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Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian…

Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature (1972)

by Margaret Atwood

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I agree with jtho.
A book from this far back in time could be considered for a re-write, but from what Margaret Atwood herself says, enough has changed that the original premise/theme/framework of the book would have to be scrapped.
Yes, you could write a book about Canadian literature as a whole right now, but it would not be a revision.
After reading the book, I have made very limited attempts to read any of the older books (written before 1950 or so.) So, I should really get on it to do some more of the historical research.
  libraryhermit | Oct 27, 2010 |
I was required to read selections of Atwood's study on Canadian literature as part of my own CanLit classes. At the time, I found the book dry. Years later, I read the book as a whole and loved it! Being familiar with the works discussed helps, of course, but Atwood's discussion is insightful and intelligent, and of course touched with humour. I found myself wondering if the themes identified would be same if she re-wrote the book now, and luckily enough a member of the audience asked the question that was on my mind at a reading of hers (for the Penelopiad). Her answer made perfect sense: today, the book wouldn't even be written. In the 1970s, there was a small enough body of CanLit to draw themes across the collection as a whole; today, there are so many Canadian authors publishing and gaining success internationally that there are too many books to find themes that apply to all of them. That perspetive sheds even more light on her important study from the 1970s. If you're interested in CanLit, it's worth the read. ( )
2 vote jtho | Nov 2, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0771008724, Paperback)

When first published in 1972, Survival was considered the most startling book ever written about Canadian literature. Since then, it has continued to be read and taught, and it continues to shape the way Canadians look at themselves. Distinguished, provocative, and written in effervescent, compulsively readable prose, Survival is simultaneously a book of criticism, a manifesto, and a collection of personal and subversive remarks. Margaret Atwood begins by asking: “What have been the central preoccupations of our poetry and fiction?” Her answer is “survival and victims.”

Atwood applies this thesis in twelve brilliant, witty, and impassioned chapters; from Moodie to MacLennan to Blais, from Pratt to Purdy to Gibson, she lights up familiar books in wholly new perspectives.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:36 -0400)

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