Gerald Lynch (1953- ), University of Ottawa English professor, has authored numerous publications, including critiques and fiction, the latest of which is "Troutstream" (1995). Lynch, who has two degrees from the University of Waterloo and a Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario, has written articles about George Elliott, Alice Munro, D. C. Scott, short story cycles, Canadian comedy, and Stephen Leacock, and edited "Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town: A Critical Edition" (1996, Borealis).
225 pages, Paperback ISBN: 9781896133348 $19.95 CA
225 pages, Hardcover ISBN: 9781896133324 $24.95 CA
About the Book
Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town began life in the "Montreal Star" in the first half of 1912 as a commissioned series of sketches about Canadian life, and is the only book Leacock wrote specifically for his Canadian readership. The Sketches holds in Canada a status comparable to Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in American culture. Even the titles suggest much about differences between the two nations. Twain's nineteenth century classic focuses on the alienated individual, the ingenuous outsider who tells his own story and serves as his author's mouthpiece for satirizing the community. Leacock's Sunshine Sketches speaks from inside the typical Canadian town of Mariposa, is coloured throughout by a more sophisticated humour, and ironically champions the values of the community. Huckleberry Finn ends with its hero lighting out for what becomes in American mythology the vanishing frontier; Sunshine Sketches ends with an aborted attempt to re-enter Mariposa. The last chapter of the Sketches powerfully suggests, however, that what is of value in Mariposa must be remembered and imaginatively retrieved if there is to be a full and integrated life in the present and hope for the future - of Canada and Canadians. The following writers contribute to this critical edition of Leacock's masterpiece, Alan Bowker, Douglas Bush, Silver Donald Cameron, Robertson Davies, James Doyle, Arthur Lower, Gerald Lynch, William H. Magee, Peter McArthur, Darrel A. Norris, Desmond Pacey, B.K. Sandwell, and R.E. Watters.