INVOCATIONS: THE POETRY AND PROSE OF GWENDOLYN MACEWEN
Volume 11 Number 6.
Jan Bartley, a university instructor, has structured the six chapters of this book about the prose and poetry of Gwendolyn MacEwen much as she might a series of six classroom lectures. And, like a good teacher, Bartley has written a clear and thorough analysis of her style, literary structures, metaphors, philosophy, and themes. She has also cited critical opinions of MacEwen's work from many Canadian writers, and these documented references are themselves of interest to anyone hoping to read more about MacEwen's often obscure and densely symbolic lines. The extent to which her work has been influenced by her interest in Jungian philosophy and alchemy is also explored.
The book gives attention to novels Julian the Magician and King of Egypt, King of Dreams, poetry collections A Breakfast for Barbarians, The Shadow-Maker, and The Armies of the Moon, and to Norman, a collection of short stories.
Bartley claims that MacEwen is in harmony with post-Modernist Canadian poets and that her primary task and central theme is "transmuting the ordinary into the ethereal," "making the word flesh, the arcane incarnate," and uncovering "the mythological in the mundane." Much of MacEwen is difficult to interpret, and this guidebook through her major works will be valuable for students writing term papers, for classroom teachers who are not certain how to present her work to their classes, and for anyone with an interest in modern Canadian literature.
Marion Mintis, Bonar Law Memorial School, Rexton, NB.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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