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Travel Writing at the End of Empire: A Pom Named Bruce and the Mad White Giant

ACCUTE: Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English
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  • Communication
  • Philosophy


29.3-4 | T    T    T T C E (rd edition, ) literally wraps the reference book in the fl ag, a device referred to by pub- lisher Avie Bennett in his foreword: “It is no accident that the cover for this book is based on the Canadian fl ag. Like our fl ag, the Encyclopedia represents our country” (iii). In October  in an advertisement for the online version, as well as in a corporate home-page, the Canadian fl ag is displayed as part of the web-page’s corporate symbol (“Historica” Advertisement). A similar gesture, combining a symbol of the nation with scholarship and marketing, adorns another best-selling Canadian reference book,  e Canadian Oxford Dictionary (), which also dis- plays the Maple Leaf prominently on its dust jacket. In advertising the dictionary on its American corporate website where the dust jacket and the Maple Leaf are reproduced, Oxford University Press states that by its publication “Canadians fi nally have a dictionary that truly refl ects their nation” (“Canadian”). In both instances the national icon not only markets a reference book, but also specifi es its contents: the fl ag signals that each book “represents” or “refl ects” Canada.  ese reference books present knowledge of Canada in several ways: they narrate Canada’s history and The Knowledge of Canada / The Canada of Knowledge: Representing the Nation in Canadian Reference Books Victor Shea William Whitla York University ESC .- (September/December ): –ESC .- (September/December ): –ESC  e Knowledge of Canada |  defi ne the national cultures and languages; they provide an epitome or summation of cultural literacy about Canada; and they present slices of the national life at specifi c times. By challenging the contradictions in these reference books about their own epistemology and about Canadian unity, we argue that the constructedness or textuality of the contents of these reference books, what

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