Acts of Brief Authority: A Critical Assessment of Selected Twentieth-Century Newfoundland Novels

Description

191 pages
Contains Bibliography
$18.95
ISBN 1-55081-104-5
DDC C813'.54099718

Author

Publisher

Year

1994

Contributor

Reviewed by Raymond B. Blake

Raymond B. Blake is director of the Centre for Canadian Studies at Mount
Allison University and the author of Canadians at Last: Canada
Integrates Newfoundland as a Province.

Review

This book attempts to show that several major Newfoundland writers have
used their novels as a means of confronting an imposed political,
literary, and cultural authority in the province. The author’s
examination of the various narrative strategies employed by these
writers is used in support of her theory that the novels under
consideration are “acts of brief authority” that allow their authors
the self-sufficiency they need to overcome the imposed authority.
Margaret Duley’s novels, for instance, allow her to reject the power
of the British heritage in Newfoundland and to empower her female
characters.

Strong’s book would have been strengthened considerably if she had
elaborated on the nature of the political and cultural authorities
against which the novelists were reacting. No connection is made between
the reality of Newfoundland in the 20th century and the injustices
perceived by her group of novelists. The long quotations and the
extensive narrative summaries of the novels make this book tedious at
times. Finally, a concluding chapter and an index would have been
useful.

Citation

Strong, Joan., “Acts of Brief Authority: A Critical Assessment of Selected Twentieth-Century Newfoundland Novels,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 15, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/257.