Rapt in Plaid: Canadian Literature and Scottish Tradition
Published: December 2003© 2001
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 354 Pages
Dimensions: 5.52 x 8.51
354 Pages, 5.52 x 8.51 x 1.00 in
Rapt in Plaid combines reflection, criticism and memoir to illustrate a curious and long-lasting connection between Scottish and Canadian literary traditions. Examples drawn from genres including lyric poetry, narrative romance, war fiction, children's literature, sentimental fiction, thrillers, domestic novels and short stories link Canadian writers such as John Richardson, Isabella Valancy Crawford, Sinclair Ross, Hugh MacLennan, Margaret Laurence and W.O. Mitchell to Scottish writers such as Robert Burns, Walter Scott, Thomas Carlyle, J.M. Barrie, Robert Louis Stevenson John Buchan and George Mackay Brown.
A line is traced in each chapter from directly imitative nineteenth-century Canadian writers to modern Canadian works where Scottish tradition persists, sometimes transformed and sometimes distorted. Lively biographical sketches and close analysis of particular passages by Scottish and Canadian writers are set in the context of multi-cultural, narrative, postmodern and postcolonial theories. This study illuminates the way Scottish ideas and values still wield surprising power in Canadian politics, education, theology, economics and social mores.
Although Professor Waterston's method is that of a literary historian, she frames each section in this new work with affectionate memories of reading, researching, and teaching Scottish and Canadian literature over a sixty year period.
'A felicitous mixture of literary history, modern criticism, and personal memoir, this elegant book demonstrates that Scottish ideas, values, and culture have influenced Canadian literature since the 19th century.'J. Walker, Choice
'[Waterston's] memories of Canadian literature's emergence are an invaluable piece of cultural history.'Margaret Bricker, Essays on Canadian Writing
'Rapt in Plaid is a marvellous book, interesting and insightful, a thoughtful look at the blending of two complementary cultures.'Nancy Schiefer, London Free Press
'Rapt in Plaid is as delightful as it is informative. You don't have to be predisposed to Scottish influences to enjoy this valuable addition to Canadian literary scholarship.'Robert Reid, Kitchener-Waterloo Record
'[Rapt in Plaid] will occupy a very special place on the Canadian library shelf, where it will be read not only for its analysis of connections between Canadian and Scottish authors, but also for its history of the teaching of Canadian literature in Canadian post-secondary institutions. Moreover, its enthusiastic discussion of many writers from Canada and Scotland will inspire readers to take fresh (if not first) looks at familiar and unfamiliar titles.'Carole Gerson, Department of English, Simon Fraser University