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Transoceanic Canada : the regional cosmopolitanism of George Woodcock Hiebert, Matthew 2013

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Transoceanic Canada: The Regional Cosmopolitanism ofGeorge WoodcockbyMatthew HiebertB.A., The University of Winnipeg, 1997M.A., The University of Amsterdam, 2002A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENTOF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDoctor of PhilosophyinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(English)The University Of British Columbia(Vancouver)August 2013cMatthew Hiebert, 2013ABSTRACTThrough a critical examination of his oeuvre in relation to his transoceanic geographicaland intellectual mobility, this dissertation argues that George Woodcock (1912-1995)articulates and applies a normative and methodological approach I term ?regionalcosmopolitanism.? I trace the development of this philosophy from its germination inLondon?s thirties and forties, when Woodcock drifted from the poetics of the ?Audengeneration? towards the anti-imperialism of Mahatma Gandhi and the anarchist aestheticmodernism of Sir Herbert Read. I show how these connected influences?and those also ofMulk Raj Anand, Marie-Louise Berneri, Prince Peter Kropotkin, George Orwell, and FrenchSurrealism?affected Woodcock?s critical engagements via print and radio with the Canadiancultural landscape of the Cold War and its concurrent countercultural long sixties.Woodcock?s dynamic and dialectical understanding of the relationship between literature andsociety produced a key intervention in the development of Canadian literature and its criticalstudy leading up to the establishment of the Canada Council and the groundbreaking journalCanadian Literature. Through his research and travels in India?where he establishedrelations with the exiled Dalai Lama and major figures of an independent English Indianliterature?Woodcock relinquished the universalism of his modernist heritage in practising, asI show, a postcolonial and postmodern situated critical cosmopolitanism that advocatesglobally relevant regional culture as the interplay of various traditions shaped by specificgeographies. I account for the relationships that pertain between this cosmopolitanism andthe theories of the other most prominent Canadian cultural critics of the period, Northrop Fryeand Marshall McLuhan. Woodcock?s regional cosmopolitanism, advancing a culturally andpolitically confederate country as first established by Canadian Aboriginal civilizations,charged the ascending Romantic nationalism of the period with imperialism. As a theory of?common ground? fostering participatory agency for the post-national global village, regionalcosmopolitanism offers an alternative to multiculturalism and Western humanist models oforganization associated with neoliberalism.iiTable of ContentsAbstract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iiTable of Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iiiAcknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ivDedication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Meeting of Time and Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173 The Artist and Utopia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 454 Landscapes of Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 745 Neither East nor West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 946 A Regional Cosmopolitan Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1187 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147Works Cited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151iiiACKNOWLEDGEMENTSMy deepest gratitude belongs to my Committee members. The erudition, insight, andguidance of my supervisor Dr. Richard Cavell has been vitally important at every stage of thisproject. Dr. Adam Frank and Dr. Mark Vessey provided essential orientation and invaluablefeedback throughout its development as well. All three are brilliant readers and thedissertation is immeasurably better because of it. Other faculty members in the Departmentof English also contributed to my understanding of the field. I learned a great deal aboutCanadian literature from Ms. Judy Brown and Dr. Laura Moss while working as their teachingassistant. It was as a research assistant for Dr. Margery Fee that my specific interest in thehistory of Canadian literature emerged. A seminar on Canada?s sixties lead by Dr. Eva-MarieKro?ller helped focus this interest. For financial and administrative support I would like toexpress my gratitude to the University of British Columbia and its Department of English.Funding from the region of Baden-Wu?rttemberg afforded time at the University of Konstanz,for which I am also very grateful. The members of Dr. Reingard Nischik?s dissertationcolloquium responded helpfully to a section of an early draft. Living within the inspiring andintellectually engaging community of Green College during my program was of considerablebenefit to my work. Thanks go to the Oxford Bookstore for a crash course on Indian literaturein English; the Norbulingka Institute for returning data I believed lost in the Himalayas; andthe Arts Library at the University of Delhi for the hospitality they kindly extended to me. Iwish to thank the International Institute of Social History, Queen?s University Archives,Special Collections at Simon Fraser University, Special Collections at the University ofVictoria, and Special Collections at UBC. I depended on the assistance of excellent archivistsat these institutions. My family has been a supportive source of encouragement throughoutmy course of study. Heartfelt thanks also belong to my friends whose presence in my life hasbeen valued immensely, even and especially at those times when this project demandedalmost all of my attention. It is no less true for being customary: many of the merits of thisdissertation are due to others; its errors and deficiencies are my own.ivto the memory of my grandparents,Anne and Joseph HiebertvChapter 1IntroductionPass through the glass doors of the Walter C. Koerner library, descend one level deep, andthere, within the roots of the University of British Columbia you will find on display perhapsthe greatest riddle in Canadian culture. On the left side of a plywood cabinet sits a portrait ofGeorge Woodcock. Assembled near to it are his ramshackle mechanical typewriter, hisediting instruments (pencils, a magnifying glass, a glue brush) and two of his early pamphletsside-by-side, What is Anarchism? and, as if in answer, The Basis of Communal Living,propaganda he wrote for London?s Freedom Press during the Second World War. To the otherside of the display, we find a globe with South Asia turned facing us, the Proclamation of?George Woodcock Day? from the Office of the Mayor for the City of Vancouver, and the?Freedom of the City? medal, Vancouver?s highest civil honour. On the occasion of itsbestowment, May 7th 1994, a day before the laureate?s 82nd birthday, writers from acrossCanada gathered in downtown Vancouver to celebrate. Margaret Atwood read the acceptancespeech of Woodcock, whose declining health would grant him less than a final year of work.It was a remarkable life, that of a poet who fled England, was expelled by America, andbecame something of a national symbol in Canada by speaking on behalf of its writing.Fanned out beside these things are three of his books, each concerning a political figure ofthe nineteenth century. The first, Gabriel Dumont: The Me?tis Chief and his Lost World is a1study of Dumont and the prairie rebellions he lead against an ?Ontario imperialismmasquerading as Federalism? (Gabriel Dumont 19); the last, Amor De Cosmos, is a biographyof the Nova Scotia photographer, extravagantly self-named, who came up from California andconfederated British Columbia, changing the political face of Pacific Canada. Placedbetween, resting on the edge of Dumont and supporting De Cosmos, is From Prince to Rebel,1an intellectual biography of Peter Kropotkin. Through his geographical expeditions to Asia,Kropotkin revealed that European cartography had completely misrepresented the continent?sphysical features; his pioneering biological research proclaimed the fundamental roleco-operation, or ?mutual aid,? played in the evolution of species, including human. Kropotkinhad once reflected, during an 1897 journey by rail through the prairies to the Pacific, thatperhaps in this new country, the unjust social conditions of Europe which had drivenimmigrants from their origins, might not be reproduced. For in the Western Canadian settlercommunities Kropotkin visited, he discovered that human migration itself ?has widened thecircle of ideas, it has opened to thought newer horizons, it has shattered many traditions? ( Woodcock and Avakumovic, Prince to Rebel 275).These then are the items which constitute the foreground of the ?George WoodcockVirtual Display,? donated by Ingeborg Woodcock, ever George?s reticent collaborator, evenafter his death. As for the background, perceived behind and through the juxtaposed objects,it is a staggering collage of dust jackets, representing some 120 titles authored or edited byWoodcock. There are books in anarchist history, Canadian criticism, studies in imperialism,the biographies of diverse intellectuals and travellers, poetry, his own travel writing in Asia.Woodcock took a certain pride in that the vastness of his corpus was a ?nightmare? forscholars. Strained attempts by his contemporaries to critique his work he regarded with ?acertain delight.? Such a dispersion of intellectual activity within a milieu of rigid disciplinarystrictures and theoretical methods left Woodcock, he perceived in the early seventies,?outrageous to the academic mind? (?Letter to Robin Skelton? 1). From the array of titles in1First published in 1950 as The Anarchist Prince.2that wall of books appears thus, a single riddle in want of an answer. What unites them?Among Woodcock?s books, there is no single text which can be said to encapsulate the rangeof his philosophy, his criticism or theory. If we search for footholds of the kind providing asense of security within the oeuvres of his most important Canadian contemporaries, wediscover no Anatomy of Criticism, no ?the medium is the message.? When asked in ainterview towards the end of his life for some summative statement of his contribution,Woodcock attempted to dodge the question as follows: ?Frankness is a fatal Saxon virtue . . .Evade, do not co-operate, burrow as quietly as moles? (Gibson and Woodcock 32). Wecannot expect to unearth a static Woodcock in taking on his mosaic. The display itself mightlead us to believe, as Peter Buitenhuis did, that the writer it honours had an ?almost sacerdotaldevotion? to print (13). But that does not provide direction in solving the enigma, forWoodcock was also a prolific radio broadcaster and dramatist, and it was in radio that hisefforts to transform Canadian culture began.Few critics have sought to deny the significance of Woodcock to Canadian culture. Heheld five doctoral degrees from Canadian universities, a Fellowship in the Royal Society ofCanada, and was offered the Order of Canada, graciously declined because of its feudalistassociations. L.M. Findlay has observed that Woodcock became both ?synonymous withWest Coast culture and politics, and with the flourishing of Canadian letters? (Findlay 1224).John Rodden summarizes Woodcock?s literary range and the popular reputation it garnered inillustrious terms:Critic, journalist, biographer, historian, poet, polemicist, political essayist, editor,even playwright and translator: Woodcock is today justly celebrated as ?aRenaissance man,? ?a national literary asset,? ?Canada?s Ranking Man ofLetters.? (Rodden 169)Not included within the display, but among the primary reasons for its being, are the eighteenyears of the quarterly journal Canadian Literature Woodcock edited from its inception atUBC in 1959. That fact immediately raises the questions: why and how did a former British3anarchist pamphleteer come to edit a journal dedicated to the study of contemporary Canadianliterature at a time when the field did not even exist?In his three-part interview series on Ideas for CBC Radio, ?George Woodcock: GentleAnarchist,? producer Don Mowatt suggests that considering the disciplinary and geographicrange of Woodcock?s thought, it is ?not a surprise that, with the exception of a slim fifty-pagevolume in the Canadian Writers? Series twenty-five years ago, no biography or major study ofWoodcock?s work has ever been attempted? (Mowatt and Woodcock 1). The book to whichMowatt refers is George Woodcock (1974) by Peter Hughes, part of McClelland and Stewart?sNew Canadian Library series, published when Woodcock had two decades of writing stillahead. The study emerges out of the long sixties, a time when anarchism experienced globalresurgence and Woodcock was the philosophy?s leading historian in English. Hughesconceives anarchism as the basis of Woodcock?s eclectic oeuvre, rather than an aspect of it,accounting for Woodcock ?s literary diversity, irreducible to his critical and historical interestin anarchism, by additionally imputing a free-floating ?imaginative reason? in the tradition ofMatthew Arnold. Hughes also suggests, not unproblematically, that Woodcock ?virtuallycreated Canadian literature through the journal he founded under that name? (49). Morerecent critics have missed the role of Canadian Literature in the emergence of Canadianliterature as a body of work and field of study; but Hughes, writing at the height ofWoodcock?s Canadian reputation, overstates the journal?s position within the cultural field.Hughes seeks to show that ideas from the history of anarchism operate throughoutWoodcock?s writing, but the misattribution of anachronistic influences to Woodcock precludesconceiving an organic relationship between his criticism in Canadian Literature and hiswritings on anarchism. I believe Woodcock?s seemingly eclectic interests arise out of acommon set of dynamic philosophical attitudes.A more comprehensive study of Woodcock?s work was undertaken by Jack Robinson forhis 1983 PhD dissertation ?George Woodcock: Romantic Idealist.? Robinson combinesbiographical treatment and a thematic New Criticism in making the case for Woodcock as a4?romantic idealist? in both literature and politics. This characterization was suggested first inpassing by William H. New in his introduction to a collection of essays by Woodcock onCanadian writing published in 1970. Woodcock would subsequently seek to more explicitlyclarify the distance his work had maintained from romanticism. An examination of hiswritings within the context of his contemporary theoretical influences shows his oeuvreequally far removed, and indeed highly critical of, idealism in all its European variants.Applying thematic criticism at its apex during the seventies to an interdisciplinary oeuvre ofan author that himself explicitly rejected that mode of criticism cannot but trouble Robinson?sreadings of specific works. The biographical treatment of Woodcock by Robinson wasnecessarily limited as well, as Woodcock?s first volume of autobiography appeared only in1982. In 1998, after all three of Woodcock?s autobiographies had been published, GeorgeFetherling would produce a fine biography, The Gentle Anarchist: A Life of George Woodcock.Alan Twigg, also a friend of Woodcock and responsible for establishing the BC Bookworld?George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award,? more recently published Tibetans inExile: the Dalai Lama and the Woodcocks (2010). It provides another biographicalperspective on the Woodcocks, emphasizing their connections to India by recounting thehistories of their two charities.2 Again, the focus here is on Woodcock?s personal life andprofessional involvements, rather than his intellectual life or the explication of his writings. Amajor study devoted to understanding Woodcock?s work remains long overdue.My interpretation of the enigma presented by Woodcock?s oeuvre begins with a remark hemade in 1994 upon receiving Freedom of the City, less than a year before his passing:I think the conjunction of the literary arts and the concept and practice of freedomis an essential one; in fact, I believe it is the key to my own work, which hasalways moved between the poles of imagination and liberty.Culture and social freedoms are intimately related within Woodcock?s work, but it would be amistake to read romanticism into ?imagination,? or idealism into ?liberty? and ?freedom.? In2For my review of the book for Canadian Literature see Hiebert.5aesthetics Woodcock became inclined to Surrealism, and in politics to anarchism?twomovements which became aligned in London?s forties through his magazine NOW.Anarchism and Surrealism have very different histories and trajectories than romanticism andthe variants of idealism, as I will show. But perhaps the most important phrase inWoodcock?s sentence above is ?always moved.? His writing moves between the anarchist?svocal concern for protecting freedom?freedom from imperialism of any kind?to the interestof the artist and critic to develop literary arts that best instantiate this freedom. The freedomof the literary artist seeks the freedom of others, on Woodcock?s view. The practice offreedom, through print or in other non-violent action, is dialectically related to aesthetic form,each giving shape to the other. The philosopher to whom Woodcock is most indebted to forthis understanding of the grass roots relationship between art and the anti-politics of socialfreedom is the British philosopher of art Herbert Read, the ?last modern? as James King hasappositely titled him. Woodcock produced what has remained the only comprehensive studyof Read?s work. Robin Skelton noted that shortly before his death, Read worried that a studyof his oeuvre might never be written on account of its apparent eclecticism:in dissipating my talents in half-a-dozen fields I have made it difficult for mycontemporaries to recognize the underlying unity of my purpose and my practice.I am left with the hope that someday someone will take the trouble to trace ?thefigure in the carpet.? (Skelton, Herbert Read 7)A study of Woodcock, whose work ?always moved,? must trace its movements anddevelopment. One cannot impose or discover a static concept or structural architecture toilluminate the entirety of a corpus which shifts theoretically in relation to the author?spractical instantiations of concepts. Woodcock?s political and cultural thinking altered intheir articulation relative to the contexts in which they were applied. He writes of Gandhi thathe left behind ?an existential pattern of thought and deed rather than a system of political ormoral philosophy? such that the Indian leader, ?could talk with accuracy of his career as aseries of ?experiments with Truth?? (Woodcock and Kermode 4). Woodcock?s oeuvre can6similarly be approached as an existential and experimental body of literary acts that challengeimperialism in its multifarious guises?territorial and non-territorial?and the relinquishingof independence it invariably demands. This study argues that a dynamic and dialecticalprocess came to animate Woodcock?s work, a process I term ?regional cosmopolitanism.? Mythesis traces this shifting dynamic from its formation in London, through its transoceanicmeanderings and engagements, and into the pages and practice of Canadian Literature. Atthe pole of the imagination the dynamic is regional, for literature is conceived to arise locallyand in organic relation to the space and time of its society of origin. But this culturallyconstructive imagination is also global, appropriative of elements foreign to it and havingitself the potential for broad application. At the political pole, the dynamic entails a regionalethic, or ?morality? as Woodcock prefers, for that term is more readily conceived in relation tothe literary arts. A morality of region entails commitment to one?s adopted place in apatriotism that eschews ?petty localness.? This pole of the dynamic also has planetary scope.Without seeking to extend liberty beyond one?s immediate realm, to other regions inproductive exchange, the inequities suffered by others persist as one?s own society becomessubject to internal tyranny.In recent critical theory, cosmopolitanism has become a point of reference in a worldmarked by ?intensified patterns of cultural exchange? (Rovisco and Nowicka 2). Recoveringthe theoretical history of cosmopolitanism is an ongoing dimension of this project which hascredited Immanuel Kant with resuscitating its basic ideals within an Enlightenment context.Neo-Kantian cosmopolitanists have advocated the institutionalization of universal normsthrough a regime of global governance and international law (Kurasawa 282). Critics chargethat such a program seeks to impose a single liberal model on the the world?s diverse nations(Stevenson 250), a model based on the Western bourgeois conception of society as comprisedof isolated and competing individuals (Fine 150). In opposition to universalist conceptions ofcosmopolitism arising from the heavily criticized philosophy of Kant, numerous?counter-cosmopolitanisms? have been theorized (Irvine, ?Dialectical Modernisms? 599).7Rather than an elitist, top-down conception of cosmopolitanism, these approaches seek toacknowledge cultural and political diversity at the most basic level of theory. Sucharticulations imply conceptions of cosmopolitanism that are ?dialectical, process-based, andinteractive,? as geographer David Harvey describes his own cosmopolitan project (72-3).Ulrich Beck has argued similarly that cosmopolitan must now be conceived as ?a non-linear,dialectical process in which the universal and the particular, the similar and the dissimilar, theglobal and the local are to be conceived, not as cultural polarities, but as interconnected andreciprocally interpenetrating principles? (247). In a political intervention into this proliferatenew discourse of alternative cosmopolitanisms, E?tienne Balibar insists that as the economicprocesses of globalization have produced the ?concrete political form of colonization,? what is?cosmo-political must therefore also be cosmo-political in that the ?political? is inseparablefrom historical and social ?conflict?? (12). Such a cosmopolitanism, entailing resistance topolitical subjugation, is taken as an invocation of post-colonialism. Diana Brydon hasrecently suggested that to retain its import as political resistance amidst the presence of a newglobal security context, conceptions of post-colonialism must invoke cosmopolitanism and aconception of autonomy compatible with it (n. pag.). Dean Irvine, a historian of Canadianmodernism, has made the remarkable discovery that such ?processive conceptualizations? ofpostcolonial cosmopolitanism in fact were already operative within strains of Canadianliterature during the Cold War period, evident in the work of Montreal-based poet and novelistA.M. Klein (?Dialectical Modernisms? 599).The question of cosmopolitanism played a crucial role in the development ofEnglish-Canadian literature through the ?nativist? versus ?cosmopolitan? debates ofAnglo-Montreal modernist poets during the forties. A ?cosmopolitan literary consciousness?was the poetic ideal of A.J.M. Smith (?From the Introduction? 336), ?the architect? of themodernist revolution in English-Canadian poetry which developed prior to the establishmentof the Canada Council for the Arts in 1957?a period in Canada many believed was a culturaldesert (Warkentin 84). Smith?s monumental anthology The Book of Canadian Poetry (1943)8brought together Canadian modernist poetry for the first time, and in introducing hiscollection Smith draws a distinction between the universalist cosmopolitan sensibility of thebest Canadian poetry and verse attempting ?to describe and interpret whatever is essentiallyand distinctively Canadian? (?From the Introduction? 338). It was the cosmopolitan poetswho ?made a heroic effort to transcend colonialism by entering into the universal, civilizingcultures of ideas? (Smith, ?From the Introduction? 338). The nativists were afflicted by a?garrison mentality,? a phrase subsequently given central importance in the study of Canadianliterature by Northrop Frye. Western Canadian poet Dorothy Livesay was among the first tocounter Smith, arguing that this cosmopolitanism itself was marred by a colonial acceptanceof European modernism (?This Canadian Poetry? 20-21). John Sutherland, founding editor ofthe literary magazine Northern Review (1945-1956), would denounce Smith?s distinction inintroducing his own anthology of ?nativist? contemporary Canadian poets, Other Canadians(1947), arguing that Smith reinforces colonialism through the imposition onto an emergingCanadian literature the classicist modernism of T.S. Eliot (?Introduction? 379). In line withSutherland?s assessment, Germaine Warkentin observes that Smith?s universalist conceptionof literature was ?avowedly non-historical? (87). According to Smith a poem is to be?objective, impersonal, and in a sense timeless and absolute?; it is detached from humangeography and circumstance, ?unconcerned with anything save its own existence? (Towards aView of Canadian Letters 172). As Warkentin recounts, Smith?s critical position wasresoundingly rejected by his fellow poets at the Kingston Writers? Conference in 1955 (84),an historic event which provided the direction for the early Canada Council (Djwa 311). AsAlexander Kizuk notes, UBC English professor Roy Daniells?a principal force behind theestablishment of Canadian Literature?would condemn ?the inevitable divorce of poet andpublic? that Smith?s distinction entailed (n. pag.). Smith practiced an evaluative criticism oftaste, preoccupied with judging and ranking literary works, in keeping with an ?aristocraticnotion of poetry which rejected what he felt were the crude responses of the great mass ofordinary men? (Warkentin 84-85). Determining the ?best? of Canadian poetry, Daniells9argued at the Kingston conference, was ?inadequate to describe the poet?s full function? inCanadian society (?Discussion? 41-44). The emerging community of Canadian writersrejected Smith in favour of a participatory literary culture with the broadest audience possible(Warkentin 84).Following Irvine, I contend that a dialectical, processive and postcolonialcosmopolitanism is also present in Western Canadian poetry and criticism during themid-twentieth century. Leading up to the Kingston Conference, Woodcock had made acrucial intervention into the cosmopolitan versus nativist debate with his article ?A View ofCanadian Criticism,? published in The Dalhousie Review in 1954. Woodcock effectivelyreconciles the opposing factions in arguing that it is only by addressing the specificcircumstances of her time and place that a writer is able to achieve cross-cultural relevance.Intercultural exchange, in turn, aids the regionally situated writer in her particular efforts toaddress the issues of her own immediate world. While already active in Canada?s culturalscene, Woodcock had been resident in the country for only five years when he composed thearticle. It carries from London the ?grass roots? relationship between art and societyarticulated in the anarchist modernism of Herbert Read, a modernism which stood opposed tothe respective interpretations of the modernist movement by his contemporaries Eliot andWyndham Lewis. After being placed at the helm of the journal that would provide the centralmeeting place in print for a new participatory literary community marking Canada?s sixties,Woodcock would increasingly challenge the universalist aspects of his adopted modernistinfluences?which included not only Read but also W.H. Auden, Marie-Louise Berneri, theFrench Surrealists, and George Orwell?particularly through scholarly engagements with thecultures, past and present, of his readopted country and those of South Asia. Woodcockmaintained close connections in the postcolonial literary and artistic culture of India and wasone of the first Westerners to establish relations with the exiled Tibetan government of theDalai Lama. This dissertation is a project in cultural analysis that studies movement betweenEurope and Canada, but also necessarily tran-Pacific ideational relations as well, for10Woodcock?s engagements in Asia were responsible for countering his adopted modernistuniversalism, permitting the emergence of a new perception of the culture of his own country.A thoroughgoing historicism developed, interdisciplinary and intercultural, which transformedan artistic universalism and anti-political internationalism into a postmodern regionalcosmopolitanism, attentive to understanding?and also critiquing?the unique circumstancesthat came to animate the ?now? of geographically situated societies. To trace the developmentof Woodcock?s work then, is at once to study the transoceanic metamorphoses of post-WWIvariants of late British modernism?interculturally inflected during WWII and in the contextof emerging Indian independence?into a specifically Western Canadian postmodernismdeveloping in connection with social and cultural changes occurring across the Pacific.As Woodcock was well aware, he was not the only inheritor of European modernistcriticism on the scene, attempting to overhaul its concepts for application to the uniquecultural landscape of Canada?s sixties. Woodcock perceived Northrop Frye and MarshallMcLuhan, each born within a year of himself, as his preeminent contestants in the effort toprovide Canada a new self-understanding on the basis of profound cultural changes. Duringthe sixties, Frye proved more effective than Smith himself in applying Eliot?s modernistelitism to this new Canadian culture. McLuhan was an early admirer of Wyndham Lewis andbecame significantly influenced by his spatial theories (Cavell, McLuhan in Space 9).Woodcock devoted a 1968 issue of Canadian Literature to the assessment of Lewis, a writerand artist sharply distanced from Woodcock philosophically and aesthetically, but a fellowCanadian by birth who loathed the Victorian intolerances and philistinism of central Canadathat he experienced as an exile in Ontario during the war years (Hammond 1). Lewis also hadadmired Woodcock?s intellectual rigour, writing to politics editor Dwight Macdonald in 1947that ?Woodcock appears to have a serious mind, which is more than can be said of Orwell,who is a silly billy? (qtd. in Woodcock, ?The Enemy: Symbol of Our Century? 529-30).Woodcock secured the support of Anne Wyndham Lewis, who recalled her husband?s extremeinterest in Woodcock?s book on William Godwin (?Letter to GW 25 March 1967?), and11planned the issue without consulting McLuhan (McLuhan, ?Letter to GW 30 March 1967?),one of the only Canadian intellectuals to have befriended the Lewises during their time inCanada.3 While McLuhan?s influences were as varied and complex as Woodcock?s own,Woodcock would come to derisively suggest that Lewis was McLuhan?s ?master? (The Worldof Canadian Writing 238), and with the majority of intellectuals on the cultural Left, believedthe concept of the ?global village??which McLuhan had derived from Lewis?s remark that?the earth has become one big village, with telephones laid on from one end to the other, andair transport, both speedy and safe??utopian (Hammond 3; Lewis 21). Frye and McLuhandeveloped an intellectual camaraderie at the University of Toronto and Frye?associated withstructuralism, the Toronto mythopoeic poets, and literary nationalism?became an unlikelyapologist for McLuhan after the media theorist?s meteoric rise of the sixties was exchangedfor broad neglect and disfavour in the seventies and eighties (Cavell, McLuhan in Space217-18). Frye and Woodcock shared friends in the Canadian literary scene and their paths attimes crossed both in person and in print. Frye was among the very few prominent Canadianliterary critics of the period who avoided writing for Canadian Literature. Entertaining Fryeone fine summer evening in Vancouver near to the publication of Anatomy of Criticism,Woodcock came to realize, when Frye revealed how the mountains filled him with dread, thathis complex critical schemata served to detach literature from the nature he feared (Woodcock,Beyond the Blue Mountains 71). Frye derived his systematizing approach from Eliot andwould declare that much in Anatomy simply ?attempts to annotate? the ?very fundamentalcriticism? of Eliot which is grounded in the principle that ?the existing monuments ofliterature form an ideal order among themselves? (Anatomy of Criticism 18). The present3McLuhan wrote to Woodcock five days after Anne Wyndham Lewis, saying it would be impossible to findthe time to put together his own memories of Lewis, but suggests Woodcock contact Stanley Murphy ofAssumption College. McLuhan points out in his letter that Lewis, who had supported the rise of Hitler up untilWWII, was ?deeply offended? when not invited to attend the College?s presentation of Eliot?s anti-fascist poeticdrama Murder in the Cathedral (Woodcock would avoid the subject of Lewis?s politics within his editorial).Murphy?s University of Windsor recollections provide the opening article for the issue which attests toMcLuhan?s admiration for Lewis, while Lewis ?highly endorsed? the younger Canadian?s writings. McLuhan,who was sent a copy by Sheila Watson, thought it was ?a useful issue,? noting in his thanks that he had not beenasked to contribute. See McLuhan, ?Letter to Sheila Watson 12 June 1968.?12study thus conceives the Canadian cultural field of the sixties in transoceanic engagementwith European modernism, and that internally, Woodcock?s regional cosmopolitanism was incontestation with other emerging Canadian postmodernisms which negotiated their ownrelationships with the modernist movements emanating from the far side of the Atlantic.Contemporary cosmopolitanism as a problematic in critical theory has developed twointerrelated dimensions: an analytic or methodological mode, oriented to understandingcontemporary and historical social realities, and a normative orientation, which seeks ?a bettersocial world? which ?ought? to become reality (Roche 70). In his practice of regionalcosmopolitanism, Woodcock?s work suggests a cosmopolitanism of ?common ground,?fundamentally differentiated from models derived from Western humanism, or those whichhave become associated with neoliberalism and economic-based methods of worldgovernance. Methodologically, regional cosmopolitanism is a way of encapsulatingWoodcock?s tacit method of cultural analysis, which accounts for cultural change throughintercultural exchange. As a normative philosophy, Woodcock?s cosmopolitanism demandscultural freedom and social independence at the regional level, and by extension, at the globallevel. In this perspective, the planet is fundamentally comprised of regions, rather thannations, cultures, individuals, or undifferentiated ?nature.? As a model and practice,Woodcock?s postcolonialism is thus grounded in specific cultural geographies, not thenation-state as advanced by modernist postcolonialisms. The cultural and politicalindependence of a region?a geographical concept but also a cultural, environmental,political, and ideological one?involves dynamic and interpenetrating communicativeexchange within and outside its permeable borders. The form of political organizationWoodcock?s cosmopolitanism entails, in a world that had become ?post-national,? asWoodcock would claim by way of Frye?s phrase, but still remained afflicted by imperialistantagonisms, is that of federation. Woodcock believed that in furthering its own federalism,Canada would provide a model for countries wishing to effectively respond to a newtechnological world imperilled by processes of globalization. His work in fostering Canadian13culture during the counter-cultural sixties was thus positioned against the centralist agenda ofthe Canadian government to institutionalize a national culture to support statism within anemerging Cold War geopolitical climate.In the landmark Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread ofNationalism, Benedict Anderson, following McLuhan (The Gutenberg Galaxy 138), arguesfor an intrinsic relationship between the nation and print culture. It is the emergence ofEuropean print-capitalist culture, claims Anderson, that made possible the conception of anation as a ?sociological organism? and ?imagined community,? floating in what WalterBenjamin had already termed ?homogeneous, empty time? (Imagined Communities 24-26).Spatially, the imagination of regional cosmopolitanism is locally produced and oriented to itsimmediate geographic landscape, while networking out to other regions, acknowledged asindependent in their difference. Temporally, Woodcock?s dynamic rejects progressive?calendaric? movement through ?empty time,? in conceiving the past as dynamicallyoperating within a present ever open to change. In McLuhan?s terms, the ?oral organizationof society that preceded print and nationalism,? was essentially ?decentralist,? and electronicmedia are returning us to this tribal state (The Gutenberg Galaxy 210). Anderson?s follow-upto Imagined Communities, Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination(2006), shows that it was during the ?early globalization? of the telegraph, the UniversalPostal Union, the steamship, and transcontinental railways, that anarchism developed into apolitically transformative transoceanic movement in the late nineteenth century (Under ThreeFlags 3). Woodcock points out in Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements(1962), that it was the voluntary co-operation Kropotkin witnessed governments undertakingduring this period which suggested to him that voluntary arrangements could be extended toembrace all functions of a complex society (Anarchism 204-205). As a broadcaster andexperimental radio dramatist who insisted on preserving and studying Canada?s electroniccultural history, Woodcock can be perceived as maintaining an uneasy anti-nationalist alliancewith McLuhan amidst the statist imposition of a retrograde literary model insufficiently14transformed in its application to the regional specificities of Canada.The five chapters to follow each trace transoceanic ideational movement that contributedto the formation, and demonstrating the application of, Woodcock?s regionalcosmopolitanism. The next chapter will explain the anarchist modernism of Read adopted byWoodcock with the outbreak of war and after the Marxist poetics of the ?Auden generation?had been denounced even by its originators. The anti-imperialism of Read?s philosophy,intimately connected to Surrealism, sought to bring to aesthetics the revolutionarynonviolence of Gandhi, which had been transmitted to Read and Woodcock by their mutualfriend the Indian novelist Mulk Raj Anand. The chapter shows how Woodcock moved awayfrom the neo-romanticism of Read and the primitivism of Surrealism as he deepened hiscultural engagements with Canada, fostering a regionalist theory of a postcolonialEnglish-Canadian literature as the ?meeting of time and space.? Woodcock?s Canadianwritings do not evince the imperializing mythological imagination of Romantic nationalismoperating within the period, I show, but rather dismantle it. The third chapter examines othermodernist influences on Woodcock during his London years, primarily to account forWoodcock?s ?moralistic? approach to literary criticism. I also trace in this chapter howRead?s anarchism led to his envisioning of an international artistic utopia that found its wayinto British and Canadian cultural policy-making. Woodcock?s own trajectory would involvea rejection of Read?s platonic and universalist notion of beauty, as apparent in his radio dramaof the early sixties, produced on the heels of Woodcock?s first and influential trip to India.The fourth chapter resuscitates the radio-based Western Canadian culture Woodcockemigrated into. In examining Woodcock?s first original radio script?written in the context ofboth the founding of Canadian Literature and the composition of his landmark Anarchism: AHistory of Libertarian Ideas and Movements?I show how regional cosmopolitanism isbrought to bear on a Canadian psychogeography Woodcock believed to be infected byEuropean imperialism. In the fifth chapter ?A View of Canadian Criticism,? I examineWoodcock?s first explicit articulation of regional cosmopolitanism within the Canadian15literary scene which also builds a case for establishing a journal to study Canadian literature.This chapter shows how both the methodological and normative aspects of Woodcock?scosmopolitanism would be given their particular postcolonial and historical dimensionthrough