The Postwar Novel in Canada
Narrative Patterns and Reader Response
As a comparative study which includes the analysis of both English-Canadian and Quebec novels, this book provides an overview of the novel as it has developed in this country since the Second World War. Focusing on narratological rather than thematic elements, the book represents a systematic application of the insights and analytical tools of reader-reception theory, in particular the models proposed by Wolfgang Iser and Hans Robert Jauss. Placing the emphasis on the text and its effects rather than on the historical or psycho-sociological genesis of the text, the author invokes the models and paradigms of other literatures to establish a broader cultural context permitting the significance of a literature to emerge as a carrier of meaning in and beyond the culture that produces it. Tracing a critical path from Hugh MacLennan's hierarchic romance structures and Gabrielle Roy's social realism to the metafictions of Hubert Aquin and Timothy Findley, the author reveals that the novel's narratological features themselves are often closely linked with ideological positions.
"This is a rare book, one that offers individual textural interpretations, a historical overview, and new tools of analysis derived from reader-response theory. In short, it is a most valuable addition to a field which has much need of such work: comparative Canadian criticism. "- Linda Hutcheon, from the Foreword