Department of English

University of Toronto


CCR199HS    L0191     R1-3 
First-Year Seminar: CanLit Boom of the 1960's
Professor N. Mount
Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, 703

Brief Description of Course: Canada saw a literary explosion in the 1960s unlike anything the country had ever experienced before. The long decade between the late 1950s and the mid-1970s saw the emergence of what are still the best known names in Canadian literature, names like Margaret Atwood, Marie-Claire Blais, George Bowering, Leonard Cohen, Mavis Gallant, Margaret Laurence, Dennis Lee, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, Al Purdy, Mordecai Richler, and Michel Tremblay. An outgrowth of my forthcoming book Arrival: The Story of CanLit (Anansi, 2017), this introductory seminar explores the principal causes, products, and legacies of the CanLit Boom of the 1960s. Besides our reading (novels, essays, poetry), we will visit some Toronto landmarks of the CanLit Boom, such as Coach House Press and the CanLit collections at the Fisher Rare Book Library.

Required Reading: Tentatively: Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences, 1949-1951; John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society (1958); George Grant, Lament for a Nation (1965); Hubert Aquin, “The Cultural Fatigue of French Canada” (1962); Hubert Aquin, Next Episode, trans. Sheila Fischman (1965); Leonard Cohen, The Spice-Box of Earth (1961); bpNichol, The Alphabet Game: A bpNichol Reader (2007); Austin Clarke, The Meeting Point (1967); Margaret Atwood, Surfacing (1972); Mavis Gallant, Home Truths (1981); Alice Munro, Dance of the Happy Shades (1968).

First Three Authors/Texts: Galbraith, Grant, Aquin.
Method of Evaluation: Course marks will be determined by seminar participation, including short written weekly responses (40%), and two essays (60%).

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