West of Eden: Essays on Canadian Prairie Literature: …
West of Eden: Essays on Canadian Prairie Literature Jan 2008
These 17 essays ponder the character of prairie literature. What is prairie literature now, what has it been, and what is its future? That the prairies are "west of Eden" is an idea only, and a somewhat mischievous one. Is this spot distant from the glory of the garden? Writers have often pondered the ambiguous sanctity of the prairies, while those who recruited settlers certainly exploited the notion. These varied essays engage with Margaret Laurence, Rudy Wiebe, and Neil Young. They present analysis of NFB films and the gopher as icon. Here are strategies for teaching and views of the Canadian prairies from abroad. This is a significant collection of fresh views of prairie literature.
In West of Eden: Essays on Canadian Prairie Literature
The number of Canadian universities, , accessible academic and literary periodicals (from to Geist), courses in Canadian literature and creative writing schools also increased, in part because of the recommendations of the and the emergence of the in the 1950s. Further government policies led to such social developments as the in 1982, but a sudden shift to policies that favoured fiscal restraint and cultural cutbacks occurred in the early 21st century and have persisted; the publishing industry, libraries, public media and scholarship were all affected. New technologies opened up opportunities for local (and frequently more innovative) publishing (including experiments in syllabic and concrete poetry, mixed-media presentations, performance poetry and other formats), yet they did not guarantee access to publicity and sales. Coteries came and went; so did scores of journals and papers. Newspapers faced hardships, and some stopped publishing print editions; this was due in part to a readership that had shifted to online news sources. Publishers of formula fiction remained monetarily successful. Some writers of mystery and science fiction achieved international stardom and praise for their literary achievements, as in the case of William Gibson’s Neuromancer (1986), Nalo Hopkinson’s Brown Girl in the Ring (1998) and Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy (2003, 2009 and 2013). But publishing houses that had thrived in the 1960s when American control over the information industry was resisted faced closure in the 2010s with the increasing influence of electronic publishing and multinational corporations. The CBC’s annual Canada Reads contest, which began in 2002, pits a selection of books against one another, each with its own celebrity endorsement. The event promotes Canadian writing and emphasizes the importance of a reading public yet simplifies literature and contributes to a competitive literary culture. Likewise, a plethora of prizes, often with corporate sponsorship, began to construct literature as spectacle. Many bookstores nevertheless closed.