Journal of Alpine Research / Revue de géographie alpine

The Ascent of the Artist in Ernest Buckler’s The Mountain and the Valley (1952)

In his biography Ernest Buckler Remembered, Claude Bissell extensively discusses the importance of Buckler’s first novel entitled The Mountain and the Valley (1952) in contemporary Canadian literature. Even today, the novel stands as an example of modernist literature in the 1950s and is still deeply tied to its author. The Mountain and the Valley owes its success to the various critical responses by scholars who were surprised by a novel which, at first reading, merely aspired to stay true to a pastoral tradition that sought to aestheticize the everyday life of the countryside as opposed to the threatening and alienating life in the city. Born in the Annapolis Valley in the province of Nova Scotia, Ernest Buckler did not define himself as a writer who worked on a farm but as a farmer who wrote. Small town Canada provided the groundwork for his fictional universe known as Entremont and its people whose lives revolve around the passing of the seasons. The novel tells the story of Dav...

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