Articles



Writing the Canadian Pacific Northwest Ecocritically: The Dynamics of Local and Global in Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being
Abstract: While Ruth Ozeki’s earlier novels My Year of Meats (1998) and All Over Creation (2003) focus on environmental degradation and unethical practices in the food industry, A Tale for the Time Being(2013) embraces several broader political, cultural, and societal issues and connects them with ecological concerns. The nature of reality, the often blurred boundaries between fact and fiction, the relationship between time and space, the connection between colonization and environmental injustice, and the effects of “slow violence” (Nixon) are among the novel’s major topics. In its search for narrative solutions to environmental problems, it questions the assumptions of 20th-century proto-environmentalist BC texts in an attempt to draw attention to the complexities of the region’s local and global ecological and political interdependencies. By reworking relevant themes of the earlier texts and by affiliating herself with some contemporary ecocritical BC writers, Ozeki also explores her position as an American Canadian writer. The novel thus also raises questions about the status of Canadian ecocriticism.

Writing the Montreal Mountain: Below the Thresholds at which Visibility Begins
Abstract: A city, Michel de Certeau argues in his chapter “Walking in the City” from The Practice of Everyday Life, is ...

Writing the Pacific War in the Twenty-First Century: Dennis Bock, Rui Umezawa, and Kerri Sakamoto
Abstract: The Unwritten War The Pacific War began in 1931, with Japan’s invasion of Manchuria, and ended in August of 1945, ...

Writing the Tripple Whammy: Canadian-Jewish Québécois Identity, the Comedy of Self-Deprecation, and the Triumph of Duddy Kravitz
Abstract:

Mordecai Richler, as a Jewish-Quebecer-Canadian, was a member of a despised minority, living in a province alienated from and marginalized within the dominant national culture, in a country forever looking enviously, anxiously over its shoulder at its more illustrious, more powerful neighbour. As a writer and satirist, however, this triple whammy was a blessing rather than a curse. This article explores some of the ways in which Mordecai Richler’s status as a member of three different stigmatized groups provided material for the self-deprecating humour that characterizes his work. I argue that Richler’s trebly-displaced protagonists, exemplified by Jake Hersh, tend to turn their comedy inward, punishing themselves for their perceived inferiority both to ‘other interlopers’ and to the (non-Canadian) arbiters of culture. In contrast, I suggest that Duddy Kravitz is Richler’s greatest creation because he both embodies and transcends the comic stereotype of the Jew on the make, exploiting but finally rejecting the masochism and internalized anti-Semitism of his relatives and his peers.


Writing, History, and Music in Do Not Say We Have Nothing: A Conversation with Madeleine Thien
Abstract: This conversation focuses on, but is not limited to, Do Not Say We Have Nothing (2016). In the first section, Thien dwells on creative writing’s mediating role in historical representation; she also comments on her relationship with characters and readers. The second section discusses the inspiring role of music in the creation of the novel and probes the meaning of music, silence and mathematics in politics and for individual characters. In the third section, Thien deliberates on the motif of “the Book of Records” and the implications of taking “compiling” and “copying” as creative forms. In the last section, Thien turns to her approach to June Fourth by linking it to the history of the Cultural Revolution. She also compares her writing with Ma Jian’s Beijing Coma and discusses writing as a way to connect generations.

Wyndham Lewis at Windsor
Abstract: IΝ THE LATE SUMMER of 1942, while I was visiting St. Michael’s College, Toronto, I walked over to Sherbourne Street, ...

Yankee at the Court of Judge Haliburton
Abstract: M OF HALIBURTON’S HUMOUR derives from his constant and skilful use of the anecdote, retailed almost always by Sam Slick, ...

Yin Chin
Abstract: (For Sharon Lee, whose real name is Sky, and Jim Wong Chu) she is tough, she is verbose, she has ...

You May Think This, But: An Interview with Maggie de Vries
Abstract: Valerie Raoul (VR): As a specialist in autobiography and gender, I’m interested in your book from that point of view. ...

Yves Thériault : Un vert avant la lettre
Abstract:

Cet article vise à démontrer comment Yves Thériault, en insistant sur l’importance de la nature dans la plupart de ses ouvrages, fut l’un des pionniers littéraires du mouvement vert. Après une brève esquisse des grandes lignes du débat environnemental et quelques remarques sur la présence de la nature dans la littérature québécoise en général, nous procédons à une saisie globale de la sensualité inhérente de la nature chez Thériault pour ensuite étudier en plus de profondeur la façon dont l’indigène interagit avec son monde ambiant. Le rôle de ce dernier est de donner l’exemple à suivre dans toute tentative de résoudre les nombreux problèmes environnementaux auxquels nous faisons face. Le maintien harmonieux de l’équilibre naturel s’érige en métaphore pour le maintien harmonieux de toute relation humaine.