his trans-Pacific engagements, and how these forces in turn affected the formativeyears of Canadian Literature. The ethics of Woodcock?s cosmopolitanism, which championsregional diversity, is demonstrated in explaining the remediation of Western Canadian poetryby American postmodernism within the Vancouver literary scene of the early sixties. Chaptersix, finally, examines how Woodcock used regional cosmopolitanism in Canadian Literatureduring his editorship, and also within his Canadian dramatic and politic writings of the sixties,to promote federation in the face of an emergent neo-nationalism. The chapter concludes bycomparing Woodcock?s cosmopolitanism to the respective positions of Frye and McLuhan atthe end of the period in Canadian cultural history over which the three held sway.16Chapter 2The Meeting of Time and SpaceE?tincelant diamantVancouverOu` le train blanc de neige et de feux nocturnes fuit l?hiverGUILLAUME APOLLINAIREWoodcock was born in Winnipeg in 1912, but lived his life in England until returning toCanada in 1949. In the seventies and eighties, a period of heightened nationalism in Canada,Woodcock?s associations with European culture were considered by some critics to inherentlycompromise his involvements in Canadian literature and society. Lorraine Weir argued thatWoodcock, an ?Anglo-Saxon male,? grounds his writings in the ?unsung source? and?undeclared pantheon? of William Blake and T.S. Eliot (144-146). Frank Davey suggestedWoodcock?s criticism is in keeping with that of University of Cambridge Professor F.R.Leavis, a culturally elitist literary critic whose work came to prominence during the Cold War(679). Robert Fulford, editor of longstanding Toronto magazine Saturday Night, observes theenormous role of British immigrants and visitors in the development of Canadian cultureduring the Cold War. He places Woodcock, ?who founded Canadian Literature magazine in1959 and provided the basis for academic study of fiction and poetry in this country,? amongthose who, ?in the empire-building tradition, arrived on our shores . . . [and] brought withthem the British rules? (?The Canada Council at Twenty-Five?). This chapter, however, will17show the anti-imperialism Woodcock had developed by the time of his arrival in Canada.Woodcock brought to Canada a surrealist understanding of the relationship between art andsociety largely derived from the work of modernist art critic Herbert Read. Woodcock?sregionalism, his conviction that art is integrally related to its immediate social realm andgrounded in particular geography, arises out of Read?s work. Woodcock, however, wouldcome to challenge Read?s aesthetic philosophy in important respects after his arrival inCanada, conceiving a very different cosmopolitanism and an understanding of art which doesnot hinge on the intrinsic beauty of form. In this chapter, I will seek to explain Read?s thoughtas it came to impact Woodcock in a conception of a postcolonial Canadian literature as ?themeeting of time and space.? I argue that Woodcock?s engagements with the philosophy ofGandhi and his research into the Indigenous cultures of the West Coast worked to underminethe romanticist elements present in the philosophy of Read and Surrealism.In January 1939, with another world war imminent, W.H. Auden and ChristopherIsherwood, the leaders of a generation of English poets, set sail for America. Their departuresent shockwaves throughout the London literary community: ?The most important literaryevent since the outbreak of the Spanish War,? wrote Cyril Connolly (Connolly 70). Forpoetry?s avant-garde, it symbolized more than the retreat of the politically charged poetics thathad defined the decade. The emigration of Auden was the abandonment of Europeancivilization by a poet esteemed to be its greatest artistic and moral visionary. He was taken tohave enlisted and devoted a generation to the social renewal of a continent his departure wasunderstood to condemn. At the outbreak of war, Auden?s own feelings of failure wereexpressed in a poem at a distance from those he had written before:I sit in one of the divesOn Fifty-Second StreetUncertain and afraidAs the clever hopes expireOf a low dishonest decade18(?September 1, 1939?)Auden had departed from the Marxist theory associated with his work, following the path T.S.Eliot already took towards Christianity. As for his literary language, it would also leaveEngland, increasingly absorbing the words and rhythms of America (Firchow 175). Artwould become dissociated from politics within his poetics; the hope that a new society couldbe birthed through the aid of artistic creation, lost. His new verse declared that ?poetry makesnothing happen? (?In Memory of Y.B. Yeats?). In the long verse New Year Letter publishedin 1941, Auden?s political resignation, now echoing that of his generation, would be soundedas aesthetic principle:Art is not life, and cannot beA midwife to society,(Collected Works 201)The main poetical strain of the thirties, and its social ambitions, came crashing down by theend of the Spanish Civil War in 1939. When the fascist Nationalists, lead by FranciscoFranco, staged a coup following their election defeat in 1936, the country?s working class roseup to support their government. Many of the leaders of London?s literary left, includingAuden, Stephen Spender, and Louis MacNeice travelled to Spain to fight alongside theRepublican loyalists. They would return disillusioned by the complexities of political realityand the communists? role in the victory of the fascists. As Julian Symons recalls: ?AfterSpain, and indeed before the end came in Spain, there was little left of the Thirties movementbut a feeling of resignation and a sense of guilt? (The Thirties and the Nineties 109).Woodcock was among the majority repelled by international Marxism after the SpanishRevolution, but sought to retain a conception of the sociopolitical functions of art and thewriter. Following Auden?s death in 1977, Woodcock composed the poem ?Ballad for W.H.Auden?, a tribute in pastiche. Walking down Granville street in Vancouver, Woodcockcontemplates the contrasting images of the young and old faces of Auden, struggling toarticulate feelings that involve both pity and admiration for his ?leader lost?:19O master of my awakeningWho made me hear aright,O leader lost of my twentiesWho elected for faith and flight,(Notes on Visitations 95)Rather than Auden?s Marxism, it was Herbert Read?s anarchism that was to be the majorinfluence on Woodcock after the Spanish Revolution. In 1939 Read took up directorship ofthe publishing house Routledge & Kegan Paul, the chief rival to Eliot?s Faber & Faber. Hewould publish Woodcock?s first collection of verse The Centre Cannot Hold in 1943. Thedecentralist politics of Read are evident in that title, as they were that same year in theanarchist editorial stance Woodcock adopted for his magazine NOW which he had founded in1940. London?s most prominent literary magazine during the war was Horizon, publishedfrom 1940 to 1950. While Horizon would dissociate art from politics, NOW would carry thesociopolitical objectives of art into the forties, with different concepts and aesthetics thanthose associated with Auden and Marxism. In his study of literary life in London during thewar, British cultural historian Robert Hewison suggests, somewhat misleadingly, that NOWwas ?under the neo-romantic spell? Read is considered to have cast onto the poetic scene(113). More recently, Klaus and Knight have noted that ?the most substantial gathering ofanarchist-inspired writers at any time in Britain was the NOW circle, composed of manyconscientious objectors? (8). NOW carried the connection between anarchism and art whichRead sought to establish in culture beyond the borders of England. Gregory D. Sumnerargues that Dwight Macdonald?s magazine politics, around which gathered the ?New Yorkintellectuals,? was established ?in some respects [as] a sister magazine? to NOW (23).Alan Bowness, former Director of the Tate Gallery, reflects on the influence Read had onartists and intellectuals during and after the Second World War:Read?s pacifist and anarchist convictions, pronounced so publicly during and afterthe Second World War, might be regarded as impossibly utopian, but taking this20extreme position could also be seen as a beacon of sanity in a mad world. Onehad to respect the opinions of a pacifist who held the Military Cross, and ananarchist who could manifestly make organisations work. Read?s position wasattractive to many people of my generation, growing up in the war. Discoveringthe range and eloquence of his writing was a personal education that no one elseprovided. (9)Only recently has critical theory undertaken a rapprochement with Read?s work. JeraldZaslove would summarize the critical treatment of Read during the Cold War as a relegationto the ?historical ash can? (20). Amidst ?the almost total amnesia which . . . settled over theremains of this poet, anarchist, and partisan of a comprehensive radical aesthetic modernism?(Zaslove 19), writers in institutions of the West Coast sought to sustain Read?s contributionduring an unfavourable intellectual climate. The University of Victoria acquired Read?scomplete papers. In 1969 Robert Skelton, founding editor of Victoria?s The Malahat Review,would collect twenty-eight contributions, a number from Western Canada, for Herbert Read:A Memorial Symposium (1970). Woodcock would publish the first comprehensiveexamination of Read?s complex and meandering oeuvre, The Stream and the Source in 1972,arguing that Read, like Nietzsche and Proudhon whom Read admired, was not a systematicthinker, but within his corpus ?there is certainly a recognizable pattern, a philosophy of therelationships between the arts and human society? (Stream 122). There has not been anothercomplete survey of Read?s work since.1Read stood aloof from the dogmatic International Communism permeating the literaryculture of the thirties. He criticized Marxists in their attempt ?to deduce all social phenomenafrom economic calculations,? as he argued in NOW (?Chains of Freedom 1? 10). As Paraskosnotes, Read would in fact accept ?the basic Marxist proposition that social conditions shapethe form, reception and use of artworks? (To Hell with Culture xii). Woodcock would followRead in this, disputing Fredric Jameson?s positing of a unitary ??Anglo-American tradition?1Montreal?s Black Rose Books reissued Woodcock?s study in 2008.21hostile to the dialectical approach? (?Marxist Critics? 326). Read?s criticism, Paraskos finds,has ?features in common with Marxism, even paralleling, while predating, to some extent thework of Williams? (To Hell with Culture xii). Woodcock suggests also that ?the Orwell whowrote Coming Up for Air and the brilliant essays on popular culture? was in fact for RaymondWilliams an essential precursor (?Marxist Critics? 326). Writing in 1975, Woodcock believesthe approach to criticism Read sustains is amenable to then-recent ?neo-Marxist? criticalapproaches, far removed from the ?Comintern? orthodoxies of the thirties, while highlightingWoodcock?s own aesthetic inclination to Surrealism:. . . a range [of critical approach] that stretches in one direction from HerbertMarcuse to Claude Levi-Strauss and in the other from Walter Benjamin toJean-Paul Sartre. Among these neo-Marxist critics one encounters a degree ofintellectual competence and creativeness and a variety of heretical approachesthat contrast dramatically with the tame obedience that evenfellow-travellers?with the sole brilliant exception of the Surrealists?wereinclined to display during the 1930s, that era of socialist realism and Stalinistorthodoxy which is personified for our generation by Christopher Caudwell . . .(Woodcock, ?Marxist Critics? 325)However, Read, Orwell, and Woodcock did not consider art merely a byproduct of societyand ideology, and in this they fundamentally diverge from Williams and many other Marxistcultural theorists. In Culture and Society, Williams grants that in defining art as a ?mode ofknowledge? Read was seeking to describe art in reference to its social function. Woodcocknotes that Read in fact explicitly accepts the second aspect of the Marxian dialectic:. . . its capacity to pass from the static to the dynamic, from a system of logic to amode of action.? But he differs from most exponents of Marxism in seeing art asa separate dialectical process, not merely a ?reflection of such a process.? Artmust be accepted not as an aid to thought, which Communist propagandists tendto consider it, but as itself a mode of thought. (Stream 213-14)22As a mode of thought, art develops within a culture and acts upon it, according to Read andWoodcock as well. For Williams however, granting the artist any special function in society,?reiterates that view of the artist?s essential abnormality which as much as anything hasdenied art?s social bearings? (Williams 249). The unique ?skill? of the artist, Williams argues,is for Read distinguished from the ?imaginative truth? it seeks to disclose, a separation thatbears the regressive sign of the Romantic (249-250). Williams can find fault in Read?sconception of the artist then as engaging with ?deeper levels? of human psychology,?harmonizing? people with an ever-changing society. This appropriation of Jung by Readdoes not motivate Woodcock?s own writing on art and literature and he considered it the ?leastconvincing? aspect of Read?s theory. But Woodcock, like Read, considers art to play anessential function with its own dialectic in any culture, its various professional forms ?equallyimportant? as those even of medicine (Strange Bedfellows 195).Read perceived the dialectic of avant-garde intentionality to oscillate betweenSuperrealism and Abstraction. By Superrealism Read designates his own theoreticalarticulation of surrealist aesthetics in its intrinsic relation to abstractionism. Superrealism is aterm Read derives from Andre? Breton, the founder of the surrealist movement: ??I believe,?declared Breton in the First Manifesto of 1924, ?in the future transmutation of those twoseemingly contradictory states, dream and reality, into a sort of absolute reality, asuper-reality, so to speak?? (qtd. in: Read, Art and Society 120-21). Superrealism is distinctfrom aesthetic realism in that it is existential and phenomenological: ?If reality is to be ouraim, then we must include all aspects of human experience, not excluding those elements ofsub-conscious life which are revealed in dreams, day-dreams, trances and hallucinations? (Artand Society 120). Breton had explicitly defined his aesthetics in opposition to ?the realisticattitude, inspired by positivism,? believing that while romanticism had failed, ?theimagination is perhaps on the point of reasserting itself, of reclaiming its rights? (Manifestoesof surrealism 6, 10). Read explains the revolutionary intentionality of Surrealism as anattempt to reinstate the organic connection between art and society (Art and Society 120), and23Read was instrumental in convincing Breton to adopt anarchism as the philosophy for thesurrealist movement. Abstraction, at the furthest distance from superrealism in Read?smodernist aesthetic ecology, was criticized by the Surrealists for being ?completely devoid ofsocial actuality? (Art and Society 125).Read compares the elements of abstract art to those of architecture and music, explainingthat in opposition to the superrealist, the abstract artist ?has no need of naturalappearances?of the accidental forms created in the stress of the world?s evolution?becausehe has access to the archetypal forms which underlie all the casual variations presented by thenatural world? (Art and Society 125). The work of Woodcock, who resisted both Jungianarchetypes and the ?purity of form? would remain decidedly on the surrealist side of Read?saesthetic division throughout his career, seeking in art and writing ?social actuality.? Inexamining early human artifacts, Read finds their evolvement proceeding towards ?makingand refinement of the tool to a point of maximum efficiency,? and then past refinement forfunctionality alone, ?towards a conception of form-in-itself? (The Origins of Form in Art 69).It is here, with the emergence of ?free or symbolic form? that art becomes an independentforce within human societies, argues Read, purely manifesting the feelings towards an idea ofthe artist to be subsequently conceptualized through analysis, paralleling Heidegger?s notionof the abstracted object as present-at-hand (The Origins of Form in Art 75). Read regards theevolution to form-in-itself as involving a fundamental break from the immediate world intowhat might be described as the mystical or spiritual realm. The intensely individual nature ofan artist?s form resonates with others through the collective unconscious, healing or?harmonizing? the unbalanced psychologies of the work?s audience in so doing. Woodcock?sown work consistently evinces a skepticism in regard to form-in-itself, and Read?s conceptionof ?beauty? associated with it. Art as a mode of thought in Woodcock remains grounded inshared perception. Art has its own dialectic as a craft, but this dialectic remainsfundamentally attuned to the regional society it serves, not to any purity of form.Woodcock?s understanding of art was not romantic and neither was his politics. In the24introduction to Woodcock?s collection of essays on Canadian writers and writings, OdysseusEver Returning (1970), part of the New Canadian Library edited by Malcolm Ross, a youngW.H. New describes Woodcock as ?justified? for ?any Romantic idealism,? by having?Western Canadian roots? (Woodcock, Odysseus Ever Returning xi). The title of thecollection strikes the reader of Woodcock?s oeuvre as an aberration, for nowhere doesWoodcock self-identify with Homer?s epic hero. Smaro Kamboureli in Scandalous Bodies(2000) argues that Homer has come to exemplify ?the exaltation of mobility in the name ofemancipation, which traditionally valorizes travellers like Odysseus as cosmopolitanparadigms of the Western patriarchal self? (20). Kamboureli observes that in the?Introduction? to the New Canadian Library edition of Over Prairie Trails (1922), Ross seeksto frame F.P. Grove as an ?archetypal? Canadian on account of the author?s internationalistcosmopolitanism (Kamboureli 32). In light of Kamboureli?s analysis, one suspects that in thetitle Odysseus Ever Returning, Ross seeks to attribute to Woodcock?the perennial travellerever returning to the literature of his own country with renewed eyes?the detacheduniversalist cosmopolitanism the New Canadian Library identifies with Canadian literature inthe tradition of Smith. This association of Odysseus with a universalist and patriarchalcosmopolitan paradigm is all the more ironic in that the earliest essay of the collectioncontends that ?The cosmopolitan artist is as legendary as the Centaur; writers are dependent,not only on their immediate and temporary environment, but even more on their origins?(Woodcock, Odysseus Ever Returning 131).2 While the title of the book associatesWoodcock with the very cosmopolitanism his writing seeks to escape, its introduction by Newconceives Woodcock?s Canadian criticism as arising out of a Romantic connection to the landthat Woodcock rejected. Woodcock later explicitly cautions against perceiving thephilosophical origins of work in romantic terms:as I point out in Anarchism, the basis of Godwin?s anarchism is reallypre-Romantic, in the English dissenting radical tradition that goes back at least to2See chapter five.25Winstanley. Bakunin, like Harren and others of his Russian contemporaries, wasmuch influenced by the German romantics. On the other hand, Proudhon wasstrongly anti-romantic and much closer to the Enlightenment. and [sic] one mustnot forget that the anarchists have always regarded Rousseau as the ancestor ofthe Jacobins, whom they rejected; they also strongly criticized Rousseau?s ideasof the Social Contract and preferred their own ideas of the natural sociality ofman, which has pre-Romantic roots. I have always regarded Rousseau with thegreatest mistrust, finding in his teachings much that leads down the steep path torevolutionary authoritarianism. (?Letter 20 May 1980?)Woodcock?s assessment of the authoritarian politics of romanticism is in keeping with hiscondemnation of its attitude towards literature and the conception of the imagination, spiritualand separate from the world, underlying it. Woodcock condemned the ?neo-romanticdoctrine? of isolating particular forms as ?creative writing? in a literary hierarchy thatconceives history, criticism and other genres as non-creative: ?The attempt to divide poetry orfiction hierarchically from the rest of literature is as devitalizing and as futile as the aestheticattempt to divide literature from life? (?View of Canadian Criticism? 142). The dispersion ofRead?s creativity into an array of forms?poetry, painting, the novel, essays, criticism, radiodrama?reflects this non-hierarchical understanding of literature, arising out of a philosophyof ?coral growth, a symbiosis of attitudes,? rather than a ?rigid structure of metaphysicalarchitecture,? writes Woodcock (Stream 105). Woodcock thus classifies Read as anhomme-de-lettres, ?in the sense understood in France and other European countries,? as awriter for whom personal integrity and aesthetic principle find universal application (Stream35). In describing the manner of Read?s criticism and the way in which he composed hiswritten work, Woodcock also divulges his own writing practices. Read?s books were often?mosaic constructions,? created from separate essays in which different facets of a subject hadbeen worked out (Stream 131, 121). In criticism Read eschewed any single formal method toprioritize personal engagement with the subject matter. For Read, criticism at its basis is26?pathos. Sympathy and empathy?feeling with and feeling into? (Read, The Tenth Muse322). The critic seeks to prepare others for their own engagement with a work of art, ?byremoving intellectual prejudices,? and clarifying the experience by ?genetic explanations?(Woodcock, Stream 173). Giambattista Vico, Woodcock notes, developed ?the geneticmethod? employed by Read. It is a method, as Read explains, ?that studies art in relation toits origins, its history and distribution?in brief, the empirical method itself. The whole of themodern tradition in art is a direct result of such an approach? (Art Now 37).Woodcock developed his understanding of Read?s philosophy through his friendship withthe Indian writer Mulk Raj Anand. Anand is broadly credited, with R. K. Narayan and RajaRao, for the emergence of modern Indian literature in English. Anand fostered relationshipswith members of the Bloomsbury circle in London during the twenties. Following hispermanent return to India in 1946, Mohandas Gandhi would encourage him to remove theirinfluence from his writing. Anand would serve on the World Peace Council as the unofficialrepresentative of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, who brought socialistgovernment to India. Woodcock considered Anand?s novels Untouchable (1935) and Coolie(1936) to critique untouchability and the caste system, although his ?near-success was spoiltby the influence of the Marxism fashionable in the London literary circles where he was thenworking? (Faces of India 98). In an open letter to Woodcock, printed in a festschrift forWoodcock edited by New (A Political Art: Essays and Images in Honour of GeorgeWoodcock [1978]), Anand writes:The more deeply I understood the meaning of imperialism, through myassociation with people like H.G. Wells, Leonard Woolf, and George Orwell, themore relieved I felt at the emergence in the homeland of the Empire of youngcontemporaries like you. (Anand, ?An Open Letter? 185)In the early forties Anand and Woodcock would meet in London with other similarly mindedwriters, who together were ?veering away from the reactionary alliance of T.S. Eliot withAction Franc?aise fascists in France, and were criticizing his ?Royalism in Politics,?27?Anglo-Catholicism in Religion,? and ?Classicism in Literature?? (?An Open Letter? 185).Eliot had famously declared himself ?classicist in literature, royalist in politics, andanglo-catholic in religion? (For Lancelot Andrewes vii). In aspiring for literary and political?transformation,? these young writers of the forties challenged the cultural project of Eliot andwould take as their ?mentor,? Anand recalls, Herbert Read:I had shared with Herbert Read many ideas and had known him intimately forover a decade. And it was through him that I began to read Bakunin and OtherAnarchists. I introduced him to Gandhi?s ideas. And the coincidence of ourapproach led me to participate in the group?s activities. (?An Open Letter? 185)Fellow conscientious objectors, Anand and Woodcock were closer in political outlook thaneither was to their mutual friend Orwell, whose latent ?attitudes acquired as a police officer inBurma,? recounts Woodcock, continued to shape his world view:I remember how, right up to 1947, he would argue with Indian nationalist writerslike our common friend, Mulk Raj Anand, that they did not really want completeindependence, which he considered in any case an impossibility. ?India cannotbe a sovereign state,? he said [in reviewing a book for Partisan Review], ?becauseshe cannot defend herself.? (?Orwell: Imperial Socialist? 57-58)Read became increasingly intent on uniting the pacifist revolutionary philosophy ofGandhi with his own aesthetic anarchism. While Gandhi drew heavily on traditional Indianphilosophies in developing his theory of Satyagraha, translated as ?truth force,? he alsodisclosed debts to the Western anarchist tradition in the success of his method, which liberateda population of 350 million?a staggering achievement for an anti-imperialist such as Read.Gandhi was a friend of Kropotkin and admired the political writings of Tolstoy which inspiredhis model of postcolonial India as decentralized and village-based (Woodcock andAvakumovic, The Anarchist Prince 352). Gandhi also described his reading of Unto ThisLast, a critique of capitalism by English art critic John Ruskin, as having ?brought about aninstantaneous and practical transformation in my life? (Gandhi and Andrews 163). Ruskin28was an important influence on Read as well. Read saw his role as Europe?s foremostimpresario of the modern art movement as a way of bringing Gandhi?s achievement from therealm of morality and religion to aesthetics, with the purpose of liberating the Europeanimperialist mind. Read described the Indian leader as ?the one authentic holy man of ourtime? but believed himself ?not made for religion, or religion for me. My way must be theway of aesthetic discipline, of psychological integration, and this is the Other Way? (?Letterto Kathleen Raine 13 October 1956?). In this way, an Indian philosophy of non-violent revoltcame to impact influential British anarchist thought.Revolt, it will be said, implies violence; but this is an outmoded, an incompetentconception of revolt. The most effective form of revolt in this violent world welive in is non-violence. Gandhi temporarily inspired his followers to practisesuch a form of revolt, but we are still far from a full awareness of its potentialities.(Read, Anarchy and Order 26)Woodcock observes that Read was not against government??Government?that is to say,control of the individual in the interests of the community, is inevitable if two or more mencombine for a common purpose? (qtd. in Woodcock, Stream 250). The importance of ?art? asintegrative to a civilization, is opposed by Read to a model of ?culture? in which outmodedvalues are commodified and imposed through institutions?museums, galleries, theatres?tomaintain, at the expense of social vitality and the psychological health of the individual, aneconomically and politically dominant elite. For Read, a natural society is one allowed toorganically develop with guidance from its poets and artists, ?the unacknowledged legislatorsof the world,? as Shelley deemed them. Reconnecting art to society in this way is for Read arevolt against the values of the European nation state.Anand introduced both Read and Woodcock to the theory of Satyagraha, and there is amoment in the open letter by Anand to Woodcock in which Anand would seem to question hisold friend, after describing how the principles of Satyagraha had lead to their mutual decisionto become conscientious objectors at the outset of World War Two: ?You also remained29pacifist, but, somehow, could not think of the Gandhian way as practicable in the West? (?AnOpen Letter? 187). Anand here alludes to Woodcock?s Mohandas Gandhi (1971), a seminalexamination of the Indian leader?s philosophy. Woodcock wrote a book on each one of hiskey influences, not simply to promote their ideas, but to grapple with them, furthering his ownintellectual development. Zaslove regards The Stream and the Source as a ?low-keyed? and?cool? assessment of Read (36), but these are terms which could equally describe booksWoodcock wrote on other writers he most admired. Gandhi described himself as ?a kind ofanarchist? (Woodcock and Kermode 11) and Woodcock credits his activist libertarianphilosophy for the ?liberation of India? and the ?general end of the Empire? ( 3). In hishistorical ?inquest? Who Killed the British Empire? (1974), Woodcock shows the loss ofBritain?s most important imperial possession lead to the Empire?s complete dismantlement(British Empire 9). In analyzing this collapse, Woodcock argues that Canada?s independencein 1867 set an essential precedent in the relinquishing of control over one of Britain?scolonies. Woodcock also argues that the unity Britain imposed on culturally diversified India,through technologies such as the railway and radio, in fact produced the collective ?imaginedcommunity? Gandhi?s campaign depended upon in generating popular support (Woodcock,British Empire 259). But ultimately, it was in destroying the moral will of the British to rule,turning its pride into shame??the erosion of their collective image of themselves as a masterrace??by which Gandhi effected India?s emancipation (British Empire 8).Woodcock emphasizes that while Gandhi produced a great deal of writing he was not asystematic philosopher: ?It was an existential pattern of thought and deed rather than a systemof political or moral philosophy that Gandhi left behind him,? such that Gandhi ?could talkwith accuracy of his career as a series of ?experiments with Truth?? (Woodcock and Kermode4). In his study however, Woodcock challenges the broad application of Satyagraha in severalways, noting its successful use by Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and other pacifistrevolutionaries. He suggests that in his willingness to fast to the death, Gandhi?s politicalmethod extended beyond shaming his opponent morally into the realm of coercion, and that30this reflected Gandhi?s own personal ?Christian rather than a Hindu preoccupation withmartyrdom? ( 107). In wanting a society without social or religious discrimination, Gandhiaccorded moral self-restraint a fundamental role, and in this failed to realize that ?just asprisons create criminals, so restraint and repression can often breed monstrous passions? (96-7). Woodcock questions, but does not altogether discount, the feasibility of Satyagraha inmodern urbanized societies and in a world that had witnessed nuclear warfare and theHolocaust.After he achieved influence in Canada, Woodcock was still criticized on occasion forhaving been a pacifist during the war, a decision he would neither defend nor apologize for.Perhaps the closing lines of Mohandas Gandhi were written not only with the originator ofSatyagraha in mind, but also for those who had questioned, as Orwell once did, the heart ofthe former Satyagrahi writing them:Where Gandhi was extravagantly wrong, it was usually from ignorance of thefacts rather than from bad judgment. And the most important fact, of which hewas almost willfully ignorant, was the extent and reality of evil. He could neveradmit that the end of sorrow was less than love. ( 117)Woodcock offers a three-fold simplification of ?Gandhi?s achievement? in Mohandas Gandhi,and insofar as he himself very much believes this to be an achievement, Woodcock can still beregarded a Satyagrahi after the war: first, ?the liberation of colonial peoples could be achievedquickly, and without the self-defeating use of violence?; second, that ?nonviolent action . . .can also become the philosophic basis of a total reconstruction of society in such a way thatexcesses of power and violence are eliminated?; and finally, ?that the individual, incooperation with others and even on his own, can deploy a moral power that may result inchanging the general mental climate and hence the political and social shape of the world?(110). Woodcock combined this appropriation of Satyagraha with the anarchist conception ofFrench Surrealism advocated by Read, in developing Canadian writing as an anti-imperialistliterature, postcolonial and post-national, regional and cosmopolitan, during the long31sixties.The philosophical and aesthetic commitments Woodcock developed during the thirties andforties were, as Anand suggests, pitted against the imperialism, religiosity, and classicism ofT.S. Eliot. Frye would say of Read, in an 1947 issue of Canadian Forum, that he ?strives tobe, in contrast to T.S. Eliot, anarchist in politics, Romantic in literature, and agnostic inreligion? (Frye and Gorak 115). Frye draws the contrast too starkly, perhaps, but the gist ofhis comment is accurate. It should be noted that Read?s declared ?romanticism? in literatureindicates his standing within the famous ?Romanticism and Classicism? dichotomyintroduced by T.E. Hulme in 1911 (Hulme favoured classicism). Read accepted romanticismas a political orientation, believing classicism throughout Western history produced slavery.So in Woodcock?s study William Godwin (1946), for instance, we find Read writing in itsforeword that Percy Bysshe Shelley essentially ?transmuted? the philosophy of Godwin?sPolitical Justice into poetry (Woodcock and Read, William Godwin: a Biographical Studyvii). Read?s understanding of the artist as the ?unacknowledged legislators of the world,? inShelley?s terms, is also in this romantic vein. But Read?s anarchist assimilation ofromanticism does not classify him a romantic idealist of the sort Frye himself came to be inthe forties with the publication of Fearful Symmetry (1947), a brilliant attempt to forge Blakeinto the key monument of the Western canon. Eliot was of profound importance for Frye whoexperienced ?outrage and betrayal? when he ?first opened After Strange Gods,? to discover hisleader had been lost in reactionaryism to currents of the thirties (Frye, ?English CanadianLiterature? 330). This comment is made in the single piece Frye contributed to CanadianLiterature, a memorial for E.J. Pratt. Pratt was a poet Frye admired as the greatest Canadahad ever produced, while Woodcock considered Pratt ?a highly imperfect and veryconservative poet? (Woodcock, Beyond the Blue Mountains 5).Anand and Read together worked on Eliot?s literary review Criterion, which ended its runin 1939. Published from 1922, eight years after Eliot?s emmigration from America, Criterionwas dedicated to establishing universal literary standards and unifying the diverse intellectual32community of Europe within the frame of Eliot?s classicism. Eliot saw literature as a great?order of words,? a single body, rather than ?a collection of the writings of individuals,? withworks deriving their significance entirely in relation to the ?existing monuments? of theWestern tradition (Selected Essays 23-24). The function of criticism on this view isessentially a matter of determining the interconnections between works that taken togetherconstruct a great schematic system of literature. Eliot?s conception came to inspire the ?NewCriticism? of the postwar period. The intimate connection Eliot sustains between Christianityand a structural and totalizing conception of the Western canon provided as well the keyprecedent for Northrop Frye?s landmark Anatomy of Criticism (1957). As Mark Vesseyargues, the monuments of the Western canon are given their ?common sense? within Frye?sAnatomy by the Christian Bible, ?the ?definitive myth,? ?central encyclopaedic form? or ?singlearchetypal structure? in relation to which other texts and stories in the culture have theirmeaning? (176).Anand?s understanding of Eliot, approached as ?the key to the state of the art of Westernpoetry and culture,? as Makarand Paranjape puts it, developed through their conversations(Conversations in Bloomsbury 17). The ?melancholy? Eliot is found by Anand to be againstinstinct, anarchism, Buddhism, and Gandhi, sympathetic to imperialism, whilephilosophically, Anand assesses, ?skeptical in the tradition of Hume, extended by BertrandRussell, and the commonsense Realists? (qtd. in Paranjape 23). Read explicitly positioned hisphilosophy of the relationship between art and society against the logical positivism ofRussell, which he considered an ?arid logomachy without parallel in the history of thought?(Read, ?Chains of Freedom 1? 10). The ?poverty? of logical positivism, Read writes in NOW,lies fundamentally in its ?denial of instinctive modes of thought, of super-rational intuitions,the aesthetic nature of perception?in a word, by [its] surrender of existential freedom?(?Chains of Freedom 1? 10). Eliot would argue free verse cannot exist a priori. As literatureis created from literature, ?Vers libre has not even the excuse of a polemic; it is a battle-cry offreedom, and there is no freedom in art? (Eliot, ?Reflections on Vers Libre? 