Ripostes: Reflections on Canadian Literature

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The Porcupine's Quill, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 197 pages

Ripostes is a collection of essays on some salient features of the Canadian literary landscape, a number of which were first published in the Toronto Star, many of which appear in these pages for the first time. Included are essays on Atwood, Findley, Ondaatje and Margaret Laurence, as well as thematic explorations of Canadian literature such as an account of the demise of the Survival school of Canadian writing, a look at the recent history of the Writers' Union of Canada, an examination of the role of fathers in Canadian fiction, a study of the strange attraction of many of our writers to the occult, and so on.

The tone is considered, and critical rather than celebratory, although the essays are respectful of the genuine achievements of Canadian literature in the past few decades. They try to clear the air, as it were, of boosterism, political correctness, and other attitudes which hinder the appreciation and reception of good writing.

This is an honest re-appraisal of Canadian literature, undertaken at a time when we need no longer be overcome with relief and euphoria over the fact that some of our authors are now world famous, or at least world famous in Hoboken, New Jersey.


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About the author (1998)

Philip Marchand was the book columnist for the Toronto Star for eighteen years, before retiring to write books in 2008. He is the author of Just Looking, Thank You, a collection of magazine journalism (Macmillan, 1976); Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger (Random House of Canada, 1989); Deadly Spirits, a crime novel (Stoddart, 1994); Ripostes, a collection of literary criticism (Porcupine's Quill, 1998); and most recently Ghost Empire: How the

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