A book that will fascinate and inform readers who love Canadian writing “Publishing Canadian books has always been an experiment. Like the great experiments of building a transcontinental railway and a national broadcasting system, it constitutes one of the nation’s defining acts. Publishing, after all, is a people’s way of telling its story to itself.” –from the Introduction Part cultural history, part personal memoir, this accomplished, sweeping, yet intimate book demonstrates that the story of Canadian publishing is one of the cornerstones of our literary history. In The Perilous Trade, former publisher, literary journalist, and industry insider Roy MacSkimming chronicles the extraordinary journey of English-language publishing from the Second World War to the present. During a period of unparalleled transformation, Canada grew from a cultural colony fed on the literary offerings of London and New York to a mature nation whose writers are celebrated around the world. Crucial to that evolution were three generations of book publishers – mavericks, gamblers, entrepreneurs, political activists, and true believers – sharing a conviction that Canadians need books of their own. Canadian publishing has long made headlines -be it Jack McClelland’s outrageous publicity stunts, American takeovers, the collapse of venerable imprints, or bold political moves to ensure the industry’s survival. Roy MacSkimming takes us behind the headlines to draw memorable portraits of the men and women who built Canada’s literary renaissance. With a novelist’s eye for character and incident, he weaves their tangled relationships with authors, agents, booksellers and each other into a lively narrative rich in anecdote and revealing personal recollection. Canadian publishers large and small have nurtured a literature of extraordinary diversity and breadth, MacSkimming argues, giving us English Canada’s greatest cultural achievement.
Drawing on the rhetorical work of James Phelan, Wayne Booth's ethical criticism, recent work on William Makepeace Thackeray, as well as an understanding of the role of skepticism in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English thought, Thackeray's Skeptical Narrative and the "Perilous Trade" of Authorship makes a substantial contribution to nineteenth-century reading practices, as well as narratology in general. Judith Fisher combines in this study rhetorical and ethical analysis of Thackeray's narrative techniques to trace how his fiction develops to educate his reader into what she terms a "hermeneutic of skepticism." This is a kind of poised reading which enables his readers to integrate his fiction into their life in what Thackeray called "a world without God" without becoming pessimistic or fatalistic. Although Thackeray's narrative strategies have been the subject of study, most have focused on Vanity Fair and Henry Esmond only, and none look as closely as does this study at actual rhetorical techniques such as his use of pronominalization to interpolate the reader into his skeptical discourse. Fisher also brings her analysis to bear on The Adventures of Philip and The Virginians, Thackeray's last two complete novels, both of which were critical failures even as contemporary critics acknowledged their stylistic excellence. This is the first study to attempt to understand the puzzle of those two books; Fisher recovers them from their marginalized position in Thackeray's oeuvre. Fisher expertly weaves an accessible narrative theory with thoroughgoing knowledge of Thackeray's life in an integrated reading of his entire works. Reading Thackeray holistically in spite of his own disruptive practices, she does full justice to his critical skepticism while elucidating his canon for a new readership.
The first-ever study of women in Canadian publishing, Toronto Trailblazers delves into the cultural influence of seven key women who, despite pervasive gender bias, helped advance a modern literary culture for Canada. Publisher Irene Clarke, scholarly editors Eleanor Harman and Francess Halpenny, trade editors Sybil Hutchinson, Claire Pratt, and Anna Porter, and literary agent Bella Pomer made the most of their vocational prospects, first by securing their respective positions and then by refining their professional methods. Individually, each woman asserted her agency by adapting orthodox ways of working within Canadian publishing. Collectively, and perhaps more importantly, their overarching approach emerged more broadly as a feminist practice. Guided by the resolve to make industry-wide improvements, these women disrupted the dominant masculine paradigm and reinvigorated the culture of publishing and authorship in Canada. Through their vision and method these trailblazing women became agents of change who helped transform publishing practice.