518). Read33clarifies that free verse, rather than anarchist polemic, challenges the humanistic concept ofliterature preserved by Eliot, for it introduces into poetry what abstract art had brought topainting:The revolt against the exclusively humanistic concept of art has been long ingestation, but it first comes into visible existence in the painting of Ce?zanne, andCe?zanne?s fundamental importance in the history of this revolution is dueprecisely to the fact that he was the first who dared assert that the purpose of art isnot to express an ideal, whether religious or moral or humanistic, but simply to behumble before nature, and to render the forms which close observation coulddisentangle from vague visual impressions. (The Redemption of the Robot 150)The free verse accompanying imagism challenged idealistic epistemologies and theirspiritual conceptions of artistic creation by granting the physical world itself a causal role inhuman perception. This position denies skepticism but also denies empiricism, for theembodied and situated human being reconstructs her perceptions from her feelings with theresources available in her language. Woodcock?s interests, however, were allied with thepoetics of imagism, which discovers the world itself, not divine purpose. The generallyacknowledged founder of the movement was T.E. Hulme. Woodcock describes the followingremark of Hulme from 1906 as one of his ?favourite quotations? (Meeting 7):Speaking of personal matters, the first time I ever felt the necessity orinevitableness of verse, was in the desire to reproduce the peculiar quality offeeling which is induced by the flat spaces and wide horizons of the virgin prairiein western Canada. (Hulme and Csengeri 53)Woodcock believes Hulme captures here the fundamental ?geographical factor of locality? inhuman experience and art (Woodcock, Meeting 8). For Woodcock, the regions of Canada intheir very physicality require a poetry and literature specific to the way in which they impacthuman thought and feeling. This understanding is not romantic; the poet does not seek toimpose spiritual qualities upon an undifferentiated nature. For Frye, the imagination was34prevented from imposing itself on Canada because of the colonized poet?s fear of nature; forWoodcock, perception had not yet seen the new land for what it was:The writing of the pioneer generation in all parts of Canada shows a similartendency to escape from experience in a new and untamed country by rendering itin familiar and artificial forms rather than developing the kind of perception whichsee it as it is, and finally, the language which fits that perception. (Meeting 20)Woodcock, however, deems that Hulme?s imagism only aesthetically captures the spatialquality of human experience in the world and disregards the temporal aspect.That a region of the Canadian landscape is discovered at the origins of the Europeanmovement of modernist poetry need not be surprising, in that Imagism arose from the feltinability of existing forms to reproduce modern human experience. Edward Said hassuggested that what defines modernism is its attempt to take the ?Other? seriously. In thework of modernist writers ?alterity and difference are systematically associated withstrangers, who, whether women, natives, or sexual eccentrics, erupt into vision, there tochallenge and resist settled metropolitan histories, forms, modes of thought? (Reflections onExile 313). Said contends that modernism adopted a stance of ?contemplative irony? towardsimperialism; it recommends, as in the case of E.M. Forster?s A Passage to India, neitherdecolonization nor continued colonization, producing only ?paralyzed gestures ofaestheticized powerlessness? (Said, Reflections on Exile 313). Hulme?s experience of the?peculiar quality of feeling? of the Canadian prairie, which he brought back to Europe totransform its literature, was that of a traveller, not that of an inhabitant. It takes what is?Other? seriously, but does not participate in its world. Woodcock thus adds, in keeping withthe Surrealism of his radio plays, a temporal factor to his theory of human experience and theliterature that best represents it, with reference to a quote from Heart of a Stranger by hisfriend the novelist Margaret Laurence:This is where my world begins. A world which includes the ancestors?both myown and other people?s ancestors who become mine. A world which formed me,35and continues to do so, even while I fought it in some of its aspects, and continueto do so. A world which gave me my own lifework to do, because it was here thatI learned the sight of my own particular eyes. (qtd. in Woodcock, Meeting 8)Woodcock grants history a fundamental role in human experience, not as lineal progression,which he rejects (Undermining History 1), but history as now? ?tradition? in McLuhan?ssense as arising with radio?impinging upon the present and requiring, through literature,active negotiation. Woodcock accepts Laurence?s notion of ?other people?s ancestors whobecome mine? as a regional imperative to counter the detached viewpoint of modernism andits powerlessness to confront imperialism. Said contends that ?if there is anything thatradically distinguishes the imagination of anti-imperialism, it is the primacy of thegeographical in it? (Culture and Imperialism 77). On Woodcock?s view, postcolonialismrequires further an active recovery of and engagement with local history to counterinstitutionalized histories of external powers. In uniting a spatial modernism that had arisenfrom an external European viewpoint on Western Canada, with living regional histories??themeeting of time and space??Woodcock provides a particularly Western Canadianpostmodernism for Canadian literature, with striking similitude to McLuhan?s notion of?acoustic space.? As Cavell has demonstrated, this critical formulation of ?spacetime? byMcLuhan is fundamentally ?a hybrid of oral and literate modalities? (McLuhan in Spacexiv).Laurence?s acceptance of ?other people?s ancestors? had a nationalistic counterpart duringthe period in which she expresses the idea: Canadian novels of the seventies and eightiesreinstated an imperialist imagination that sought ownership of space as ?land? through theappropriation of its cultural histories. Margery Fee has shown that prominent novelsassociated with the rise of Canadian nationalism from the sixties into the eighties, participatein a Romantic strategy by which white English-Canadian authors dispossess the land, culture,and history of Canada?s First Peoples through ubiquitous mythological use of Nativecharacters:36It allows through the white character?s association with the Native, for a white?literary land claim,? analogous to the historical territorial take-over, usuallyimplicit or explicit in the text. And it allows for a therapeutic mediation on theevil of technology and the good of a life close to nature, the latter offering atemporary inoculation against the former. (Fee 17)What these novels reflect, Fee contends, is a ?desire to naturalize our appropriation of theirland. It also explains the general lack of interest in Native culture of history: we want to bethem, not to understand them? (24). Fee?s analysis finds the strategy of this nationalist literarymovement to emanate from the tradition of European Romanticism.In his invocation of Laurence in The Meeting of Time and Space: Regionalism inCanadian Literature (1980), Woodcock can be understood as critically intervening within thisemerging trend in Canadian literature. He draws a distinction between nationalism andpatriotism, as Orwell did, referencing remarks of Roderick Haig-Brown to support his viewthat while the nation-state is a destructive form of human organization in the post-nationalage?needing external impositions by centralizers to publicly construct the artificial sense of?imagined community? it depends upon?feelings of loyalty to the particular region one liveswithin are to be accepted (Woodcock, Meeting 9). Woodcock is careful however not toattribute these local feelings to a Romantic connection with ?the Land.?Margaret Laurence?s reference to ?other people?s ancestors who become mine? ishere most important, because by no means every one of these whose artistic orliterary expression becomes intensely regional in character can claim the regionas his ?first home,? where he ?learned the sight of my particular eyes . . .Strangers as well as natives can live in their minds the life of a region, so long asthey accept ?other people?s ancestors.? (Meeting 8-9)What it means for a writer to accept ?other people?s ancestors,? in Woodcock?s view, becomesapparent in examining his own Canadian writings.In its project to critique dominant Western culture, Surrealism developed a complex37alliance with the European ideas of primitivism, a commendatory perspective on non-Westernart (Spiteri and LaCoss 122). The Surrealists shared in the romantic tendency to praise the?innate creativity? or ?emotional nature? of First Nations peoples, while also coming tocriticize, for example, the exploitation often involved in Western appropriations of blackculture, and other instances of an acknowledged ?romantic exoticism? within the surrealistmovement itself ( 122-23). In 1946 Read would curate the primitivist exhibition ?40,000Years of Modern Art? at London?s Institute of Contemporary Art. That same year Bretonwould declare that more than any other visual art, that of the ?race rouge? offers modernsociety ?un nouveau syste`me de connaissances et de relations? (qtd. in Blache`re 8). In anarticle by Breton entitled ?The Colours of Liberty,? published in a 1946 issue of NOW?alsofeaturing automatic drawings by Andre? Masson and the work of surrealist poets PhilipLamantia and Jackson MacLow, a pioneer of sound poetry and multimedia performanceart?Breton announces that Surrealism carried the black flag of anarchism (A. Breton, ?TheColours of Liberty? 33-34). The Surrealists were particularly captivated by the indigenous artof the Pacific northwest, and Woodcock would bring this decidedly European fascination withhim to Canada.The term ?surrealist? was coined by the Italian-Russian writer Guillaume Apollinaire,who first wrote of totem poles in 1917 and 1918, seeking to account for their significance inrelation to genealogy and biography (Tythacott 164-65). Woodcock, in an otherwisefavourable review of the first book-length study of his UBC student George Bowering, BrightCircles of Colour (1992) by Eva-Marie Kro?ller, is surprised not to find a single mention ofApollinaire, whose work Woodcock believed was related closely to Bowering?s poetics(Woodcock, ?Poetry Column?). Bowering, an original member of the Vancouver TISH group,acknowledges the ?romance? and ?exaggerated mystery? with which the Surrealists conceivedthe Northwest Coast, in commenting on the lines of this chapter?s epigraph (Bowering, LeftHook: a Sideways Look at Canadian Writing 101). The Surrealists became great collectors ofCoastal objects, finding in them resonances of a lost magic they strove to reproduce in their38own art (Tythacott 165). Soon after settling on Vancouver Island in 1949, Woodcock wouldreport contact with members of a ?primitive culture? in a letter to Read:They are the descendants of the Kwakiutl of whom Ruth Benedict writes. Now, Iam afraid, they are a sad example of the effect of Western civilisation on primitivecultures . . . They still, however, maintain some vestiges of the old communalorganisation, and I am trying to gather enough material to make a publishablestudy. (Letters from Sooke 28 June 1949)Woodcock would later recognize that his initial perceptions, in fact the result of transatlanticcontact with the leading theoretician of European aesthetics, had been mistaken, and that thesocieties of the Northwestern Peoples were neither primitive nor lost:almost certainly I was confusing them with the Cowichan, whom we hadencountered. Even in talking of the Cowichan, I was making the kind ofjudgment by first impression which I later learnt to distrust; indeed, I saweverything I mention in that letter, but what I did not see?I later came torealize?was perhaps more important than the deceptive appearance of a peoplein disintegration. (Woodcock and Read, Letters from Sooke 16-17)The dust jacket of Woodcock?s first travel book, Ravens and Prophets: An Account ofJourneys in British Columbia, Alberta and Southern Alaska (1952), featuring a non-mimeticand Westernized illustration of a totem pole, signals that the author?s early meanderings in arecently adopted region would be recounted with a surrealist gaze. Within the book, writtenimmediately following Woodcock?s return from residence in France on a GuggenheimFellowship, coastal Indigenous culture provides only a foil against which Woodcock deridesthe ?semi-colonial? culture of western Canada. The coast had ?a luxuriant culture? (Ravensand Prophets 2), up until ?the missionaries commenced their intensive attack on the nativesocial order? (Ravens and Prophets 137), and the Hudson?s Bay Company was established as?a great parasite over the country, draining and corrupting its original life? (Ravens andProphets 25). Missionaries as destroyers of Indigenous societies is a reoccurring element in39Woodcock?s work, apparent already in the forties, although then operating out of a purereversal of the imperialist mindset, grounded in the conception of the natural sociability ofhuman beings he derives from Kropotkin.Probably no other class of European, even the slave trader, has done so much todestroy indigenous cultures or to break down the economic and social patterns oftribal life which were often based on a sense of co-operation and mutual aidsuperior to anything that occurs in modern Western civilisations. (Woodcock, TheWriter and Politics 241)The first Surrealists to visit British Columbia to study Northwest Coast culture were WolfgangPaalen and Kurt Seligmann in the late thirties. It was during this period that Woodcock tookto Surrealism, visiting Paris every year between 1935 and 1939 (Letter to the Past 198). WhatMarie Mauze? finds in studying the writings and photographs of Seligmann and Paalen, alsoelucidates the conflicted impetus of Ravens and Prophets: the Surrealists ?failed to explore oracknowledge native resilience to colonial policy, but each in his own way contributed to makeNorthwest Coast art known to a most certainly small audience, genuinely inspired by itsrichness and greatness? (Mauze? 21).Woodcock?s ?publishable study? of West Coast Indigenous cultures would appear in thelate seventies. In Peoples of the Coast (1977), the term ?primitive culture? is replaced inacknowledgment of the ?complexity? of the first cultures in the region, shown throughanalyses of the ?sophisticated techniques? used to produce the ?formal qualities of high art?(Peoples of the Coast 12-15). The book, written in an accessible manner without footnotes,and including numerous photos by Ingeborg Woodcock, incorporates a focused critique ofCanada?s treatment of Indigenous Peoples and their societies. Noting that the societies of theregion learned to keep their customs to themselves from experience with English-Canada, theWoodcocks left their camera and tape recorder at home as advised in attending a Salish spiritdance, the description of which forms the Epilogue to the book. The concluding impressionsWoodcock shares, acknowledged as those made by outsiders, stress the independence and40strength of the Salish culture they had ?witnessed?:Somewhere past three in the morning the crowds on the bleachers began to thin aspeople set out on the way home to other villages, and we went out with them. Wewere elated by what we had seen, above all by what we had heard and felt in thevast vibrations of sound that surged above the great house. The Salish contendthat attendance at the spirt dances can cure many sicknesses that are in some wayor another psychosomatic. But it seemed to us not merely a matter of individualcure, but of the cure of a whole people from the alienation of those intermediategenerations when they lived between two worlds, their native culture almostcompletely destroyed and the culture of the white man temperamentally alien tothem. (Woodcock, Peoples of the Coast 214)In adopting ?other people?s ancestors who become mine,? Woodcock did not elaborate thedeleterious effects such an attitude might have on the people whose ancestors are so adopted.It is apparent from Peoples of the Coast however, that Woodcock?s understanding ofLaurence?s concept is not Romantic. In witnessing Salish culture he sought to develop ?thekind of perception which sees it as it is, and finally, the language which fits that perception.?It is an attitude by which something is learned, rather than one through which something istaken.In his radio play The Island of Demons, produced for the Trans-Canada network?s SummerStage by Gerald Newman in 1962, Woodcock critiques colonialist Romantic appropriation ofIndigenous culture. The play reimagines the ordeal of Marguerite de La Rocque who wasbanished to the eponymous island off the coast of Quebec in 1542. Woodcock?s telling isloosely based on the tale recounted in Heptame?ron by Queen Marguerite of Navarre, recordedfollowing de La Rocque?s rescue and return to France. The play opens in 1545, withMarguerite returning to France aboard the ship that spotted her on the island?s shore. On aship to Canada three years before, Marguerite?s uncle, the explorer de Roberval, learned shehad a lover?Michel, a member of the crew?and in punishment, left them both on the island41with Marguerite?s handmaiden Marie. Michel had been given a stone bird he thought atalisman from an Indian chief Cartier had brought to France, and believed in its gifting ?. . .there was a flash / That leapt across our strangeness, heart to heart.? In English-CanadianRomantic nationalist novels of the period, a ?totem transfer? is frequently used to validate?the white?s land claim and blessing the relationship between old land and new landowner?(Fee 21). It was for their plans to live like the natives, to use the talisman as a passport intothe world of ?the foe,? that de Roberval chooses banishment to the island as the lovers?punishment. The listener might have anticipated the drama to unfold as a romance, had it notbegun with a traumatized Marie providing at the first scene?s end the vague outlines of anightmare:The hearts I buried, in coffins of bone and flesh,And the beasts calling like demons in the woods,And the demons calling like beasts in the air,And we hiding in the house of driftwoodOn the empty shore above high tideAnd one by one by oneThe tides and the nights . . .(Woodcock, Two Plays 11)The beasts and demons of the island are the projections of Michel and Marguerite?simaginations. Marguerite?s three demons, ?Doubt, Discord, Regret?thought, action,consequence!?, a ?trinity of negation? as the first of them explains, were voiced, Woodcock?sdirections indicate, ?in the style of modern public relations men? (Two Plays 34). In part,Woodcock is dramatizing an idea evident in Read that the modern individual cannot escapefrom herself and that isolation breeds psychological disease: ?He carries his warpedpsychology about with him no less inevitably than his bodily disease. But the worst disease isthe one he creates out of his own isolation: uncriticized phantasies, personal symbols, privatefetishes? (Read, Anarchy and Order 61). Far from a pastoral integration with the land,42Michel?s fantasies about becoming chief over the Indians?who never do appear in theplay?are transmuted into an obsession for hunting the island?s animals in a fatal attempt toconquer it. Marie, a ?Breton woman? (Woodcock, Two Plays 40), blames the bird of stone, amagical ?graven image,? for their predicament. Marguerite comes to realize Marie?ssurrealistic-like reverence for the intrinsic power of a primitive object wrongly attributes thesource of its power. Marguerite faults not the magic of the stone itself, but rather the exoticbeliefs she and Michael had imbued it with:I know no devils and I know know angels.It was a sign pointing to nothing. A stoneWith meaning only for the men who made it.Now, to please you, I?ll throw it in the fire.(Two Plays 46)With the image broken, Marguerite is left with ?only grief and a faceless anguish,? a pointfrom which a new connection to her own world can be reattained. In ?demythologizing? theRomantic transfer of land from First Peoples to colonial imperialists, Woodcock?s voiceplayconfronts the Romantic nationalist trend reemerging within Canadian literature during theperiod, revealing the mythologizing of First Nations as a strategy of domination, born offantasies to conceal the despair of alienation. Woodcock ends the play with an alexandrinecouplet, a weighty poetic meter found in both early modern French and twentieth-centurysurrealist poetry (Havard 93), to unite the perceptions of Marguerite with the listener, forwhom the voices of the island are also silenced with the program?s end and a return toreality:The ship sails in from the east like a great white birdAnd all the voices of the island are silent.(Woodcock, Two Plays 56)The speeches of the Demon of Doubt throughout the play appropriate this rhythm andsyllabically undermine it. A speech in which the Demon discloses she (or he) is liable to43doubt herself, for example, begins with the twelve syllables of the alexandrine, decaying byone syllable per line before temporarily reestablishing constancy again (Two Plays 44).Orwell charged that the simplified propaganda of ?public relations? damaged language itself.Woodcock cannot be taken to advocate with the play?s final purposive lines however, that inlooking out for one?s own society, a rejection of primitivism as a solution to its ills demands aconcomitant restoration of traditional European forms, for the The Island of Demons itselfplays with and undermines formal poetics for its aesthetic ends. In returning to France aboardthe ship that rescued her, Marguerite no longer hates the colonialist Roberval, but he hasbecome her ?dearest enemy? (Two Plays 9). In remediating the alexandrine for radio,Woodcock advocates through his own practice creatively treating the Canadian landscape,diseased in isolation by Romantic colonialist thought, with the very resources of its owncultural heritage, which include English and French literatures, transforming rather thanundermining them all in the artistic process.44Chapter 3The Artist and UtopiaSome of you think that you can do without Art, that it is anunnecessary frill, especially in a country preoccupied with theserious business of pioneering.?Vancouver in Relation to the Arts? (1956)HERBERT READIn 1941 Woodcock became affiliated with Freedom Press, an anarchist publisher set up in1886 by writer Charlotte M. Wilson and the Russian prince Peter Kropotkin. It was foundedto produce the propaganda paper Freedom which was committed, as its masthead reads, to ?asociety of mutual aid and voluntary co-operation.? Through Kropotkin?s expeditions as ageographer?his major contribution to science was a more accurate understanding of Asia?sphysical structure?he came to argue that cooperation and ?mutual aid,? both in nonhumananimals and throughout human history, are more important factors than competition in theevolution and survival of species. In Victorian England Kropotkin?s work counteractedDarwinism, both scientifically and in respect to the sociopolitical theories it inspired.Recounting the early history of Freedom Press, Woodcock describes the circle of intellectualactivists it gathered as ?an almost classic example of the ?affinity group? that had beendeveloped among Latin-European anarchists as the idea framework for propaganda of boththe word and the deed: a group cemented by both personal friendship and shared sensibilities45and ideals? (?The State of Letters: Half a Life of Editing? 414). Benedict Anderson explainsthe unique cosmopolitan milieu of the Freedom group in the late nineteenth century and itsglobal reach:Following the collapse of the First International, and Marx?s death in 1883,anarchism, in its characteristically variegated forms, was the dominant element inthe self-consciously internationalist radical Left. It was not merely that inKropotkin (born twenty-two years after Marx) and Malatesta (born thirty-threeyears after Engels) anarchism produced a persuasive philosopher and a colorful,charismatic activist-leader from a younger generation, not matched bymainstream Marxism. Notwithstanding the towering edifice of Marx?s thought,from which anarchism often borrowed, the movement did not disdain peasantsand agricultural laborers in an age when serious industrial proletariats weremainly confined to Northern Europe. It was open to ?bourgeois? writers andartists?in the name of individual freedom?in a way that, in those days,institutional Marxism was not. Just as hostile to imperialism, it had no theoreticalprejudices against ?small? and ?ahistorical? nationalisms, including those in thecolonial world. Anarchists were also quicker to capitalize on the vasttransoceanic migrations of the era. Malatesta spent four years in BuenosAires?something inconceivable for Marx or Engels, who never left WesternEurope. Mayday celebrates the memory of immigrant anarchists?notMarxists?executed in the United states in 1886. (Anderson, Under Three Flags2)Woodcock maintained a lifelong engagement with the work of Kropotkin, retaining abelief in mutual aid while critical of certain aspects of the Russian?s anarchism. With UBCprofessor of political science Ivan Avakumovic, Woodcock published the first comprehensivebiographical study of Kropotkin, The Anarchist Prince, in 1950 and his final majorundertaking before his death in 1994 was editing Kropotkin?s eleven volume Complete Works.46Woodcock was introduced to the Freedom group circle by Marie Louise Berneri, whose fatherCamillo Berneri had been assassinated by the communists after fighting against the fascistsduring the factional Spanish Civil War. Herbert Read was loosely affiliated with the group,having a few pamphlets published by the press. As Read?s theories and conversion toanarchism become better known, influential European anarchists of the old movement beganto consider transformation of culture through art and literature as a legitimate revolutionarytactic. A close friend of Turgenev, Kropotkin himself had established a connection betweenliterature and political resistance through his study of Russian literature of the nineteenthcentury. After Kropotkin?s 1897 journey across a Western Canada that was not yet entirely ofthe confederation, he gave a series of lectures in the United States, including eight highlysuccessful talks in Boston on Russian literature, published in 1905 as Russian Literature:Ideals and Realities (Kropotkin and Woodcock xxiii). Kropotkin claims in the book that asthere was no open political life in Tsarist Russia, literature became the principle form throughwhich authority was criticized. In introducing the lectures for their 1991 reissue, Woodcockcriticizes Kropotkin for ignoring the formal aspects of writing to elucidate its politicallyoriented content, for only superficially discussing the religious philosophies of Tolstoy andDostoevsky, and for neglecting to treat Leskov and younger authors that came to prominenceby the turn of the century. But in the forties, Woodcock can be seen to elaborate Kropotkin?spolitical literary criticism into a literary mandate for the writer.Woodcock began publishing his journal NOW in 1940 after being granted conscientiousobjector status, and the magazine?s first editorial would declare its pacifist orientation.Initially, the journal was an open forum for controversial writing that could not otherwise findpublication during the war. A significant proportion of the journal was devoted to poetry,providing a forum for many of the poets associated with the defunct Twentieth Century Verseedited by Julian Symons. Twentieth Century Verse emerged in the late thirties to representpoets diverging from the Auden generation by way of Surrealism and other new movements(Jackaman 100-17; Woodcock, Letter to the Past 82-3). Symons, looking back on his47Twentieth Century Verse thirty years later, would find some ?genuine poems? amongst itspages, specifically citing lines from Woodcock?s ?Snow? (?A Glimpse of Thirties? Sunlight?433):All day from the east slanted snowCovering pavement toys and the metal menWho speak for England the lead laws of ago.(?Snow? 155)It is the formal composition and contemporary social critique which marks it as of the thirties.The poem parts ways with Auden in conceiving nature as involved in the social sphere.Perception changes with the coming of ?white?s illusion?: London is shamed and the speakervoices its judgment. Symons was among NOW?s key supporters, but would complain themagazine lacked editorial focus. After his intellectual relationships with Read and Bernerideveloped, Woodcock would address Symons? complaint. In NOW?s ?Second Series,?commencing in 1943, ?the magazine abandoned its position as an independent forum [to]become the cultural review of the British anarchist movement? and published by FreedomPress (?Pacifism? 417). Woodcock?s alliance with Freedom Press would soon result in thepublication of Anarchy or Chaos (1944), Woodcock?s first history of anarchism and a book hewould later disavow.1 Read would sing its praises: ?You have succeeded in giving a clear andstraightforward explanation of anarchism without indulging in any of the rhetoric andinvective which spoils so many past attempts. I can?t imagine a better introduction to thesubject? (Read, ?Letter to GW 21 October 1944?).After the first issue of NOW?s new series began circulating, the anarcho-syndicalistbackers of Freedom complained about the series? literary and artistic focus. Read?s ideasconcerning the relationship between art and the development of a non-authoritarian societyhad had little influence among the workers. Editors of Freedom?s War Commentary were1The book was largely responsible for Woodcock?s expulsion from the United States in 1955. For anaccount of Woodcock?s failed immigration for a position at the University of Washington see Fetherling.48sympathetic to Read, including Berneri?s husband Vernon Richards,2 but while the Presswould continue distributing NOW, Woodcock, the coterie of writers it attracted, newsstandsales, and its subscribers, would finance it. The range of NOW, to take a somewhat randomsampling, included the political writings of Read, experimental compositions by HenryMiller, poetry by Denise Levertov, analyses of jazz and African-American folk music,explication of Wilhelm Reich?s psychological theories by Berneri, writings by anarchistpsychologists Alex Comfort and Paul Goodman, correspondence from the exiledrevolutionary Marxist Victor Serge, and internationally submitted reports giving overviews ofvarious cultural scenes from countries as disparate as France and Japan.After Freedom Press was raided late in 1944 for publishing content ?to undermine theaffections of members of His Majesty?s Forces,? the Freedom Defense Committee wasfounded to provide legal support, with Read as its chairman and Woodcock its secretary(Honeywell 141). It would ?defend those who are persecuted for exercising their rights tofreedom of speech, writing and action,? up until the year the Woodcocks left for Canada,when it was disbanded. Ingeborg Woodcock, who was NOW?s business manager by that time,managed most of the organization?s correspondence and finances. Prominent members of adiversified intellectual Left were brought together in the Committee, including E.M. Forster,Orwell, and Bertrand Russell. With its previous editors imprisoned, Woodcock, whose namehad not been on the paper?s masthead, and Berneri, who was released by the police (to herindignation) because she was a woman, took on the task of editing War Commentary. Theywould change the paper?s name to its original Freedom following the end of the war. WithWoodcock as an editor, the paper experienced a marked increase in book reviews anddiscussions of world literature. As well, perspectives and biographies of prominent membersfrom the history of anarchism were paid greater attention. Following the example ofKropotkin, Woodcock sought to discern resistance to political authority operating throughout2Richards had published with Camillo Berneri the paper Italia Libera and distributed propaganda with hisfather Emidio Recchioni, who fled to England after being implicated in a plot to assassinate fascist leader BenitoMussolini.49the history of Western literature, not only within the romantic anarchist poets Read invoked.Writing in Freedom on the occasion of Cervantes? four hundredth birthday, Woodcock locatesin the content of Europe?s first novel the tradition of Spanish peasantry striving for communalself-governance, creating in the character of Sancho a voice for the common people of his age(Woodcock, ?Literary Notes: Cervantes and the Spanish People? 6). In his study of AphraBehn The Incomparable Aphra (1948),3 Woodcock perceives her novel Oroonoko (1688) aschallenging Western conceptions of indigenous peoples and provides further support for theassertion of Virginia Woolf that Behn was a pioneer in the fight for women?s emancipation(Aphra Behn 9).In 1945 Woodcock wrote an essay for NOW, ?The Writer and Politics,? contending thatthe truly individual writer, one not compromised by the pressures of a political party or themandate of a formal literary doctrine, is ?a revolutionary force.? Woodcock explicitlydifferentiates the writer from the propagandist at a time when he felt the anarchist movementhad come to entail a tacit pressure towards doctrinal conformity and the simplification of itsintellectual content (Writers and Politics 7). The writer, argues Woodcock, critiques society inshowing truth, ?even a limited aspect of the truth,? which serves ?to elevate a criterion againstwhich falsehood must be judged and condemned? (Writers and Politics 17-18). Woodcockand Orwell saw a great deal of one another in the mid-forties, and in 1948 Orwell wouldpublish an essay written along similar lines, ?Writers and Leviathan,? promoting theindependent writer as ?the most unwelcome guerrilla on the flank of a regular army?(?Writers and Leviathon? 413). Woodcock would refer to such a writer as a ?franc-tireur,? a?free shooter,? allied with the regular formation of an army but moving independently (TheWriter and Politics 7). Orwell had been a maverick writer of this sort in thirties, never fallinginto the main lines of the literary avant-garde. His own thought underwent changes during theforties, evident in his positive reassessment of Gandhi in Reflections on Gandhi (1949),suggesting the flexibility and shifting positions of the franc-tireur writer.3A later edition would be retitled Aphra Behn: The English Sappho.50Woodcock?s reimagining of Gandhi?s Satyagraha as aesthetic nonviolent politicalresistance differs from Read?s in important respects. The franc-tireur and Read?s modernartist, simply ?humble before nature,? hold different conceptions of truth. For Read, the artistis truthful in showing beauty in form: ?the purpose of art is . . . simply to be humble beforenature, and to render the forms which close observation could disentangle from vague visualimpressions.? In rendering these observations, the artists reveals ?the general law in nature?which ?is equity?:the principle of balance and symmetry which guides the growth of forms alonglines of the greatest structural efficiency. It is the law which gives the leaf as wellas the tree, the human body and the universe itself, a harmonious and functionalshape, which is at the same time objective beauty. (Read, Anarchy and Order 41)Truth for Woodcock however is not fundamentally an aesthetic concept but a social one.Justice is not derived from nature through art but founded within existing social structures.Woodcock carries into the forties the sociopolitical orientation of the thirties movement,grounded in social justice rather than Read?s Platonic aesthetics. Like Read, Woodcockrejects a ?morality of obedience? for a Kropotkinian ?morality of reciprocity,? but in effectingit, the localized writer draws upon society, tradition, rather than ?space? alone. Modern art,on Read?s view, was to serve the public yet is intelligible only to an elite: ?Is there anyevidence that art in its highest manifestations can appeal to more than a relatively restrictedminority?? (Poetry and Anarchism 16). Among Read?s key influences was the anarchist MaxStirner, an obscure philosopher greatly admired by Nietzsche as evident in his concept of thethe will to power (Woodcock, Anarchism 95). In Anarchism Woodcock characterizes Stirneras the movements?s ?egoist,? and as we have seen in his radio plays, consistentlyproblematizes absolute authority of the individual will due to its involvements with a sociallyconstructed subconscious. Read understands the artist as seeking to communicate with asocial sphere incapable of understanding her message. For Orwell, ?purity of form? meantprose as ?a windowpane,? used not to reveal something hidden and timeless through form, but51to show human injustice. This philosophical difference may appear subtle, a matter ofemphasis, but it is important for how Woodcock?s work would develop in Canada. InOrwell?s famous essay How the Poor Die (1946), first published in NOW, form strives in itsclarity to match perception to show injustice. Orwell?s concern for preserving the integrity oflanguage lies in maintaining the public accessibility of moral truth. Woodcock himself doesdraw certain connections between Read and Orwell; that Orwell wrote to Read alone aboutsetting up an underground press in 1939 in the case of wartime censorship, for instance.4 InThe Stream and the Source, Woodcock records Read?s personal and intellectual affinitytowards Orwell:?His personality, which remains so vivid after all these years, often rises likesome ghost to admonish me,? Read wrote to me in 1966 after I had published mybook on Orwell, The Crystal Spirit. ?I suppose I have felt nearer to him than toany other English writer of our time, and though there were some aspects of hischaracter that irritated me?his proletarian pose in dress, etc., his insensitivity tohis physical environment, his comparatively narrow range of interests?yet whowas, in general, nearer in ideal and even in eccentricities?? (Stream 239)In harmonizing his two most significant influences by emphasizing their connections,Woodcock lends support to viewing his own body of work, which integrates the thinking ofRead and Orwell, as coherent.Despite the organic connection Read insists on between the modern artist and society theartist herself, as Williams observes, is endowed with a special sensibility. Read thus draws asharp distinction between art and ?entertainment?:The reality is a powerful and ruthless entertainment industry that knows only toowell how to exploit the alienation and boredom of the masses. The cinema,broadcasting, pop singers and jazz?these are the more obvious forms of4After the Freedom Press raid, Read hid a cache of anarchist pamphlets for safe keeping at Orwell?s home(Stream 262-63).52amusement and distraction. To question the cultural value of such entertainmentis to invite charges of puritanism, snobbery, or intolerance, all of which are farfrom my state of mind. All that is necessary is to make a distinction between artand entertainment and then in all our cultural activities to maintain thatdistinction. (Read, Art and Society vii)Woodcock has a much more fluid understanding of art, as did Orwell, its mobilityundermining the class division Read proposes:Art can begin in an aristocratic setting and become popular, as Mozart?s operashave done. Art can begin among the people and permeate the whole of society asjazz did. Art can begin on a popular level and remain there, as the wholenineteenth-century Italian opera tradition from Rossini to Puccini did. And theartists, particularly performing artists, can, if they are good enough, move withintegrity from point to point within this great continuum, refuting the artificialdistinction between the elitist and the popular as Benny Goodman so splendidlydid when he moved with his clarinet from the mastery of jazz to the mastery ofMozart. (Woodcock, Strange Bedfellows 16)The best artists can move with integrity throughout the social continuum, on Woodcock?sview, while Read can be seen to place the artist in a special ?guardian class? within hersociety.This difference between Read and Woodcock is apparent in their respectiveunderstandings of the relationship between form and content in modern painting. In akeynote address to the 2010 gathering of the Modernist Studies Association at the Universityof Victoria, Patricia Leighten presented material from her forthcoming book The Liberation ofPainting: Modernism and Anarchism in Avant-Guerre Paris (2013), arguing for an overlookedintimacy between aesthetic modernism and pacifist anarchism. Woodcock praised Leighten?searlier work Re-ordering the Universe: Picasso and Anarchism (1989) for demonstrating thatthe content of modernism was significant to its political imperatives, rectifying, in his terms,53?the myth that Pablo Picasso and his coterie really believed that significance lies only inform? (n. pag.?Review: Re-Ordering?). In framing Leighton?s analysis, Woodcock insists thebody of Picasso?s work not only defies ?conventional modes of painting; the content is equallycontemptuous of the politics of the age and its social emanations?as well as less esotericthan Picasso pretended and critics have assumed? (Woodcock, ?Review: Re-Ordering?). ForRead, all of art?s significance lies in it form. The poet is to use free verse, allowing perceptionto dictate the poem, replacing the authoritarian structures in the social psychology with theequitable ones of the natural world. Woodcock contends that ?Read?s obstinate and almostexclusivist advocacy of free verse was due to a deficiency in his own experience as a poet?(Stream 150). The nature of this deficiency, unspecified by Woodcock, might be understoodas the pursuit of absolute individual form to capture the specificity of a perception (likelyshared by many others), even when preexisting forms might be more effectively employed bythe technically adept to address the social injustice compelling the artist to create. Art forWoodcock is fundamentally human communication, which involves adjusting the form of amessage for its effective reception, as Dorothy Livesay sought to do in composing poetry forradio. It is a ?social activity,? within the context of the artist?s time, place, and circumstances,?however isolated the processes of creation may be? (Strange Bedfellows 18). Thefundamental problem facing the transformation of society, believed Read, is that while themodernist art movement revealed the inherent beauty in nature, the general public had notdeveloped the sensibility to be affected by it. Read did not fault modern art for failing tobroadly communicate, but rather, faulted public education. Woodcock would not hesitate inattacking philistinism where he found it; Read would engage in efforts to produce aestheticsensibility within the masses through the implementation of public policy.In the sixties Woodcock became the foremost authority in English on the history ofanarchism. Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements, published in 1962,was the first comprehensive history of the tradition in English, treating the entire range of itsmany theoretical variations and practical instantiations. Commercially, Anarchism was54Woodcock?s most successful work by far, distributing ideas that would become points ofreferences for counter-culture in the sixties, a period of renaissance for anarchism. ItsEpilogue deems the anarchist movement?which had emerged with Mikhail Bakunin?sexpulsion by Marx from the First International and which lasted, by Woodcock?s analysis,until the fall of the Spanish Republic in 1939?a failure. The insurrectionary tactics itemployed contributed to its demise, but the fundamental failure lay in anarchism?s ?vague andvapid vision of an idyllic society? and its ?infinite and consistent contempt? for practicalreforms and realistic social improvements (Anarchism 471-473). While ?criticism of thepresent? had been anarchism?s greatest strength, the movement pursued utopian ?urges towardthe past and the future? (Anarchism 469). The anarchist movement can thus be rememberedfor having stood opposed to ?the totalitarian goal of a uniform world,? but such lost causes,?should be allowed to die peacefully so that room can be made for the new movements thatwill take their place and perhaps learn from both their virtues and their weaknesses?(Anarchism 468, 474-5).Woodcock follows Berneri in rejecting utopias as inevitably seeking exclusive worlds thatbenefit the few. Morris? News from Nowhere is construed by Berneri as an alternative toutopias themselves, for in acknowledging the personal and embedded nature of the world aparticular agent prefers to imagine, it can be pursued and shared, without imposing violenceon the realities and imaginings of others. Berneri?s conception can thus be seen to parallel thenotion of ?imagined worlds? advocated by Appadurai, for whom the multiple dimensions ofglobal cultural flows provide building blocks for individual actors to challenge the institutedimagined communities they are immersed within:These landscapes thus are the building blocks of what (extending BenedictAnderson) I would like to call imagined worlds, that is, the multiple worlds thatare constituted by the historically situated imaginations of persons and groupsspread around the globe . . . many persons live in such imagined worlds (and notjust in imagined communities) and thus are able to contest and even subvert the55imagined worlds of the official mind and of the entrepreneurial mentality thatsurround them. (Appadurai 33)Read?s belief that sweeping reforms on a global level must occur if the truth of art would everbe socially realized, came to involve him in national and international policy making. IfWoodcock and Berneri would share in Read?s vision of a modern world in which art plays anintegral function, they would not follow him in how he sought to implement it. In his critiqueof Canadian state involvement in the arts, Woodcock writes:[I accept the argument] put forward by William Morris and developed by HerbertRead in his crucial work Education through Art, that art must enter deeply intoeducation and daily existence if humanity is ever to live in harmoniousself-fulfillment. But that process can only be a permeative one, moving outwardfrom the community of the arts; it cannot be achieved by policies devised bybureaucrats and dictated by politicians. (Strange Bedfellows 115)In the perspective of Berneri and Woodcock, to impose on the world a vision of the truth,irrespective of the theory underlying it, entails imperialism.Both Orwell and Woodcock would particularly target the later fiction and politicalmanifestos of H.G. Wells as utopian (?Wells, Hitler and the World State?;?A Study inDecline? 50). Wells had elaborated a justification for collectivism and global governance inhis tract The New World Order (1940) following his BBC talks on the subject broadcastduring the thirties. Wells aligns his position with that of Leonard Woolf?s InternationalGovernment, a treatise proposing ?Cosmopolitan Law-Making? by an ?InternationalAuthority? (118). Philip Coupland has recently assessed Wells?s ?Cosmopolis? as ?liberalfascism,? in its belief that ?elitist, authoritarian, and violent means would yield liberal ends?(547). Wells contends that only global law enforced by an international vanguard can defeathuman nature, extrapolating a Darwinian and Victorian imperialist understanding of personsonto humanity at large. International law alone can ?defeat human nature in defence of thegeneral happiness. Law is essentially an adjustment of that craving to glory over other living56things, to the needs of social life, and it is more necessary in a collectivist society than in anyother? (Wells 109).In addition to countering what they perceived as the imperialist cosmopolitanism ofBritain?s socialist left, Orwell and Woodcock were forewarners of global capitalism in itssocial implications as the world approached the stasis of ?cold war?:We may be heading not for general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stableas the slave empires of antiquity. James Burnham?s theory has been muchdiscussed, but few people have yet considered its ideological implications?thatis, the kind of world-view, the kind of beliefs, and the social structure that wouldprobably prevail in a state which was at once unconquerable and in a permanentstate of ?cold war? with its neighbors. (Orwell, ?You and the Atomic Bomb?)Burnham was an American Trotskyist who gravitated towards the political Right andproduced The Managerial Revolution: What is Happening in the World (1941), which arguedhistoric capitalism was undergoing supersession through the ascendancy of managerial elites,prioritizing control of the means of production as opposed to ownership. Burnham locatedeconomic parallels between Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and America under the ?NewDealism? of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Burnham thought this future exciting. Orwell,Woodcock argues, used Burnham?s analysis in developing the dystopian 1984 (Crystal Spirit208-9, 219-220).Woodcock, like other intellectuals of the sixties? Left, came to localize their critique inMcLuhan?s involvements with leaders in politics, industry, and advertising. Theseengagements can be understood from within McLuhan?s Canadian context as a critique notonly of state-involvement in the arts, which McLuhan argued produced culture that did notand need not engage the public, but also as a judgement on fellow Canadian literary criticswho actively participated in nationalizing culture in a post-national age. Writing in 1971,Woodcock believed that The Mechanical Bride (1951) had ?spotted some genuine trends inour society,? and considered it McLuhan?s ?most true and useful book, since here he is merely57revealing, with some acuteness, the way in which advertising both reflects and moulds theattitudes of our world? (Woodcock, The World of Canadian Writing 238). Nor doesWoodcock criticize The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962). Woodcock believed, however, that inUnderstanding Media (1964) McLuhan had rewritten the ideas of his earlier books, not toappeal to intellectuals or a general public, but in ?such a way that the leaders of industrial andadvertising corporations adopted him briefly as an instant guru? (The World of CanadianWriting 237-38) For this Woodcock charges McLuhan with la trahison des clercs:That monstrous half-truth, implying that content is irrelevant, seemed for a timeto be accepted as a white flag of surrender offered on behalf of the wholeintellectual community. (The World of Canadian Writing 238)In the concept of the ?global village,? Woodcock credits McLuhan with becoming ?theleading Utopian fantasist since Huxley and Orwell,? but considers McLuhan to have embracedand promoted what Forster and Huxley perceived as a nightmare (The World of CanadianWriting 240). The later Frye points out that McLuhan?s work in fact reveals a deep concernover the sociopolitical effects of electronic media. Only by understanding media, its profoundadjustments to human relations and engagement with the world, can ?media fallout? bedefended against. According to Frye, what underlies McLuhan work is also ?a horrifyingvision of a global village, at once completely centralized and completely decentralized, withall its senses assailed at once, in a state of terror and anxiety at once stagnant and chaotic,equally a tyranny and an anarchy? (Frye, O?Grady, and Staines, Northrop Frye on Canada560). As Cavell explains, with reference to Frye?s evaluation of McLuhan, the?retribalization? produced by electronic media does not signal ?a return to a pre-literateutopia; on the contrary, the entry into the electronic era had initiated a process fraught withterrors, as well as benefits? (McLuhan in Space 208).55Today radio continues to be the world?s most prevalent mass medium, and the efforts of Unesco programsto localize radio content and foster greater community involvement in broadcasting would be welcomed byMcLuhan. Woodcock gave his own talks over radio in India and Pakistan with local writers in the countries?own stations.58McLuhan?s The Mechanical Bride, in its analysis of popular culture as art, was a pivotaltext for The Independent Group (Robbins 59), which met between 1952 and 1955 at London?sInstitute of Contemporary Art to explore artists? engagements with mass media. WhenEduardo Paolozzi projected popular American magazines through an epidiascope in 1951,making mass media the message, the modern art movement rejected the romantic separationof the artist from the world Read had insisted upon. The IG was the essential and immediateprecursor in the emergence of pop art (Cavell, McLuhan in Space 187), which in attackingabstract expressionism for its elitism, announced to Read that the modern movement hadbecome a product of the society he believed it was to change. Woodcock compares Read?s?sorrow? in the demise of the modern art movement with that of Gandhi when he realized ?inthe bloodsoaked villages of Bengal and Bihar during the months before Indian independence,that the people whom he had led successfully in the great non-violent action against theBritish had turned their violence upon each other? (Stream 287). In the fifties, Read wouldrest his utopian hopes entirely on his most influential book, Education through Art (1943),which arose out of studies of children?s art. Read came to believe that a new model ofeducation was necessary if art was ever to be appreciated within modern societies to the pointwhere it could transform them. Read considered Education through Art his most significantcontribution to anarchist theory, although its many proponents in pedagogy were largelyunaware of this political impetus. Woodcock observes that Read?s theory of education wasalso inflected by the libertarian thinking of Gandhi, based on a ?conception of revolution bychange of heart? (Woodcock, Stream 281). Creating all humans to have the sensibility ofartists became the ?Other Way,? that of an aesthetic, rather than moral discipline.As Brandon Taylor has shown, Read?s book provided direction for the Arts Inquiry of theCouncil for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts, established by the British governmentin 1940 to promote and maintain the nation?s culture. The Council?s conclusions, publishedas a Political and Economic Planning pamphlet entitled The Visual Arts (1946)??aneloquent, even utopian tract,? Taylor notes?would propose:59a nationwide programme of ?educating up? the population from the nurseryonwards with the help of Herbert Read?s Education Through Art . . . Arteducation, Read had said in his book would produce ?better people and bettercommunities?; and the PEP Committee were pleased to repeat him. ?Too oftenthe natural impulse towards self-expression is repressed.? (Taylor 175)The major result of The Visual Arts?s unreserved support for modern art, was the founding ofa new funding body, announced in 1945 as the Arts Council of Great Britain. Read would beappointed to the Council?s Advisory Committee on Fine Art which, that same year, wouldorganize a major Picasso and Matisse exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, to theindignation of a large contingent of British traditionalists. Read would have an ally in theCanadian diplomat Vincent Massey, trustee of both the National and Tate Galleries between1941 and 1945. Massey led a special House of Commons committee which recommended, inits controversial Report on the Functions of the National Gallery and Tate Gallery (1946),referred to in the British press as the ?Massey Report,? that the Tate be divided into twoseparate collections with their own trustees, a National Gallery of British Art, and a NationalGallery of Modern Art. Taylor situates Massey alongside Read, Maynard Keynes, and othersas part of a new powerful generation of mandarins ?highly articulate on behalf of internationalrather than merely British art? ( 168-9). Presumably for Massey, supporting the moderninternational art movement could only appreciate the value of Canadian art as a form ofdiplomatic currency with Britain and other Western states. It was the social revolution Readinsisted the movement aspired to which had Woodcock exhibiting modern art on the pages ofNOW during this time, including work of Maxwell Armfield, Valentine Penrose, HenriRousseau, Stanley Jackson, George Rouault, Jankel Adler, Andre? Masson, and PabloPicasso.Massey had earlier brought to London the largest and most representative exhibition ofCanadian art ever assembled, which included Indigenous art of the Pacific West Coast, to theTate Gallery in 1938. Reviewing Massey?s A Century of Canadian Art in Canadian Forum,60Frye would highlight and defend the Group of Seven Painters it featured:It is easy to say that Canadian art lacks subtlety. It would be equally easy toanswer that what modern art needs is not subtlety so much as the rediscovery ofthe obvious. Nor does that altogether dodge the issue. The Group of Seven puton canvas the clear outlines of the Canadian landscape in the hard Canadian light,and provided a formula for a bright posterish painting, often with abstracttendencies. That much of this painting would be facile and insensitive is ofcourse true; but there is a corresponding virtue, the virtue of good humour. (Frye,O?Grady, and Staines, Northrop Frye on Canada 8-9)A romantic shift is perceptible in the terms Frye uses to discuss the acclaimed Group of Sevenonce the war had begun. As Canadian culture centralized and came increasingly undergovernmental influence, Frye?s assessment of Thomson aims to produce national identity byimbuing his paintings with an unrequited desire for unity with the land. What is ?essential? inthe work of Tom Thomson, whose Jack Pine and Spring Ice were featured in A Century ofCanadian Art at the Tate, is ?the imaginative instability, the emotional unrest anddissatisfaction one feels about a country which has not been lived in: the tension between themind and a surrounding not integrated with it. This is the key to both his colour and hisdesign? (?Canadian and Colonial Painting? 15).After his return to Canada, Massey would lead Canada?s own arts inquiry, the RoyalCommission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences. The RoyalCommission was an initiative of Brooke Claxton, the Minister of National Defence, whofinally succeeded in having it established under the new Liberal government of Louis St.Laurent in 1948 (Massolin 318). Massey explains the Commission?s original mandate asfollows: ?The Government wished, so I was told, to have a survey made of institutions,agencies, and organizations ?which express national feeling, promote common understandingand add to the variety and richness of Canadian life?? (Massey 450). Its purpose became toproduce an internationally identifiable national ?high? culture to protect against hegemonic61American cultural and political expansionism within the emerging Cold War geopoliticalclimate (Cavell, Love, Hate, and Fear in Canada?s Cold War 3-27). The Report wouldbecome ?a defining document in Canadian cultural life? (Cavell and Szeman 149).The Massey Report, participating in the British genre of the artistic utopia, was writtenwith a literary e?lan that surprised many early Canadian readers. Assessing the current state ofculture in Canada, the Commission went well beyond its original mandate, calling forcomprehensive and sweeping changes to the state?s involvements in culture. Its mostsignificant recommendation was the establishment of a ?Canada Council? modelled on theArts Council of Great Britain. The Canada Council would serve:for the Encouragement of the Arts, Letters, Humanities and Social Sciences tostimulate and to help voluntary organizations within these fields, to fosterCanada?s cultural relations abroad, to perform the functions of a nationalcommission for UNESCO, and to devise and administer a system ofscholarships... (Massey Report 377)The policies of Unesco informed the Report?s terms of reference and the submissions made tothe Commission during its inquiry (Druick). The first Director-General of Unesco,evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley, had served with Read on the editorial board of theshort-lived Realist (1929-30), a ?Journal of Scientific Humanism,? and both were members ofthe organizing committee that brought the so-called ?Degenerate? German Art exhibition toLondon in 1938 to promote its artists.6 Woodcock published an article written byHuxley?the biologist still under the discernible influence of Read in matters of culture?soonafter Huxley?s nephew Anthony joined NOW?s editorial board with Alex Comfort, AnneRichmond and Anne Romanis at Cambridge where Woodcock had resumed the magazine?sfirst series while digging ditches in the service of the War Agricultural Committee (Woodcock,Letter to the Past 231-34). In Unesco: its Purpose and its Philosophy (1946), the arts are6Curated by the German authorities as propaganda against modern art, the ?exhibition was in factsubstantially responsible for stimulating paradigms of Modernism that helped defend and explicate its variousforms? (Romans 192).62defined by Huxley as ?agencies both of individual and social expression,? while culture is?cultivation of the mind? that can be gauged at ?a high or a low level? within a particularcommunity (Huxley 26). In the postwar context, societies lacking in culture are detrimental ata global level. Huxley writes out of the Darwinian perspective of his grandfather ThomasHenry Huxley, whose ideas Kropotkin set out to challenge. Communities that maintain?cultural backwardness, like scientifical or educational backwardness,? Huxley contends, ?area drag on the rest of the world and an obstacle to the progress that we desire? ( 26).Following his contribution to the ideals of the British Council, Read would be consulted inthe development of Unesco policies aimed at cultivating worldwide understanding through artand education. From 1946 until his death in 1968, Read was president of the Unescoorganization Society for Education in Art (SEA), through which Education through Artbecame the manual for thousands of teachers worldwide. Read publicly criticized Unesco?scultural policies, insisting that science and education are themselves aspects of a culture andthat in separating them out, Unesco reveals a bias towards the ?spirit of intellectualism andscientific humanism? (Read and Unesco). Rather than advancing global peace through the?circulation of masterpieces,? the organization should provide ?encouragement of creativeeffort on the amateur levels.? Kropotkin, friend of William Morris, had first championed artat the amateur levels, conceiving persons as having not only the material needs by whichMarx defined humanity, but also artistic ones (Woodcock, Anarchism 205). As Woodcockexplains, just as a person?s work should be organized by co-operative associations, ?leisurewill be enriched by a vast proliferation of mutual-interest societies, like the present learnedsocieties, but reaching out into a great population of fervent amateurs (Anarchism 205). TheMassey Report and the Canada Council would appropriate this duel inheritance, both aromantic conception of a socially progressive high culture and support for the amateur artistworking from the grass roots of society.In outlining the direction for a Canadian high culture, the Massey Commission is resignedto Canadian radio remaining ?entertainment.? It desires playwrights to ultimately shift their63energies to the stage while emphasizing that radio must also serve to foster the nationalimagined community in the face of Canada?s ethnic differences, regionalism, and Americancultural imperialism:In Canada radio has a particularly important task. It must offer information,education and entertainment to a diverse and scattered population. It must alsodevelop a sense of national unity between our two main races, and among ourvarious ethnic groups, in spite of a strongly developed regional sense and of theattractions of our engaging and influential southern neighbour.In literature, the Massey Report takes as its ideal the Group of Seven painters, who had leftthe city: ?Their great contribution was that they had seen and shown a pattern in Canadianlandscape? (Massey Report 206). The ?young abstract painters? in Canada are related to theGroup of Seven, but ?coming back to society? to ?express a new Canadian spirit? (MasseyReport 206). In inquiring into literature, the Massey Commission finds that ?among thevarious means of artistic expression in Canada, literature has taken a second place, and indeedhas fallen far behind painting? (Massey Report 222). To produce a ?national literature,? thatmight approach the achievements of the Group of Seven, the Report advocates a turn awayfrom the cosmopolitan in search of a spiritual connection with Canadian society:Immunity from alien influences would not, of course, be sufficient in itself tocreate a national literature; but it would at least make possible a climate in whichthe Canadian writer would find himself more at home, where he would be betterunderstood, and where he would find the opportunity for more frequent spiritualcontacts with a society which would be more fully Canadian. (Massey Report226)In Canada, Read?s ideas, passing transoceanically through the Arts Council and Unesco,became transmuted within a proposal to grow culture from the grass roots of society identifiedwith the nation. Woodcock assesses Read?s involvement with Unesco and the promotion ofhis theories on art and education into public policy as producing the opposite effect than what64they had intended: ?His ideas have suffered the ironic fate of being used in Mithridatic dosesto prolong rather than bring an end to the old system . . . ? (Woodcock, Stream 281).Read, now knighted, visited Woodcock in Vancouver in 1956, lecturing on children?s art atUBC where Woodcock had joined the Department of English that same year. He alsoaddressed the city?s politicians and prominent business people at The Vancouver Rotary Clubin a talk entitled, ?Vancouver in relation to the Arts.?7 Read begins his address by quoting hisfriend, the author and broadcaster J.B. Priestley, who described Canada as ?a frustratednation,? in a recent BBC Radio talk. Canada, Priestley argued, was in urgent need of writersand artists to express the feelings of being Canadian, concluding that were he himselfCanadian, ?I should ask for a hundred million dollars for the Arts.? Priestly visitedVancouver on more than one occasion in the fifties, and made a CBC television appearancewith Woodcock in 1956, talking knowledgeably about William Godwin (1946), Woodcock?sbiography of the anarchist (Woodcock, Beyond the Blue Mountains 65-66). That yearPriestley also wrote a play for three Indigenous Canadian actors he met in Toronto, dealingwith the subject of English-Canadian prejudice.8Read could also draw upon Woodcock?s observations of Vancouver given in Ravens andProphets, which was published in Britain. The travels recounted in the book took place in1950, but Woodcock will have written most of it from notes in Paris and San Francisco duringhis Guggenheim Fellowship. In its acute observations of a wandering traveller detachedwithin his own world, the book participates in the literary tradition of the fla?neur, establishedwith Walter Benjamin?s cultural observations on Paris comprising The Arcades Project. Thebook also anticipates the notion of psychogeography that emerged in the writings of GuyDebord, a member of the Lettriste Internationale and a regular contributor to their journal7Subsequent quotations are from a transcription of the talk: Herbert Read. ?Vancouver in Relation to theArts?. Sir Herbert Edward Read Fonds. Box 11.74, Lot 62.29. University of Victoria Special Collections, 21Octorber 1944. TS.8The Glass Cage premiered in Toronto?s Crest Theatre in 1957.65Potlatch (1954-1957).9 Psychogeography, which motivated the politicized aesthetics of theLettristes, is concerned with determining the effects of the geographic environment on humanemotion and behaviour (Gregory 597). Far from Apollinaire?s glittering diamond, Vancouveris found by Woodcock ?too regular to allow any immediate charm, and its central area is ajarring combination of dull masonry and concrete? (Ravens and Prophets 15). The city is?drab, clanging and much too crowded, metropolitan in its disadvantages, yet provincial in itsamenities? (Ravens and Prophets 15). Culturally, Vancouver lacks basic essentials, such as a?permanent professional theatre [and a] hall which is acoustically fit for a good symphonyorchestra? (Ravens and Prophets 15). The literary scene was also found to be adisappointment. A poetry reading, as Woodcock would later elaborate, showcased ?contortedprose and sheer bad poetry read by perfectly sincere people under the influence of passingliterary fashions? (Beyond the Blue Mountains 17-18). And yet, the city at its grass roots stirs,Woodcock writes, ?with all kinds of small intellectual impulses and artistic currents . . . inthese ways Vancouver also represents all the genuine creative urges which are trying to breakthrough the materialism and semi-colonial smugness of general Canadian life? (Woodcock,Ravens and Prophets 15). In the preface to Canada and the Canadians (1970), Woodcockwould comment on the reaction his early impressions produced:[in 1967] the Oxford Companion to Canadian History and Literature could stillrecord: ?The book aroused resentment among some British Columbians who feltthat several of the author?s observations were patronizing.? My observations werenot patronizing, but they were critical, and I have lived here long enough to seethe causes of most of them disappearing as Canada has moved socially andculturally . . . (Canada and the Canadians 16)In his talk on ?Vancouver in Relation to the Arts,? Read would attempt to use his influenceto improve the status of the arts in Vancouver and Canada. He would deny that ?the main9Presumably potlatch was taken up by the French post-surrealists through George Bataille, who had reflectedon the gift-giving ceremony of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest, banned by the Canadian governmentbetween 1884 and 1951, in developing his economic theory of the The Accursed Share (1949). See Winnubst.66purpose of Art is nationalistic,? or that ?the problem is one which money alone can solve,? butwould advocate ?a body in Canada comparable to our Arts Council in Great Britain,? so as toproduce ?a democratic culture to correspond to our democratic way of life.? Vancouver alsoneeds educators in the arts, to unite within its citizens, ?the governing mind and theimaginative mind . . . the productive mind and the creative mind.? If a hundred buildings?noble in scale and contemporary in design? are built within the city centre, Read suggests,?the Art will follow. The seed will germinate in this rich soil and a new Venice will rise onthe Pacific shore.? But the city must also acquire art from outside the nation and outside thepresent, not merely ?for your own enjoyment?young artists need these testing stones fromthe past, not to imitate, but to measure up to. Art is not generated in a vacuum, it is a slowprocess of organic growth and you may have to import some necessary fertilizers.? Read thusshifts the focus back to the importance of art to society, rather than to the nation, inadvocating a Canada Council. In the summer of 1956, politician Jack Pickersgill and UBCEconomics Department Head John Deutsch proposed the idea of using the death duties of SirJames Dunn and Isaak Walton Killam, two of Canada?s wealthiest persons, to establish aCanada Council with a hundred million dollar endowment (Strange Bedfellows 55). TheCanada Council for the Arts would be established in March 1957. Brooke Claxton would beinstalled as the Council?s first Chairman. He would state, echoing the language of Read, that?Culture is a bad word . . . I have made speech after speech about the Canada Council withoutusing it once? (qtd. in Granatstein 445). The Canada Council?s broad support for conferences,individual writers, journals, and presses financed the ?colossal verbal explosion,? as Fryedescribed it, of Canadian writing during the sixties (?Conclusion? 318).Woodcock?s radio verse play The Benefactor, produced by Newman in 1962, marks theconscious beginning of Woodcock?s philosophical break from Read. It was a time whenCanadian Literature, which Read declined to write for, had become established to a point thatits continuation was assured. Anarchism came out that same year with Penguin. Read?s hopeto have Routledge publish the book changed after he had read the manuscript, although67competition with Penguin, the book?s American publisher, was provided to Woodcock insupport. The particular anarchists Read felt the greatest intellectual affinities with, ?theegoist? Max Stirner, ?destructive? Bakunin and ?the prophet? Tolstoy, as the book?s chaptertitles describe them, are the recipients of Woodcock?s sharpest criticisms. The enthusiasmRead felt for the content of Anarchy or Chaos is notably absent for Anarchism in manuscriptform. Read is able to affirm the structure and the presentation, which is ?excellentlyconceived and, as I would expect, admirably clear and concise? (?Letter to GW 5 June1961?). In regards to its Epilogue, which announces the death of an anarchist movement stillactive in London and with which Read maintained associations, he writes more circumspectly,?In general I cannot but admire and share your objective conclusions, although I imagine thatthey will give offence to some of our old comrades? (Read, ?Letter 26 June 1961?). With theexception of fellow historian Colin Ward, Woodcock fell out with the remaining Freedomeditors after the publication of Anarchism, and his intellectual relationship with Readdissipated as Woodcock devoted increasing attention to Canadian culture and to research inAsia.The title, The Benefactor, hints that the tradition of utopian literature is involved. InYevgeny Zamyatin?s dystopian novel We?the single most important influence on Orwell?s1984 according to Woodcock??the Benefactor? rules over a garrison society, walled from theoutside world of nature for fear human contact with the spontaneous patterns of life willundermine his political control. Like other utopias, Woodcock?s play satirizes the present,and Read?s vision of an artistic utopia actively taking root in Canada, is not spared. Insynopsis, a rich citizen dies leaving two conflicting wills composed the same day: in one, theinheritance goes to his dilettante son Falbridge who will found a theatre; in the other, themoney is assigned to the town hospital. The topic was timely, as the Canada Council hadbegun distributing its grants, and many Canadians questioned the worthiness of the recipients.In Woodcock?s play, the benefactor Simon Mercator is the president of a monopolizingcorporation who sees his business progressing towards a collectivist utopia:68By dint of healthy competitionour rivals wait for demolitionand up and down this lucky landour branches thrive on every hand.In seven years, or five, or three,we?ll reach our goal?monopoly. (Applause)In all our actions we combinethe profitable and sublime.Our brands are better, cheaper, brighter,(Woodcock, The Benefactor 99)This speech of Mercator to his shareholders opens the play, continuing in this rhythm of theadvertising jingle for some forties lines until, with the listeners sufficiently prepped, a requestis made for nine percent of the ninety-nine percent annual profit to be put aside for charity,earning him the moniker ?the benefactor.? Mercator brings the matter of the disputed will tocourt on behalf of the hospital and orchestrates a character assassination of Falbridge to winthe case. Woodcock creates in Irving Falbridge an artist the public might have reservationsgranting a fortune to:SECRETARYMake money, you mean?FALBRIDGEMake money!SECRETARYIn this place that?s the realest thing!FALBRIDGEI?d lose it, but I?d make it sing.I?d build a playhouse, first-rate actors,best musicians, top-shelf writers,69Camus, Beckett, Ionesco,and, of course, myself.. . .Here we go then. I look at you,and a verse comes twanging out of the blue.Beauty is deeperthan the sleeperdeep in his nightcan ever dream,deeper than lightcan deepest gleam.How do you like it?(The Benefactor 21-22)For the listener, Woodcock?s verse has become the contrasting reality by which Falbridge?sefforts is sounded as doggerel. The play suggests that Falbridge, the artistic revolutionary,and the Benefactor, the capitalist social collectivist, are in fact united in a single dialectic.Falbridge kills Mercator at the play?s end, and in this action, the two are judged as siblings, autopian Janus of good and beauty.BEATRICEYou saw the world in the same black and white,but when he called on good you called on beauty.(The Benefactor 66)The egoism of Stirner, the absolute truth of Read?s artist who lives beyond social morality, aregiven their Raskolnikovian implications by Woodcock, and Falbridge provides an inevitablymoral justification for his actions:FALBRIDGETo live this nature is every man?s courage.70To make oneself whole by the inner change,or to strike the stem of the outer evil!There?s the dilemma! No logic presentsthe ultimate answer; it lies in ourselves.I acted in violence. You made yourself whole.Each in his way struck down the evil.(The Benefactor 65)Woodcock rejects Falbridge?s and Read?s beauty and would seek to direct the writers ofCanada?s sixties towards a literature with different ends. Woodcock had mixed feelings aboutnational cultural policy and patronage, as both an anarchist and a writer who believed the artsin society are ?professions equally important to medicine and somewhat more important thanlaw and politics? (Strange Bedfellows 195). He attributes his reading of the Massey Report inthe fall of 1951 as ?a decisive reason? for why he would remain in Canada, to ?see whatwould develop? (?Massey?s Harvest?). Many of his own projects, including the printededition of The Benefactor were supported by the Canada Council. Woodcock stridentlycriticized patterns of direct state involvement in Canadian culture following the sixties, once?the first sweet spring of the Canada Council? had passed. But in evaluating the history ofCanadian cultural policy from the vantage of the mid-eighties, a time when B.W. Powe couldstate he knew of ?no novelist, poet or essayist, no university or writer?s program, who has nothad support from the omnipresent Council or its provincial counterparts? (65), Woodcockwould affirm the Massey Commission?s accomplishment:I have often heard it said that Vincent Massey was an elitist, and that the reportwas an elitist document. And so, if you think in such barren terms, it probablywas. But in the cultural desert of Canada at that time a group of men and womenwas needed who could act the elitist role and decide what seemed good for thearts and suggest that what was good for the arts was good for the country. Onehas, even, to admire the grudging courage that St. Laurent showed as a politician71in first setting up a commission to enquire into what must then have seemed verymuch a minority area of interest and, having set it up, to implement so many of itsrecommendations. (Strange Bedfellows 51)In his political activism of the forties, and as a wayward second-generation modernist ofthe thirties, Woodcock?s anarchism was grounded in social justice, not Platonic beauty,despite his particular appropriation of Read?s philosophy. Woodcock maintained a belief thatart might help birth a new society, but with Orwell, Woodcock?s aesthetic Satyagraha was ofthat of the franc-tireur, a writer whose truth was fundamentally social and moral. Woodcockfollowed Orwell and Berneri in conceiving political utopias as authoritative visions, and wasdubious of Read?s work in bringing about the British artistic utopia through his involvementsin national and international policy making. And yet, when the Canadian arts becameendowed with a hundred million dollars by way of politics, Woodcock would be at theforefront of the literary culture it financed. One of Woodcock?s final interviews was with thepsychologist Tony Gibson, a member of the Freedom group during the forties offended byWoodcock?s later writings on anarchism. Woodcock recounts to Gibson that while he ceasedcalling himself an anarchist in the fifties, in writing Anarchism he had not rejected its conceptsas points of reference in the critique of the present:Read and I were not rejecting anarchism. We were discussing it closely, seeing itas a touchstone, regarding it as a goal just over the horizon that would not beattainable in our lifetimes. (Gibson and Woodcock section 4)Woodcock proceeds to describe how his thinking underwent changes in Canada, how hisattempt to approach indigenous culture in non-romantic terms brought about a conception ofanarchism as already present within societies, there to be reactivated and nurtured:Later, and before the 1986 edition, I did a lot of research into aboriginal politics,with their consensually democratic structures, and went back to [Kropotkin?s]Mutual Aid at rather the same time as Colin [Ward] and Paul Goodman, todiscover the anarchy around us without which our societies, authoritarian though72they may be, would not exist. ( section 4)Woodcock recounts in the preface to The Benefactor, published by Oolichan Books, thatthe character of Mercator took shape after a Vancouver businessman, ?well-known for thekind of ostentatious generosity which is accompanied by buildings and foundations bearingthe donor?s name down to posterity,? refused in ?insulting terms? to donate to the Woodcocks?charitable work in India (The Benefactor 5). In writing the play, Woodcock came to realize,that in ?laying bare the motives of the ostentatious benefactor, I could not help laying barealso the motives of the unostentatious benefactor,? so that the character of Mercator, ?is asmuch me as he is the Vancouver tycoon whom I have still not forgiven? (PrefaceTheBenefactor 5). The tycoon was Walter C. Koerner, so it was only after the death of bothbenefactors that amends were made, with the plywood cabinet of the George Woodcockdisplay now appropriately residing in the lower levels of the Koerner Library, while the face ofWoodcock, a writer so close in thought to ?the explorer? Kropotkin, is notably absent amongthe thirty-six portraits which today adorn the Freedom Press building in Angel Alley.73Chapter 4Landscapes of SoundRadio owns my room as the day ends.The slow return begins, the voice callsthe yeses and the noes that ring or toll;the districts all proclaim themselves in turnand public is my room, not personal.from ?Election Day? (1945) P.K. PAGEIn England, Woodcock had been an essayist and poet. In Canada, he would quicklybecome a radio broadcaster and dramatist. Woodcock?s early initiation into Canadian culturewas largely through his involvement with radio, and the medium must be restored to culturaldiscourse to understand Woodcock?s place in the development of Canada?s literary history. Atradition of socially-oriented and experimental radio drama can be seen as part of the localVancouver cultural milieu that affected developments in Western Canadian poetry andconceptions of culture and literature. Woodcock perennially called for increased scholarlyattention to radio as a cultural medium. Today, radio drama in Canada remains undervaluedby critics and historians, often disregarded as a temporary stand-in for the stage whichemerged in Canada well after the radio play had developed into an independent artistic form.This condescending attitude towards radio drama dismisses the earliest transnational culturein Canada. The Centre for Broadcasting Studies at Concordia, however, houses more than7420,000 original Canadian radio scripts, representing only a portion of the plays broadcast overthe years. Many of the talks given on radio in Canada have not been preserved, foreverremaining a cultural record ?writ in air.? Woodcock?s work in broadcasting can be understoodas at once a continuation of British modernism and a radical Western Canadian departurefrom it. Against the background of radio?s development as a popular artistic and politicalmass medium?in Vancouver, Canada, and internationally?this chapter approaches the firstof Woodcock?s original radio drama scripts produced by CBC Vancouver for the transnationalnetwork, Maskerman (1960), as effecting the regional cosmopolitical.Appadurai has suggested that radio is a medium that would ?start out extremely globaland end up as very local? (106). This is true in India, for example, where the BBC Empireshort-wave service (1932) preceded the Indian Broadcasting Company (1936), with amultitude of local stations broadcasting in regional vernaculars to come later. As McLuhancan be taken to suggest, radio affects different cultures differently (Understanding Media 297ff.), but the effects themselves are decentralizing: ?while radio contracts the world to villagedimensions, it hasn?t the effect of homogenizing the village quarters. Quite the contrary. . . .Radio is not only a mighty awakener of archaic memories, forces, and animosities, but adecentralizing, pluralistic force, as is really the case with all electric power and media?