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In-Between – Liminal Spaces in Canadian Literature and Cultures

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Edited By Stefan L. Brandt

In the past few years, the concept of «liminality» has become a kind of pet theme within the discipline of Cultural Studies, lending itself to phenomena of transgression and systemic demarcation. This anthology employs theories of liminality to discuss Canada’s geographic and symbolic boundaries, taking its point of departure from the observation that «Canada» itself, as a cultural, political, and geographic entity, encapsulates elements of the «liminal.» The essays comprised in this volume deal with fragmented and contradictory practices in Canada, real and imagined borders, as well as contact zones, thresholds, and transitions in Anglo-Canadian and French-Canadian texts, discussing topics such as the U.S./Canadian border, migration, French-English relations, and encounters between First Nations and settlers.

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Abstraction and Mysticism in Bertram Brooker’s Paintings and Novels (Katalin Kürtösi)

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Katalin Kürtösi

Abstraction and Mysticism in Bertram Brooker’s Paintings and Novels

He had concerned himself too much with words—puzzling over them—wrestling with them—as Jacob did with the Angel—trying to wring their secret from them.

Bertram Brooker, Think of the Earth (1936), 283.

Abstract: The essay looks at the most productive decade of Bertram Brooker’s artistic activities highlighting the interplay between his determination to become a modernist artist in painting, his comments on the state of the arts in Canada and the frequent use of melodramatic elements in his fiction. This painter was the first in Canada to mount an exhibition of abstract pictures in January 1927. He had close connections with members of the Group of Seven and Brooker regularly published reviews and articles about exhibitions. In the early 1930s, his style in painting moved in the direction of (almost) photographic realism, and he started writing fiction. Think of the Earth (1936) won the very first Governor General’s Award.

Introduction

The Canadian Encyclopedia defines Bertram Brooker (1888–1955) as “artist, novelist, poet, journalist, advertising executive” who “became the first Canadian artist to exhibit abstracts in 1927” adding that “(a)s a novelist he won the first Governor General’s Award for fiction with Think of the Earth (1936).” On Wikipedia, he is introduced as “a Canadian writer, painter, musician, and advertising agency executive” (“Betram Brooker”), while The Art History...

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