By Paul Simpson-Housley, Glen Norcliffe
In 1759, Voltaire in Candide talked about Canada as "quelques arpents de neige." For numerous centuries, the picture prevailed and was once the only most often utilized by poets, writers, and illustrators. Canada was once perceived and portrayed as a chilly, not easy, and unforgiving land. this used to be no longer a land for the fainthearted. Canada has yieled its wealth in basic terms reluctantly, whereas periodically threatening lifestyles itself with its monitors of fury. studying its attractiveness and hidden assets calls for persistence and perseverance. a couple of Acres of Snow is a colletion of 22 essays that discover, from the geographer's viewpoint, how poets, artists, and writers have addressed the actual essence of Canada, either panorama and cityscape. "Sense of position" is obviously severe within the works tested during this quantity. integrated one of the book's many matters are Hugh MacLennan, Gabrielle Roy, Lucius O'Brien, the artwork of the Inuit, Lawren Harris, Malcolm Lowry, C.W. Jefferys, L.M. Montgomery, Elizabeth Bishop, Marmaduke Matthews, Antonine Mailet, and the poetry of jap Canadians.
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JefFerys is an artist and a scholar and, through years of research and artistic work, has provided a valuable commentary upon Canadian history from the earliest times to the present. The scholarly historical illustration is a comparatively new art, and Mr. JefFerys' drawings are a contribution, not only to art, but to the cause of Canadian history also. (Wrong 1929, vii) While the sweep of the history covered by Wrong ranged from prehistoric times to the Canada of the First World War, JefFerys's thirty-two illustrations were not as comprehensive.
In a 1936 article in the Canadian Historical Review entitled "The Visual Reconstruction of History," Jefferys complains of the deficiencies of historical illustration: The critical examination of written history, the comparison of sourcedocuments, are marked features of modern historical study. The pictorial reconstruction of history too frequently displays the lack of a corresponding degree and quality of discrimination. " These were the talents he brought to bear in his several forays into interpretive historical illustration.
Lawrence pouring out to the Atlantic Ocean. MacLennan's fascination with geological time comes through clearly here, giving a new depth to his interpretation of the land: It is as though millions of years back in geologic time a sword had been plunged through the rock from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes and Hugh MacLennan 25 savagely wrenched out again, and the pure water of the continental reservoir, unmuddied and almost useless to farmers, drains untouchably away. (1) Clearly, there is an assured and imaginative control of the material here, for the passage in effect introduces the essential subject of the novel: the two "solitudes" of English and French Canada.