(Understanding Media 306). Radio broadcasting in Canada took root as a local phenomenon,becoming national and international over time. It was only after the medium had alreadyachieved a national presence that the federal government sought its centralization. VincentMassey, in 1927, was the first prominent Canadian official to call for ?careful consideration. . . at an early date? of ?the question of radio broadcasting in Canada in its national aspects,?comments he made incidentally in a report sent to Prime Minister Mackenzie King (qtd. inVipond 162). As the first Canadian ambassador to Washington, Massey had become involvedin unsuccessful negotiations on behalf of Canada for an increased number of exclusive radiofrequencies, an issue exacerbated by American networks pirating the limited wavelengthspreviously designated to Canada on an informal basis ( 162). The early period of Canadian75radio has ?almost been forgotten,? writes Mary Vipond in her groundbreaking study ListeningIn: The First Decade of Canadian Broadcasting, 1922-1932 (1992). Canadians took keeninterest in wireless technology very early in its development, and among the world?s firstradio broadcasts of voice and music were those transmitted by Canadian Reginald Fessenden,an inventor devoted to ?commercial point-to-point communication,? whose innovations inwireless technology, ?stimulated development of the first practical broadcasting technology?(Schiffer 149-150). Hobbyists and experimenters in Canada were the first to explore popularapplications of the medium and were crucial to its public uptake. There were nearly sixhundred licensed ?hams? by the end of 1920; one of them, Graham Spry of the WinnipegRadio Club (founded in 1919) would come to significantly shape the history of Canadianbroadcasting in his role with the Canadian Radio League (Vipond 13). Following technicaladvancements?and once a business model was located in advertising?radio broadcastingexploded onto the Canadian cultural scene as a popular medium in 1921. By the end of 1922there were already fifty-eight broadcasting stations licensed in Canada, a number of theseoperated by Toronto newspapers ( 19). Radio was greeted by e?lite commentators withunbridled enthusiasm, evidence that modern science had marched onward towards a moreperfect world, despite the setback of the war ( 22). On Vipond?s analysis, journalists saw inradio the potential to affect divisions between city dwellers and rural immigrants, todemocratize culture, to unify eastern and western Canada, and as a means to preserveconservative family values and gender roles in the home ( 23).While rejecting any simplistic understanding of ?media imperialism,? Simon J. Pottersuggests that historians ?have paid insufficient attention to the role of British models, Britishidentities, and direct British intervention in the birth of Canadian broadcasting? (?Britishness?78). Potter observes that earlier historians adopted a strictly nationalist perspective on publicbroadcasting in Canada, portraying its development as a ?straightforward clash? betweenimpinging American broadcasting, enjoyed by the Canadian public, and an English-Canadiannationalism fearing cultural annexation (Potter, ?Britishness? 79). Potter?s analysis shows the76transnational and triangular relationship with America and Britain was, in fact, carefullynegotiated by the Canadian agents responsible for establishing public broadcasting. It was thelobbying efforts of the Canadian Radio League (CRL), and the public debate its activitiesgenerated, which set a new direction for radio in Canada. The CRL was founded in 1930 byGraham Spry and Alan Plaunt, Canadian nationalists with connections in Britain throughstudies at Oxford. Massey was among the CRL?s key advisors and backers. Its purpose wasto implement the recommendation of the Royal Commission on Radio Broadcasting (the AirdCommission) for the creation of a Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC).Through its highly successful lobbying efforts, the League was able to mobilize a vast body ofpublic support for the establishment of a government-controlled Canadian broadcastingsystem (Finlay 161). The motives of the Aird Commission were also nationalist ones. It sawin the medium the potential to further a common national spirit and understanding ofcitizenship (Aird 6).Critics of the Aird Commission considered the UK model unsuited to Canada?s dispersedpopulation and regional makeup (Potter, Broadcasting Empire 50). John Murray Gibbonwould argue in the Canadian Forum that in looking to the BBC, the Aird Commission and theCRBC had turned to a culturally destructive and imperialist apparatus for their common ideal(Gibbon 212-14). It needs to be recalled that prior to the CRBC and the CBC, Canada had anational broadcaster for a period of nine years in the Canadian National Railways RadioDepartment (CNR Radio), the first national network in North America (Vipond xiii). Itsdecentralized network provided news, music, entertainment, hockey games, and radiodrama?produced from CNR stations in Ottawa, Moncton, and Vancouver?coast-to-coast(Potter, Broadcasting Empire 49-50). The zenith of the CNR?s artistic program was itsmassively successful Romance of Canada series, directed by Tyron Guthrie in 1931, andRupert Caplan and Moonie in 1932. A collection of twenty-four plays written by MerrillDenison on Canadian historical events, Romance of Canada was performed in the CNRMMontreal station. During the twenties, the country?s electric theatre emanated from a city at77its other margin, Vancouver. The professional CNRV Players, under the direction of JackGilmore, performed ninety-five radio plays for national broadcast between 1927 and 1931,both adaptations and original scripts written by local authors (Vipond 96).The first nationwide and international broadcast of the CNR was its coverage in 1927 ofthe three-day celebration in Ottawa of the 60th anniversary of Confederation. The event wasa landmark for both Canadian unity and radio. New carrier-current technology was installedto improve the quality and capacity of the CNR network. The broadcast went out through 23stations in Canada?the signal could be picked up as far away as South America?and toEurope by way of short wave transmission to Britain (Hanratty). The interest in Canadianbroadcasting maintained by the BBC and its director John Reith lay in the prospect ofreasserting the empire within Canada (Potter, Broadcasting Empire 51,84; Vipond 265-6).After the CRBC was formed in 1932, it took over the stations of the CNR. The CRBC wouldbecome the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 1936 after its reorganization as aCrown corporation, making it independent of direct political influence. In programming,Canada would adopt Reith?s emphasis on broadcasting ?as an instrument of education?(Potter, ?Britishness? 84). It was in assuming this British understanding, as opposed toallowing radio to continue its course in Canada, which would lead to McLuhan?s complaint in1952 that ?a great proportion of our radio programs are inspired by conceptions of culturaluplift, or the highbrow?s burden? (McLuhan, ?Defrosting Canadian Culture? 91). In RadioModernism: Literature, Ethics, and the BBC, 1922-1938 (2006), Todd Avery argues thatinfluential modernist authors engaged in broadcasting after hearing ?in the vibrations of radiowaves the sonic architecture of twentieth-century ethical thought? (31). In taking to the radio,these writers hoped ?to rewrite the public or mass psychography and align it with their deeplyheld aesthetic and ethical beliefs? (31). Some, like Virginia and Leonard Woolf, conceivedtheir broadcasts as counteracting the agenda of Reith who sought to unify the nation throughelevating traditional conservative cultural values. For T.S. Eliot, who had a thirty-five yearrelationship with the company beginning in 1929, and who gave eighty-three broadcasts in78total (Coyle 32), the moral agenda of his Christian idealism dovetailed neatly with the aims ofthe BBC (31). The radio talks of modernist writers on culture, economics, and politicsdeveloped into an interest in adapting poetic and dramatic work for the medium.Read had sought to innovate radio drama in English by translating with Margaret LudwigRadio: An Art of Sound (1936) by Rudolf Arnheim, which argues artists had not takenadvantage of the acoustic and technological possibilities of the new medium (Kahn andWhitehead 2). Futurists F.T. Marinetti and Pino Masnata had demanded in their manifesto LaRadia (1933) that the art of radio must altogether abandon the conventions ofstage?including notions of an observing audience, unity of action, and dramaticcharacter?for qualities absolutely specific to radio, such as simultaneous actions, structuraland spatial uses of silence, the creation of atmosphere through resonances and noises, acousticdepth and distance, and ?Words in freedom? ( 267-68). The ?Auden group? of poets wouldinvolve themselves in post-print media by the late thirties, with Louis MacNeice writing anumber of plays for radio during his BBC career. Insofar as MacNeice?s radio plays of theforties and fifties depart from thirties poetics, it is in relying on ?invention,? resulting in?dramatised fairy-tales? as Auden described them (MacNeice 8). A true experimenter inradio drama was Woodcock?s friend of the forties, the poet Dylan Thomas. A shared pleasurein sound once had Thomas and Woodcock, following a night at the pub, nabbed by police forgoing arm-in-arm through the streets of Soho barking like dogs (Woodcock, Letter to the Past215). In defending Thomas? ?play for voices? Under Milk Wood (1954) from dismissal byliterary critics, Woodcock would acknowledge that ?nothing much has happened in theordinary theatrical sense,? during the play, but radio drama must be understood by differentcriteria than stage performance: ?We have lived for a while in an autonomous poeticcontinuum, and it is we rather than the people in the play who emerge with our mindssomewhat changed? (?Voices Set Free? 160). While television in the fifties and sixties wouldreturn drama to the visual stage, sound plays developed the acoustic aspects of the form.Writing in the mid-eighties, when radio drama experienced a transient resurgence in Canada,79Woodcock would credit technological developments in acoustics, already explored by GlennGould in his final documentary of the Solitude Trilogy, ?The Quiet in the Land? (1977), forfurthering the immersive quality of the art, placing the listener within ?a landscape ofsound?:dimensional sound technique through stereoscopic transmission mean that thevoices no longer project forward from a speaker as they would from the pictorialspace of a stage; they are all around us, impinging on other levels of listeningconsciousness as well as the thinking mind. One is, as it were, among speakers ina landscape of sound. (?Voices Set Free? 160)Woodcock had ceased writing dramatic scripts by the eighties, although he had not stoppedbroadcasting, receiving an award from The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television andRadio Artists for a five-hour documentary on Orwell in 1984.During the war, broadcasting was increasingly considered compromised by those on theliterary Left, with writers such as Orwell, who worked full-time for the BBC?s EasternService from 1941 to 1943, facing harsh criticism for their involvement. In 1942 Orwell?spropagandizing on behalf of the war carried into the pages of the Partisan Review in an attackon British pacifist periodicals, Woodcock?s magazine NOW (1940-1947) among them.Woodcock would respond in kind, contending that Orwell?s broadcasts for the BBCcompromised his integrity as a socialist and intellectual:Comrade Orwell, the former police official of British Imperialism (from whichthe Fascists learnt all they know) in those regions of the Far East where the sun atlast sets for ever on the bedraggled Union Jack! Comrade Orwell, former fellowtraveller of the pacifists and regular contributor to the pacifist Adelphi?which henow attacks! Comrade Orwell, former extreme Left-Winger, I.L.P. partisan anddefender of anarchists (see Homage to Catalonia)! And now Comrade Orwellwho returns to his old imperialist allegiances and works at the B.B.C., conductingBritish propaganda to fox the Indian masses! It would seem that Orwell himself80shows to a surprising degree the overlapping of left-wing, pacifist and reactionarytendencies of which he accuses others! (?Pacifism? 417)Harold Bloom notes that after the two writers formed their friendship, ?Orwell admitted to[Woodcock] that he was being used by the governing classes [at the BBC], but that the defeatof nazism had to take priority over the socialist revolution? (Bloom 59). In 1946 Orwellwould publish in NOW and contribute financial support to the magazine. During the warOrwell publicly defended himself adamantly against Woodcock?s criticisms. ?Does Mr.Woodcock really know what kind of stuff I put out in the Indian broadcasts? he doesnot?though I would be quite glad to tell him about it? (?Pacifism? 421). An invitation toparticipate in a panel on modern English poetry for an Eastern Service broadcast came inSeptember 1942 through their common friend, acclaimed novelist Mulk Raj Anand. A BBCphotograph of the broadcast has a smiling Woodcock alongside Anand while Herbert Readsits at the microphone, reading from a script. On the photo?s opposite side, waiting their turnsto speak, are Orwell, poet-critic William Empson, and poet-critic Edmund Blunden. Thephoto, while unmentioned, is glossed in Woodcock?s memoirs. Orwell deviated from thescript, suggesting they read Byron?s ?Isle of Greece,? a poem exhorting revolution during theOttoman Empire, to show ?that English poets had a tradition of friendship for the aspirationsof subject peoples . . . and as Herbert Read spoke the ringing verses of revolt, the programmeassumed a mild flavour of defiance which we all enjoyed.? Woodcock?s visit to the BBC didnot dissuade him from understanding Orwell?s employ as ?mainly in the dissemination ofofficial propaganda? (Woodcock, Letter to the Past 252-3).Orwell had hired Anand to develop programming for the Eastern Service after theybecame while fighting together in the Spanish Civil War. Anand had been reluctant to take upa position at the BBC, however, and initially refused. Orwell writes of this in his diary:?[Anand] is genuinely anti-Fascist, and has done violence to his feelings, and probably to hisreputation, by backing Britain up because he recognizes that Britain is objectively on theanti-Fascist side? (Orwell, Diaries 3 April 1942). But as an Indian nationalist and81conscientious objector, Anand?s motives for joining the BBC extended beyond support of thewar effort. In introducing Diasporas and Diplomacy: Cosmopolitan Contact Zones at theBBC World Service, editors Marie Gillespie and Alban Webb comment on the unprecedented?political, intellectual and literary? environment the ?cosmopolitan contact zone? ofinternational radio offered for postcolonial political activists such as Anand, who were willingto negotiate the ?soft power? tactics of a World Service built upon the asymmetrical powerrelations of colonialism and globalization (Gillespie and Webb 7-9). Not all of those withinWoodcock?s transnational anarchist coterie embraced mass media as an intellectualenvironment and cosmopolitan contact zone. Cultural critic Dwight Macdonald consideredthe mass media ideologically corrupted and anathema to the Left, believing that the languageand symbols of ?masscult? were irrevocably infected by capitalism (Macdonald 128).Woodcock, however, followed the lead of Anand in using radio for intellectual engagementwith the public. Radio had a decentralized, local presence in Canada, and Woodcockembraced the medium as a way to distribute his writing in a country that was stillfundamentally oral, lacking publishing houses and periodicals. The fifties were ?Canada?sCold War,? a period in which statist wheels were set in motion to produce as a form ofpolitical defence, a centralized national culture and literature (Cavell, Love, Hate, and Fear inCanada?s Cold War 6). During this time, Woodcock would strategically drop hisself-designation as an anarchist to begin broadcasting. Woodcock was under surveillance bythe Royal Canadian Mounted Police during his career, and his activities were monitored fromhis arrival to the country in 1949 (Woodcock, Beyond the Blue Mountains 5). From a stationin Vancouver, Woodcock?s talks and dramas sought to instil anarchist ideas and a moralapproach to literature, challenging the ?imagined community? of the nation-state and thecolonial Canadian psychogeography.If Woodcock?s books were better known outside the country during his early decades inCanada, his work found mass distribution within the country only by way of radio. In 1949,soon after his arrival in Canada, Woodcock began writing and broadcasting scripts for the82CBC. His initial assignments included talks on British novelists, reviews for CriticallySpeaking, and a series on classic Russian novelists (Beyond the Blue Mountains 15). He cameto compose radio talks?hundreds in total over the years?in conjunction with the manybooks and articles he wrote mostly for American and British publishers. He cultivated arefined voice for radio, with crystal clear pronunciation and musical tonality. In a period ofCanadian nationalism and conservative morality, Woodcock brought world literature andsocial critique to the Canadian public. The topics are in keeping with the concerns of hisprinted work: talks on Tibet, India, several series on women writers, Canadian minorities,avant-garde poetry, anarchist writers, political history, a series on utopias, little-knownCanadian writers. Woodcock would attribute the public anxiety over national identity,essential to the production of nationalism in Canada, as originating with the AirdCommission:The Aird Commission took the view that broadcasting should become a publicservice aimed at encouraging the sense of a separate Canadian identity:?Canadian listeners want Canadian broadcasting,? it asserted with somewhatexcessive confidence. A public broadcasting service should be created with theaim of bringing together Canadians from all regions and local cultures. The greatanxiety over national unity was already upon us. (Strange Bedfellows 36)Woodcock?s radio talks, like his efforts on behalf of Canadian literature, seek to dispel thatanxiety. The voice of Woodcock?s Canadian Literature editorials, a refinement of theinsurrectionary tenor of NOW?s young editor, developed through addressing the Canadianpublic over the air.McLuhan suggests that orality and literacy are not to be understood as binary opposites,but as in dynamic interrelation with one another (Cavell, McLuhan in Space 133). Theincreasing transformation of culture into ?acoustic space? by radio and other electronic media?speeding-up? communication results not in the exchange of a verbal/visual realm for anoral/aural one, but a newfound dynamic interplay between the written word and sound that is83attended to (not always consciously) by artistic and literary movements of the post-Gutenbergworld. Woodcock?s oeuvre reflects this process of ?remediation,? as Jay Bolter and RichardGruisin have more recently elaborated it, as his writing in radio came to alter his literarywork. As Woodcock describes it, he would ?open up and colloqualize? his prose because ofradio (Beyond the Blue Mountains 17). This remediation is apparent in comparing the writingof his early books to those written late in his career. The scholarly apparatus, focusedviewpoint, and argumentation of The Greeks in India (1966), is absent in the erudite butpersonal The Monk and his Message (1992), the latter addressed explicitly to a Canadianpublic and employing the radical juxtaposition of temporal periods and geographical regionsto undermine the lineal understandings of history preserving hegemonies. Woodcockpublished books almost exclusively with Canadian publishers in the latter decades of hiscareer. For many readers, Woodcock was a longtime presence on radio and the style of prosecould allow them to ?hear? him speaking. Such writing would distance Woodcock frommany of his strictly academic colleagues. The style and structure of Woodcock?s biographiesalso reveal this ?acoustic turn.? The grand narrative of Letter to the Past (1982) rendersstylistically the literary world of England in which the book is set. Beyond the BlueMountains (1987), covering the years after the Woodcocks? arrival in Canada, lacks both theindex and narrative cohesion of the first autobiography. Lists of persons and memoryfragments from countless locations incite feelings and reflections for the reader, without anoverarching connecting structure.1 Most striking are the changes in Woodcock?s poetry, asevident in the collection Notes on Visitations: Poems 1936-1975. Traditional metrics andimagist technique from London?s thirties are absent in Woodcock?s Canadian poetry,composed in free form with vernacular language. Woodcock notes that his later verseemploys traditional forms only to effect parody or pastiche (77).The talks Woodcock broadcast in Canada were made possible by CBC programming1Sadly, Woodcock?s final autobiography Walking through the Valley (1994), written amidst illness and justprior to his death, reveals deterioration rather than further aesthetic development.84policy developed with an eye on the BBC. His radio dramas, on the other hand, participate ina Canadian artistic tradition hearkening back to the early years of Canadian radio, before themedium became directly affected by Cold War geopolitics. In the thirties and forties, workingin Vancouver with such writers as Lister Sinclair and Fletcher Markle, Andrew Allan hadintroduced experimental techniques to radio drama, transitioning the art away from thetraditional stage. In 1943, at a time when the CBC Drama Department had become animportant instrument of war education and propaganda, Allan would be appointed as nationaldrama supervisor of the CBC in Toronto, ?centralizing prestige radio drama,? andcommencing the so-called ?golden age? of Canadian radio drama (Fink, ?Radio Drama?).2Allan established Stage in 1944 and CBC Wednesday Night in 1947, two highly popularweekly series that broadcast hundreds of original live productions and adaptations byCanadian writers over the years (Nischik 213). The most prolific radio dramatist during thisperiod was writer Gerald Noxon, who worked with Allan and Frank Willis in Toronto, andproducers Esse Ljungh in Winnipeg and Rupert Calan in Montreal (Nothof). Using soundcollage and original music scores by Lucio Agostini, Noxon?s plays were a mix ofpropaganda documentaries funded by External Affairs, and more ?serious? plays, criticscontend, that ?are at once more personal and more universal? (Noxon, Fink, and Jackson 10).While many plays produced from Toronto, such as those of Noxon, ?were simplistic anddidactic, involving emotional manipulation, specific historical and political bias, andover-simplification of complex moral and social issues? (n. pag. Nothof), other critics implyGolden Age writing in Toronto on the whole challenged colonialist Victorian values, takingon such issues as racism, abortion, and religious intolerance (Nischik 213). In Vancouver,through the plays of such poets as Earl Birney and Dorothy Livesay, radio would develop asan independent form of social critique during the fifties, rejecting Cold War conceptions ofnationalism and simplistic didacticism, but also the universalism of modernism. Irvine shows2Increasing centralization at home was accompanied by the founding of the CBC International Service,renamed to Radio Canada International (RCI) in 1970, which began broadcasting to Europe in 1942. For ahistory of the RCI, which terminated its shortwave service in 2012, see Wood.85that a discernible modernism is evident in Anglo-Montreal literature of the forties. InWestern Canada, Robert Kroetsch?s assertion, that ?Canadian literature evolved directly fromVictorian into Postmodern? is appropriate (1).In 1955 Frye would follow A.J.M. Smith in placing Livesay and Birney within the?cosmopolitan? current of Canadian poetry, ?representing more international influences, andshowing less of the poetry of facile romantic and patriotic formulas? (Frye, ?English CanadianLiterature? 245-46). Intriguingly, Smith further demarcates the poetry of Birney, Livesay, andAnne Mariott into a grouping?three writers of the Western Canada region with significantwork in radio?without explicit rationale. Their cosmopolitan verse simply ?is ?Canadian? inthe only way that is worth anything, implicitly and inevitably? (Smith, The Book of CanadianPoetry 28). Mariott?s work in radio in the forties developed alongside her published poetry.She collaborated with Margaret Kennedy on several CBC radio documentary dramas in proseand verse. She also read her poetry over Vancouver radio stations and in 1943, broadcast theseries My Canada as a cross-Canada school radio series. Mariott would seek to change herpoetic modernism to make it more suited for the medium of radio and thus more culturallyrelevant (Irvine, Editing Modernity: Women and Little-Magazine Cultures in Canada,1916-1956 90). In this she was an important influence on Livesay. Livesay was, Frye reflectsin 1955, ?the Canadian poet most deeply touched by the moral and political challengespresented by the rise of Fascism and the Spanish Civil War? (?English Canadian Literature?46). Livesay?s poetry is not approached in Frye?s writings from her own socialist perspective,and her groundbreaking verse play for radio Call My People Home (1950) is absent from hisearly Canadian criticism. In Frye?s return to Canadian literature in the late seventies andeighties, he can celebrate Livesay?s Call my People Home with ?Birney?s brilliant fantasy?Trial of a City as ?poetic dramas written for radio? (?Across the River? 560).In its formal composition, documentary realism, and social criticism, Call My PeopleHome suggests continuity with thirties? Marxist poetics. The play?s title evokes theAfrican-American spiritual ?Let My People Go,? as Cheryl Cundell explains, and returns to86Canadian memory the profound injustice of the Japanese Canadian interment by the federalgovernment during the Second World War (?Dorothy Livesay and ?Call My People Home??).It was first broadcast in 1949 abridged, then aired in its entirety in 1954 through the efforts ofBirney (?Dorothy Livesay and ?Call My People Home??). That Birney, a Trotskyist, Livesay,a communist, and Woodcock, an anarchist, maintained friendships and professional alliancesin Western Canada, when forerunners of their respective political affiliations were killing oneanother by the late thirties, speaks to a shared understanding that what happened during theSpanish Revolution was a tragedy.3 That all three retained their political poetics through thedepoliticized forties and into the Cold War of the fifties, which brought to English Canadacentralized nationalism, moral didacticism, and romantic mythopoeia, speaks to the marginalbut distinctive difference of Western Canadian culture, sustained not simply through itsconnections with California, which are significant,4 but to the independent and variegatedcultural firmament produced by such institutions as the modernist poetry magazineContemporary Verse (1940-1952), the UBC English Department, and Vancouver?s tradition inradio drama.The Massey Report (1951) of the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts,Letters and Sciences set a precedent in disparaging radio drama while proposing radicalchanges to the cultural life of Canada:the play-writer must have a vigorous, living theatre for which to work; for this,radio drama is not a substitute and indeed, we are told, habitual writing of scriptsfor radio broadcasting purposes, though a skill in itself, may ruin a writer for thetheatre. (Massey Report 196)In bringing Earl Birney?s acclaimed verse play for radio Damnation of Vancouver to print in3The first Canadian writer to visit the Woodcocks on Vancouver Island was Birney. He helped Woodcockobtain his position in English at UBC and with his wife Esther, put the Woodcocks up in their barrack at AcadiaCamp when Woodcock visited Vancouver in the early fifties to broadcast.4Radio impacted cultural developments in the San Francisco scene as well. Brook Houglum has examinedRexroth?s particular use of listener-sponsored radio in the forties and fifties to promote poetry, decentralization,and pacifism; see Houglum.871952, Ryerson Press deregionalized the title, calling it Trial of a City. In reviewing the playvery favourably in 1952, Frye does not note its origins in radio. In the final pages of hisfamous Conclusion to The Literary History of Canada, Frye refers to the play again withoutacknowledging the medium it was written for, and actively deemphasizes its highlyregionalized social critique. In visually-oriented terms, rather, the play?s opposition ?not tothe democratic but to the oligarchic tendencies in North American civilization? arises from aCanadian capacity ?to see these distinctions from the vantage-point of a smaller country?(Klinck and Bailey 847).It is remarkable then, that in Frye?s later writings he credits radio with changing the natureof poetry: ?Radio also influenced, I think, the development of a more orally based poetry,more closely related to recitation and a listening audience, and popular in a way that poetryhad not been for many centuries? (?Across the River? 561). In his poetry reviews for TheUniversity of Toronto Quarterly in the fifties, Frye attends to the rich sound patterns that hademerged in Canadian verse (Wilson 149), but does not credit the omnipresent radio for thedevelopment. Yet in 1980 Frye writes that ?much of the best work produced in CanadianCulture? was for radio and that the ?benefits extended into literature? (?Across the River?560). From a 1987 typescript we learn that in the late forties, Frye himself collaborated withCBC personality Don Harron in an attempt to adapt Webster?s Duchess of Malfi as a radiodrama (?Don Harron? 637). Frye?s obliviousness in the fifties and sixties to the effects radiohad on Canadian culture resonates with McLuhan?s insight of 1965 that the ?helplessunawareness of the nature and effects of radio? had become ?a universally shared ineptitude?(Understanding Media 298). But this blindness to radio was also closely associated with adisregard for the contemporary social concerns of the regional cosmopolitan Canadian writerwhich were at odds with the centralizing and institutional Cold War cultural agenda of centralCanada. Very early in his tenure as editor of Canadian Literature, Woodcock challenged theabsence of radio within Canadian cultural history. The failure of CBC to publish its radiobroadcasts??the creation over the years of a kind of mosaic record of a country?s life and88thought, its manners and opinions, its arts and sciences??has left the country?s culturalhistory a record ?almost entirely writ in air,? Woodcock writes in 1961 (Woodcock, ?A RecordWrit in Air? 3-4). Woodcock references a review from two issues before assigned to GeraldNewman suggesting much of Canada?s best dramatic writing was for a medium other than thestage (Newman 72). In 1968 Woodcock again calls for the CBC to publish a regular journal,comparable to the BBC?s The Listener, and to ?throw open its vast files to controlled researchin co-operation with the Universities? (Woodcock, ?Awards and Initiatives? 5). In 1970Woodcock would again criticize the CBC for not preserving the foundations of Canada?sshared cultural history:Radio drama, now a literary form doubly vanished because of the decline of themedium and also because of the failure to publish the best of the scripts thatyearly gather dust in the unresearched archives of the CBC, extended significantlyin its day the non-visual potentiality of drama and produced a new kind of theatrefor voices . . . (?The Frontiers of Literature? 4)Woodcock wrote thirty radio dramas for the CBC. His first, El Dorado, based onVoltaire?s Candide, was performed in 1951. He created adaptations of classical Greek andLatin texts, plays of the Restoration and Elizabethan periods, Molie`re?s comedies andRacine?s Phe`dre, and twentieth-century work, including plays by Irish dramatist JohnMillington Synge, The Just by Camus, and We by Zamyatin. After learning the art of soundtheatre in writing these adaptations, Woodcock began composing original plays in 1960. Aproportion of these he regarded as ?burlesque thrillers,? suggesting discontinuity with thepreoccupations of his oeuvre as a whole, hearkening instead, perhaps, to the early days ofCanadian radio drama (?Letter 3 Oct. 1980?).5 The four scripts Woodcock had published arerepresentative of his intellectual and artistic aims during the period (?Letter 3 Oct. 1980?) and5Several of these detective stories and mysteries were coauthored with his wife Ingeborg Woodcock, whohad independently written a thirty-minute comedy (produced twice by the CBC) and two adaptations of Germanplays: one by Curt Goetz and the sound play Das Unternehmen der Wega (The Mission of the Vega) by Swissavant-garde dramatist and crime novelist Friedrich Du?rrenmatt.89intimate the sorts of writing he would seek to cultivate as editor of Canadian Literature.Literary critics of the seventies and eighties found Woodcock?s radio plays unpalatable.Philip Stratford considers the two original Woodcock dramas he reads for CanadianLiterature in 1985 dull in verse and simplistic in theme (156-57). Peter Hughes, in conceivingWoodcock?s oeuvre within the ideological continuum of anarchist thought he evidentlyadmires, omits mention of Woodcock?s radio plays. Jack Robinson?s treatment is cursory,while locating themes within the scripts that cohere with philosophical outlook he grants toWoodcock. In the case where the subject of a radio plays is treated also in Woodcock?snonfiction, it is attributed to the recycling of material for financial reasons and to detrimentaleffect. The ?finely honed perspicuity? and ?casual eloquence? of Woodcock?s prose, with its?vivacity, directness, and clarity,? becomes a ?turgid repetition? when brought to radio(Robinson 236). Woodcock?s radio scripts do not sit comfortably with the image fostered forhim as a ?man of letters.? Woodcock would not refuse this categorization, derived from theFrench homme-de-lettres, but thought it had ?a slightly patronizing tone? within the Canadiancontext (Woodcock, ?Of People? 6). Fetherling does not include Woodcock?s radio plays inA George Woodcock Reader (Woodcock and Fetherling vii-viii).Woodcock?s first original radio drama, Maskerman, was aired transnationally on the CBCin 1960 and produced by Newman, the drama and music producer for the CBC in Vancouvercredited for experimental Canadian radio drama during the period, with John Reeves inToronto (Fink, ?English-Language Radio Drama?). A testament to the emphases on auralityin his sound plays?fostered by creating adaptations with Newman throughout thefifties?Woodcock specifically wrote the title role for the voice of then prominent Vancouveractor Ian Thorne (Woodcock, Beyond the Blue Mountains 95). The success of the play wouldresult in the CBC producing it twice more in the sixties. The minimalist and parabolicsequence of events in Maskerman are implicated for the listener through several discoursescenarios, a technique radio drama theorist Tim Crook refers to as ?arcaded narrative? (168).Maskerman?s use of formal verse, as the poet Al Purdy recognized, who heard the play on a90portable radio while camping in northern B.C., produces a tone of decadence (Woodcock andPurdy ii). Woodcock was one of the first writers to take the work of Oscar Wilde seriously,his The Paradox of Oscar Wilde appearing in 1949. He believed that the playwright?sdecadent dramas critiqued through satire the social psychology of accepted morals andmanners. In its decadence, Maskerman sets out to critique a Canadian psychogeographycolonized by the mythology inscribed into European geography.Woodcock favours lateral time frames, in which the beginning of the play is the end of thenarrative; it is an effective technique for securing a listener?s focus by creating enigma (Crook164). In Maskerman the second person is employed initially to engage the listener, giving theplay a ludic quality. The ghost of the title character Alfred Maskerman, a televisioncameraman, introduces the play:I am the hero and the victim too?My name, Alfred Maskerman, slave of love. So let the spirit of these actsStep from the shadow,Open up the play.(Woodcock, ?Maskerman? 5)In subject matter, the play does not stray far from the popular radio soap opera, with thesuccessive romantic disasters of Maskerman, the ?slave of love,? pinned to a refusal to takemoral responsibility when interpersonal discord arises. But there is a transoceanic andpostcolonial dimension which makes the trials of Maskerman a parable for Canadian society.There is no specifically Canadian geography in the play, so how then is the play Canadian? Itis precisely by not being explicitly set in a particular place that the play becomes regionalized.Each Canadian listener can imagine a courthouse and a home, the settings for the first sixscenes. The Canadian setting is implicated for the imagination only by establishing Europe asthe setting for the final three scenes? Maskerman?s fatal holiday destination?as somewhereto travel to. The play is designed to give the listener the responsibility for its localization.Her own space is thus conjoined with the play?s mythological ?now.? Woodcock concludes91his landmark study Anarchism with the ?insistence that freedom and moral self-realization areinterdependent? (333). Kropotkin believed that since society is a natural phenomenon, if theartificial structures of government are removed, persons will act socially in accord withnatural disposition (Anarchism 206). In this, Woodcock argues, Kropotkin fails to recognizethat when people have been conditioned to depend on the state, ?fear of responsibilitybecomes a psychological disease that does not disappear as soon as its causes are removed?(Anarchism 206). Maskerman suggests this disease is European in origin and inscribed intothe continent?s landscape.Writing in Canadian Literature, Woodcock draws a sharp distinction between radio playsof invention and those which involve the Surrealists? politicized understanding ofimagination:plays of imagination rather than invention, of history merging into myth; playsthat seem to surge from dreams and memories and to operate in that innerterritory of the mind which lies between the subliminal and the conscious.