Federal One, the American New Deal program that funded artists during the Great Depression, provided a complicated model for Canadian writers, who recognized that the framework presented both substantial benefits and real dangers to the artist in need of work. A reconsideration of Canadian modernism with New Deal tensions in mind demonstrates that Canadian artists were acutely aware of the inevitable ideological conflict that surfaces when artists must attempt to satisfy an impossible balance between personal artistic and political commitments and government-imposed regulations. The work of F.R. Scott, in particular, highlights the ambiguities of the New Deal proposal; reading Scott in relation to the New Deal provides fresh insight on both the artistic concerns of the time and the multiple influences that would come to shape Canada’s commitment to government sponsored art.
Please note that works on the Canadian Literature website may not be the final versions as they appear in the journal, as additional editing may take place between the web and print versions. If you are quoting reviews, articles, and/or poems from the Canadian Literature website, please indicate the date of access.