Rapt in Plaid: Canadian Literature and Scottish Tradition

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9780802047854: Rapt in Plaid: Canadian Literature and Scottish Tradition
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Rapt in Plaid combines reflection, criticism and memoir to illustrate a curious and long-lasting connection between Scottish and Canadian literary traditions. Examples drawn from genres including lyric poetry, narrative romance, war fiction, children's literature, sentimental fiction, thrillers, domestic novels and short stories link Canadian writers such as John Richardson, Isabella Valancy Crawford, Sinclair Ross, Hugh MacLennan, Margaret Laurence and W.O. Mitchell to Scottish writers such as Robert Burns, Walter Scott, Thomas Carlyle, J.M. Barrie, Robert Louis Stevenson John Buchan and George Mackay Brown.

A line is traced in each chapter from directly imitative nineteenth-century Canadian writers to modern Canadian works where Scottish tradition persists, sometimes transformed and sometimes distorted. Lively biographical sketches and close analysis of particular passages by Scottish and Canadian writers are set in the context of multi-cultural, narrative, postmodern and postcolonial theories. This study illuminates the way Scottish ideas and values still wield surprising power in Canadian politics, education, theology, economics and social mores.

Although Professor Waterston's method is that of a literary historian, she frames each section in this new work with affectionate memories of reading, researching, and teaching Scottish and Canadian literature over a sixty year period.

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'A felicitous mixture of literary history, modern criticism, and personal memoir, this elegant book demonstrates that Scottish ideas, values, and culture have influenced Canadian literature since the 19th century.'

'[Rapt in Plaid] will occupy a very special place on the Canadian library shelf, where it will be read not only for its analysis of connections between Canadian and Scottish authors, but also for its history of the teaching of Canadian literature in Canadian post-secondary institutions. Moreover, its enthusiastic discussion of many writers from Canada and Scotland will inspire readers to take fresh (if not first) looks at familiar and unfamiliar titles.'

About the Author:

Elizabeth Waterston is Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph. She is a lifetime member of the Association of Canadian Studies and a former National President of the Humanities Association of Canada.

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ISBN 10:  0802086853 ISBN 13:  9780802086853
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Sch..., 2003
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