(?Voices Set Free? 159)An initially surprising aspect of Maskerman, written by the anarchist editor of CanadianLiterature, is that it gives voice to a highly European mythological imagination intimatelyassociated with a romantic German nationalism. The Lorelei is a character in the play, and asymbol that each of its main characters invoke when imputing blame to someone else for theirown predicament. Lorelei is known to German culture as a precarious twist in the Rheinmarked by a towering, echo-producing rock, mythologized in the nation?s poetry as a siren,whose beauty caused the death of sailors.6 Apollinaire attempts to undermine the myth in hisLa Loreley, conceiving the deadly actions of Lorelei as themselves the result of crueltyinflicted upon her (Apollinaire and Greet 148-51). In Maskerman, her presence in thecharacters? minds is a symptom of their psychological disease of social irresponsibility, and6The ballad of Clemens Brenato, Zu Bacharach am Rheine (1803), was condensed by Heinrich Heine intothe famous poem Die Lorelei. For a discussion of the poems, see Youens.92Woodcock emphasizes that the Lorelei myth is embedded into European geography. Loreleiis given her own voice, providing the Epilogue, after Lore has let Alfred drown in a whirlpoolat the cliffs near Porto Fino:Water killed him. But who led him thereTo the fear and the terrible gasping for air?Where was the Lorelei? Where was I?Was I Jacquetta? Maria? Was I Lore?(Woodcock, ?Maskerman? 40)Lorelei echoes and reverberates in the listener?s mind, and the play suggests she is aEuropean ghost, an affliction that spread from Germany to Italy into Canada and beyond. Forthe new editor of Canadian Literature, European nationalism and the psychological disease ofsocial irresponsibility that it breeds, must not be inscribed into the Canadian landscape by thecountry?s writers. In its regional cosmopolitanism, Livesay?s ?Call My People Home?demonstrates how war in Europe and the Canadian nationalism it produced created injusticefor Japanese-Canadians of the British Columbian coast. Woodcock?s Maskerman announcesthat the regions of Canada, present within the imaginations of their people but not withinCanadian culture as a whole, are threatened by the imaginings of an Old World under the spellof nationalism and the culture of social irresponsibility that became integral to it, a failure ofmoral self-realization that permitted the ascendance of fascism. In its transoceanic regionalcosmopolitanism, Woodcock?s Western Canadian radio drama, like those of Livesay andBirney, is thus oriented towards contemporary Canadian society, challenging the universalistand European mythopoeisis dominating Ontario?s fifties, and an ascendent print-basednationalism.93Chapter 5Neither East nor WestI hope I am as great a believer in free air as the great Poet[Rabindranath Tagore]. I do not want my house to be walled in onall sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of allthe lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But Irefuse to be blown off my feet by any.MAHATMA GANDHIWoodcock would make his own contribution to the ?cosmopolitan versus nativist? debatethat came to define Canadian literature in the forties with his article, ?View of CanadianCriticism,? first published by The Dalhousie Review in 1954. The article mounts anunprecedented call for ?a Canadian Journal devoted specifically to the critical consideration ofnative and world literature? (?View of Canadian Criticism? 137). Woodcock?s rationale forsuch a journal, at a time when few considered Canadian writing worthy of ?literature? orcritical study, was Read?s ?grass roots? conception of cultural development. Criticism itself isconceived by Woodcock as a natural and specific outgrowth of any maturing literature. AsSandra Djwa has noted, in his proposal for a journal of Canadian literature in a global context,Woodcock?s ?interests inclined to the cosmopolitan? (312). These interests werecomparativist ones, and for critical comprehension not evaluation. Woodcock explicitlydenies within his article the very possibility of a cosmopolitan artist creating out of universalforms: ?The cosmopolitan artist is as legendary as the Centaur; writers are dependent, not94only on their immediate and temporary environment, but even more on their origins? (?Viewof Canadian Criticism? 131). On this view, literature is regional: ?peoples and regions havetheir own distinctive literary and cultural traditions and attitudes, conditioned by sharedlanguage and habitat and historical experience? (?View of Canadian Criticism? 131). There isthus a certain irony, and appropriation perhaps as well, in A.J.M. Smith dedicating ?To GeorgeWoodcock in friendship and admiration? his Towards a View of Canadian Letters: SelectedCritical Essays 1928-1971, published by UBC Press in 1973 at the height of Woodcock?sCanadian reputation and influence. In beginning his career as a critic of Canadian literature,Woodcock was personally initiated into Canadian fiction by John Sutherland (Beyond the BlueMountains 5), but regional cosmopolitanism also rejects the isolationism of the ?nativist?pole. Woodcock counters the conception of the closed region of the nativists, for it is throughthe necessary ?cultural interplay? within a given region that a particular sort ofcosmopolitanism can and should occur: ?where cosmopolitanism exists it is in the continualand necessary interplay of various traditions acting upon each other? (?View of CanadianCriticism? 131). A society unreceptive to outside cultural forces, Woodcock shows throughexamples from history, will stagnate and repeat itself with increasing meaninglessness,dissociating society from its world (?View of Canadian Criticism? 131). Literature as regionalcultural interplay thus denies the international cosmopolitanism of Smith?s dichotomy, whiledismissing also the ?nativist? model that seeks a common substrata underlying Canadianwriting, lending itself to nationalsim. Woodcock insists that a ?Canadian literary tradition?already exists, but not on account of any ?nationalist feeling? common to its writing. Politicalnationalism, in fact, contributes only negatively to cultural traditions, as history attests:Italian and German literature and painting and music flourished when thosecountries were loose collections of small sovereign states and free cities, with asplendour that was denied [in] the arid deserts of nationalism under Mussoliniand Hitler; Irish literature began to lose its richness of quality when politicalseparatism weakened that bond of cross-fertilisation with English movements95which had given it vigour and variety. Nationalist movements, indeed, can oftenfrustrate and paralyse cultural traditions; never are they Frankensteins enough tocreate what can only spring out of the organic richness of individual and sociallife. (?View of Canadian Criticism? 130)Woodcock argues that literature is to be approached within its particular social reality, sothat ?[it] is impossible to imagine The Divine Comedy outside its context of the early Italianrenaissance, or War and Peace being produced by any but a man who had entered fully intothe tragedy and richness of Russian existence? (?View of Canadian Criticism? 131). ?View ofCanadian Criticism,? further reveals Woodcock in 1954 an advocate of Read?s belief in the?universal? dimension of art based on Jung?s archetypes. Woodcock suggests that culture,created within a particular language, habitat, and history, extends outside of its context forultimately ?it deals with myths and images and thoughts which pierce like cosmic radiationthrough the barriers of language and environment? (?View of Canadian Criticism? 131).Woodcock thus appears to follow Read in giving the artist a special status, ?a uniqueintelligence dealing with those problems of thought and morality which are universal? (?Viewof Canadian Criticism? 136). Woodcock also contends, in keeping with Read?sHeideggerianism, that literature which ?appeals most widely? arises ?when the writer reachesmost deeply into the life of his own place and time, and finds the universal where his spiritualroots plunge into their native soil? (?View of Canadian Criticism? 131). Through hisengagements in Asia, however, Woodcock would come to replace his understanding of art asachieving universal relevance through its archetypes.Woodcock grants the emergence of new culture directly to the geographical specificity ofthe region. An independent society may emerge when colonizers encounter geographicalcircumstances very different from their place of origin (?View of Canadian Criticism? 132).When colonization takes people to a place similar to that of their past, ?then the continuationof intercourse with the mother country may lead to the mere extension of its culture, as in thecase of most of the antique Greek colonies in Italy? (?View of Canadian Criticism? 132). As96in the cultural histories of the United States and Mexico, transformation from a colonialculture to ?a regional and integral? one is a process, ?first in the development of independentforms of what are generally delimited as the ?creative arts,? and later in the growth of a criticalliterature,? which assesses the culture ?in its own terms as well as in relation to othertraditions? (?View of Canadian Criticism? 133). Woodcock thus perceives criticism not as anexternal structure imposed upon a cultural tradition, but as an eventual and particularoutgrowth of it (?View of Canadian Criticism? 133). Founding a journal as a forum fordiscussion already taking place in ?coffee houses? should be regarded as a natural step inCanada?s cultural development, with the poets and novelists which came to prominence in theforties already warranting such ongoing critical study:in the work of writers like E.J. Pratt, A.M. Klein, Hugh MacLennan, Earle Birney,Dorothy Livesay, A.J.M. Smith, Morley Callaghan, Ethel Wilson and manyothers, it has also taken on the rough outline of an emerging native literarytradition, admittedly with no major achievements as yet, but rooted in Canadianlife and seeing the world sensitively through an experimental pattern that isdistinctively Canadian. (?View of Canadian Criticism? 134)A critical tradition had not yet emerged to accompany this Canadian literary movement,argues Woodcock. Frye then, who had been providing annual reviews of contemporaryCanadian poetry for the University of Toronto Quarterly since 1950, is rejected with Smithand Sutherland. Woodcock does not perceive any existing criticism as naturally connected tothe Canadian literature brought under its purview:I do not suggest that good critical writing is not being done anywhere in Canadatoday. But the best of it, like that of Northrop Frye, is outside the Canadianliterary movement; it is work which belongs to the tradition of academic exegesis.Of criticism which, in the full sense, seeks to evaluate Canadian writing in acreative manner and to relate it, not only to Canadian experience, but also to auniversal criterion, there is almost none. (?View of Canadian Criticism? 134)97Woodcock proceeds to reject criticism that gives Canadian writing ?special treatment,?pseudo-critical approaches unrelated to Canadian experience and which also reject theapplicability of established literary criteria when dealing with the native author (?View ofCanadian Criticism? 135). Woodcock refuses any prospect of ?a group of New CanadianCritics, devoted to the task of close textual analysis? (?View of Canadian Criticism? 136). Acriticism attuned to the specificities of Canadian experience and the particularities of itsliterature must be thoroughly interdisciplinary and sensitive to the global culturalcontinuum:The Canadian critic . . . will have to be something of a psychologist, something ofa sociologist, something of a philosopher, something of a mythologist, besideshaving a developed consciousness of formal values and an imagination that isboth creative and receptive. He will be concerned with the peculiar nature ofCanadian experience, what makes the temper of our life?despite so manysuperficial resemblances?essentially different from the American or the British,and how this regional pattern of living and thinking and reacting affects the workof Canadian writers. But he will also be aware of trends in other countries, andwill have to consider in what relation life and literature in Canada stand to theworld continuum. He will have to delve into the past for unifying threads andprobe into the future for the sense of direction. But he will also not lose sight ofthe fact that, within the culture, each writer is inalienably an individual, with hisown psychology and his own reaction to experience. This experience, whichincludes language and the whole complex of natural and social and culturalinfluences to which he is subjected, will mark the writer off as a Canadian . . .(?View of Canadian Criticism? 136)The Massey Report had commented on the isolation of Canadian writers, and Woodcocksuggests in 1954 that a common body of Canadian criticism undertaken along the lines he hasproposed might provide for writers, ?strung across the CPR,? a sense of shared community98(?View of Canadian Criticism? 135-36).The cosmopolitan approach Woodcock outlines in 1954 would be implemented from thevery founding of Canadian Literature. It is a cosmopolitanism involving regional loyalties,appropriating foreign cultural elements that contribute positively to social health, whilepublicly critiquing?rather than merely dismissing or relativizing to the place oforigin?elements that contribute negatively. In 1959 Woodcock began exchanging issues ofhis journal with an editor of the official English-language journal Chinese Literature inBeijing. He followed trends in Chinese writing carefully, as he did developments in a numberof other literatures, and in 1967 would publish a scathing indictment of state involvement inChinese writing in UBC?s journal Pacific Affairs, reading in the course of Chinese Literatureover eight years, a progressive ?grotesque and brutal philistinism? produced by the CulturalRevolution (?Literary Lines in China? 138). After his article was published, ChineseLiterature would cease to reach him (Caves in the Desert 99). Woodcock?s judgment onChinese literature was a moral and political one, grounded in his work from Vancouvertowards a Canadian literature independent of the agenda of political nationalism. His critiqueof Chinese literature during the Cultural Revolution involves careful analysis that is notdetached, and results in a moral judgment, not a relativizing one. Establishing a negativecosmopolitan connection between Vancouver and Beijing, rather than remaining silent andturned inward, still formed a relationship, one subject to change. Twenty years later, in 1987,the Ministry of Culture invited the Woodcocks and their friends, Paul and Xisa Wong ofVancouver?s Bau-Xi Gallery, to create their own itinerary, and China would see to the travelarrangements. Woodcock?s arrival in China was announced on radio and television fromBeijing as the coming of the ?the Canadian Ba Jin.? Woodcock found this an ?admirablecircumlocution,? for as he explains, Ba Jin, whose real name was Li Fei-Kan, was a prolificanarchist writer and contemporary of Woodcock?s, known to the West as Pa Chin. His nomde plume was composed by combining the first syllable of Bakunin?s name and the last ofKropotkin?s?Ba-kin. Ba Jin, who survived the cultural upheaval in China after 1949 became99revered as one of the most important and most widely read Chinese writers of the twentiethcentury. Calling Woodcock ?the Canadian Ba Jin? suggested to Woodcock, as he believed itwas intended to, that the Chinese authorities knew about his opinions and welcomed him totheir country (as the Americans had not). It also revealed China?s changing attitude toliterature and its cultural history.1 Woodcock would use Canadian Literature to forge positiveintercultural networks within the Pacific world as well. A 1965 editorial would send?Trans-Pacific? greetings to Meanjin, the leading Australian literary review in celebration ofits 100th issue. The Meanjin Papers was founded the same year as NOW, and Woodcock andits editor Clem Christesen had kept up contact (?Trans-Pacific? 103).Woodcock discovered a cosmopolitan ?meeting of time in place? in an emergingpostcolonial modernist Indian literature, perceiving in it a corresponding model for anemerging Canadian literary milieu. Woodcock visited India for the first time in 1961, on aresearch trip sponsored in part by the Canada Council. He would reunite with Anand whohad founded Marg, a quarterly magazine dedicated to Indian art, after returning to India in1946. Woodcock describes Marg as an endeavour to bring Indian traditions to a modernindependent India.[Anand] had shed the close political commitments of his past, but in his own wayhe still remained a man of social mission, and he described his present task as[editor of Marg] an attempt to rediscover essential Indian traditions, and in theprocess to extract what might be incorporated into the life of the new,independent India. (Faces of India 27)As Woodcock had left the anarchist movement, seeking to change Canadian society throughCanadian Literature, Anand had found new forms for his socialism in an independent India.While in India, Woodcock attended with Anand the Rabindranath Tagore centenarycelebrations at the University of Delhi. Woodcock met R.K. Narayan at the event and reunited1The highlight of the journey for Woodcock was visiting the Magoa caves of a Thousand Buddhas nearDunhuang, which Woodcock describes as ?the most remarkable treasury of religious art in our life of longtravels.? An anticipated second journey to China by Woodcock in his final years did not materialize due to illness.100with old friends Balachandra Rajan (novelist, internationally regarded Miltonist and authorityon Eliot) and Narayana Menon (literary critic, musician, and authority on classical Indianmusic). In the pages of London?s The Times Literary Supplement, Rajan would later conveythe existence of a respectable independent Canadian critical tradition, referencing the work ofFrye, Marshall McLuhan, and Woodcock (Rajan 796). Upon returning to Vancouver,Woodcock would draw connections between the cultures of India and Canada withinCanadian Literature:. . . there are similarities between the literary worlds of India and Canada. In bothcountries native writers are adapting the English language and English literaryforms to the lives they live in a world away from England. In both countries thelimitations of publishing facilities make writing more often a labour of dedicationthan a profession by which the author can hope to attain economic independence.In both countries writers are divided by sheer distance, which makes the linksbetween Bombay and Calcutta or Mysore and Delhi as remote as those betweenVancouver and Toronto . . . (Woodcock, ?Remote Reflections? 3)Woodcock believed Narayan a better writer than Tagore, but Tagore, argues Woodcock, hadachieved a sort of cosmopolitanism that Canadian writers had yet to, one related to the socialconcerns of both his own place and the world, historically bound while appealing to the moralhuman condition:We have had writers whose work has been as good as Tagore?s, and even better,but we have had none so far who has so clearly and admirably in his own liferelated the aims of literature to the realities of his country and of the worldbeyond, to the external demands of history and to the unhistorical urges of theman within. (?Remote Reflections? 4)Like Gandhi, Woodcock believed that the cultural interplay arising from the ?free air?blowing into the regions of Canada from across its oceans would find residence in CanadianLiterature and the writing that it served, but because it stood in its own ground, so as to101generate a wind that might blow back across the seas and in other directions.Human mobility is the principal factor in intercultural exchange. Among the some 150titles presented by the George Woodcock Display at UBC, we find that a significantproportion recount his own travels in Asia or study the travels of others. ?Without adventure,civilization is in full decay,? Alfred North Whitehead wrote in the thirties (Whitehead 360),and Woodcock discovers civilizations benefit from their explorers. Henry Walter Bates(1969) attends to how the naturalist was changed, as science was, by the people andenvironment of the Amazon during his eleven-year expedition. Into Tibet (1971) shows theEnlightenment prejudices of early British travellers to the country discombobulated, resultingin policy change in Lhasa that would allow Westerners entry again?after the gates had beenclosed with the expulsion of the Jesuits. Aphra Behn returns home to transform Westernliterature after travels in Surinam. Kropotkin arrives at his theory of cultural migrationamongst Mennonites of Manitoba driven from Russia (Woodcock and Avakumovic, TheAnarchist Prince 274-5). Woodcock broadcast a series of CBC talks on ?Globe TrottingWomen.? Hulme is moved to imagism on the Canadian prairie. And there are other suchexamples of ?cultural interplay? recorded within Woodcock?s oeuvre. Superficialengagements with other cultures fosters the imperialist urge. He assesses Wells as havingremained secluded in his own portion of the globe, thus unable to understand ?the minds ofpeople who had not sprung from his own environment? (Woodcock, ?A Study in Decline? 49).The political structure of the nation-state, on Woodcock?s view, has a tendency to preservecultural homogeneity within the confines of an impermeable border. Traditional conceptionsof anarchism are little better, he believed, and a closed self-sufficient community is liable tobecome a moral tyranny or theocracy.Woodcock came to this realization in writing The Doukhobors (1968) with IvanAvakumovic. It was the first examination of the Canadian minority written in English andmade intelligible Doukhobor customs and actions to English-Canada, helping changeperceptions about the historically beleaguered group. While believing it important to explain102their plight, Woodcock did not altogether admire the social structure of the Doukhobors whichTolstoy, who helped arrange their immigration to Canada, thought instantiated anarchistideals.2 Woodcock would later encourage the Doukhobors, who regarded him reverentially asa ?Canadian Tolstoy,? to involve themselves outside their own community:If you turn in on yourself you tend to become overly concerned with your ownproblems. I would see it as a two-way process?endeavouring to create anexample, but still moving into the wider community of, say, socially idealistic,peace-based movements and this kind of thing, so that your example can becomevisible. What?s the good of becoming an isolated Utopia living the perfect lifefor your own satisfaction? (Popoff and Woodcock 11)On their 1961 trip, the Woodcocks ventured to Northern India where they became amongthe first Westerners received by the recently exiled Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso. The meetingarose from the impetus of Ingeborg Woodcock who had studied Tibetan language and culture(Woodcock, Faces of India). Woodcock?s anarchism, with its largely negative conception offreedom as ?freedom from? already had resonances with Buddhism. From their first meetingwith Tenzin Gyatso, Woodcock began to shift philosophically nearer to the Mahayanistdoctrine of universal compassion as a way of life (Faces of India 130-131). Even before theyleft India, the Woodcocks began making arrangements for a Vancouver-based organizationthat could provide assistance for Tibetan refugees. In April of 1962, Roy Daniells, BillHolland of Pacific Affairs and John Conway founded the Tibetan Refugee Aid Society inVancouver. UBC President Norman Mackenzie served as the chairperson and Woodcock thevice-chairperson. Operating today as the Trans-Himalayan Aid Society, the organization isstill a flexible ?affinity-group,? in Woodcock?s anarchist terms, or a ?postnational socialformation? in Appadurai?s. The first ?transit school? was run by Judy Pullen in Kangra for2Kropotkin planned the immigration to Saskatchewan of 7500 pacifist Doukhobors who had been persecutedviolently in tsarist Russia throughout the 1890s. Arrangements were made through Kropotkin?s friend JamesMavor, the major Canadian economist instrumental in the founding of the Art Gallery of Ontario and the RoyalOntario Museum. Fundraising by Tolstoy covered approximately half the cost of the migration.103hundreds of sick and malnourished Tibetan children, who came down from Ladakh andNepal. The school was set up and organized by Woodcock?s student, later the poet andexperimental multimedia artist, Sam Perry, and his wife Beth, a student nurse. Theyapproached Woodcock about volunteering and he made arrangements (Beyond the BlueMountains 79). The Woodcocks were responsible for establishing what became a longtermrelationship between the Dalai Lama and Vancouver, who visited the city on several occasionsduring their lives, giving some of his earliest public interviews on radio, conducted byWoodcock (Twigg 175).3 On their first trip to India, the Woodcocks also met the Indianwriter and editor of Design Patwant Singh, who introduced them to writers, artists andfilmmakers in Bombay and Delhi. In 1981 Singh would seek to raise funds for impoverishedIndian villages, and the Woodcocks would found Canada India Village Aid (CIVA), also stilloperating today. With painter Toni Onley, Woodcock produced the illustrated travelogue TheWalls of India (1985) to support CIVA, and with Margaret Atwood, Al Purdy, GeorgeBowering, and other acclaimed poets, ran a poetry contest fundraiser whose winners werepublished in The Dry Wells of India (1989). These practical instantiations of Woodcock?sanarchism arose from theoretical commitments he made in London during the early forties,and reflect the moral and political dimension of his cosmopolitanism:My study of Gandhi?s teachings and my contact in India with people who hadworked with him led me to accept his advocacy of working from the roots, ofpermeating rather than destroying . . . I saw the wisdom of proceeding graduallyonce one had recognized that society contained within its structure the mutual aidof which the anarchists had spoken, and which was prevented from floweringonly by the state, whether in its repressive or its benevolent ?welfare? form.(Woodcock, Beyond the Blue Mountains 110)These events of intercultural exchange arising from the Woodcocks? first journey to India wereserendipitous. Woodcock?s original purpose for the trip was for historical research associated3For the history of the Woodcocks? non-governmental organizations, see Twigg.104with his interest in the philosophical and moral basis of normative cosmopolitanism.The connection Martin Buber finds between Kropotkin?s historical writings and his socialgeography holds equally true for Woodcock: ?Kropotkin is no historian; even where hethought historically he is a social geographer, a chronicler of the states and conditions onearth; but he thinks in terms of history? (Buber 38). Woodcock?s inquiries extend to theancient world in attempting to trace the development of shared humanity as an idea, and therole art and politics played in its circulation. He believed the conception of the commonmoral basis of humanity existed well before anarchism and ?mutual aid,? in particular strainsof the world religions for example, and would resurface during humanity?s most violentcentury in such diverse forms as the poetry of Tagore, Unesco, and the philosophy of HannahArendt. The recent cosmopolitan turn in Western critical theory had appealed to Arendt whosought a new foundation to secure human value in a century that claimed 40 million lives bybattle and 262 million by democide (Rummel). Arendt and Woodcock had written in severalof the same journals during the forties and met face to face in 1951 at a party DwightMacdonald gave in the Woodcocks? honour on their visit to New York (Woodcock, Beyondthe Blue Mountains 28). In 1954, while a lecturer at the University of Washington, Woodcockbecame one of the founding editors of Dissent, the politics and culture magazine associatedwith the New York intellectuals, and the successor to Macdonald?s politics. In 1963, Dissentwould provide a public forum to debate the controversy over Eichmann in Jerusalem,Arendt?s book of that year based on her reporting from the Adolf Eichmanm trial for the NewYorker (Arendt, Eichmann; Greif). Among those in defence of Arendt was the critic AlfredKazin, with whom Woodcock voyaged to Paris in 1951. Woodcock credits conversationswith Kazin aboard the Ile de France and in Paris for helping him fully embrace ?the creativityof the non-inventive modes of writing? and for getting over the disappointment of just havinga novel rejected by New York publishers. Woodcock mentions reading a book of Arendt?s onthe journey, presumably The Origins of Totalitarianism (1950), and threw the manuscript ofhis novel into the Atlantic as the ship neared Le Havre (Woodcock, Beyond the Blue105Mountains 28).Arendt was roundly criticized for her assessments of Eichmann, which attributed his evilto an inability to think for himself. As Arendt?s ideas developed in the seventies, she wouldcontend that universal moral law must transcend the demands of specific communities, andshe turns to the thought of Socrates in her belief that civil disobedience ought to be employedwhen local laws do not comply with higher moral demands. Woodcock elaborates on thesephilosophical implications of the Eichmann trial in seven half-hour radio talks on non-violentcivil disobedience for CBC?s Ideas in 1966. The program Ideas, still on the air, wasco-created by William Young and Phyllis Webb. Webb also had Woodcock gives talks onanarchism for Ideas and her admiration for Kropotkin resulted in her ?Kropotkin Poems.?Woodcock argues in his talk that the condemnation of Eichmann by a global public revealedthat humanity appeals to a morality of responsibility that supersedes the demands of anyparticular political authority. Like Arendt, Woodcock considered the trial entailed advocationfor civil disobedience as an essential human right:[Civil disobedience] erects principles above political expedients, and it has beenrather well described as ?an application of absolute moral truths in the realm ofhistorical action.? It invokes the idea of responsibility as against the idea ofobedience, and for this reason it appeals strongly to a doubt about conventionalideas of duty which has become very widespread since the rise and fall ofNazism. It was this doubt that made the trial of Adolf Eichmann such a morallysignificant event. What was being tried in that Israeli courtroom was not merely aman who had sent millions of innocents to their death; it was not even merely thegeneral record of the Nazis. It was the cult of unquestioning obedience to law andauthority. If we accept duty as meaning that kind of obedience, then Eichmannwas innocent: he merely acted under orders. If Eichmann was guilty, then wehave to accept the idea of a point at which a man is morally bound to disobeyrather than perform acts that go beyond his conceptions of morality or justice,106even if these acts were ordered by the state. . . . in ceasing to condone blind duty,we have to accept the right to Civil Disobedience. (Civil Disobedience 4)Woodcock places the Cynics and the Stoics in a cosmopolitan tradition stemming fromSocrates. Accused of not believing in the gods of Athens and corrupting the young, Socratesembodied detachment from local demands for moral responsibility in his willingness to diefor the right to pursue truth irrespective of Athenian law. In summarizing how the death ofSocrates fostered a line of cosmopolitan philosophies in his radio broadcast, Woodcock tailorshis language for the beatnik generation while heightening the dissonance between imperialpower and the counter-culture attitude:The Stoics, who greatly admired Socrates for his way of dying, taught that aman?s conscience must be the final arbiter of his conduct and that his ultimateloyalty was not to the state but to all mankind. The Cynics went further. Theyproclaimed brotherhood with animals as well, denounced slavery, and taught thattrue philosophers should opt out of the state and live regardless of the law. Themost famous of these beatniks of antiquity was Diogenes, who sought to break allthe taboos, including those of decency; he is said to have lived in a tub, but in facthe lived in a very large oil jar, and when Alexander the Great, who was somethingof a culture snob, visited him and asked if there were anything he could do forhim, Diogenes looked coldly at the world conqueror and said, ?Just get out of mylight!? (Civil Disobedience 8)The origins of cosmopolitanism are typically traced back to the lapidary statement ?I am acitizen of the world? made by Diogenes of Sinope. Skrbis? and Woodward express the keyideas of kosmopolites taken up by current theorists as professing ?detachment from the local?and ?a sense of openness? that allows one to ?embrace the world community? which is?different and apart? from one?s embedded world (53). A.A. Long likewise credits Diogenes?declaration as the first articulation of ?the idea that human nature in its rational capacitiestranscends all civic and ethnic boundaries? (54-5). Long also emphasizes that this107cosmopolitanism ?was normative rather than descriptive,? deriving fundamentally from theGreek philosophical tradition (55). Cosmopolitan theorists thus have not observed thatDiogenes? statement was also descriptive, uttered at a time when the world had been broughttogether by Persia. Sinope, a Greek colony on the Black Sea, was under the rule of thePersian Empire in the fourth century BCE, and Cyrus the Great, on clay cylinders distributedthroughout the Achaemenidian Empire had declared, ?I am Cyrus, king of the universe?already in the sixth century. Woodcock?s work reflects the understanding thatcosmopolitanism cannot be approached apart from its emergence within the contexts ofimperialism and colonialism. The idea of a shared humanity is not a universalist notion to berationally justified as Kant had done, but a historical emergence that counteracted imperialviolence between civilizations. The feelings that accompany natural human sociability,arising when people work together towards common ends, required conceptual extension tothe members of other worlds once imperialism had shown distinct civilizations can impingeupon one another. The conceptual extension of sociability to those outside one?s realm, if notan empty abstraction, is grounded in productive intercultural exchange which, in the ancientworld, produced liberating religions and philosophical systems.The study which resulted from the Woodcocks? trip to India, The Greeks in India (1966),was the first treatment of the entire millennium of Greek penetration into India. The bookmight also have been appropriately named Neither East Nor West, the title of Berneri?sselected writings published in 1952 (a number of which critique Western imperialisms). Oncethe Ionian cities and Taxila, the renowned Indian centre of religious learning, were broughtwithin the Persian empire in the late sixth century BCE, Woodcock shows it becametheoretically possible for a Greek philosopher to travel the same route to India taken by thefamous explorer Scylax, or for an Indian ascetic to reach the Ionian cities or even Greece itself(The Greeks in India 150). In practice, ideas were likely exchanged between Ionia and Taxilain the cities of Persia during the sixth and fifth centuries. Democritus, a great traveller, visitedPersia in late fifth century, developing his atomic theory well after Hindu, Buddhist and Jainist108atomistic cosmologies had appeared. Woodcock makes the case that the ascetic brotherhoodat Croton founded by Pythagoras, who also travelled extensively according to DiogenesLaertius, emulated Indian ascetic centres from which his theory of transmigration also likelyderived (The Greeks in India 153). Also impossible to dismiss, argues Woodcock, are theresemblances between the doctrines of Plato and those already developed by Brahminical,Buddhist and Jain thinkers. Plato?s theory of reincarnation involving karmic process hasIndian rather than Greek antecedents (The Greeks in India 153). Equally remarkable are thestructural parallels between the Hindu caste system and the society of his Republic, with itsthree classes of Guardians, Auxiliaries and Craftsmen, fulfilling the same functions of thehighest Hindu castes, Brahmins, Kshatriyas, and Vaisyas (The Greeks in India 154).Woodcock finds, however, that the successful transfer of ideas from one cultural region toanother, in all cases, involved a transmutation. If Democritus learned from the atomistictheories of India, it was in order to serve the traditions of his own milieu:it offered a clue that helped him in his own inquiries into the nature of theuniverse; atomism as he finally presented it was divorced from Indianterminology, and admirably suited to the needs of Greek philosophy at a timewhen it was taking form not merely as an inquiry into the character of man?senvironment, but also as the theoretical basis for the emergent natural sciences.(The Greeks in India 152)The Indians, in turn, would come to assimilate the sciences of the Greeks, which spurred whatWoodcock describes as a ?technological revolution? in the region after the arrival ofAlexander. Cultural exchange, Woodcock shows, also created feelings of appreciation andadmiration for a foreign culture in a world where foreign peoples were assumed uncivilizedand savage: ??The Yavanas [the Brahmin term for the Greeks adopted from the Persians] arebarbarians,? declared the author of the Sanskrit Gargi Samhita, ?yet the science of astronomyoriginated with them and for this they must be reverenced like gods?? (The Greeks in India155). Even Greek astronomy, itself derived from the Chaldaens, was assimilated by the109Indians in accord with their own cultural circumstances, adapted as an astrology to serve thetraditional social function of divination. Woodcock observes, in the context of a heightenedIndian nationalism paralleled in Canada, that the astrological system used bytwentieth-century politicians and businessmen in India and by which marriages aredetermined, came from the Greeks (The Greeks in India 155). Woodcock felt that Nehru?sadoption of British socialism as a political model after independence was a betrayal of Gandhiand the village-based social structure he envisaged to put an end to the caste system. Concernthat Indian nationalism already had deleterious cultural effects is shown early in The Greeksin India:When resistance built up against [Alexander] at the time of his retreat it waslargely fostered by the Brahmins, not, as modern Indian historians would have usbelieve, from a sentiment of patriotism, which as yet did not exist in an India thatdid not see itself as a nation, but rather because they were offended by the thoughtof being subjected to the rule of foreigners who did not observe the Hindu rites.