Intersections between Canadian Literature and Film

Sous la direction de David R. Jarraway


  • Available (May 2013)
  • Paper $39.95 CAD
    366 pages . 6 x 9
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Over the past forty years, Canadian literature has found its way to the silver screen with increasing regularity. Beginning with the adaptation of Margaret Laurence’s A Jest of God to the Hollywood film Rachel, Rachel in 1966, Canadian writing would appear to have found a doubly successful life for itself at the movies: from the critically acclaimed Kamouraska and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz in the 1970s through to the award-winning Love and Human Remains and The English Patient in the 1990s. With the more recent notoriety surrounding the Oscar-nominated Away from Her, and the screen appearances of The Stone Angel and Fugitive Pieces, this seems like an appropriate time for a collection of essays to reflect on the intersection between literary publication in Canada, and its various screen transformations. This volume discusses and debates several double-edged issues: the extent to which the literary artefact extends its artfulness to the film artefact, the degree to which literary communities stand to gain (or lose) in contact with film communities, and perhaps most of all, the measure by which a viable relation between fiction and film can be said to exist in Canada, and where that double-life precisely manifests itself, if at all.

Author Bio

David Jarraway is professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Ottawa, and is the author of Wallace Stevens and the Question of Belief: “Metaphysician in the Dark” (1993) and Going the Distance: Dissident Subjectivity in Modernist American Literature (2003), both in the “Horizons in Theory and American Culture” Series at Louisiana State University Press.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION: David Jarraway


Chapter 1: Beyond the National-Realist Text: Imagining the Impossible Nation in Contemporary Canadian Cinema by Jim Leach

Chapter 2: Griersonian "Actuality" and Social Protest in Dorothy Livesay’s Documentary Poems by Tania Aguila-Way

Chapter 3: “Stunning and Strange": Iceland as Memory and Prophecy in Alice Munro’s "White Dump" and Sarah Polley's "Away from Her’” by Nadine Fladd

Chapter 4: Maddin, Melodrama, and the Pre-National by Jennifer Henderson and Brian Johnson

Chapter 5: Dialogic Phantasy in Bruce McDonald’s Adaptive Narratives by Gregory Betts


Chapter 6: Reading Canadian Film Credits: Adapting Institutions, Systems, and Affects by Peter Dickinson

Chapter 7: Sisters in the Wilderness: Mythologizing Catharine Parr Traill by Ruth Bradley-St-Cyr

Chapter 8: “‘Triumph" in the Backwoods: The CBC’s Take on Moodie and Traill in Sisters in the Wilderness (2000) by Christa Zeller Thomas

Chapter 9: The Director’s Medium: Richard Attenborough’s De-Authorization of Grey Owl by Albert Braz

Chapter 10: Narrative Structure and Narrative Voices in The English Patient: Film And Novel--A Comparative Study by Christine Evain

Chapter 11: Loser Wins: The Rhetoric of High Modernism in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Bradley D. Clissold

Chapter 12: Why They Cannot Get It Right: A Reader’s Notes about Richler on Screen by Natalia Vesselova

Chapter 13: “‘[I]t’s my nature": A Comparison of Hagar Shipley’s Pride in The Stone Angel Novel and Film by Carmela Coccimiglio


Chapter 14: Why Sex Matters in Canadian Film and Literature by Katherine Monk

Chapter 15: The Nature of Things: Coupland, Cinema and the Canadian Sixties and Seventies by Andrew Burke

Chapter 16: Adapting Men to New Times?: Engagements with Maculinism in John Howe’s Why Rock the Boat? by Elspeth Tulloch

Chapter 17: Filming Music: Adapting Transnational Sound in The English Patient and Fugitive Pieces by Katherine McLeod

Chapter 18: “‘Something’s missing": Exploding Girlhood in The Tracy Fragments by Tanis MacDonald

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