The Wacousta Syndrome

The Wacousta Syndrome

Explorations in the Canadian Langscape

eBook - 1985
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Univ of Toronto Pr

Early Canadians, McGregor finds, were hardly the robust adventurers of legend; in fact, they preferred the view from the fort to the call of the wild - a disconcerting through for a nation rasied on TomThomson, voyageurs, and the boy scouts. In modern times, Canadians live most comfortably in the security of small towns, happily regulated by compromise and ritual. Ambivalent in character, they have limited horizons, but within these bounds they have great power and ability to control their own lives.

McGregor takes as her starting point the Canadian's recoil from nature - the awesome and hostile northern wilderness - as exemplified in Major John Richardson's Wacousta. She finds in this novel a paradigm of the Canadian experience - man at aodds with generally unpleasant surroundings - a pattern that pervades and dominates our entire cultural expression. By studying Canadian cultural artifacts, particularly literary ones of the twentieth centiry, she explores the Canadian 'langscape' (the set of myths through which a culture processes its encounter with nature), aiming at nothing less than the delineation of the 'prototypical Canadian' and the 'mapping' of the Canadian sense of self. She reconstructs a comprehensive image of Canadian culture, divested of its 'American' veneer, as a rational, self-consistent, seamless whole, and concludes with a brilliant analysis of the role of the artist, especially the writer, as mediator between ourselves and our world.

There is major critical intelligence at work here. McGregor presents a grand challenge to those who think they know about our literature, our art, and cultural identity to refine and re0think, possibly even change, their current views.


There is major critical intelligence at work here. McGregor presents a grand challenge to those who think they know about our literature, our art, and cultural identity to refine and re0think, possibly even change, their current views.



Publisher: Toronto [Ont.] ; Buffalo [N.Y.] : University of Toronto Press, Ă1985
ISBN: 9781442683198
1442683198
9781282056138
1282056131
0802025544
0802065708
9780802065704
Characteristics: 1 online resource (viii, 473 pages)

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