By Paul Simpson-Housley, Glen Norcliffe
In 1759, Voltaire in Candide pointed out Canada as "quelques arpents de neige." For numerous centuries, the picture prevailed and used to be the only most often utilized by poets, writers, and illustrators. Canada used to be perceived and portrayed as a chilly, tough, and unforgiving land. this used to be now not a land for the fainthearted. Canada has yieled its wealth simply reluctantly, whereas periodically threatening existence itself with its monitors of fury. studying its attractiveness and hidden assets calls for persistence and perseverance. a couple of Acres of Snow is a colletion of 22 essays that discover, from the geographer's viewpoint, how poets, artists, and writers have addressed the actual essence of Canada, either panorama and cityscape. "Sense of position" is obviously severe within the works tested during this quantity. integrated one of the book's many topics are Hugh MacLennan, Gabrielle Roy, Lucius O'Brien, the artwork of the Inuit, Lawren Harris, Malcolm Lowry, C.W. Jefferys, L.M. Montgomery, Elizabeth Bishop, Marmaduke Matthews, Antonine Mailet, and the poetry of eastern Canadians.
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The application of new reproduction techniques to mass-circulated volumes was almost immediate, two fine examples being Sir Sandford Fleming's The Intercolonial: An Historical Sketch (1876) and George Monro Grant's Ocean to Ocean (1873). Two Americans, Howard and Reuben Belden, early recognizing the Canadian market for various forms of picture books, produced volumes of scenes of the countryside, county atlases, local histories, and biographies. Perhaps their most notable product, Picturesque Canada, was a collection of no fewer than 500 illustrations of rural and urban Canada by a team of notable artists and accompanied by a collection of essays by a no-less-distinguished team of writers.
It didn't take long before Canadian writers began to fill this need. 1 In doing so, he helped Canadians to formulate the self-image upon which their national identity is based. 2 Although his readers already knew Canada to be a vast and beautiful land, MacLennan's evocative images had a profound effect on how Canadians came to perceive themselves in their landscape. The emergence of an indigenous literature is a prerequisite for national self-understanding, just as it is clear that a nation's self-perception is in turn profoundly affected by such literary expressions.
I realized that yesterday was as alive as today and that the accurate and intensive observation of how many people acted now and here was the best way to understand how they acted in the past. (Jefferys 1945) Certainly, he achieved some recognition in this field. On the occasion of the publication of The Picture Gallery of Canadian History, the Toronto Daily Star editorialized on his accomplishments: "He supplied this newspaper with some of the loveliest drawings that have ever appeared in any Canadian daily .