Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Canadian style

In his short book on Stephen Leacock, simply titled Stephen Leacock, Robertson Davies discusses what it means to speak and by extension to write "like a Canadian":  

It means that one speaks or writes "simply, in sentences usually brief, avoiding slang but by no means unconscious of the flavour and impact of simple words used in unfamiliar contexts." 

The quotation can be found on page 54, near the end of Davies' study.  This brief passage has stayed with me because I feel that it nails the Canadian voice, nailing the style of so much Canadian literature.

It makes me wonder, Are there alternatives? Can one be verbally baroque and still be recognizably Canadian?     

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