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Montreal Forties, The by Brian Trehearne

0802044522

During the Second World War, a number of young Canadian poets converged on Montreal and, in a few years of little-magazine and small-press publication, rewrote the story of modern English-Canadian poetry. The Montreal Forties established a new reading of Canadian modernist poetry in this crucial decade, during which the radical impersonality of high-modernist poetics gave way to an ironic expression of the modern individual in years of unexampled geopolitical and private crisis.

The book discusses four major English-Canadian poets of the forties: P.K. Page, A.M. Klein, Irving Layton, and Louis Dudek. The character of the decade’s poetry is explored through close scrutiny of the largely unread work published in the little magazines Preview and First Statement, as well as reference to their criticism, correspondence, and journals. Brian Trehearne shows that the Canadian poets emerging in Montreal in the 1940s graced in common a coherent set of artistic challenges general to poetry in English at that time. Chief among these was the function and value of the striking modernist image in the ‘whole’ poem newly demanded of a generation at war, a matter vigorously debated by poets in Britain and the United States as well. The Montreal Forties allows us for the first time to see artists as diverse as Page and Layton, Klein and Dudek as part of a single Canadian and international generation, and breaks new ground for cirtics of Canadian modernist poetry.

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Modernist Poetry in Transition

English

Non-Fiction

poetry

1999

0-8020-4452-2

University of Toronto Press

Toronto

1999

381

hardcover