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Literary Criticism Canadian

Unreal Country

Modernity in the Canadian Novel in English

by (author) Glenn Willmott

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2002
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2002
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  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2002
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Modernism is one of the great manifold movements in literature and the arts. Responding with magnificent independence to inherited values and tastes, and with radical novelty to the future, varieties of modernism anxiously express both the ends of the Enlightenment and the beginnings of Postmodernism, and thus the feeling of a crisis that continues to haunt contemporary life. Modernity in Canada, stretching from the turn of the century to the 1950s, is a period marked by unprecedented urban and industrial growth, by urban and rural immigration from around the world, and by unique changes in power between regions, classes, races, and sexes. At the same time it is a period profoundly aware of the colonial past and its persistence, for good or ill, in the fragile economy and volatile culture of a new nation.

About the author

Glenn Willmott is a professor in the Department of English at Queen's University.

Glenn Willmott's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Wilmott's wide knowledge of English-language novels of early twentieth-century Canada - coupled with his informed understanding of modernism - makes Unreal Country a book we have needed for some time. It is a welcome and significant addition to Canadian literary studies." Donna Bennett, Department of English, University of Toronto "I applaud the author's eclectic and convincing theoretical scholarship, as well as his ability to interpret fiction as a practical critic." Brian Trehearne, Department of English, McGill University "This book offers a very interesting argument for a niggling question in English-Canadian literary history, namely why elements of the romance live such a long - if disfigured - life in realist fiction. It is also valuable for working both with canonized titles and with novels that were known in their day but haven't made the canonical cut . This strikes me as an elegant and trenchant feature of Willmott's historicizing method, and makes the book a welcome resource for continued work in Canadian literary history." Donna Palmateer Pennee, School of Literatures and Performance Studies in English, University of Guelph

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