Catalogue

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Weaving a Canadian allegory : anonymous writing, personal reading /
by Loretta Czernis.
imprint
Waterloo, Ont. : Wilfrid Laurier University Press, c1994.
description
xviii, 134 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
088920232X :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Waterloo, Ont. : Wilfrid Laurier University Press, c1994.
isbn
088920232X :
catalogue key
541921
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 119-127) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1995-01:
This little volume offers an interesting and a somewhat novel framework through which to view Canadian politics and society. A deconstruction of the 1979 Report of the Task Force on Canadian Unity by a professional sociologist, it carefully examines the text of the report from a literary perspective. Its theme is that Canada's ruling elites are incessantly "re-inventing" Canada and that this effort by the Task Force is yet another. In this exegesis on Canadian elite cultural values, the author illustrates how the clich'es of that group's perspectives are scattered throughout the work and drive it. Receiving some media coverage when it appeared, the report was discussed by a narrow segment of insiders and was then consigned to oblivion. Such efforts have been ongoing over the years, since Canada's way of confronting its "crises" is to have Royal Commissions, task forces, special committees, or conferences carry out studies and then bury them and their conclusions. Readers will have to be very well versed in Canadiana to fully appreciate this work, but it has a place in a Canadian studies collection and will be appreciated by students of Canadian politics, society, and literature. Graduate; faculty. P. Regenstreif; University of Rochester
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 1995
Reference & Research Book News, August 1996
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Loretta Czernis applies her sociological training in document analysis to study one government prescription for what ails Canadians. The Report of the Task Force on Canadian Unity rewrote Canada by reinventing patriotism, essentially inviting Canadians to imagine a new Canada. The Report itself is the product of what she calls the "federal writing machine" which exists to continually rewrite and thus reinvent Canada. Czernis' contextual reading of the Report occurs on two levels: reading technically, she examines the Report's anonymous writing style that asks readers to imitate its own conclusions (be patriotic, buy a flag, shop at home). Gestural reading invites reading as performance. Canadians are invited to participate in reshaping Canada by reading Canada allegorically, as a social body, capable of changing its form. What a document may intend is not always the same as what is read into it. Mistakes can and do occur in the reading. Czernis suggests that these "mistakes" constitute a significant form of resistance to the anonymous writing machine. Weaving a Canadian Allegory will be of special interest to Canadianists, sociologists and to those involved in cultural, political and textual studies.
Main Description
Loretta Czernis applies her sociological training in document analysis to study one government prescription for what ails Canadians. The Report of the Task Force on Canadian Unityrewrote Canada by reinventing patriotism, essentially inviting Canadians to imagine a new Canada. The Reportitself is the product of what she calls the "federal writing machine" which exists to continually rewrite and thus reinvent Canada. Czernis' contextual reading of the Reportoccurs on two levels: reading technically, she examines the Report's anonymous writing style that asks readers to imitate its own conclusions (be patriotic, buy a flag, shop at home). Gestural reading invites reading as performance. Canadians are invited to participate in reshaping Canada by reading Canada allegorically, as a social body, capable of changing its form. What a document may intend is not always the same as what is read into it. Mistakes can and do occur in the reading. Czernis suggests that these "mistakes" constitute a significant form of resistance to the anonymous writing machine. Weaving a Canadian Allegorywill be of special interest to Canadianists, sociologists and to those involved in cultural, political and textual studies.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
Preface
Introduction
Concerning Contexturep. 1
Reading and Projectionp. 7
Confederation and the Body of Conflictp. 27
Writing a Body of Unity: Rewriting "Canada and the Search for Unity"p. 49
Mytho-history to Allegory: Tomorrow's Unity as Patriot's Progressp. 73
Misreading Nietzsche, Rewriting Bloomp. 83
Afterwordp. 89
Appendix: Outlining The Report of the Task Force on Canadian Unityp. 93
Notesp. 113
Bibliographyp. 119
Indexp. 128
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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