In Avant-Garde Canadian Literature, Gregory Betts draws attention to the fact that the avant-garde has had a presence in Canada long before the country's literary histories have recognized, and that the radicalism of avant-garde art has been sabotaged by pedestrian terms of engagement by the Canadian media, the public, and the literary critics. This book presents a rich body of evidence to illustrate the extent to which Canadians have been producing avant-garde art since the start of the twentieth century. Betts explores the radical literary ambitions and achievements of three different nodes of avant-garde literary activity: mystical revolutionaries from the 1910s to the 1930s; Surrealists/Automatists from the 1920s to the 1960s; and Canadian Vorticists from the 1920s to the 1970s. Avant-Garde Canadian Literature offers an entrance into the vocabulary of the ongoing and primarily international debate surrounding the idea of avant-gardism, providing readers with a functional vocabulary for discussing some of the most hermetic and yet energetic literature ever produced in this country.
Table of Contents Introduction Chapter One: Theory of the Avant-Gardes in Canada Chapter Two: The Cosmic Canadians Chapter Three: Canadian Surrealism: The Automatists Chapter Four: Canadian Vorticism L'Envoi: The Future of the Avant Endnotes Works Cited Acknowledgments