Our Living Tradition: Second and Third Series
In this book, distinguished scholars and writers of today discuss leading figures in the history of Canadian letters and public affairs, providing a treasury of information on Canadians of importance, and a meeting between Canada’s past and present.
Robert L. McDougall begins with an essay on Thomas Chandler Haliburton, humourist, satirist, and creator of Sam Slick. J. M. S. Carless deals with George Brown, Liberal leader, and proprietor of the Toronto Globe. J. S. Tassle examines the life and work of Philippe Aubert de Gaspe, seigneur, lawyer, and author of the first French-Canadian prose classic, Les Anciens Canadiens, which he created when in his seventies.
A.J.M. Smith, himself a poet, supports his opinion of Duncan Campbell Scott as a "remarkable, if not impeccable, poet." James A. Gibson discusses Sir Robert Borden as Leaders of the Opposition and Prime Minister, and his contributions to the theory and practice of Canadian autonomy. Earle Birney, poet and novelist, points out that the trend of modern criticism has led to misunderstanding and misprizing of the poetry of E.J. Pratt, which is therefore too commonly regarded as "old fashioned."
Barker Fairley, scholar and artist, discusses Frederick H. Varley, outstanding Canadian artist and one of the Group of Seven, who, in the intense humanism of his best work, exemplifies a tradition sadly neglected, the author believes, in contemporary Canadian painting. Guy Sylvestre describes how the main events of the life of Francois-Xavier Garneau, historian and author of Histoire du Canada, paralleled important milestones in the history of the nation. David M. L. Farr tells how John S. Ewart, political dissenter, regarded the exposition of self-government as the "chiefest part of Canadian history." Jean Bruchesi, drawing on the personal correspondence of his subject, gives the story of Louis Joseph Papineau, patriot and leader of French Canada. Robin S. Harris finds that Egerton Ryerson’s prose writings on religious and civil liberties and on education are still "full of life and vigour." James Reaney, whose own poetry has won him two Governor-General’s awards, discusses symbolism in the poetry of Isabella Valancy Crawford, whom he calls a "precursor of Pratt."
The lecture series, of which the second and third are printed in this volume, grew out of a larger programme at Carleton University for postgraduate studies in the cultural history of Canada, now embodied in the Institute of Canadian Studies established at Carleton in 1957 to take advantage of the University’s proximity to the National Library, the Public Archives of Canada, and the many other sources of information which Ottawa makes available to it. The concern of the sponsors of the Series has been to secure a creative view of the ideas and values of the past from the vantage point of the present through a happy conjunction of speaker and subject. That this has been accomplished will be appreciated by a sampling of the contents.
Publication of the first series of Our Living Tradition in 1957 was warmly received by readers and reviewers, leading to a prompt reprinting. The new volume, of even broader scope, should find an interested audience awaiting it.
- Series: Heritage
- World Rights
- Page Count: 304 pages
- Dimensions: 5.5in x 1.0in x 8.5in
Author InformationRobert L. McDougall is a professor emeritus of English at Carleton University. He was the founder and for many years the Director of the Institute of Canadian Studies at Carleton.
Subjects and Courses