, a fierce intellect, incredible generosity, and a compassionate pen. He was always willing to help when asked and was as sharp and compassionate a reader of articles as he was of literary works. Canadian literary studies has lost a good friend. Herb was a professor of Canadian literature in the Department of English and Theatre at Acadia University with research on regionalism, historical fiction, Atlantic Canada, globalization, and neoliberalism. Herb’s influential publications included Speculative Fictions: Contemporary Canadian Novelists and the Writing of History (2002), Speaking in the Past Tense: Canadian Novelists on Writing Historical Fiction (2007), and Anne of Tim Hortons: Globalization and the Reshaping of Atlantic-Canadian Literature (2011). He was also committed to the Waterfront Views: Contemporary Writing of Atlantic Canada project. A consummate academic citizen, Herb served as the co-editor of Studies in Canadian Literature/Études en littérature canadienne since 2014. Cynthia Sugars, his co-editor at SCL/ÉLC, remembers Herb as “an exemplary scholar, a wonderful editor and collaborator, a generous colleague and mentor, and a treasured friend.” Herb’s life and work touched many people, including those of us lucky enough to work with him at this journal. He will be deeply missed.
Beyond being a long-time friend of the journal and member of our Editorial Board, Herb was also a significant contributor to Canadian Literature, having published four articles and numerous book reviews over the past 25 years. See below for a list of works published by and about Herb Wyile in Canadian Literature.
- “‘I questioned authority and the question won’: Transnational Muscle Cars and the Neoliberal Order” by Herb Wyile originally appeared in Canadian Literature 216 (Spring 2013): 67-83.
- “As For Me and Me Arse: Strategic Regionalism and the Home Place in Lynn Coady’s Strange Heaven“ by Herb Wyile originally appeared in The Literature of Atlantic Canada. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 189 (Summer 2006): 85-101.
- “Doing the Honourable Thing: Guy Vanderhaeghe’s The Last Crossing“ by Herb Wyile originally appeared in Canadian Literature 185 (Summer 2005): 59-74.
- “‘Trust Tonto’: Thomas King’s Subversive Fictions and the Politics of Cultural Literacy” by Herb Wyile originally appeared in On Thomas King. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 161-162 (Summer/Autumn 1999): 105-124.
Book Reviews by Herb Wyile
- “Lost in Transit” by Herb Wyile originally appeared in Canadian Literature 184 (Spring 2005): 132-133. of Elle by Douglas H. Glover.
- “Intersections” by Herb Wyile originally appeared in Remembering the Sixties. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 152-153 (Spring/Summer 1997): 251-253. Rev. of National Culture and the New Global System by Frederick Buell and Thinking Through by Himani Bannerji.
- “Framing Muliticulturalism” by Herb Wyile originally appeared in Women and War. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 151 (Winter 1996): 199-201. Rev. of Framing Marginality by Sneja Gunew and Unthinking Eurocentrism by Ella Shohat and Robert Stam.
- “Re/appraisals” by Herb Wyile originally appeared in Urquhart and Munro. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 150 (Autumn 1996): 199-200. Rev. of Hugh MacLennan by Frank M. Tierney and Context North America by Camille La Bossiere.
- “Extremities” by Herb Wyile originally appeared in Postcolonial Identities. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 149 (Summer 1996): 195-196. of Extremities by Michael Winter and Survival Gear by Rita Moir.
- “Home & Abroad” by Herb Wyile originally appeared in Discourse in Early Canada. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 131 (Winter 1991): 235-237. Rev. of In Transit by Mavis Gallant and Writing Home by Barry Dempster.
Book Reviews of Herb Wyile’s Works
- “Questioning the Past” by Gordon Bölling originally appeared in Predators and Gardens. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 197 (Summer 2008): 197-198. Rev. of Speaking in the Past Tense by Herb Wyile.
- “Canaries in the Coalmine” by David Leahy originally appeared in Canadian Literature 214 (Autumn 2012): 192-93. Rev. of Anne of Tim Hortons: Globalization and the Reshaping of Atlantic-Canadian Literature by Herb Wyile.
- “High-Stakes History” by Kevin Flynn originally appeared in Archives and History. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 178 (Autumn 2003): 179-180. Rev. of Speculative Fictions by Herb Wyile.