(The Greeks in India 34)For Woodcock, to adopt the European nation-state as a political structure was in fact tomaintain at a systematic level subjection to a foreign authority. Rather than adapting recentWestern influence into the patterns heterogenous Indian culture developed over millennia (asGandhi had done), a European model came to impose a rigid organizational pattern onto thisvast cultural history, with its implicit conceptions of space as homogenous and time aslinear.The imperial rule over the Greek world by the Persians in the sixth century, followed bythe retaliative Greek invasion of Asia Minor in the fourth century, ?created the gulf betweenEast and West, between Europe and Asia, that has never really been filled to this day,?Woodcock writes (Undermining History 15). Woodcock perceives the moral ?aims ofliterature??focused on immediate social circumstances but invoking a general humanity?tohave arisen simultaneously with the politically motivated violence that separated east and110west. Edith Hall in her structuralist study Inventing the Barbarians: Greek Self-Definitionthrough Tragedy (1989), seeks to show how Athenian tragedians used derisive images todefine the world of the non-Greek ?barbarian.? In treating The Persians, the first survivingplay of Aeschylus, Hall observes in passing that ?marked ?barbarism? coexists with thenarration of a genuinely tragic pathos, which precludes the nineteenth-century interpretationof the drama as mere xenophobic self-congratulation? (100). As Buxton comments on thequote above, Hall tells us ?next to nothing about this ?pathos? and not much either about theeffect of comparable feelings evoked in other tragedies? (218). Woodcock contends that in itspathos, The Persians reveals ?the new consciousness of a common humanity which wasemerging during the sixth century BCE.? This consciousness was given its dramatic portrayalby Aeschylus:Describing the sea covered with wreckage and the slaughter as the Greeks killedthe Persians and their allies like tunny fish all day long while the light lasted,Aeschylus was writing the first poetry of war. He wrote with triumph. But healso wrote with a sense of the pity of it all that is not in the Iliad or even in theOdyssey. And that pity showed the new consciousness of a common humanitywhich was emerging during the sixth century B.C. and colouring the work of thefirst historians as well as of the first dramatists. (Undermining History 22)This ?imagined? humanity arose from cultural exchange itself, on Woodcock?s view, whichcarried into Greece ahimsa, the principle of universal non-violence, common to the Hindu,Buddhist and Jain systems of Persian occupied India in the sixth century.While ancient Indian philosophy contributed profoundly to Greek philosophy, artistictechnique that had developed in Greece would come to facilitate the religious transformationof Asia, Woodcock shows. Gandhara was conquered by Alexander in 327 BCE, became partof the Mauryan dynasty twenty-two years later, and following the decline of the Mauryanempire in the second century BCE, allowing for the eastward expansion of theGreco-Bactrians, it became an independent Greco-Indian kingdom comprised of dynastic111polities, lasting for a period of approximately two hundred years. These Greeks in Indiaadopted Buddhism and used the artistic forms of Athens to give shape to their religiousideas.By creating the Buddha image, and by defining in visual terms the mythicalcontent of Buddhism, the artists of Gandhara not only established theiconographic pattern of Buddhist art; they also created a canon of form whichdominated its most vital phases throughout the east. The haunting Buddhas ofthis school, with their Apollonian faces and their strange companies of attendantsdrawn from the pantheons of Western and Eastern religions, represent an art bornin the disintegration of the classical heritage. Like the Coptic and Byzantinetraditions, that of Gandhara had its distant roots in Athens, but, like them, it wassaved from becoming a mere school of colonial imitation by the impact of areligion in dynamic expansion. (The Greeks in India 140)Woodcock stresses that in giving an image to Buddha, previously represented onlysymbolically, it was culture, rather than politics, that had the most powerful impact on thetransformation of Asia, ?bringing Buddhism back from the rarefied heights of monasticseclusion, [making] it aware once again of the general human condition, and proclaimed thatthe way of enlightenment was open to all men and not merely to the few monastic select? (TheGreeks in India 140). After the Mauryan emperor Ashoka converted to Buddhism in the thirdcentury BCE?in remorse for his brutal conquests?he used Greek monument technique tocreate pillars throughout India, displaying edicts based on ahisma for the protection of naturalresources, the promotion of contact between different religions, and universal medicaltreatment for humans and animals. This ?conquest by Dharma,? which extended into theHellenic world, sought ?the achievement by peaceful means of a worldwide state of justicefrom which all men would benefit in this life? (The Greeks in India 158). Woodcock does notdeny that Ashoka?s efforts helped liberalize traditional Hinaynist Buddhism and contributed tothe rise of Mahayanism which had important parallels with the Christianity that had emerged112simultaneously in the West.Just as Christianity brought together slaves and kings, Greeks and barbarians,under the concept of equality before God, so Mahayanist Buddhism broughttogether the many peoples who accepted its broad doctrines under therevolutionary idea of an all-comprehending Lord of Compassion, before whosemyriad benevolent eyes any man, by his own will and effort, could free himselffrom the toils of illusion and break the bonds of his Karma. (The Greeks in India162)The progress Ashoka made was lost after his death, however, for later Mauryan kings didnot uphold the same commitment to social regeneration (The Greeks in India 159-60). In thecurrent state of his own world, Woodcock would not dismiss the important achievements ofUnesco, supported by Livesay and others in Woodcock?s circle drawn to internationalistmovements, emerging as Europe underwent conversion following the horrors of WW2 and thecollapse of territorial imperialisms. But Woodcock believed the world does not principallyrequire ?rigid, all-inclusive international organizations,? but rather ?a multiplicity of contacts,of circles of association to dissolve its antagonisms on many levels? (British Empire 334). Inthe long term, small circles of cooperative association and organic culture for Woodcockcarried the greatest promise for healing the rupture between east and west. Buddhist artcontinued to develop and extend well after Ashoka?s reign, and as far east as Xi?an, theterminus of the ancient Silk Road, Woodcock would find ripples of Greek influence on Asiansculpture in the Pegasoids guarding the tombs of Qianling (Caves in the Desert 126).In examining the ancient history of his region?s own ancestors Woodcock found aparticipatory structure of human organization to dissolve antagonisms. The highly developedart of the West Coast arose from a system in which its distinct peoples maintained linguisticand social independence while interrelating with one another as a dynamic culturalunity:The obvious areas of difference?shapes of houses and canoes, different forms of113harpoons, hafted hammers among the northerners as against hand-held ones in thesouth, more emphasis on crests in the north and on individual guardian spiritquests in the south, matrilineal as against patrilineal inheritance, and even thevarying manners of art?all these were enough to prove that the culture was nothomogeneous, but certainly not enough to deny an underlying unity that could nothave emerged merely out of a common environment. Despite their obstinatelysustained linguistic differences, we have to assume that the peoples of the Coastwere in productive contact over a very long period before the Europeans arrived,and we may also assume that one of the reasons for this contact was thecombination of a highly developed culture with barely developed politicalconcepts. Culture tends to unite; politics tend to divide. (Peoples of the Coast197)Woodcock explains that this dynamic unity of Coastal Indigenous culture allowed for theproductive integration of Western tools and other elements after contact. As Europeansimposed themselves on the region, negative elements of Western culture were imposed aswell:I emphasize this theme of the dynamic unity of the native culture because theimmediate result of European contact was merely to increase the impetus of anexisting development within the Coast Indian world. In other words, whateverwas productive in the gifts of the new Transformers was used by the native cultureprecisely because it was a dynamic culture and open to vital new elements. Itwas the negative elements which the culture could not absorb that led towards itsdestruction. (Peoples of the Coast 198)Woodcock can be understood to suggest that post-colonialism in Canada must seek acosmopolitanism informed by ?the people who laid the real foundations of human existenceon the North American continent? (Canada and the Canadians 61). In preserving autonomy,Woodcock?s regional cosmopolitanism and its political entailments involve organic and114permeable borders, actively incorporating the positive elements of other cultures.Woodcock?s regional cosmopolitanism helps us to understand how American poetry wasaccepted into Canadian poetry of the early sixties. It is a case that serves also to showWoodcock?s cosmopolitan ethics entailing regional patriotism while rejecting ?pettylocalism.? Woodcock was a regular contributor to The Georgia Straight and the paper eventoday evinces the anarchist editorial stance pioneered by Freedom and NOW. The small butvery influential poetry magazine of the sixties, TISH, was folded into the Straight in 1967(Dart). TISH was first published in September 1961 by a group of UBC students?GeorgeBowering, Frank Davey, David Dawson, Lionel Kearns, Jamie Reid and Fred Wah?under theinfluence of poetics hailing from Black Mountain College. Several of the founding TISHmembers were Woodcock?s students. An American professor in English at UBC, WarrenTallman brought Robert Duncan to Vancouver in 1961 to give a poetry lecture series, coveringlanguage and structure, rhyme and composition, the poetics of Pound and Charles Olson, andDuncan?s experience running the magazine Black Mountain Review (Tallman). Within thecontext of Canadian cultural nationalism, a number of prominent poets and critics decriedestablishing links with the American poetry scene in this way. The fear that TISH was ?U.S.invasion and colonization of a part of the poetic culture of Canada? was most stridentlyinsisted upon by TISH: Poetry and the Colonized Mind (Richardson 7). TISH explicitlyrefused any association with the nationalism of its period (Kro?ller 14).Woodcock himself had been an influence on American poets of the fifties, because hispoems were featured in Kenneth Rexroth?s The New British Poets: An Anthology (1949).Rexroth, based in San Francisco, was NOW?s American correspondent, and in his anthologydeems Alex Comfort, Derek Savage, and Woodcock as ?the most remarkable of the youngmen who came first to prominence during the War, and it is significant that they are allanarchists, ?personalists,? and pacifists? (Rexroth xxviii). Henry Miller, a regular contributorto NOW, had introduced the magazine to the Californian cultural scene in the early forties.George Leite founded the little magazine Circle in 1944 as a sister magazine to NOW,115maintaining an anarchist and surrealist focus. Published from Berkeley, Circle featured theverse of Rexroth and other poets involved in what would become the Californian literaryrevolution that gave rise to the Beats. The Beats were also influenced by Black Mountainpoetics through Robert Duncan?s presence in the San Francisco scene. Woodcock spent halfof his 1951 Guggenheim Fellowship in San Francisco, and on a visit to Vancouver in 1956,Alan Ginsberg shared with Woodcock his still unpublished Howl. Woodcock considered it a?noisy non-poem? and ?in spite of the almost symbolic status it took on in the mythology ofAmerican postmodernism? it is ?probably the most overrated poem of the century?(Woodcock, Beyond the Blue Mountains 71). The poetic method outlined in the seminalProjective Verse (1950) by Charles Olson, professor then rector of Black Mountain College,Woodcock considered ?doctrinaire? and he challenged the TISH poets for taking up a leaderand simply emulating his technique (?Of Place and Past?). In 1963, Tallman organized thethree-week Vancouver Poetry Conference, a landmark event in bringing together writers frommajor currents in North American poetry of the sixties. Among those teaching at theconference was Alan Ginsberg, arriving from his lengthy sojourn in India where he hadfamously encouraged the Dalai Lama to try LSD (the suggestion was received in goodhumour but not taken up) (Snyder 82-84). Tallman had arranged for UBC to provide anaround-the-world ticket in exchange for Ginsberg?s participation. Despite Woodcock?s owndisinclination to trends within American poetry, when extreme nationalists attempted to haveWarren Tallman removed from the jury for the Governor-General?s awards for literature in1969, Woodcock vigorously defended Tallman?s involvements in Canadian writing.Woodcock?s cosmopolitan ethics entail ?that petty localism has no place in our assessment ofliterature or any other art?; that writing in the country is not to be evaluated on its?Canadianness, if such a quality can be assessed? (Woodcock, ?Permutations of Politics?5).Frank Davey would come to recognize how TISH had contested, from its ?marginalized?position (Barbour 92), the mythopoesis and centralist politics of Ontarian Cold War poetry and116criticism: ?Tish marks the turning point of British Columbia poetry away from the shadows ofderived, humanistic, Toronto-focused writing and toward the light of its own energies? (qtd. inBarbour 159). As George Bowering would insist in an American periodical, the Canadianpoetry that the TISH group affected, ?is not a branch of U.S. poetry. You will remember thatU.S. poetry was once studied as a branch of British poetry . . . But U.S. poetry became a greatpoetry that came to overshadow British poetry? (Bowering, ?Do you know who the CanadianPoets are? 8). Despite its methodological assertions, early issues of TISH suggest theinfluence Montreal?s Irving Layton had on the group, Canada?s most acclaimed poet of thefifties. Over the course of the journal, Olson?s proprioception overcame the egoism andRomanticism of Layton. But TISH appropriated the elements of American poetics that bestserved the region in which it was produced. Olson had granted to breath the structuralfoundation of his poetics. In the poetics of TISH, language is sound itself. It is in acousticspace that energy is preserved by the poet and transferred to the listener. ?I make the case,?writes Wah, ?for the consonants as beats and the vowels carrying that mellismatic color ? ourlanguage is that real that it does have tones ? essentially collisions of sound? (Tish 23). Ingiving primacy to sound, TISH returns West Coast poetry to the energies of radio.117Chapter 6A Regional Cosmopolitan CanadaI build no system. I ask an end to privilege, the abolition of slavery,equality of rights, and the reign of law. Justice, nothing else.What is Property? An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and ofGovernment (1840)PIERRE-JOSEPH PROUDHONIn the years surrounding his retirement from Canadian Literature in 1977, Woodcock wasconsidered by many to have played a substantial role in the development of Canadianliterature and its study. Al Purdy asserted that Woodcock was ?largely responsible for theregeneration of a country?s literature? (iv). For Peter Hughes, Woodcock ?virtually createdCanadian literature through the journal he founded under that name??a statement printed inMcClelland and Stewart?s New Canadian Library series (49). Robin Skelton proclaimedWoodcock ?a National Treasure and in a properly constituted society his 80th birthday wouldhave been celebrated with the issuing of a postage stamp, the striking of a medal, and a burstof canon fire on Parliament Hill? (?Record of George Woodcock?). Yet from Canadianliterary history of recent decades, one might assume Woodcock?s contribution had been slight,or part and parcel of an inevitable maturation in Canadian culture, as History marchedprogressively forward. The previous chapter articulated Woodcock?s anarchistcosmopolitanism and how it sought to relate Canadian literature to a world cultural118continuum. This chapter examines how Woodcock attempted to shape internal Canadianculture and politics to support Canada?s federal political structure against forces seeking toreconstitute Canada as a nation-state.Canadian Literature sits uneasily within prominent historiographies of English-Canadianliterature as a field of study or is left out altogether. The collection of essays Making it Real(1995) by Robert Lecker seeks to show how an English-Canadian literary canon andnationalist criticism were essentially constructed ex nihilo in a span of approximately twentyyears by publishers and academic critics. Lecker presents a series of historical developmentsthat lead to the institutionalization of a unitary nationalist English-Canadian literature. First,the New Canadian Library series was founded by McClelland and Stewart in 1957 to create anad hoc national literary canon. Then The Literary History of Canada (1965) served to impart?the value of the nation? on the entire history of writing in the country. A landmarkconference comprised of both academics and publishers was held at the University of Calgaryin 1978 to identify the ?most important? Canadian novels, on the basis of what Leckerdescribes as their ?national-referential aesthetic? (27,4). These novels, Lecker argues,?represent nationalist currency through a displaced formal equivalent: mimesis? (37). Thiswas accompanied by the ascendency of nationally-oriented thematic criticism, taught inCanadian schools and universities, to locate the Canadian features in Canadian texts.Woodcock makes a very brief appearance in Making it Real. Lecker acknowledges that thestance Canadian Literature adopted towards the country?s writing does not congeal with thiselitist and nationalist cultural project; that ?Woodcock wanted the study of Canadian literatureto be open to everyone? (Lecker 78). The first editorial of Canadian Literature invitedcontributions from ?independent men and women of letters,? promising not to establish anysingle critical ?clan? (?Editorial?), as Lecker notes. Lecker claims however that thepossibility of Canadian literature becoming publicly driven had already come to an end by1959, the structures of a hegemonic state apparatus for its control already in place.Imre Szeman?s Zones of Instability (2003) gives the postwar construction of Canadian119culture its international and comparativist contextualization. Contending with Diana Brydonthat the status of ?authentic? colonialism should not be withheld from Canada and its history,Szeman finds Canadian literature an anomaly amongst postwar nationalist literatures. InNigeria and the British Caribbean, the postwar novel can be read as actively promoting anational identity, but in Canada during the sixties and seventies, the texts Szeman examines infact appear to undermine the homogenous ?imagined community,? examining and articulatingdifferences within Canadian society, casting ?a surprisingly critical eye on the prospects of aunified, national body, and pay[ing] as much attention to the coexistence of multiple Canadas?(Szeman 162). Szeman follows Lecker in crediting postwar institutional structures for thecreation of a hegemonic nationalist approach to the study of Canadian writing. Szemancontends, however, that ?There is nowhere in Canadian fiction after World War II a nationalliterature that aspires to write the nation into existence? ( 162). Anthologies, histories, andcriticism of Canadian literature sought to produce the nation, not the literature under itsexamination, so that while in Nigeria and the Caribbean ?the nation emerged as a strategy ofwriting, in Canada it can be seen as emerging preeminently as a strategy of reading? (164).The presence of Canadian Literature as an institution assists in accounting for how?anti-national? Canadian literature could rise to prominence during the period. It alsoilluminates the fact, tended to be missed by critics, that early Canadian criticism was notlimited to the nationalistic thematic criticism which ascended into pedagogy during theseventies. In 1960 Woodcock would discourage criticism seeking essential Canadianqualities in what he continued to defend as an independent body of literature:present-day writing in Canada is something more than the product of theremittance men of European traditions, something more than the shadow ofliterature in America . . . to see in it features that are easily and patrioticallyidentifiable, may do some obscure service to political nationalism. It can only dodisservice to literature itself. (Woodcock, ?Summer Thoughts?)120The first issue of Canadian Literature announced its cosmopolitanism in multiple ways. Anarticle by Dwight Macdonald championed Canadian poetry and criticized the Beats. RoyFuller, later Professor of Poetry at Oxford University, and whose verse appeared in the veryfirst issue of NOW, favourably reviews several Canadian poets. There is an advertisement forWoodcock?s book Incas and Other Men (1959) based on travels in Peru, citing glowingreviews by Statesman and Nation and The Sunday Times, presenting the journal?s foundingeditor to its new readers as an ?educated, civilized mind without a trace of arrogance orpretentiousness. Most important of all, he can write? (?Advertisement for ?Incas and OtherMen?? 82). Woodcock?s own piece in the first issue, an evaluation of ?New Biography inCanada,? criticizes the romanticization of Canadian political figures Mackenzie King andComte de Frontenac, while bringing India and its government into the realm of the reader?sconcern in discussing a biography of Nehru.Woodcock?s began writing Canadian literary criticism during his first year in Canada.Through Birney, Woodcock received an invitation in 1949 from John Sutherland to write anessay on Hugh MacLennan for Northern Review. While recognizing MacLennan?scraftsmanship and ?touching sincerity,? Woodcock was critical of the ?strong strain ofnationalist didacticism? in his writing. Woodcock came to appreciate the great influence of acritic within the Canadian literary landscape when MacLennan personally responded to whathe had written: ?MacLennan wrote me a letter of appreciation and explanation. It made meunderstand that I had entered a literary world which, though it was spread over the breadth ofa wide continent, was in fact so small that everything a critic said reverberated? (Beyond theBlue Mountains 5). As editor of Canadian Literature, Woodcock would maintain an openforum while seeking to foster writing unconstrained by the nationalism and conservatism ofCold War ?romantic realism? (?Balancing the Yin and the Yang? 5). By the fifth number ofthe quarterly, Woodcock took aim at the New Canadian Library. ?Many good books with anexperimental flavour deserve a wider public,? so he was ?disappointed by the hesitant andconservative impression which the selection so far evokes? (?Venture on the Verge? 73). The121series had published ?no good dangerous books,? which is why, Woodcock concludes inreviewing its four latest titles, the series still ?is so disappointing; it is more, not lessconservative? (?Venture on the Verge? 74). Until the appearance of Canadian Literature, thesmall group of critics in the field were academics and mainly specialists in English literature.Woodcock sought to develop both the field and a group of Canadian critics, requestingsubmissions from writers new to both critical writing and to Canadian literature. Woodcockwas also successful in obtaining submissions from all the most prominent academic critics ofCanadian writing in the journal?s early years, with the important exception of Frye.A rift between conceptions of English-Canadian literature and criticism had becomeapparent already at the 1955 Kingston conference, ?The Writer, His Media, and the Public.?At Kingston, Smith first introduced his characterization of Canadian literature as essentiallyone of ?eclectic detachment? (Smith, ?Electic Detachment?). The nationalistic rereading Fryegave to The Book of Canadian Poetry in his 1943 review provided a political dimension to thetreatment of Canadian literature that Smith would uphold in abandoning his cosmopolitanversus native distinction. For Daniells, far removed from central Canada?s wartime climateand governmental interventions into culture, the interest in Canadian writing remainedliterary. Already on the flight back to Vancouver from Kingston, Daniells began planning acomparable event for British Columbian writers and critics. The Conference on B.C. Writingwas held at UBC in January 1956 (Djwa 310-12). Woodcock presented his ?View ofCanadian Criticism,? calling for the founding of a journal, and a committee was struck at theclosing session of the conference to lay the groundwork. The creative writing magazinePrism (1959-) arose from recommendations Birney made at the event. UBC PresidentMacKenzie and the Koerner Foundation would agree to provide initial funding for CanadianLiterature, at a time when only a minority believed Canadian writing warranted such anendeavour ( 315-16). In 1958, after the scope of the journal had been decided in consultationwith English Professor Stanley E. Read and university librarians Inglis Bell and NealHarlow?who had been independently contemplating a journal of Canadian studies?Daniells122approached Woodcock with the invitation to edit a journal of Canadian literature. Woodcockwould agree to its exclusively Canadian focus on the condition of editorial freedom, which hewould use creatively to bring world literature to the quarterly.1Daniells was also a member of the editorial committee that began to meet in 1956 todevelop what became the Literary History of Canada (1965), one of the early projects fundedby the Canada Council. The model its nationalist editor Carl F. Klinck adopted as generaleditor, was that of Literary History of the United States (1946), edited by Spiller, Thorpe, andCanby?s, which had a nationalistic political agenda ( 314). Daniells became concerned withthe direction of the project early on, particularly in how Canadian history was to be prioritizedover literary and critical assessment. Klinck took counsel in matters of methodology fromFrye, also an editor, who was intent on treating all of Canadian writing outside the realm ofliterature proper. ?Northrop Frye who has the catholicity of the true scholar,? Smith woulddeclare, ?is able to see the always changing and always developing kaleidoscope of ourliterary history as a single pattern? (Smith, ?Electic Detachment? 11). In his own chapters onthe Confederation Poets, Daniells disregarded Klinck?s editorial guidelines (Djwa 315),approaching poetry of the early Confederation comparatively and in its postcolonial context.He shows that a unique perspective on the Canadian landscape emerged with independence,explaining the divergences and relationships with earlier verse of the English tradition (Klinckand Bailey 191-207, 389-430). In famously claiming all Canadian writing revealed a commonGarrison Mentality, Frye?s Conclusion to LHC would make post-colonialism a spiritualquality that had not been achieved, rather than an actual political event which took place in1867 with Confederation. While ?no Canadian author pulls us away from the Canadiancontext toward the centre of literary experience itself? ( 821-22), Canadian writers have?identified the habits and attitudes of the country? which can be seen to constitute a ?garrisonmentality? ( 849). In a letter written to Klinck before the printing of the revised edition ofLiterary History of Canada, to cover the ?explosion? of writing that took place during the1Robert Reid created the journal?s classic design and Charles Morris of Victoria was selected its printer.123sixties, Daniells suggests that his own campaigning to the general editor for a history ?in theintroductory, critical and appreciative sense,? had failed. He notes his, ?growing distrust ofthe influence of [Frye] upon Can. Lit.? (Daniells, ?Letter from Daniells to Klinck?).The one hundred million dollar endowment of the Canada Council was accessible not onlyto the academics of Literary History of Canada, but also to the country?s artists and writers.In surveying Canadian poetry of the sixties for the 1975 edition of the Literary History ofCanada, Woodcock would trace between 1960 and 1973, ?some 1,125 books of verse?notcounting anthologies?that had been published by Canadian writers in the English language?(Woodcock, ?Poetry? 284). This represented the work of 590 poets, but if younger poetswriting in the ?fugitive little magazines? were also included, ?the total number of poetsactively at work during this period would be nearer to 1,000? (?Poetry? 285). This was a farcry from the ?twenty or so poets? representing Canadian verse at the outset of thedecade:Nowadays poetry is not merely?in number of titles?the most published of allgenres in Canada; it sells more reliably then fiction, and poets, recently derided,have become something very near to culture heroes, especially among the young,so that almost any modestly-known verse-writer can attract to a reading of hiswork enough poetry fanciers to fill reasonably large lectures halls on mostCanadian campuses and most Canadian towns sophisticated enough to possess artgalleries. (?Poetry? 286)In Canada, radio is the cultural medium that emerged, with coast-to-coast train travel, to uniteCanada. In the nationalistic sixties it was a poetry inflected by radio that united Canadianpoets into a Confederation. Acoustic poetry oriented to performance, in a poetics that had?passed through? electronic media, was not conducive to the creation of the homogenousatemporal imagined community of the nation-state dependent on visual space produced byprint.Woodcock was a prolific critic of contemporary Canadian writing during the sixties. New124has located personal ?preferences? in this criticism:He admired MacLennan?s narrative sweep but not what he considered to byMacLennan?s puritanical coyness; he found Callaghan?s moral niceties laboured,a judgement that divided the two writers for many years; he has never warmed toDavies? mythologizing or what he saw as Hodgins?s extravagances; but he praisedLaurence?s social compass, Atwood?s incisive wit, John Glassco?s decadentsatires, Pat Lowther?s integrity. (n. pag. New)Woodcock, however, was not capricious in his criticism, and the basis of these assorted?judgements? lies in his adoption of a critical tradition passing through Orwell and Read.Woodcock finds Orwell?s criticism to be ?pragmatic,? ?descriptive and discriminative,?distrustful of formal and academic methods, ?historical,? ?eminently sociological,? andconcerned with ?the differences in character and outlook? between writers, ?rather than thedifferences in quality, which can never be determined exactly? (Woodcock, Crystal Spirit291-303). This approach of Orwell is constituted by Woodcock as ?moralistic? criticism:?Just as his political doctrines were really moral doctrines in disguise, so, ultimately literaturealso interested him for its moral implications? (Crystal Spirit 303). The function of criticismis to discover the moral positions a text has the reader adopt; the writer?s success is evaluatedin respect to its formal aspects. In Woodcock?s 118-page study of MacLennan?s work, it isthe use of ?stock cliche`s of romanticist fiction??an unnatural deployment of form andtechnique?which reveals, ?MacLennan incapable of dealing with any aspect of sex except inhigh-mindedly sentimental terms? (Hugh MacLennan 66-67). It is Callaghan?s radicallaconicism, his desire to puritanically strip language down to pure statement in his novels thatproduce moral parables without texture?shown, not in itself faulted, by Woodcock?butwhich become unsuccessful when characters are insufficiently distilled in keeping with thisaesthetic strategy (Odysseus Ever Returning 26-35). Atwood?s incisiveness, like her dominantthemes of survival and metamorphosis, arise from a powerful use of metaphor, characterizedonly at the conclusion of Woodcock?s analysis summarily as a ?verbal accuracy? productive125of ?moral sensitivity,? able in Atwood?s poetic world, to ?accept the irrational as truer than therational? (Northern Spring 284). The psychological, the sociological, the philosophical, andthe mythological are invoked in the process of this interdisciplinary criticism?a ?Canadian?criticism as Woodcock asserted in ?A View of Canadian Criticism??which focuses upon theintegral relationship between a text?s form and its moral content.Woodcock was a late addition to the revised LHC?s editorial team. Klinck and Daniellshad shot down Frye?s recommendation of Margaret Atwood for the chapter on poetry (?Letter16 December 1972?). Woodcock?s contribution was well received by the editors, with thesingle common concern his remarks denying Frye?s influence on the mythopoeic poets. Thechapter went to print unaltered after Frye?s approval. Woodcock also takes the opportunity tochampion the non-academic critics of the period LHC did not represent:It has often been said that Frye, as a critic, profoundly influenced themythopoeically inclined Canadian poets of the 1950s, but the case is hard toprove, as is any case for criticism, as such, influencing the imaginative activitiesof the poet. On the other hand, there is no doubt that poetry has influencedcriticism . . . In Canada between 1960 and 1973 not only was there anunprecedented volume of critical writing about our poets (published in essays butalso in books dealing both with general trends and individual authors), but asignificant proportion of the best of this kind of criticism was written by poetsnotably A.J.M. Smith, Mandel, Dudek, Bowering, Atwood, Jones, Daniells,Skelton, and Woodcock. Perhaps appropriately, it was poet-critics whodeveloped most interestingly the mythological insights that came into Canadiancriticism from Sir James Frazer by way of Northrop Frye. (?Poetry? 294)In The Times Literary Supplement, in 1976, Woodcock would explain these Canadiandevelopments as ?poetic participatory democracy? meeting ?literary nationalism?: ?Whathappened in poetry during the 1960s was analogous to the developments in counter-culturalpolitics: a kind of literary nationalism accompanied by a kind of poetic participatory126democracy? (?Of Place and Past?). Woodcock observes that Canadian poets established atrans-Canadian network during the period, while preserving, ?the strong regionalist feelingsthat Canadian geography, its vast distances and differences, induces among contemporaryCanadian poets as much as it does among other artists? (?Of Place and Past?). Livesaydescribes how Canadian Literature played an essential role in forming this network of linksbetween diverse Canadian poets:It was a halcyon time when we believed there could be no more wars.2 A strongfeeling of Canadian nationalism had emerged after the war (as it had done before,after World War I). Book publishing was opening up possibilities for writers andthe CBC was actually paying for stories, poems, plays! The outcome, eventually,was the setting up of two complementary institutions: the Canada Council andCanadian Literature . . . Although the journal Canadian Literature did not in itsfirst decade publish verse, its critical reviews and articles on poetry were avidlysought for, devoured and discussed by those poets whose names have becomeknown through publications in the ?little mags? . . . (n. pag. Livesay, ?Guru?)In discussing the early history of Canadian Literature, New observes how Woodcock helpedmaintain this network of writers through his voluminous personal correspondence and thecritical encouragement he provided to unestablished authors (?George Woodcock, CanadianCritic?).In his editorials, Woodcock sought to represent the interests of Canadian writers, speakingout against the censorship of books and obscenity laws, promoting ?centrifugal? decentralizedpublishing, and announcing other literary magazines founded across Canada during theperiod. As Glenn Deer has rightly observed, Woodcock sought in his editorials ?to establishand maintain a lively critical dialogue on Canadian culture,? demonstrating ?passionateembodiment of the social responsibilities of the literary critic? (8-9). Woodcock would at2Livesay worked for Unesco in Paris in 1959 before teaching in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) between1959 to 1963. She would found Contemporary Verse 2 in 1975.127times adopt the hot voice of radio in using the journal as a franc-tireur tower, from which hesniped at centralist policies and bureaucracy. The CBC was a favourite target, particularly inits disregard for preserving and providing access to Canada?s cultural history. Woodcockcriticized the CBC vociferously in 1972 after discovering that it had destroyed 150 originaltapes, ?which includes the first acting versions of nearly thirty original Canadian plays.?Again he complains that, ?radio drama is a genre with which even scholars are not reallyfamiliar, because radio plays are very rarely published.? Hoping that ?the high officials of theCBC will pause for a while in their obsessive pursuit of ratings,? Woodcock demands thecreation of a complete archive, ?adequately staffed and open to scholars who have up to nowhad very little opportunity to study intensively such interesting forms as the radio drama?(Woodcock, ?Give the Corporation a Compass!? 5). The failure of the Crown Corporation topreserve and make accessible the country?s actual oral, aural, and acoustic, trans-Canadiancultural history, opened the way for the Literary History of Canada to ideologicallyreconstitute Canada?s collective cultural history as print-based, pronouncing on the writings ofdisparate regions and times a common national spirit of fear and weakness, an ?imaginedcommunity? favourable to centralization. The explosion of ?poetic participatory democracy?in the sixties, challenging the structuralism and classical imagery of mythopoeisis, broughtthe orality of radio to the page. In this way, it contributed to a different form of imaginedcommunity.Throughout his tenure as editor of Canadian Literature, Woodcock invited Frye?whohad ceased providing annual poetry reviews to the UTQ in 1959?to contribute. Frye turneddown these requests, only once at length with his first reply of 1962, suggesting that hispresence in the journal might inflate Canadian writers? sense of importance:the critic is a scholar and teacher . . . if he spends more than five per cent of histime and energy on the current Canadian scene he is a rather poor creature. Isuppose your terms of reference prevent you from going outside the Canadianorbit, but I do feel that the international context of all literature today is extremely128important for writers who without the sense of that context tend to get anextremely provincial view of their own importance. (Frye, ?Letter 7 May 1962?)Frye at this time was an internationalist in that he considered European and American writingto meet the criteria of literature proper, while Canadian writing was irredeemably nativist. Apostscript seeks to clarify what Frye meant, implying perhaps, that Woodcock has openedhimself to his own charge against the ?special treatment? of Canadian criticism in 1954 inediting a journal dedicated to Canadian writing alone:The phrasing of that last sentence didn?t work out properly: I don?t meanCanadian writers are conceited and self-important: I mean that a purely Canadiancontext for a Canadian writer is unreal. All through the ten years that I waswriting the UTQ poetry reviews I was conscious of the tension in criticalstandards between what was relevant to actual criticism and what was relevant topresenting Canadian poets to a Canadian audience. This tension grew to the pointof being extremely uncomfortable: for the last year or so I felt trapped in apseudo-critical problem. I don?t know how much sense all of this makes. (?Letter7 May 1962?)With a final failed attempt to extract a contribution from Frye for Canadian Literature,Woodcock writes to him in January 1974:Still, I cannot help feeling sad that what may well have been the last excuse Ishall have to tempt the best critic in Canada into writing in Canadian Literatureshould have failed. As, after fifteen years, I realize I shall soon have to give upthe editorship of Canadian Literature for someone fresher to take my place, theredoes seem a great ?voting of the feet,? a great judgment on all one has attempted,in the fact that you alone among the good critics of Canada should never haveappeared except in the small valedictory tribute to Ned Pratt. Perhaps I shouldnot be saying this, and certainly I do not expect an answer. But there aremoments when Godwinian sincerity breaks out and cannot be restrained.129(Woodcock, ?Letter 7 January 1974?)In 1976, near the end of his editorship at Canadian Literature, Woodcock could declare thatCanadian writing now exhibits a ?pride of place and past,? a regional patriotism for?experience intensely lived and understood,? that has produced ?mythology characterized byan almost chthonian attachment to the solid earth and flesh of here and then, memoryincarnated into myth? (?Pride of Place and Past? 3). Woodcock would thus criticize thereigning thematic criticism for obscuring what was particular about contemporary Canadianwriting (?Pride of Place and Past? 2). Woodcock redeploys Read?s term for Surrealism indescribing the aesthetic of the new Canadian literature which thematic critics fail to capture intheir implicit attachment to the simplistic didacticism of the forties and fifties:this, I think, has led them to pay less than sufficient attention to the way in whichCanadian geography and history are being used by our writers symbolically yet atthe same time almost super-realistically to create a mythology very different fromthat developed by verse-writers in the 1940?s . . . (?Pride of Place and Past? 2)Woodcock saw Canadian literature during the long counter-cultural sixties as a phase ofpostcolonial growth, when the ?place and past? of the region, Canadian geography andhistory, needed to be established. After departing from Canadian Literature, he would statethat the next phase of cultural life in his own British Columbia would become increasinglytranspacific, during when ?growing contact with the Asian world will synthesize its Pacificand North American loyalties, as the loyalty to Britain implied in its name becomes asentimental one, a matter of history rather than actuality? (British Columbia: a History of theProvince 269). A Canadian literature had been attained so other cultural winds could freelyblow within it. Woodcock believed Canadian writing throughout its entire history is devoid ofutopias. This is because the country?s inhabitants set out to build them: ?in Europe mendreamed of utopias, but in North America they set about creating them as concrete entities,and often succeeded in sustaining them for generations, which did not happen in the urbanpressures of Europe? (?An Absence of Utopias? 