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Survival: Thematic Guide to Canadian…
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Survival: Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature (urspr publ 1972; utgåvan 1983)

av Margaret Atwood

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271371,689 (3.66)22
When first published in 1972, Survival was considered the most startling book ever written about Canadian literature. Since then, it has continued to be read and taught, and it continues to shape the way Canadians look at themselves. Distinguished, provocative, and written in effervescent, compulsively readable prose, Survival is simultaneously a book of criticism, a manifesto, and a collection of personal and subversive remarks. Margaret Atwood begins by asking: “What have been the central preoccupations of our poetry and fiction?” Her answer is “survival and victims.” Atwood applies this thesis in twelve brilliant, witty, and impassioned chapters; from Moodie to MacLennan to Blais, from Pratt to Purdy to Gibson, she lights up familiar books in wholly new perspectives.… (mer)
Medlem:shacklebot
Titel:Survival: Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature
Författare:Margaret Atwood
Info:House of Anansi Press Ltd ,Canada (1983), Edition: Second edition, Paperback, 288 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature av Margaret Atwood (1972)

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This book was first published in 1972, and consequently is a valuable snapshot of Canadian literature of the time. Atwood looks at the themes that recur in Canadian literature and contrasts them with other cultures; as she says in an early chapter, all literature study should be comparative. You don’t know what makes something Canadian until you’ve compared it with American, British, or other literatures.

Each chapter contains a list of books and poems discussed in that chapter, and amusingly to the 21st-century reader it includes the prices of each! If only a new book were still $1.95.

My favourite aspect of this book was Atwood weaving in poetry. She discusses it in a way that makes its symbolism and underlying themes clear, and each of her excerpts is chosen with care. It makes me want to read more poetry, which is a pretty big achievement.

The most dated part of this book is the discussion of Indigenous literature, because very little of it was being published at the time of writing—Atwood points this out herself. Fortunately we have a much more vibrant Indigenous literature scene today. If this book were to be updated, this would be the best chapter to update.

I’d recommend this if you like reading about the history of CanLit or literary criticism. But if you have to pick between this or Atwood’s Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature, I’d say pick Strange Things. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Jul 4, 2020 |
I agree with jtho.
A book from this far back in time could be considered for a re-write, but from what Margaret Atwood herself says, enough has changed that the original premise/theme/framework of the book would have to be scrapped.
Yes, you could write a book about Canadian literature as a whole right now, but it would not be a revision.
After reading the book, I have made very limited attempts to read any of the older books (written before 1950 or so.) So, I should really get on it to do some more of the historical research.
  libraryhermit | Oct 27, 2010 |
I was required to read selections of Atwood's study on Canadian literature as part of my own CanLit classes. At the time, I found the book dry. Years later, I read the book as a whole and loved it! Being familiar with the works discussed helps, of course, but Atwood's discussion is insightful and intelligent, and of course touched with humour. I found myself wondering if the themes identified would be same if she re-wrote the book now, and luckily enough a member of the audience asked the question that was on my mind at a reading of hers (for the Penelopiad). Her answer made perfect sense: today, the book wouldn't even be written. In the 1970s, there was a small enough body of CanLit to draw themes across the collection as a whole; today, there are so many Canadian authors publishing and gaining success internationally that there are too many books to find themes that apply to all of them. That perspetive sheds even more light on her important study from the 1970s. If you're interested in CanLit, it's worth the read. ( )
2 rösta jtho | Nov 2, 2006 |
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For Jay Macpherson, Northrop Frye, D. G. Jones, James Reaney, Eli Mandel, and Dennis Lee
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When I started to write this book I intended to produce a short, easy-to-use guide to Canadian literature, largely for the benifit of students and of those teachers in high schools, community colleges and universities who suddenly find themselves teaching a subject they have never studied: 'Canlit.'
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When first published in 1972, Survival was considered the most startling book ever written about Canadian literature. Since then, it has continued to be read and taught, and it continues to shape the way Canadians look at themselves. Distinguished, provocative, and written in effervescent, compulsively readable prose, Survival is simultaneously a book of criticism, a manifesto, and a collection of personal and subversive remarks. Margaret Atwood begins by asking: “What have been the central preoccupations of our poetry and fiction?” Her answer is “survival and victims.” Atwood applies this thesis in twelve brilliant, witty, and impassioned chapters; from Moodie to MacLennan to Blais, from Pratt to Purdy to Gibson, she lights up familiar books in wholly new perspectives.

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