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Title: “let us find our serious heads”: Placing the Manifesto in Canadian Literature
Authors: Hanna, Julian
Keywords: Canadian literature
little magazines
Thomas D’Arcy
modernism (literature)
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Centro de Estudos Anglísticos da Universidade de Lisboa
Citation: Revista Anglo Saxonica, Série III, Nº2. Lisboa: 2011. Pp. 267-280
Abstract: The year 2009 marked the centenary of the publication of ‘The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism’ on the front page of Le Figaro. As Martin Puchner argues in Poetry of the Revolution: Marx, Manifestos, and the Avant-Gardes (2005):‘Futurism taught everyone how the manifesto worked’. The manifesto was indispensible to modernist and avant-garde movements in the twentieth century, from dada and surrealism to Canada’s own neoism. But the literary-artistic manifesto did not originate with futurism, and its use has not been limited to the avant-garde. In Canada, for example, manifestos have served both to mark turning points and to generate ruptures in the longstanding debate on the value and viability of a national literature. In this paper I will examine the changing role the manifesto played in Canadian literature from the mid-nineteenth century to the Second World War. Between these dates we can trace the genre’s early development in the struggle for national identity to its more precisely literary use as a tool of modernist provocation. The study will draw upon important literary magazines of the period, from Thomas D’Arcy McGee’s New Era (1857-58) to “little magazines” like Alan Crawley’s Contemporary Verse (1940-52). The manifestos appear not only as “manifestos,” but also as editorials, prospectuses, prefaces, speeches, letters, essays, and poems. What unites them is a tone of urgency, a promise of salvation, and the struggle to break a path out of the current crisis.
Peer review: yes
ISSN: 0873-0628
Publisher Version:
Appears in Collections:CEAUL/ULICES - AS - Série III - nº 2 - 2011

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