Simona Bertacco is Associate Professor of Postcolonial Studies and Director of the Humanities Graduate Studies at the University of Louisville. She is the author of Out of Place: The Writings of Robert Kroetsch (Lang, 2002), as well as of several articles on Kroetsch’s poetry. Her most recent publications include Language and Translation in Postcolonial Literatures: Multilingual Contexts, Translational Texts (Routledge, 2014); “Between Virtuosity and Despair: Formal Experimentation in Diaspora Tales” (Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 2014); and the special issue of The New Centennial Review: Translation and the Global Humanities (vol. 16, no. 1, 2016).
“Rescaling Robert Kroetsch: A Reading across Communities, Borders, and Practices”
A lot has been written on Robert Kroetsch in Canada and in Europe, throughout the past half a century, but curiously not in the United States. Reflecting on the possible reasons why Kroetsch is not better-known, more famous and influential in American literature is of import in this essay, since so much of Kroetsch’s poetry organically aligns with the movements and poetic practices across the border. This paper will look at three communities deemed essential to understand Kroetsch’s poetry: the first steps of a postmodern community in North America as a cross-border community, given to the exploration of new forms of thinking art and activism in the Vietnam War years and coalescing around the journal Boundary 2; the Canadian Prairies and the network of writers with whom Kroetsch was in constant dialogue throughout his career; and the “transgeographic network” (Beach) of North American postmodern poets, influenced by the lesson of Charles Olson, that offers a new way of reading Kroetsch today by situating him within a wider intellectual ensemble.
Canadian Literature issue 238, Rescaling CanLit: Global Readings, is available to order through our online store.