Anglo-Canadian Modernists in Transit[ion]: Collectivity and Identity in Mid-Century Canadian Modernist Travel Writing
MetadataShow full item record
In the 1940s, A.M. Klein, Patrick Anderson, P.K. Page, and John Glassco contrib-uted to co-edited periodicals, socialized together to various degrees, and enjoyed healthy debates about what constituted modern poetry, what values it should espouse, and how Canada fit into the broader international Anglo-European modernist community with which they felt affiliated. Numerous scholars have explored the ways in which these so-called “Montreal poets” interacted with other modernist traditions while forging a more or less distinct modernist tradition of their own, but few have considered what happened next, after the group disbanded and the writers engaged in their next projects, most of which took them outside of Canada for extended periods of time. I examine journalism, fiction, travel writing, life writing, and memoir written by the “Montreal poets” in the period from 1948-1970 in order to better understand the consequences of transit for the formal, aesthetic, and ideological transitions in their writing. Paying close attention to such tensions, this disserta-tion maps the emergence of modernist Canadian travel writing, itself an under-explored subgenre of modernism in Canadian literature, and then charts the changes in its scope over the next two decades. I consider how each writer’s navigation of foreign contexts provoked them to revise their understanding of self in relation to others, and challenged their notions about such collective identities as nation, ethnicity, gender, race, class, sexual orientation, and religion.