Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Interesting note: In the United Kingdom, the Battle of the Plains of Abraham is often listed as being one of the 100 Most Important Battles In History. The battle took place between the British (led by Wolfe) and the French (led by Montcalm) outside of Quebec City in 1759 and ultimately resulted in the capitulation of New France and its assimilation into British North America. It is still considered to be important enough to be studied by British schoolchildren today; yet most Canadian schoolchildren are blissfully unaware of one of the most important events in Canadian history: the consolidation of the land mass above the 49th parallel into one country. It was an event with repercussions that have carried over well into the present day (see: Quebec Separatist movement) and has shaped the country as we know it.

In discussing Mikhail Bahktin's theories on English literary criticism in my 18th Century Lit class yesterday, I was again reminded that Bahktin, to me, sounds like it should be an acne treatment for one's back/bacne.

Margaret Atwood's Journals of Susanna Moodie is a really neat read. Moodie (sister of fellow authors Catharine Parr Traill and Samuel Strickland) wrote "Roughing It In the Bush" about early colonial life in Canada. Both she and her sister are regarded as important early Canadian writers, particularly with regards to exploration. Moodie's writing is a little too prose-y for my tastes, and she can be moody and melodramatic at times (as befitting a member of the semi-aristocracy?), but the poems that Margaret Atwood produced in the 70s based on "Roughing It In the Bush" are rather fascinating to read, as Atwood adopts the voice of Moodie to realize the duality that exists within all Canadians (leave it to a Canadian to write fanfic about an early pioneer woman). I recommend Atwood'sDream 2: Brian the Still Hunter and the segment of Moodie's journal it was based on: Volume I; Chapter X: Brian, the Still Hunter.

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