Old Man Savarin Stories: Tales of Canada and Canadians
Published: December 1974© 1974
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 372 Pages
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
372 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
Ebook - PDF
Edward Thomson was a highly respected journalist and political commentator in Canada and the United States, and a leading short story writer, critic, and poet whose writing is now viewed as transitional between the nineteenth-century historical romances and the realistic trends of the twentieth century, and as the link in Canadian humorous writing between Thomas Chandler Haliburton and Stephen Leacock.
Thomson's ability to write both serious and humorous prose is well demonstrated in Old Man Savarin Stores: Tales of Canada and Canadians, which was originally published in 1917. This collection includes twelve short stories that appeared in an earlier collection, Old Man Savarin and Other Stories (1895), a nostalgic poem, 'The Canadian Abroad,' and five other tales: 'Dour Davie's Drive,' 'Petherick's Peril,' 'The Swartz Diamond,' 'Boss of the World,' and 'Miss Minnely's Management.' The change in title underlines Thomson's growing awareness of the need to interpret Canadians and Americans to each other, especially at a time when Canadians feared and distrusted American institutions.
Like William Henry Drummond, Thomson affectionately interprets and preserves the speech and character of certain local 'types' encountered earlier in his life -- the Glengarry Scot, the lumberman, the river-drive, the habitant of the Ottawa Valley: his characters are colourful individuals -- humorous, honest, and obstinate. Linked to the tradition of the raconteur, these tales are generally reminiscent and deal with war experiences, the United Empire Loyalists, and life in pioneer settlements.