For every famous author there is a score of individuals working behind the scenes to promote and maintain her celebrity status. This timely and thoughtful book considers the particular case of internationally renowned writer Margaret Atwood and the active agents working in concert with her, including her assistants and office staff, her publicists, her literary agents, and her editors. Lorraine York explores the ways in which the careers of famous writers are managed and maintained and the extent to which literary celebrity creates a constant tension in these writers’ lives between the need of solitude for creative purposes and the give-and-take of the business of being a writer of significant public stature. Making extensive use of unpublished material in the Margaret Atwood Papers at the University of Toronto, York demonstrates the extent to which celebrity writers must embrace and protect themselves from the demands of the literary world, including by participating in – or even inventing – new forms of technology that facilitate communication from a slight remove. This informative study calls overdue attention to the ways in which literary celebrity is the result not only of a writer’s creativity and hard work, but also of an ongoing collaborative effort among professionals to help maintain the writer’s place in the public eye.
Originally published as Le commerce extérieur du Japon des origines au XVIe siécle in 1988, this new edition of the landmark French study chronicles Japan's transformation from an importer of continental luxury items, raw materials, and techniques to an exporter of high-quality merchandise over nearly a millennium. The vicissitudes of foreign trade policy, as well as the volume and balance of trade, are examined within the context of regional political and economic developments. All aspects of state-sanctioned and unofficial external commerce are considered. Indeed, this volume reveals that proliferation of private foreign trade constituted a vital link between Japan and its neighbors throughout the suspension of diplomatic relations from the ninth to the fourteenth century. Evidence culled from Japanese, Chinese, and Korean annals and administrative compendia, archaeological excavations, classic literature, artifact collections, and monk and courtier diaries attests to the spectacular diversity of foreign trade goods and their significance in pre-Tokugawa Japanese society. Methodically revised, and featuring an updated, expanded bibliography and redesigned maps, as well as a précis on the state of the field since the original publication, the 2006 English edition is an indispensable resource for scholars and the teaching of premodern East Asian regional history.
“The most important book to be written in more than 40 years about the rise of Canadian literature... Arrival: The Story of CanLit brims and crackles, in equal measure, with information and energy.” — Winnipeg Free Press A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book National Post 99 Best Books of the Year In the mid-twentieth century, Canadian literature transformed from a largely ignored trickle of books into an enormous cultural phenomenon that produced Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, Mordecai Richler, and so many others. In Arrival, acclaimed writer and critic Nick Mount answers the question: What caused the CanLit Boom? Written with wit and panache, Arrival tells the story of Canada’s literary awakening. Interwoven with Mount’s vivid tale are enlightening mini-biographies of the people who made it happen, from superstars Leonard Cohen and Marie-Claire Blais to lesser-known lights like the troubled and impassioned Harold Sonny Ladoo. The full range of Canada’s literary boom is here: the underground exploits of the blew ointment and Tish gangs; revolutionary critical forays by highbrow academics; the blunt-force trauma of our plain-spoken backwoods poetry; and the urgent political writing that erupted from the turmoil in Quebec. Originally published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, Arrival is a dazzling, variegated, and inspired piece of writing that helps explain how we got from there to here.
A lively and far-ranging interest in place, space, and situation characterizes the work of Romantic-era British author Charlotte Smith (1749-1806). Featuring ten original essays, an introduction and an epilogue, this volume offers new insights into Smith’s life and work by exploring two central issues: Smith’s place as a foundational writer in her period, and her contribution to the creation of “place” as a concept of social and literary importance. The contributors analyze themes such as itineracy, the natural world, and patriotism; they also explore the position of Smith’s work and authorial identity in terms of genre, aesthetics, and market dynamics. With its innovative approach to place as a material location, symbolic principle, and literary device, this volume advances our understanding of Smith’s work. Placing Charlotte Smith reveals Smith as an author who not only energizes our interest in domestic concerns, but who also shapes a global discourse constituted by changing ideas about borders, travel, national, and international identities.