The Commonwealth Pen: An Introduction to the Literature of the British Commonwealth

The Commonwealth Pen: An Introduction to the Literature of the British Commonwealth

The Commonwealth Pen: An Introduction to the Literature of the British Commonwealth

The Commonwealth Pen: An Introduction to the Literature of the British Commonwealth

Excerpt

A. L. McLEOD

As Professor Wart writes in his essay on the literature of Canada, "It makes no sense to say . . . that to write in the English language is simply to contribute to the great treasury of English literature." But the realization of this fact has been an event of quite recent occurrence. It is not many years since it was, in literary circles, regarded as indeed impertinent to speak of American literature as if it were a discrete branch of writing and a separate subject of study: all literature written in the English language was regarded by the traditionalists as English literature, and the practitioners of the art of poetry and the craft of fiction who lived or worked outside the British Isles were regarded somewhat condescendingly as "overseas English."

European literary critics and historians, on the other hand, recognized somewhat earlier that though the Spanish and Portuguese languages were the vehicles of expression in the Latin American republics the literature produced . . .

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