The Beginnings Of A National Literary Tradition



Canadians throughout their history have been concerned over the
status of their national literature. One of the major problems facing
early Canadian writers was that the language and poetic conventions that
they had inherited from the Old World were inadequate for the new scenery
and conditions in which they now found themselves. Writers such as Susanna
Moodie, Samuel Hearne, and Oliver Goldsmith were what I would consider
"Immigrant" authors. Even though they were writing in Canada about Canada
their style and their audiences were primarily England and Europe. These
authors wrote from an Old World perspective and therefore were not truly
Canadian authors. It took a group of ...

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these poets/authors was more
than ten years old when the Dominion of Canada was formed in 1867. However,
all of these writers were aware of the lack of a distinctive Canadian
literary tradition and they made efforts to create one for their successors.
While each of these men had their own distinctive writing style they all
sought to contribute and create a ‘national' literature. According to
R.E.Rashley in Poetry in Canada: The First Three Steps " there is no
Canadian poetry before [The Confederation Poets] time"(98). These men were
the first in a long line of authors and artists to conceive of the need for
a discernible national literature. The Confederation Poets function was to
"explore the new knowledge that they had acquired of themselves that had
been created by the interaction of environment and people and the concept
of evolutionary growth"(Rashley 98). Archibald Lampman was a key note in
the beginnings of a national literary movement. Before Lampman and the
other ...

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quote on the title page). The
importance of having this distinct literary "school" was a driving
inspiration in his art. Lampman is regarded "as the most talented of The
Confederation Poets"( W.J. Keith 18). It is amazing that this
unspectacular man could have such a profound effect on the evolution of
Canadian literary tradition. His upbringing was in a very conservative
environment as Lampman descended from Loyalists on both sides of his family
and his father was an Anglican clergyman. It seemed that "every element in
Lampman's upbringing told against the development of Canadianism in [him],
but Canadianism did develop very early"(E.K. Brown 97). As a child growing
up around ...

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Added: 12/22/2005 01:25:37 AM
Category: English
Words: 3840
Pages: 14

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