Double-Takes: Intersections Between Canadian Literature and Film

University of Ottawa Press
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Over the past forty years, Canadian literature has found its way to the silver screen with increasing regularity. Beginning with the adaptation of Margaret Laurence’s A Jest of God to the Hollywood film Rachel, Rachel in 1966, Canadian writing would appear to have found a doubly successful life for itself at the movies: from the critically acclaimed Kamouraska and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz in the 1970s through to the award-winning Love and Human Remains and The English Patient in the 1990s. With the more recent notoriety surrounding the Oscar-nominated Away from Her, and the screen appearances of The Stone Angel and Fugitive Pieces, this seems like an appropriate time for a collection of essays to reflect on the intersection between literary publication in Canada, and its various screen transformations. This volume discusses and debates several double-edged issues: the extent to which the literary artefact extends its artfulness to the film artefact, the degree to which literary communities stand to gain (or lose) in contact with film communities, and perhaps most of all, the measure by which a viable relation between fiction and film can be said to exist in Canada, and where that double-life precisely manifests itself, if at all.
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About the author

David Jarraway is professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Ottawa, and is the author of Wallace Stevens and the Question of Belief: “Metaphysician in the Dark” (1993) and Going the Distance: Dissident Subjectivity in Modernist American Literature (2003), both in the “Horizons in Theory and American Culture” Series at Louisiana State University Press.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Ottawa Press
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Published on
May 25, 2013
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Pages
366
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ISBN
9780776619880
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Collections / Canadian
Literary Criticism / Canadian
Performing Arts / Film / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Susanna Moodie is, of course, best known for her books Roughing It in the Bush and Life in the Clearings, which are largely comprised of short sketches that she had previously published. What is not widely known, however, is that Mrs. Moodie had a long and prolific literary career in which short sketches and tales were among her favoured genres. This book offers a selection of these narratives, unavailable in print since the nineteenth century but essential to an understanding of Susanna Moodie's work.

In her writing, Mrs. Moodie repeatedly explores the position of women in nineteenth-century society. She was profoundly influenced by her family s early misfortune and consequent fall from gentry status, her gender, and her husband's decision to emigrate to Canada. These concerns recur with such frequency and insistence in the narratives collected here that it becomes impossible to doubt the importance of them in her life and in her writing out of that fife. Most of the stories are concerned with emigration, and are set in the country from which emigration takes place or is contemplated. Financial disaster and loss of social status are the causes of emigration for characters in "The Vanquished Lion," "The Broken Mirror," and many of the other narratives.

This collection will be of interest to those who wish to understand more fully Roughing It in the Bush, the problems of class and gender as they affect writers, and the difficulties of immigrants in a developed colonial society. It will also be of interest to those seeking to understand the development of short fiction or those who simply like reading it.

Winner of the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize

Finalist for the 2015 Toronto Book Awards

Winner of the 2015 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize

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"André Alexis has established himself as one of our preeminent voices." – Toronto Star

— I wonder, said Hermes, what it would be like if animals had human intelligence.
— I'll wager a year's servitude, answered Apollo, that animals – any animal you like – would be even more unhappy than humans are, if they were given human intelligence.

And so it begins: a bet between the gods Hermes and Apollo leads them to grant human consciousness and language to a group of dogs overnighting at a Toronto vet­erinary clinic. Suddenly capable of more complex thought, the pack is torn between those who resist the new ways of thinking, preferring the old 'dog' ways, and those who embrace the change. The gods watch from above as the dogs venture into their newly unfamiliar world, as they become divided among themselves, as each struggles with new thoughts and feelings. Wily Benjy moves from home to home, Prince becomes a poet, and Majnoun forges a relationship with a kind couple that stops even the Fates in their tracks.

André Alexis's contemporary take on the apologue offers an utterly compelling and affecting look at the beauty and perils of human consciousness. By turns meditative and devastating, charming and strange, Fifteen Dogs shows you can teach an old genre new tricks.

André Alexis was born in Trinidad and grew up in Canada. His debut novel, Childhood, won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Trillium Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. His other previous books include Asylum, Beauty and Sadness, Ingrid & the Wolf and, most recently, Pastoral, which was also nominated for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and was named a Globe and Mail Top 100 book of 2014.

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