Critical spaces : Margaret Laurence and Janet Frame /
Lorna M. Irvine.
1st ed.
Columbia, S.C. : Camden House, c1995.
xv, 131 p. ; 24 cm.
1571130748 (alk. paper)
More Details
Columbia, S.C. : Camden House, c1995.
1571130748 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [101]-124) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-02:
Remaining abreast of criticism of the works of some Commonwealth (or postcolonial) authors is virtually impossible, so a conspectus such as this serves a useful purpose for many readers and researchers. Irvine suggests that these New Zealand and Canadian fictionists have much in common, and she attempts, by careful paraphrase, to establish this thesis in reviewing most of the major literary criticism of their work. The author tells readers that "Laurence and Frame were unusually prophetic; and prophets, as we know, are seldom appreciated in their own countries." But the history of criticism of the two writers' works over 40 years suggests that they were accorded unusual attention both in their own nations and overseas. The range of critical approaches has, of course, expanded in recent decades. Unfortunately, the otherwise complete bibliographies omit many essays and stories, a regrettable shortcoming; but the survey of criticism is impressive. Clearly both Laurence and Frame were major writers, though "exemplary of different literary traditions." It is helpful to have so many articles offered in precis form, though the summaries of articles tend to be of uniform length and the style is undistinguished. Serious critics will still need to consult the full texts of the main articles. All collections. A. L. McLeod; Rider University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 1996
Reference & Research Book News, February 1996
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Main Description
First major critical study and comparison of two important female writers, the Canadian Margaret Laurence and the New Zealander Janet Frame.
Main Description
This volume investigates the past four decades of criticism devoted to two major female contemporary writers: the New Zealander Janet Frame, and the Canadian Margaret Laurence, author of A Jest of God. The first extensive study to compare the two, it considers early close readings meant to promulgate each writer's work, and traces the various influences of narrative, feminist, postmodernist, and postcolonialist theory on a wide-ranging selection of commentaries. The book also focuses on connections among writers, critics, and a country's mythologies of nationalism, and, of particular significance to Canada and New Zealand, how literatures and commentaries on it illustrate national and international uses of power. Throughout, Professor Irvine points to similarities between the writers' careers, their influence on the development of the literary histories of their respective countries, their ambivalent feelings about England, and, finally, their concern with certain marginalized groups, such as the Maoris. An extensive bibliography completes the volume.
Table of Contents
Establishing a Basep. 1
Early Reviews and Critiquesp. 1
Developing Fictional Worldsp. 7
Emerging Critical Voicesp. 13
Writers as Criticsp. 14
Introductory Analysesp. 17
Clara Thomas and Patrick Evansp. 23
Maturing Opinionsp. 30
Talking with Writersp. 31
Assessing New Novelsp. 34
Focusing on Content: Themes, Archetypes, Allegoriesp. 38
New Directions: Point of View, Psychoanalysis, Nationalismp. 47
Critical Varietyp. 51
Studies Cumulative, Comparative, and Intertextualp. 54
Narratology and Languagep. 59
The I-Land: Biographical and Autobiographical Studiesp. 62
Feminist Alternativesp. 67
Observations from the Coloniesp. 73
Politics and Fictionp. 77
The Problem of Genderp. 78
Postmodern Dividesp. 81
Canada, New Zealand, and Postcolonialismp. 83
Into the Future: Summaries and Seriesp. 91
Epilogue: Celebrationsp. 96
Works Consultedp. 101
Indexp. 125
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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