The emergence and development of literary discourses in Canada has involved a dialectics of rupture and continuity, which is manifest in a complex dialogue of postcolonial writings with the traditions, canons and "classics" of the old colonial centres on the one hand, and of the New World on the other. The usage of the plural forms in the title of this volume ("dialogues", "traditions," "literatures") suggests a plurality of sources and social as well as cultural phenomena which contribute to the ethnic, linguistic and literary diversity of contemporary Canada. To comprehend and analyse the causes of the formation of such a rich literary landscape, the editors have invited anglophone and francophone Canadianists to consider, first of all, the polyvalence of the concept of traditions in Canada. The second common theme of the articles gathered here is an enquiry into the functioning of various canons, intertexts and master narratives in the Canadian literary discourses.
Dialogues with Traditions in Canadian Literatures is divided into four parts. The first one, entitled Transitions and Appropriations, explores the dialogic discourses responsible for the birth of a new plural culture in constant movement. Beginning with an analysis of the dialogues between the colonial space and the models of the Old World, the articles conclude interrogating the tensions between European, Canadian and American identities. The second part, Orality and Folklore, focuses on one of the factors responsible for the cultural originality of Canada, i.e. the survival of oral traditions and of folklore, the sources of which are varied and multiple. As to the authors of Dialogues in the Feminine, the third part of the book, they adopt feminine and/or feminist perspectives to interrogate issues of identity and aesthetics in novels by contemporary Canadian women writers. An intertextual polemics centred on genres, canons, sources, "classics" and ideologies provides the common denominator for the articles included in the last part of the volume, Intertextual Polemics.