4). In championing writing that incarnated130lost histories of place in the modern urbanized present?as Woodcock argued the novels ofLaurence did preeminently?the ?original human environments? of Canada returns to thepresent, reasserting the country as a diverse confederation of independent regions shaped andreshaped by the social imagination towards increasing freedom. It is the ?unobtrusivecultivation of concrete freedoms (as distinct from abstract liberties) which characterizes theCanadian? (Canada and the Canadians).In their critique of ?Ontario imperialism masquerading as Federalism? (Gabriel Dumont19), Woodcock?s documentary-dramas examining Me?tis rebellion de-romanticize Canadianhistory and challenge the ascendant nationalism of the sixties. Six Dry Cakes for the Huntedis a documentary-drama produced in 1975 by Don Mowatt in Vancouver, the one CBCproducer of the time carrying on the experimental documentary work in radio of Canadiancomposer Glenn Gould (Fink, ?Radio Drama? 934). Through his engagement withMcLuhan?s work, Gould had introduced the layering of voices and other non-lineal acoustictechniques into his sound documentaries (Cavell, McLuhan in Space 164-66). Woodcock?splay is an account of the failed North-West Rebellion from the perspective of GabrielDumont, adjunct general of the Me?tis under the leadership of Louis Riel. Merrill Denisonwas the first radio dramatist to treat Me?tis rebellion, in Seven Oaks, part of the Romance ofCanada series. The Canadian National Railways Magazine in 1931 reports that 170descendants of the Selkirk settlers and Me?tis were brought together at the Fort Garry hotel inWinnipeg to listen to the play, ?carried across the Dominion by the Canadian NationalRailways? broadcast hook-up.? The President of the CNR sent a telegram to the audienceduring the broadcast, and the audience replied in thanks afterwards, ?delighted with theentertainment.? In its glorification of the settlers, the article shows how the romanticization ofthe event by Denison could affect attitudes towards Canadian history:The Fort Garry Hotel was a fitting meeting place . . . Old Fort Garry presented awarlike front to the open prairie and the terrors of Indian and rebel halfbreed. Itwas on this spot that Louis Riel first found his power of leadership and it was here131that the crafty son of the old ?Miller of the Seine? ordered the young ThomasScott to be shot, thus precipitating the rebellion of ?85. (Edward)Woodcock?s treatment of the Me?tis rebellion challenges this English-Canadian aural history.The play incorporates Me?tis music and more acoustic elements to create scenes than didWoodcock?s plays of the sixties. Prior to writing the script, Woodcock wrote the firstbiography of Dumont, Gabriel Dumont: The Me?tis Chief and His Lost World (1975). Hewould go on to translate the massive two-volume ?The Me?tis in the Canadian West? (1986) byFrench anthropologist Marcel Giraud, a project which took Woodcock three years. In short,Woodcock was an expert in Me?tis history. The play is rich in historical detail that works forradio, but proved a disaster, Woodcock recounts, when the play was eventually brought to thestage. The dramatic action is minimal and largely effected through sound.The play begins in the United States and unfolds as a recounting of the Rebellion by theexiled Dumont. The illiterate Dumont was a gifted linguist, speaking six languages, andWoodcock recreates his style of oration from existing transcripts. In its complete absence ofgrandeur and boasting, Dumont?s oral epic does not echo the heroes of Homer:Our fathers were French, our mothers were Indian. We though we were both, butin fact we were neither, and our lives were crushed in the gap between. We calledourselves a nation, but the world did not, because the world is not interested inlittle peoples. Why should you be, Monsieur le Commandant?The play contrasts Louis Riel, religious and utopian, with the guerrilla military strategistDumont, direct, a person of action:RIELGod will give us the sign, Gabriel. He will tell us how to act, and when.DUMONT:God works through men, Louis. On the buffalo hunt we never waited for thegame to search us out. We sought them, and God blessed our diligence.RIEL:132What do we need that God has not provided?DUMONT:More men. More arms. More ammunition. And more deeds.Riel?s faith in providence dooms the Rebellion. Whereas he chooses surrender andmartyrdom, Dumont chooses survival and exile. Woodcock had also written a radio play onRiel in 1967, Defender of the Past, the title expressing the view Woodcock ?always held ofRiel.? Woodcock wrote the play for the centennial as a way of opposing nationalsentiment:to counter in some way the kind of blind complacency that marked and marredthe patriotic face we were expected to wear in that year. If others werecelebrating Sir John A., I preferred to celebrate his most notable victim, and todraw attention to the crimes against individuals and minorities that were part ofthe fabric from which the union of Canada, like almost every other major politicalachievement of its kind, was constructed. I gave Dumont?not Riel?the lastwords in the play; my own feelings spoke through them.They will hang him. They dare not let him live.But they will not escape his shadowdarkening across their future.(Woodcock, Gabriel Dumont 8)In Gabriel Dumont, Woodcock reflects on why Dumont, a hero in the classical sense, hadbeen ignored by Canadian writers for countless dramatic treatments of Riel, the martyr. It isbecause Canadians ?distrust heroes,? Woodcock suggests, but martyrs should be regardedwith similar suspicion:But why, rejecting the heroes, do we identify so easily with the martyrs who,though they may be imposed upon, impose on us in their turn as much as theheroes do, but in different ways: by their weakness rather than their strength, by akind of resigned and destined obstinacy rather than by a wilful courage? Both133heroes and martyrs succeed?even if they die in the achievement?through theirpower of shaming other men, of making them lose face with themselves, and thatis an irrational appeal which can lead to totally negative ends, which can be and isexploited. ?The bloom of the martyrs is the seed of the Church? is a statement notonly about faith, but also about power. And Riel?s body was hardly cold off thegallows before his martyrdom was being used for the ends of power of Canadianpoliticians like Honore? Mercier. (Gabriel Dumont 10)In mythologizing the prairie?s lost world through Dumont, Six Dry Cakes makes it difficult forthe listener to impose her own world onto the Me?tis. The focus remains on the world of apeople brought to an end by a Canadian imperialism moving westward. Woodcock also usesthe play to critique the Cold War Canadian psychography, as he did in earlier plays such asMaskerman:direct people like Dumont embarrass us with the unspoken demand that weimitate their strengths or their virtues. Riel was more devious, with deeperambiguities of intent; he belongs to a world more like our own, more conscious oftwilight than of dawn. He seems the personification of a besieged minority andmost Canadians see themselves as members of besieged minorities. (GabrielDumont 14)Writing in the mid-seventies for the Times Literary Supplement, reporting to the literaryworld he departed twenty-five years before on the current literature of his readopted country,Woodcock registers his lament for a political federation in the emerging era of globalizationand neo-nationalism: ?Often one feels that if a true federalism survives anywhere in Canada,it does so among the artists with their intense local loyalties and their countrywide links? (?OfPlace and Past? 575). Woodcock would continue to insist, as he does in 1981, that Canada is?not a unitary nation. We are in cultural terms, as we should be in political terms, aconfederation of regions? (Meeting 38). On Woodcock?s analysis, Pierre Eliot Trudeauembraced federalism in the mid-sixties as he manoeuvred into Liberal leadership, then134abandoned it once in office to reassert centralist government in the tradition of Sir John A.Macdonald (Confederation Betrayed! 7-11). Woodcock had placed hopes in Trudeau,admiring his confederationist political writings of the sixties. In 1969 Woodcock speaksenthusiastically about the ?extraordinary shift? in the country?s politics following Expo67:precipitated when the Liberal Party chose for its leader an eccentric and attractiveFrench-Canadian intellectual, and so placed itself at the head of a movement thatunited the alienated young and those of all ages discontented with restrictive andpuritanical outlooks. In the election that followed, in June 1968, Pierre ElliottTrudeau was swept to power by a majority not only in Ontario and WesternCanada, but also among those French Canadians whose loyalty to Confederationhad so shortly before seemed in the extremest doubt. (Canada and the Canadians18-19)Woodcock was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1951 to write what becamePierre-Joseph Proudhon (1956), the first intellectual biography in English of the Frenchtheorist of confederation. In discussing Trudeau?s shift to centralism, Woodcock citesProudhon?s experience in parliament after elected to the French National Assembly.Proudhon observed how he lost touch with the interests and world of the people he sought torepresent because of the isolation created in the bubble of parliamentary life (ConfederationBetrayed! 39).3 Harold Innis had written in 1923 that, ?Western Canada has paid for thedevelopment of Canadian nationality, and it would appear that it must continue to pay. Theacquisitiveness of eastern Canada shows little sign of abatement? (294). Woodcock believedTrudeau treated the West and its people ?as enemies,? because he knew nothing about that partof the country (Confederation Betrayed! 240). It was during the era of Trudeau as Prime3While it is true that the ideas of Proudhon had circulation within global flows of the nineteenth century, andthat his influence on the Paris Commune of 1871 was ?immeasurably? greater than that of Marx, as Woodcockpoints out in Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, there is no scholarly evidence to suggest his theoretical revitalization offederalism affected the drafting of the British North America Act in 1864.135Minister that the Canada Council became compromised in Woodcock?s analysis, reflecting thecentralism of Trudeau (Strange Bedfellows 62).In the wake of the October Crisis of 1970, during which Trudeau invoked the WarMeasures Act, Woodcock wrote an article published in The Canadian Forum entitled ?A Pleafor the Anti-Nation.? ?We are already living,? Woodcock suggests, ?at the beginning of whatNorthrop Frye has called the post-nationalist age (in McLuhan?s dim perception, the globalvillage)? (Nelles, Rotstein, and Woodcock 6). Woodcock contends that federalism is the formof political organization best suited to the new realities of this age, giving Canada a head startover most other countries:Central to the whole conception of a post-national world is that of federalism, andhere Canada has the kind of start that an ill-considered exercise in centralizationwould merely ruin. Already, in name, Canada is a federation, not a nation, andthis fact, which has survived the efforts of centralizers ever since the days of SirJohn A. Macdonald, reflects a realization of our country?s destiny, to which,almost against their wills, the Fathers of Confederation had to bow. ( 6-7)Confederation is the political entailment of Woodcock?s regional cosmopolitanism, to support?a society open within itself because it is fully participatory, and open towards the world,inclusive and not exclusive; a society which other countries, under the spur of disaster, mayfind an example worth the imitation? ( 7). Such a society involves changes in how politics areconducted so as to facilitate participatory and cooperative citizenship:Today we conduct political life by means of coercion and confrontation. In apost-national world we shall have to conduct it by co-operation, consensus, andparticipation, and to devise the means to make this possible involves a profoundreconsideration of political structures and political goals alike. ( 6)In his book The Monk and His Message: Undermining the Myth of History, Woodcockdefends ??impossible? proposals.? He observes that the Tibetans had lived peaceably withanimals prior to the invasion, and on accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, the Dalai Lama made136an ?impossible? suggestion to transform Tibet into ?a Zone of Ahimsa? to restore thatharmony (Woodcock, Undermining History 5-10). Shortly after, a vast area of wildlife habitatin far northern Tibet was discovered unspoiled and an international agreement was signed toprotect it (Undermining History 8). Woodcock perceives impossibility to depend on a falsereification of History in the interest of political control:I have brought forward the Dalai Lama and his ?impossible? proposal with abroader intent: to challenge the historical assumptions under which we havetended to live for many centuries, and especially the assumption that outsidewritten history, which is the selective recording of actual events, there exists ashaping force with its own laws that is called History (with a capital H) and thathas been invoked by totalitarians everywhere. (Undermining History 9)A journal of Canadian literature was an ?impossible? proposal within Cold War constraintspromotive of literary History. Woodcock?s article in the Canadian Forum is also an?impossible? proposal. A confederate Canada is advocated to foster ?pollution control and forthe intelligent use of the world?s resources.? Canada must be a place where people, cultures,and institutions may create themselves without imposition from the ?power-hunger temperedby self-delusion??Woodcock quotes Orwell?that defines nationalism (Nelles, Rotstein, andWoodcock 6). Woodcock demands ?that we abandon the image of the pyramid in thinking ofsociety and substitute that of a mosaic? ( 7), a perspective on Canada first advocated in thethirties by John Murray Gibbon, defender of decentralized radio. Woodcock rejects, citingProudhon, any formal constitution, ?for the society of the future must be based on voluntarydecisions, and hence it must be liable to perpetual revision. This means a more varied andflexible kind of social and political organization than we have yet known? ( 8). As the articleis of the sort that opens itself up to debate, the editors of Canadian Forum, Viv Nelles andAbraham Rotstein, circulated the essay to numerous political thinkers in Canada for theirassessments. The editors received eleven responses and published them with Woodcock?s asthe book Nationalism or Local Control (1972).137The political structure Woodcock advocates is one in which Canada becomes comprisedof ?free cities . . . of provincial status, and the devolution of the provinces into federations ofregions determined by geographical and economic interests? ( 9). This would foster ?ruralnuclei of activity? that might slow metropolitan growth and restore a balance between townand country. True federalism Woodcock suggests, in keeping with Proudhon, involves aneconomics in which a community of producers control their means of work but not thedestination of their product. The model of public decision-making within this structureminimizes remote control, so that rural and small town interests cannot dictate policies in thecities, which readily occurs with provincial governments, while maximizing responsibilitythrough participation and democratic initiative:any decision of any kind that affects only a local group must be reached by thatgroup alone, and by consensus if possible. District and regional boards wouldconsist of elected delegates, subject to immediate recall if they acted against theobvious wishes of their constituents. Beyond that level, provincial and federalassemblies would be elevated under similar provisions, which should greatly trimthe arrogance of political leaders, and, to ensure the prompt response to rapidlychanging social needs that is essential in our era, the referendum and the initiativewould be brought into all levels of government. ( 9)Woodcock concedes that a fully federated Canada will result in lower material prosperity forthe wealthy. But the unsustainable and ?steady depletion of the world?s resources?necessitates an economics that produces equity, participation, and job satisfaction. Woodcocklooks to technology ?for the simplification rather than complication of production, for thereduction in size of manufacturing units and power grids, for the recycling of materials and theuse of renewable forms of energy? ( 10). Federalism does not limit its conception of progress,as socialism and communism do, to increasing wealth for increasing numbers of people.Rather than systematically imputing its own understanding of the good as materialism ontoassorted peoples in differing geographies, federalism admits to social and cultural differences138within large geographical areas, for it arises from a mutual interest for alliance to preserverespective self-determinations under threat of external imperial forces.The Confederation in 1867, Woodcock shows in Canada and the Canadians, resultedfrom the alliance of very different Canadas that shared a common interest, resistant tobecoming part of the United States or be ruled by Britain. As a political ideal it came aboutthrough discourse between the regions of Canada and was inevitably conceded to by thecentralist Sir John A. Macdonald who himself had desired a legislative union upon which tobase a ?Kingdom of Canada? (Woodcock, Canada and the Canadians 129-136). It is thelingering Victorianism of Macdonald on Woodcock?s view that has hindered progress towardscomplete federalism in Canada, resulting in the historical antagonisms between central andprovincial Canadian governments:Ideally, the federal form is doubtless the best of all administrative patterns,particularly for a large country, but there is much truth in the anarchist contentionthat it will be ultimately successful only when the central government is reducedto a coordinating committee between autonomous regions. All confederationswhich have attempted to balance strong central power against effective localpower have experienced recurrent strife between the different levels of authority.(Canada and the Canadians 141)Amongst the responses to Woodcock?s ?Plea,? Desmond Morton and D.I. Davies express theirown reservations regarding nationalism without endorsing Woodcock?s proposal. ChristianBay advocates internationalism while Norman Ward and George Rawlyk express moretraditional regionalist positions. Several socialists are represented, such as New DemocratParty Leader Ed Broadbent, sympathetic to Woodcock?s concerns, but advocating acombination of local autonomy and increased state power. A variety of nationalistarrangements are also proposed. In the contexts of an emerging globalization and theproliferation of new nationalisms, Woodcock?s confederated regional cosmopolitanism,entailing an environmentalism ahead of its time, thus had ?apparently few enthusiastic139adherents among our contributors,? Nelles and Rotstein note in their introduction to thecollection (vii).Woodcock would later argue that the establishment of confederate Canada?itself a wordof the First Nations?followed the North American precedents set by the Confederation ofIroquois tribes and the Blackfoot Confederacy of the Plains, which were ?essentially systemsof participatory democracy?:The tribes of the Blackfoot Confederacy would usually meet each summer in acommon camp on the western plains, and there, matters of commoninterest?usually mutual defence and shared raiding enterprises?would bediscussed without obligation on any side; there was never, so far as I have beenable to ascertain, any permanent council of the Blackfoot Confederacy. TheIroquois tribes during their pre-Canadian period did have a common council ofsachems, in whose selection the women, whose influence derived from theircontrol of agriculture, played a great role; but this council did not interfere in theinternal affairs of the tribes, so that it remained the co-ordinating body of a trueconfederation rather than the government of the state. It seems to me that thishistory of anarchic and federalist organization, based on the negation ofcentralized political authority, gives the Indians a position of special advantage inthe modern world?once they can gain the economic basis of a fair landsettlement. Then they will be in a marvellous position to reculer pour mieuxsauter, to draw on the lessons of their own past to help them rebuild theirsocieties. We, the others, might learn a great deal about ways to solve our ownproblems by watching them. They have developed more political sophistication,and groups like the Inuit and the Dene, so disunited before, now considerthemselves ?nations,? though by this they do not mean ?nation-states? but groupsof people with their own languages, land, and traditions. There is no Indian?nation? because the variety of native traditions leaves no room for one, and no140thought of an ?Indian? state exists. The aims of native people today lean rathertowards establishing a number of small self-governing sovereignties with federallinks with the rest of Canada. And why not, since Canada?s destiny is surely aconfederal one in need of experimental social and political forms? (Finkel andWoodcock 13)Critical rapprochements with McLuhan in recent decades have shown that rather than thetechnological determinist many early theorists dismissed him as, McLuhan?s work entails aprocessive post-Marxian dialectic as Paul Grosswiler has argued in The Method is theMessage (1998), seeking agency for all members of society conceived as actors and artists.As Richard Cavell has demonstrated in McLuhan in Space (2002), McLuhan believed asociety understanding of media and its effects is capable of reprogramming psychogeographywhere ?virtual space and physical space are fused as mythic form,? as Janine Marchessaultexplains (213). McLuhan conceived Canada, with its ?low-profile identity? constituted by?multiple borderlines??unwalled ?resonating intervals? productively interfacing betweendifferences?as an exemplary social structure for the post-national electronic age (McLuhan,?Canada: The Borderline Case? 246-248). McLuhan?s work suggests a geographicallysituated cosmopolitanism of diversity, rather than one of universality (Cavell, ?McLuhan?s?Borderline Case? Revisited? 45). It is from this perspective that McLuhan?s efforts toinfluence Trudeau must be approached. McLuhan, like Woodcock, was a supporter ofTrudeau in 1968, and in his first letter to the new Prime Minister, advocates a flexible?mosaic? and ?probing? style of politics rather than one of ?fixed positions? and ?targets.?McLuhan explains that Canada had a key advantage in the electric age for not havingparticipated in Europe?s 19th century with its mechanical orientation (?Letter to Trudeau 16April 1968? 351). In his collections of essays The Century that Made Us: Canada 1814-1914(1989), Woodcock argues complementarily that the internal tensions Canada experienced andgrappled with during the nineteenth century helped create a different sort of nation. Freefrom the authoritarian approaches of Europe, Canadians were able and compelled to develop a141flexible society accepting of difference, one which could successfully convert radicalrebellions into practical reforms.Later in 1968, McLuhan would begin advising Trudeau on how to use the media to hisadvantage, while asserting the necessity for political ?decentralism?:Canada is the only country in the world that has never had a national identity. Inan age when all homogenous nations are losing their identity images throughrapid technological change, Canada alone can ?keep its cool.? We have neverbeen committed to a single course or goal. This is now our greatest asset.(?Letter to Trudeau 2 December 1968? 359)The phrase ?participatory democracy? was a highly successful campaign slogan of Trudeau,as Frye explains in 1968, for ?this was instantly what the Canadian public knew that it wanted.Whether it gets it from Trudeau is another matter? (Frye and O?Grady 94). In the context ofescalating attacks of the Front de libe?ration du Que`bec, leading up to the October crisis of1970, McLuhan would caution Trudeau that ?any conventional bureaucracy becomes a policestate when speeded up by a new technology?; that existing ?political structures become?works of art? as they are scrapped by new technology? (?Letter to PM Office 2 March 1970?401). As an alternative to regressing towards a police state, McLuhan suggests a program thatwould involve people more directly in their tribalized corporate world, to address the ?learnedignorance? and ?trained incapacity? that ?flourishes as never before in our bureaucraticsociety? (McLuhan, ?Letter to PM Office 2 March 1970? 401). It is no longer possible toprevent people from directly participating in their corporate environment, and enabling theirinvolvement, McLuhan argues, is the appropriate solution. The planet has become ?a globaltheatre with the audience as actor. Hence the new politics of ?unrest?. The public has nointention of remaining in the spectator role? (?Letter to PM Office 2 March 1970? 402).O?Grady has noted the shifting cultural importance Frye grants the nation, theinternational, and the region over the course of his career. In ?Canada and Its Poetry,? the1943 review of Smith?s Anthology, it was the nation that was the right unit for culture:142The province or region . . . is usually a vestigial curiosity to be written up bysome nostalgic tourist. The imperial and the regional are both inherentlyanti-poetic environments, yet they go hand in hand; and together they make upwhat I call the colonial in Canadian life. (Frye, ?Canada and its Poetry? 29)During the sixties, Frye?s writing appears to advocate a cosmopolitan internationalism.O?Grady draws attention to the 1966 essay ?Design as a Creative Principle in the Arts,? whichconceives all culture in the electronic age to originate from major centres?rather thanemanating from the margins as McLuhan argued in ?Canada: A Borderline Case.? Fryewrites in his ?Conclusion? to LHC: ?There are no provinces in the empire of aeroplane andtelevision, and no physical separation from the centres of culture, such as they are.Sensibility is no longer dependent on a specific environment or even on sense experienceitself? (?Conclusion? 822). He foresees in this world an aesthetics of pure imaginativestructure. The ?poetry of the future,? as the poems of Pratt hint, is that in which ?physicalnature has retreated? and ?only individual and society are left as effective factors in theimagination? (?Conclusion? 848). The later Frye would acknowledge that a Canadianliterature had come into existence: ?there is such a thing as Canadian literature now?(?Communications? 594); a ?growing recognition,? as he puts it in a 1980 interview, ?ofCanadian literature outside Canada, and a growing response to it which I find almostmiraculous. I don?t understand what people on the continent of Europe get out of Canadianliterature? (A World in a Grain of Sand 183). Frye would also join the majority in the ?votingof the feet? by claiming that this Canadian literature was regional and decentralized. In 1980,Frye states that ?regionalism and literary maturity seem to grow together.? Woodcock ismentioned in a disconnected way:In his book Odysseus Ever Returning George Woodcock quotes a review by OscarWilde in which Wilde praises an American writer for being concerned with theliterature he loves rather than the country in which he lives, adding ?the Musescare so little for geography.? . . . But the last comment seems to me dead wrong.143No Muse can function outside human space and time, that is, outside geographyand history. (Frye, O?Grady, and Staines, Northrop Frye on Canada 552)Again in 1981, Frye expresses his view of a decentralized Canadian literature. The meetingof time and space is conceived as a law of maturation that is in keeping with Frye?s model ofcultural development derived early in his academic career from the work of OswaldSpengler:The Canadian critic George Woodcock, reviewing English Canadian poetry forthe decade 1960-1970, found himself confronted with a thousand volumes,exclusive of anthologies . . . Much of this increase is a by-product of a sociallydecentralizing movement, especially in fiction. As one previously inarticulateregion after another has formed an orbit for the imagination, we discover that?Canada,? culturally speaking, is really an aggregate of smaller areas stretchingfrom Vancouver Island to the Avalon peninsula in Newfoundland. Here Canadahas followed the rhythm of American literature, which has always been stronglyregional. It seems to be a law of literature that the more strictly limited itsenvironment is, the more universal its appeal. (Northrop Frye on Canada 149)Frye?s incipient decentralism is first apparent in 1968. Consulted by the research arm ofthe newly formed Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Fryeperceives a connection between anarchism and Canada in an advocation for localized anddecentralized radio and television in the country. During Canada?s Centennial the yearbefore, Paul Goodman who began his career publishing in NOW, gave the CBC Masseylectures published as Like a Conquered Province, advocating Canada?s uniquedecentralization as a challenge to the ?moral ambiguity? of America. In the recordedconversation with Andre? Martin and Rodrigue Chiasson, Frye argues that the Canada of the?two solitudes? is an inherently anarchist country:Thirty years ago the great radical movement was international Communism,which took no hold in Canada at all . . . The radical movement of our time is144anarchist and that means that it?s local and separate and breaks down into smallunits. That?s our tradition and that?s our genius. Think of Toronto or Montreal. . . after the Second World War, we took in displaced persons from Europe tosomething like one-quarter to one-fifth of the population. . . . Because Canada isnaturally anarchist, these people settled down into their own communities; theywork with other communities and the whole pattern of life fits it. I do think wehave to keep a very wide open and sympathetic eye towards radical movements inCanada, because they will be of an anarchist kind and they will be of a kind ofenergy that we could help liberate . . . the ideal of anarchism is not the shellfish,the carapace, the enclosed, isolated group. It?s rather the self-contained groupthat feels itself a community and because it?s a community it can enter intorelations with others. (Frye and O?Grady 92-93)The confused response Frye received from the term ?anarchist? likely discouraged himfrom using it again. Woodcock would conceive this Canadian ?genius? as not ?ours,? butoriginating with the First Nations peoples who settled the continent. Europeans had dependedon learning from Aboriginal peoples from their very arrival. In his geographical history ofCanada Canada and the Canadians, written in the late sixties, Woodcock shows howEuropean settlement into Canada hinged crucially on the hospitality of Aboriginal peoplesand the techniques that had been developed to integrate into Canada?s challenginggeographies. It was only by imitating the practices of the First Nations, ?by borrowing andadapting their inventions? (Woodcock, Canada and the Canadians 62), that the coureur debois and the voyageurs were able to undertake exploration, hunting, and trade:Debate swirls around the question of federation and the status of Quebec and onehears constantly the phrases ?founding races? and ?founding peoples?. To thestranger?s surprise, these are not Indians and Eskimos, but French and English.The people who laid the real foundations of human existence on the NorthAmerican continent are referred to as ?native peoples?. The implications of this145distinction are that the Indians and the Eskimos merely occupied the land, as thebuffalo and the cariboo did. The building of a civilization and of a nation was theachievement of those who came afterwards. (Canada and the Canadians 63)For Woodcock, the betrayal of the Canadian Confederation began well before Trudeau.146Chapter 7ConclusionThe regionalist and cosmopolitan dimensions of Woodcock?s work started to take shape inthe thirties and forties, within currents outside the dominant strains of Leftist modernism andsocialism. Through his pacifism, Woodcock became an anarchist, adopting Read?sphilosophy of art. The regional dimension of his thought, as we have seen, is partly indebtedto the epistemological realism that accompanied British modernist art and poetics. It is aphilosophy in which the world produces beliefs, as the prairies themselves determined theform of Hulme?s imagism. To this Woodcock added the sociopolitical dimension of history,the past critiquing and integrating the present through its artistic remediation. This was arecasting of the Surrealist inheritance of Woodcock aesthetics. He maintained an interest inancient cultures as having sociopolitical import for the modern world, but would come tochallenge the primitivism and Romanticism associated with this anti-imperialist perspective.Romantic or symbolic impositions of meaning to the artefacts of another culture, as the radiodrama The Island of Demons suggests, are rejected by Woodcock as an act of imperialde-culturation. In ?the meeting of time and place? he proposed a deromanticized aesthetic forCanadian literature to empower the surrealist imagination for regional and confederate ends.His own travel writing participated in the post-Surrealist development of psychogeography.Woodcock?s regionalist perspective and his cosmopolitanism were deepened through an147attention to history he had learned from Kropotkin. As Anderson has observed, Kropotkinand the nineteenth-century anarchists involved with Freedom Press had unprecedentedmobility and global engagement, and this was reflected in Woodcock?s NOW and WarCommentary which had transoceanic distribution and reflected sociopolitical concernsextending beyond the London milieu. NOW was crucial to the global fusion of anarchism andthe arts that contributed to the rise of sixties? counter-culture.The idea of cultural exchange fostering world peace was globally institutionalized in aparticular form after the horrors of WW2. While rejecting the artistic utopia and theuniversalism it entailed, Woodcock would uphold Read?s understanding of the dialecticalrelationship between art and society in seeking to theorize the emergence of a postcolonialCanadian culture. With Orwell, Woodcock grants art a moral purpose, finding through hiscriticism the specific ways in which literature affects the attitudes and behaviour of a society.In the temporal and geographical specificity of its content, art is able to resound beyond itsown region, and Woodcock succeeded in helping shift Canadian literature towards greaterdemocratization in introducing this regional cosmopolitanism to the Canadian culturallandscape at a decisive moment. Woodcock?s regional cosmopolitanism became elaboratedand de-universalized through interdisciplinary study of societies and their cultures, first inAsia. Intercultural exchange involves a dialectical and active process of learning: a poetics, aphilosophical idea, the understanding of an artistic work, a scientific theory, undergotransformation in the spacetime of another region. Woodcock?s work shows that thecosmopolitanism of culture, its mobility, is what produces healthy societies capable ofresponding to global dynamics. This is a departure from Read insofar as the static exchangeof meanings through archetype and the ?universal? unconscious is rejected.In Canada, Woodcock regionalized his language. He took to the radio to challenge theCanadian cold war psychography, a psychogeography he believed to be infected by Europeanimperialism, attempting to instil a consciousness of responsibility and political critique. Asan early critic of Canadian literature, he challenged nationalistic didacticism and moral148prudery as lingering elements of the Victorian age. In editing Canadian Literature he soughtto define the study of Canadian writing through a cosmopolitan and interdisciplinarycriticism, eschewing nationalistic thematics and the formalism of New Criticism. Indeveloping a postcolonial Canadian literature, he championed socially and historicallyengaged writing of the Canadian region, believing that work eliding its own environment wascolonialist. His ethics encouraged the influx of new cultural trends, even those that did notpersonally appeal. As editor of the journal, he spoke out against political impositions thatwould curtail a writer?s freedom, and promoted regional federation of Canadian arts andliterature. Woodcock challenged the centralist efforts of the Canadian government toreinforce the nation-state through the institutionalization of national culture, and sought togive the Canadian public its actual cultural history, through his own historical writings and indemands of the CBC to provide open access. The cultural future of British Columbia,Woodcock asserted, lay in both its Asian and North American loyalties, a place where artbecomes neither East nor West.His normative region-to-region cosmopolitan engagements in Asia, beginning with therelationship he formed with the Dalai Lama, led to the establishment of Vancouver affinitygroups that provide material support to exiled Tibetans and Indian villagers whose plightunder the caste system had not been improved with national independence. His culturalactivities in India, where modernist writers were already developing a postcolonial literature,would lend support to the regionalist cosmopolitanism he sought out for Canada. Hisregionalism did not reject national-level policies in support of the arts, providedadministration of funds was entirely to facilitate the intentions of the artist herself. Hopes thatthe culture of difference and dynamic unity he saw developing during the sixties would lead topolitical changes were disappointed, and Woodcock considered the centralizing efforts of theTrudeau government a betrayal of confederation. His dramatic writing of this period soughtto show how the imperialism of one Canadian region destroyed the organic societies of others.He suggested that the First Nations of Canada might offer more sophisticated political models149for the integration of Canadian society and its regions in a post-national age, once they haveachieved their full and rightful independence. He encouraged Ottawa politicians to devolvepower to the regions and to their cities to foster greater civic participation and environmentalresponsibility. Woodcock advocated a regional patriotism, productive of care for one?senvironment, its inhabitants, and the restitution and negotiation of local history. A patrioticregionalism extends into active concern for the planet as a whole by restoring an innate senseof responsibility at the regional level.In its regionalism, derived from anarchist geography and epistemological realism,Woodcock?s cosmopolitanism differs from all ?adjectival cosmopolitanisms? arising from thephilosophical tradition of idealism passing through Kant and Hegel. It rejects any conceptionof culture as a conceptual scheme somehow separate from society. It also spurns the romanticconcept of ?nature? as something separate from society and art. For Woodcock, culture itselfis the endless interplay of traditions within a specific region. Regional cosmopolitanism thusrejects multiculturalism insofar as that model implies static cultures separate from one anotherin a homogenous space and disengaged from dialectic relations to social development. 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