Most critics and literary historians have ignored Marxist-inspired creative literature in Canada, or dismissed it as an ephemeral phenomenon of the 1930s. Research reveals, however, that from the 1920s onward Canadian creative writers influenced by Marxist ideas have produced a quantitatively substantial and artistically significant body of poetry, drama, fiction, and non-fiction. This book traces historically and evaluates critically this tradition, with particular emphasis on writers who were associated with, or sympathetic to, the Communist Party of Canada. After two chapters surveying the work of anti-capitalist writers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the book concentrates on the development of Marxist-inspired writing from the 1920s to the end of the twentieth century. Besides devoting attention to both social and theoretical backgrounds, this study provides critical commentary on work by prominent writers who spent part of their literary careers as Communist Party members, including Dorothy Livesay, Patrick Anderson, Milton Acorn, and George Ryga, as well as less well known but more fervent Communists such as Margaret Fairley, Dyson Carter, Joe Wallace, Stanley Ryerson, and Jean-Jules Richard. Although primarily concerned with the older generation of Marxists who flourished between the 1920s and the 1970s, the book also includes a chapter on the post-1970s "New Left."
Table of Contents for Progressive HeritagePolitically Radical Literary Tradition in Canada, by James Doyle Acknowledgements Introduction Chapter 1: The Progressive Heritage in Canadian Literature: Beginnings to 1900 Chapter 2: Antecedents and Alternatives to Bolshevism Chapter 3: The 1920s: Communists and Fellow Travellers Chapter 4: The 1930s: Socialist and Other Realisms Chapter 5: The 1930s: Progressive Drama, Poetry and Non-Fiction Chapter 6: The 1940s: War and Post-War Chapter 7: The 1950s: Post-War to Cold War Chapter 8: After Stalinism: Decline and Achievement Chapter 9: The New Left Conclusion List of Works Cited IndexNER(01): GB IE