Canadians and Americans: Myths and Literary Traditions

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Transaction Publishers - 328 страници

Much can be learned from a nation's literature. Examining three hundred years of cultural traditions, Katherine L. Morrison, a former American, now a Canadian, takes the reader through the historical, political, and sociological milieu of Canada and the United States to dispel misconceptions that they share near-identical social attitudes and historical experiences.

To most Americans and much of the rest of the world, America and Canada differ little except in terms of climate. It is true that they share a common British heritage and immigration patterns, but there are subtle cultural differences between the two countries. These may appear insignificant to Americans, but they are not insignificant to Canadians. Comparing mythologies each of the countries share about the other, the author examines national views of their histories, from the common origin of both nations in the American Revolution, through the two world wars. She also examines the role of nature and images of place and home in Canadian and American literary writing, noting the disparate historical development of the two national literatures. Using specific works by recognized authors of their time, Morrison considers the role of religion and the church, violence and the law, and humor and satire, in the literature of both countries. The book also explores the role of women, race, and class in the literature of both countries. It concludes with a discussion of the tenacity of national myths, and draws some tentative conclusions.

Now published in paperback in the United States, Morrison's broad-based approach to a largely unexplored subject will invite future study as well as improve understanding between Canada and the United States. Canadians and Americans will be of interest to cultural historians, American studies specialists, political scientists, and sociologists.

Katherine L. Morrison has taught at the University of Toronto and published in American and Canadian academic journals.

 

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Съдържание

The Launching of National Myths
1
Notes
23
A Sense of the Past
27
American Genesis
32
The Canadian Search for a Past
47
Conclusion
59
Notes
61
Nature
67
Gender Ethnicity and Class
177
The Rocky Road Toward Civil Rights in the United States
185
Religious and Class Differences in Canada
197
Conclusion
209
Notes
210
Violence
215
High Hopes and Hidden Devils in the United States
222
Law and Order as a Survival Technique in Canada
237

Romantic Naturalism in the United States
73
Omnipresent Nature in Canada
85
Conclusion
96
Notes
98
A Sense of Place
103
American Wanderlust
110
The Home Base in Canada
122
Conclusion
133
Notes
135
Religion and the Church
139
Religious Innovation in the United States
149
Striving for Church Unity in Canada
160
Conclusion
169
Notes
172
Conclusion
246
Notes
248
Humor
253
Tall Tales and Biting Satire in the United States
258
Social Paradoxes and Subtle Irony in Canada
271
Conclusion
283
Notes
285
The Tenacity of National Myths
289
Notes
296
Bibliography
299
Credits
315
Index
323
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