Although Jewish writers such as Leonard Cohen and Mordecai Richler have attained widespread personal influence and popularity in Canadian literary discussions, the relationship of Canadian Jewish literature to the mainstream remains an understudied question. In order to understand its roots, and its relationship to the canon, the role of early Yiddish writers, the influence of Eastern Europe, and the impact of regionalism must be considered. In recent writing, largely by women with Montreal roots such as Anne Michaels, a return to imaginary constructions of Eastern Europe reflects new developments. The role of key early influences, such as A.M. Klein, requires reconsideration, while revisiting the work of neglected figures like Henry Kreisel and Eli Mandel redirects our thematic and stylistic focus, while also shifting attention to writers from western Canada.
Elizabeth Meadows and Jay Clayton
Although the Victorian period gave birth to a strong tradition of critique of technology and industrialization, it also fostered a counter-tradition: a new and generative technological imaginary. In recent years, scholars of Victorian culture have begun to map out this technological imaginary in readings of canonical Victorian novels by Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Elizabeth Gaskell. This chapter surveys this recent critical work, then turns to Anthony Trollope’s The Small House at Allington (1864) as an example of how technologies of communication and transportation become vehicles for rich intersubjective exchanges, generating narrative structures that link characters and novels to one another in complex webs mimicking Victorian Britain’s network of rails, wires, and postal routes.
Yves Bonnefoy is a key figure in the French literary reception of Shakespeare. This essay explores his interpretations and translations of Shakespeare’s plays and poems, informed by his own poetic vision, anchored in a literary tradition whose high points include Baudelaire and Rimbaud. Bonnefoy argues that Shakespeare finds his poetic voice after experimenting with the sonnet—a genre Bonnefoy considers staid and prone to cliché when Shakespeare took it up. For Bonnefoy Shakespeare begins to come alive as a great poet in As you Like It and Romeo and Juliet; and his supreme achievement is The Winter’s Tale, a play which encompasses the scope of the entire oeuvre and resolves some underlying concerns of the major tragedies while offering a refined appraisal of the relationship between art, nature, and existence apposite to Bonnefoy’s own views about poetry.