Full Text

Ross, Sinclair

ANDREW LESK


Subject Literature » Twentieth Century and Contemporary Literature

Key-Topics modernism, sexualities, war

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405192446.2011.x


Extract

Sinclair Ross has never occupied the international literary imagination in the way fellow Canadians Alice Munro or Michael Ondaatje do; yet his ongoing significance (largely situated within university curricula) arises from his mythologizing of Canada as a malevolent north, hostile to and reflective of those who inhabit it. His rhythmic prose, located at the apex of Canadian modernism, concerns not merely the often aggressive antagonism of austere prairie conditions but also the combative intersections of gender and sexuality, and, in later efforts, violence and urban alienation, with its attendant withering of character. James Sinclair Ross was born in Shellbrook, Saskatchewan, on January 22, 1908. His early life was marked by the disaffection and psychological ignominy that forms the core of his best writing, his sensitivity to his environment being sharpened by a dour, Presbyterian mother who left her husband when Ross was 7. He pursued his schooling and his interests in music, eventually quitting school after Grade 11 to work as a bank teller in various small prairie towns and, eventually, Winnipeg, in 1933. Shortly after this last move, he began to publish. Ross's early fiction examines the perils of thinking about gender in deterministic, binary fashions. In his first published story, “No Other Way” (1934), and throughout much of his prairie-based fiction, Ross depicts gender ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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