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Counterblasting Canada

Marshall McLuhan, Wyndham Lewis, Wilfred Watson, and Sheila Watson

Edited by Gregory Betts, Paul Hjartarson, and Kristine Smitka

Literary Criticism and Theory, Canadian Studies

Published: June 2016
ISBN: 9781772120370
Pages: 360 Size: 6x9

In 1914, Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis—the founders of Vorticism—undertook an unprecedented analysis of the present, its technologies, communication, politics, and architecture. The essays in Counterblasting Canada trace the influence of Vorticism on Marshall McLuhan and Canadian Modernism. Building on the initial accomplishment of Blast, McLuhan's subsequent Counterblast, and the network of artistic and intellectual relationships that flourished in Canadian Vorticism, the contributors offer groundbreaking examinations of postwar Canadian literary culture, particularly the legacies of Sheila and Wilfred Watson. Intended primarily for scholars of literature and communications, Counterblasting Canada explores a crucial and long-overlooked strand in Canadian cultural and literary history.

Gregory Betts is the Chancellor’s Chair for Research Excellence at Brock University in St. Catharines, the Director of Canadian Studies, and an Associate Professor in English.

Paul Hjartarson is Professor Emeritus in English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

Kristine Smitka teaches in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta.

Contributors Include:
Gregory Betts, Adam Hammond, Dean Irvine, Elena Lamberti, Philip Monk, Linda Morra, Kristine Smitka, Leon Surette, Paul Tiessen, Adam Welch, Darren Wershler

Reading Counterblasting Canada one has the impression that this quartet—Lewis, McLuhan, and Wilfred and Sheila Watson—and their thinking about culture touched just about every discipline and genre available in the mid to late twentieth century…. Finally, then, these collections not only open up new critical conversations about Watson and others, they remind us that our provocative predecessors are also mentors who might help us reimagine the liberal arts in the neo-liberal university.

– Kait Pinter, The Bull Calf