Colonial Cosmopolitanism? Resistance, Aesthetics, and Modernism in Patrick Anderson’s Prose

Type of resource
Author/collaborator
Title
Colonial Cosmopolitanism? Resistance, Aesthetics, and Modernism in Patrick Anderson’s Prose
Abstract
The British-born Patrick Anderson (1915-1973) was a a Montreal poet and teacher. He taught at Selwyn House School from 1940 to 1946 and at McGill University between 1948 and 1950. In 1942, Anderson and fellow Montreal poet Frank R. Scott founded Preview, a Modernist literary magazine whose orientation was said to be "cosmopolitan" -- orientated for inspiration towards the English poets of the 1930s. The author contends with the claim that Anderson exemplifies the failure of Canadian Modernist cosmopolitanism. She explores the potential value and limitation of Anderson’s works as what she terms “colonial cosmopolitanism”. She views colonial cosmopolitanism as a form of cosmopolitan thought that brings its inherent contradiction to the fore. The author argues that Anderson’s travel writing, with its inward gaze, self-critical narration, and engagement with difference, suggest that one of the central contributions the poet makes in this period is defining Canadian cosmopolitanism in the genre of travel writing. She claims that Anderson’s work offers a more nuanced way of thinking about cosmopolitanism in a colonial context. The author demonstrates some of the ways that Anderson’s Modernist cosmopolitanism can at least partially succeed, all while continuing to acknowledge and tease out the “exemplary failure” of colonial cosmopolitanism to extricate itself from colonial ideology.
Publication
Canadian Literature/Littérature canadienne
Volume
No. 233
Pages
89-106
Date
Summer 2017
Language
en
Citation
Ballantyne, Emily. “Colonial Cosmopolitanism? Resistance, Aesthetics, and Modernism in Patrick Anderson’s Prose.” Canadian Literature/Littérature canadienne No. 233 (Summer 2017): 89–106.
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