We are pleased to announce the arrival of Canadian Literature, Issue 232 (Spring 2017), Meanwhile, Home! Laura Moss and Brendan McCormack begin their editorial:
As we write in Vancouver in the summer of 2017, British Columbia remains in a state of emergency as hundreds of forest fires continue to burn across the province. Wild fires in BC burnt an estimated 1,170,000 hectares of land between April 1 and August 23. … After one of the wettest winters on record in Vancouver with 240.2 mm of rainfall in November 2016, we’ve seen one of the driest summers, with only 1.8 mm of rain in July 2017—making this the province’s “worst wildfire season on record.” …
With both the destructive reality and the regenerative potential of wildfires in mind, this editorial was conceived early in the summer as we considered the implications of drawing an analogy between the recent “firestorms” of CanLit (as amorphously defined as that field has become in public discourse) and the wildfires. After a year in which the asymmetries of power and privilege operating within and upon the field have been newly illuminated by a number of high-profile flare-ups, we have seen many people drawing on fire metaphorically on social media, often with images of dumpster fires accompanied by #CanLit. Statements like David Gaertner’s succinct tweet in response to the distressing re-emergence of the Appropriation of Voice debates abounded: “If this is #CanLit, let it burn” (n. pag). It’s a provocative metaphor to think with, given the state of both our home province and our critical fields this summer, for its power to acknowledge the damage wrought within a combustible climate but also to spark ways of looking forward and affirming new futures. What does CanLit need to regenerate after critical destruction? What conversations might grow after the critical fuels have burned away the old and sometimes even decaying ideas? What might thrive in a newly cleared out ecosystem that promotes diversity and enhanced habitability for a range of critics, writers, and publishers? What kind of impact could shifting winds have on public discourse? What is the critical, literary equivalent of fireweed? Given the pervasively tinder-dry conditions in Canadian literary culture these days, what might catch fire next?
… Meanwhile, as some of CanLit simmers, or not, the articles in this issue engage complex notions of home—as a space of failed futurity, as a space of refuge, as a volatile space, as a space to run to, and as a space of witnessing. “Meanwhile” also signifies “so long as a period of intervening time lasts; for the interim” (OED). Thinking about CanLit as a kind of home for criticism, meanwhile, we ask what futures will emerge from the embers of the intervening present and the interim.
We are in the meanwhile, it seems, in CanLit criticism, where conditions remain tinder dry.
—Laura Moss and Brendan McCormack, “Meanwhile, Home: Tinder-Dry Conditions“
This issue also features:
- An Interview with author Lawrence Hill by Laura Moss, Brendan McCormack, and Lucia Lorenzi
- Articles by Dale Tracy, Petra Fachinger, Heather Olaveson, Evangeline Holtz, and Kailin Wright
- Poetry by Arleen Paré, Jeremy Stewart, Sam Weselowski, Chris Oke, Robert Hilles, and Bill Howell
- Reviews by Kristen Alm, Emily Bednarz, Nicole Birch-Bayley, Natalie Boldt, Liza Bolen, Nicholas Bradley, Connie T. Braun, Bettina B. Cenerelli, MLA Chernoff, Michael Collins, Joel Deshaye, David Eso, Caela Fenton, Susan Fisher, Marc André Fortin, Andre Furlani, James Gifford, Beverley Haun, Benjamin Hertwig, Karl E. Jirgens, Martin Kuester, Daniel Laforest, Dorothy F. Lane, William V. Lombardi, Andrea MacPherson, Dancy Mason, Jody Mason, Emily McGiffin, Robert McGill, Emma Morgan-Thorp, Shane Neilson, Catherine Owen, Ruth Panofsky, Laurie Ricou, Hilary Turner, Emily Wall, Carl Watts, Jeffrey Aaron Weingarten, Ian Williams, and Christine “Xine” Yao
- A special Opinions and Notes by Nicholas Bradley
The new issue can be ordered through our online store. Happy reading!