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Dubious Glory

The Two World Wars and the Canadian Novel

Dagmar Novak

Dubious Glory: The Two World Wars and the Canadian Novel combines literature and history to provide a lucid and engaging account of the remarkable transformations that have occurred in Canadian war fiction between 1915 and 1977. Beginning with a detailed focus on World War One fiction, Dubious Glory delineates the ways in which Canadian writers use the romance genre both to justify and to glorify the actions of the Canadian solider in combat. Inevitably, the transition from the jingoistic romance of Ralph Connor’s The Sky Pilot in No Man’s Land to the stark realism of Colin McDougall’s Execution reflects the profound changes found in Canadian war fiction after World War One. This study culminates in a sustained analysis of Timothy Findley’s The Wars in which he returns to the Great War, a war that he perceives with irony, an irony tinged, nonetheless, with elements of romance.