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Crafting a Canadian Imagination: A Juxtaposition of Baseland and Hinterland Experiences

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Crafting a Canadian Imagination:
A Juxtaposition of Baseland and Hinterland Experiences
Establishing a uniquely Canadian imagination has traditionally been regarded as a difficult task, as it hopes to craft a form of literature that places Canadian authors outside of the realm of influence of its early colonial European establishment, and more recent American convergence. However, it is possible to extrapolate an idiosyncratic identity that is not formed as a product of the difference between Canadian authors and their European or American powers, but rather through examining the ways in which these impacts have helped inform authors in creating literature which adheres to prevailing forms, and how they have guided authors in responding to topical ideals and pressures. The contrasting ideas of Europeans and Americans conform to two major facets of Canadian literature, the baseland and hinterland methodologies. Baseland literature conforms to the European desires for tradition and respect of form, which was an important focus of the British government in early colonial and confederation periods. Conversely, hinterland literary form allows expression through an American desire for freedom from rule and tradition, a form widely used in the modern and postmodern periods of a growing society. Differences in baseland and hinterland compliment the diverse struggles and desires of writers at different times throughout history. Canadian writers have established a unique imagination through the forms and functions of baseland and hinterland ideologies, facilitating a distinctly Canadian interpretation of society and self from colonial to contemporary times.
One of the two primary functions of baseland and hinterland literary instruction ...


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... and integrated communities in a vast new country, and allowed poets to instill traditional values through prophetical insights. The less structured hinterland literature arose from a desire to seek the same open freedom that was prevalent in American culture, and allowed poets to experiment with new forms and experience Canadian frontiers without conforming to traditional rules. A successfully growing citizenship and culture prompted the hinterland content of individualism and regard for nature, and poets were able to discover new frontiers and leave order behind to seek out chaos and freedom. The history of Canadian literature, from a traditional British baseland order to a free American hinterland chaos subsequently produced a distinctly Canadian imagination, which has morphed and grown in response to the important issues and ideas of the citizens it represents.



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