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By Paul Simpson-Housley, Glen Norcliffe

In 1759, Voltaire in Candide talked about Canada as "quelques arpents de neige." For a number of centuries, the picture prevailed and was once the only most often utilized by poets, writers, and illustrators. Canada used to be perceived and portrayed as a chilly, not easy, and unforgiving land. this used to be now not a land for the fainthearted. Canada has yieled its wealth merely reluctantly, whereas periodically threatening existence 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 standpoint, how poets, artists, and writers have addressed the actual essence of Canada, either panorama and cityscape. "Sense of position" is obviously serious within the works tested during this quantity. incorporated one of the book's many topics are Hugh MacLennan, Gabrielle Roy, Lucius O'Brien, the paintings 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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The landscape unfolds smoothly as the words flow in from the sea and divide to either side of the viewer, swelling inward and leaving the reader with a precise geographical setting - a word-map of a landscape that was here being described for the first time in a popular Canadian novel. Hugh MacLennan was indeed writing Canada into being, and this caught the attention of his readers from the very first pages. Startled, they read on, eager to see more of their land and, in seeing, to know and assimilate it.

The picture is carefully constructed: the vast sweep of space is tied together effectively by the twin devices of time (it is now, and the sun is moving over the continent) and line (the thread-like railway that extends from ocean to ocean). A feeling of excitement and movement is built up throughout the passage by the use of active verbs such as rolled, sent, turned, poured, drained, passed, and packed; but the "railway line . . lay* passively across the landscape immobile, important, and effectively foregrounded.

The Watch That Ends the Night. Toronto: New American Library of Canada/Signet. 1967. Seven Rivers of Canada. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. Peepre-Bordessa, Mari. 1990. Hugh MacLennan's National Identity: Mapping a Canadian Trilogy. Helsinki: Finnish Academy Press. , and William J. Lloyd. 1977. Landscape in Literature. Resource Papers for College Geography No. 76-3. Taylor, William Henry. 1913. Canadian Seasons, Spring: Summer: Autumn: Winter: With a Medley of Reveries in Verse and Prose and Other Curios, 63-64.

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