The Long History of CanLit's New Globality, or: When The History of Emily Montague Became Canada's First Novel

Robert Zacharias
2019 Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses (RCEI)  
This essay engages the "globality" of Frances Brooke's 1769 novel The History of Emily Montague as a means of historicizing Canadian literature's ostensibly recent emergence as a globalized body of writing. I argue that the complex temporalities at play in the construction of national literary traditions have worked to obscure the lines of continuity in the globality of two key periods in the field: the post-1960 institutionalization of English Canadian writing as "CanLit," which has recently
more » ... sen to some prominence in the international cultural sphere, and the first emergence of literature in Canada, which was always already international in form and practice. Brooke's novel, published in England a century before Canadian Confederation yet routinely identified as "Canada's First Novel," holds a privileged position within both periods, and offers a compelling opportunity to explore the anachronistically long history of contemporary Canadian literature's recent globality.
doi:10.25145/j.recaesin.2019.78.02 fatcat:jeravi54p5c6vlrn6rbzkv4r44