On the 100th Anniversary Celebration Stephen Leacock is seen by many as one of the finest Canadian writers and, in some ways, the crown prince of Canadian humour. Most of Leacock’s novels and short stories thread together, in a judicious manner, literature and politics. “Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich” was published in 1914, and it is, probably, Leacock’s most political novel. It is the 100th anniversary in 2014 since the publication of “Arcadian Adventures” was published and this presentation will examine the perennial significance of this Leacock classic.
Ppublished two years after Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912), and numerous parallels between the two books in overall structure and detail make it a companion piece. The short story cycle portrays the full flowering in a large, unnamed American city (actually based on Montréal) of the seeds of corrupt materialism and individualism already detected in smalltown Mariposa. The plutocrats who inhabit Plutoria Avenue pursue money and power, and unrestricted capitalism corrupts the city’s social, religious, educational, and political institutions. Arcadian Adventures exposes to laughter and ridicule the human greed, hypocrisy and pride behind such things as stock-market scams, the rage for mystical experience, the back-to-nature vogue, financially expedient ecumenism and muck-raking politics.
Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Fee: $7 / $10 non-members
Date: September 30, 2014
Location: 32444 Seventh Avenue, Mission, BC
Ron Dart teaches Political Science, Philosophy and Religious Studies at University of the Fraser Valley. “He has become the most important writer about the Red Tory tradition in Canada”. He has authored over twenty books that deal with the interface between literature, spirituality and politics, including Thomas Merton and the Beats of the North Cascades. He is one of the primary experts on the life and thought of both Stephen Leacock and George Grant and their place in the pantheon of traditional Canadian conservative thought. He is the political science advisor to the Stephen Leacock Museum in Orillia, Ontario, and a board member of the Thomas Merton Society of Canada.