- Martin Loschnigg (Editor) and Klaus-Dieter Ertler (Editor)
Canada 2000: Identity and Transformation / Identité et transformation - Central European Perspectives on Canada / Le Canada vu à partir de l'Europe centrale. Peter Lang Publishing Group (purchase at Amazon.ca)
- Wolfgang Klooss (Editor) and Hans Braun (Editor)
Giving Voice: Canadian and German Perspectives. Schulz-Kirchner Verlag (purchase at Amazon.ca)
Reviewed by Martin Kuester
These are conference proceedings from European Canadian Studies centres. Canada 2000: Identity and Transformation / Identité et transformation brings together a wealth of divergent papers by Canadians and Europeans presented on the occasion of the opening of the Centre for Canadian Studies at the University of Graz in Austria. As is to be expected from the title, the eighteen contributions vary in quality and approach, but essays on the Canadian literatures are at the centre here. As far as English-Canadian literature is concerned, the book is framed by two personal contributions by the eminent narratologist and established Canadianist Franz Karl Stanzel, who looks back at the history of Canadian Studies and affirms the importance of a "traditional" thematic and imagological approach for European newcomers to this field. Waldemar Zacharasiewicz follows suit with a study of the (not always positive) images of Austria in Canadian literature. Michelle Gadpaille traces the importance of border imagery in Canadian prose fiction at the millennium. Carla Comellini studies expressions of identity in several writers leading up to Ondaatje’s concept of a new postcolonial identity. Wolfgang Klooss contributes a solid reading of Canadian historical fiction in which he sees Canadian nationality being replaced "by a post-colonial notion of an identity beyond nation." Martin Löschnigg looks at the identities of literary figures in Atwood, Shields and Urquhart, while Di Brandt discovers "distinct chunky flavours" in Adele Wiseman’s multicultural Winnipeg, and Aleksander Kustec comments on Northrop Frye’s views on twentieth-century changing identities.
The contributions in French start with the memoir "D’une prison à l’autre" by Négovan Rajic, a Canadian writer of Serbian origin who describes his postwar odyssey from Belgrade through a Graz prison to Paris and Montreal. The memoir is followed by Ljiljana Matic’s emotional eulogy of the author. Micheline Cambrón traces the construction of a national identity in the nineteenth-century periodical Le Canadien. Essays by Alessandra Ferraro, Peter Klaus, and Klaus-Dieter Ertler deal with the important contributions of immi- grant writers, l’écriture migrante, to Québécois literature, with discussion of works by Monique Bosco, Régine Robin, Fulvio Caccia, Sergio Kokis, Ying Chen, and Marco Micone. Éva Martonyi outlines three stages in the quest for identity in Québécois literature. Two final essays introduce an interdisciplinary perspective: the linguist Elke Nowak looks at the relationship between world view and vocabulary in Inuit languages, and Willibald Posch studies the legal systems of Austria and Quebec from a comparative perspective.
In Giving Voice: Canadian and German Perspectives, some contributions interpret the title as relating to literature. Eric Annandale discusses the appropriation of Aboriginal voice in Nancy Huston’s fiction. Markus Müller discusses multicultural voices in Prairie writing while Kathryn Young analyzes the construction of women in poetry published in the Quebec Gazette. But "voice" is also extended to such topics as university surveys and the criteria they leave out in evaluating students (James M. Dean) or the effectiveness of multiculturalism in furthering community-building (Lance W. Roberts, Mathias Boes, Susanne von Below).
Derek Hum and Rüdiger Jacob see the Census as a postmodern text or a contribution "to empowering people to raise their own voice," whereas Hans Braun and Alexandra Caster discuss methods in which clients can be given a voice in the choice of welfare services and providers. Barry Ferguson and Derek Hum describe the way in which Chinese immigrants to Canada are first barred from and later entitled to having their own voice, while Fred Stambrook discusses two phases in German and Austrian history in which minority voices that have long been forgotten once existed.
- Souvenirs et découvertes by Jeanette den Toonder
Books reviewed: Les secrets de la Sphinxe: Lectures de l'?uvre d'Anne-Marie Alonzo by Roseanna L. Dufault and Janine Ricouart and Momo et Loulou by Louise Desjardins and Mona Latif-Ghattas
- How Should We Remember? by Adele Holoch
Books reviewed: A History for the Future: Rewriting Memory and Identity in Quebec by Phyllis Aronoff, Jocelyn Létourneau, and Howard Scott
- Last Pages: Stick Pen by Laurie Ricou
Books reviewed: Canadian Hockey Literature by Jason Blake, Now is the Winter: Thinking about Hockey by Jamie Dopp and Richard Harrison, Of Hockey and Hijab: Reflections of a Canadian Muslim Woman by Sheema Khan, Saskatchewan Sports: Lives Past and Present by Holden Stoffel, Sport in Canada: A History by Don Morrow and Kevin B. Wamsley, and Footprints: Canadian Sports Stories: Summer by Dave Toms
- Sparrow Nation by Christoph Irmscher
Books reviewed: When the Eagle Screamed: The Romantic Horizon in American Expansionism, 1800-1860 by William Goetzmann, The Shaping of American Ethnography: The Wilkes Exploring Expedition by Barry Alan Joyce, and Elliott Coues: Naturalists and Frontier Historian by Michael J. Brodhead and Paul Russell Cutright
- The Taste of the Past by Norman Ravvin
Books reviewed: Lower East Side Memories: A Jewish Place in America by Hasia R. Diner and Remembrance of Repasts: An Anthropology of Food and Memory by David E. Sutton
MLA: Kuester, Martin. Trans-Atlantic Views. canlit.ca. Canadian Literature, 8 Dec. 2011. Web. 19 June 2013.
This review originally appeared in Canadian Literature #181 (Summer 2004), (Wiseman, Livesay, Sime, Connelly, Robinson). (pg. 112 - 113)
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