Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Canadian Cultural Exchange: Translation and Transculturalism/Echanges Culturels Au Canada: Traduction et Transculturation

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Canadian Cultural Exchange: Translation and Transculturalism/Echanges Culturels Au Canada: Traduction et Transculturation

Article excerpt

Norman Cheadle and Lucien Pelletier (eds),Canadian Cultural Exchange: Translation and Transculturalism/Echanges culturels au Canada: Traduction et Transculturation (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2007), xxv + 401pp. Cased. $85. ISBN 978- 0-8890-519-2.

Translation and intercultural exchange are fast becoming central issues in Canadian cultural studies, a necessary move as the editors claim, 'if multiculturalism is to be anything more than an ideological mask donned by the liberal state to dissimulate its appropriation of the Other into the One' (p. x). This book is concerned with analysing the complexities of these 'trans' processes, redeploying the theories of Fernando Ortiz, Deleuze and Guattari, and Edward Said in specifically Canadian contexts.

These 16 essays in English and French, written mainly by Canadian contributors, are framed by an Introduction in English (Cheadle) and a Postface in French (Pelletier), signalling the dialogue between the two official languages and cultures within which national/transnational identities are constructed. Arranged in sections beginning with 'Transitive Canada (1): From where to here?' and ending with a fifth section, 'Transitive Canada (2): From here to where?' the essays deal with key topics of cultural appropriation, exile, transcultural identities, polylingual writing and the importance of translation. What emerges is a representation of the enormous diversity of ethnic minority writing in Canada, with essays on writing by indigenous authors, Afro-Canadians, Hispanic- Canadians, Franco-Ontarians and Romanian-Canadians.

The topic of cultural appropriation is revisited, notably in relation to First Nations by Shelley Kulperger who writes about post-colonial hauntings in Jane Urquhart's Away and Eden Robinson's Monkey Beach, and in Laurence Steven's excellent rhetorical analysis of George Elliott Clarke's Whylah Falls, which draws on European and African intertexts to describe a rural Black Nova Scotian community of the 1930s. …

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