Document Type

Book Chapter


The objectives of this essay are threefold: first, to describe a feminist Canadian literary modernism in order to draw attention to revisionsthat need to take place in the conception of a misleadingly unqualified modernism; second, to locate this strain of modernism historically, geographically, and aesthetically; and third, to analyze time' -space compression as a crucial aspect of feminist Canadian literary modernism. This essay argues that Margaret Laurence's Manawaka novels-The Stone Angel (1964), A Jest of God (1966), .The Fire-Dwellers (1969), and The Diviners (1974) are representative of a modernist strain of literature closely associated with nationalist and feminist movements that took phace in Canada in the 1960s and 1970s. More specifically, it responds to the question "When is the Prairie?" by suggesting that the prairie is timeless because it is an imagined construct that resists occupying a single time. Instead, it is a fluid coordinate on a space-time continuum that challenges homogeneous models of nationalism and modernism.