Case 3: Bringing Canadian Literature to the Classroom: “the best that has been thought, felt, and written in Canada”

In recent years the ideological factors shaping the NCL have been the subject of considerable debate (see Laura Groening’s “Malcolm Ross: Making it Real or Making a Difference?” Studies in Canadian Literature 25.1 (2000) for a defence of Ross and a detailed account of the controversy), but what is uncontested is its role in establishing the “canon” of Canadian literature in a period when the nation was attempting to define its identity.

Now under the Random House imprint, the New Canadian Library continues, as the press puff expresses it, “[to be] synonymous with the best that has been thought, felt, and written in Canada, and it has ensured that major books have remained in print and readily accessible to the reading public. Spanning more than two hundred years of writing in 100 titles, the series publishes the country’s greatest writers, including Margaret Atwood, Morley Callaghan, Margaret Laurence, Stephen Leacock, Hugh MacLennan, Michael Ondaatje, and Gabrielle Roy.”

Other Editors

Among current faculty, Tracy Ware continues the tradition of scholarly editing of Canadian Literature with:

  • Crowded out!: and other sketches by Susan Frances Harrison (Ottawa: Tecumseh Press, 2010)
  • Jean Baptiste: a poetic olio, in II cantos by Levi Adams (London ON: Canadian Poetry Press, 1996)
  • A Northern Romanticism: Poets of the Confederation (Ottawa: Tecumseh Press, 2000)
  • Uncollected short stories by Duncan Campbell Scott (London ON: Canadian Poetry Press, 2001)

As do Glenn Willmott

  • Think of the earth (Toronto: Brown Bear Press, 2000)

and Robert May

  • In the Village of Viger: A Critical Edition by Duncan Campbell Scott (Ottawa: Tecumseh, 2010)