An Experimental Documentary: Making a Case for Baird’s Modernism

Ademolawa Michael Adedipe


The refutation and the obliteration of the modernist era in Canadian literature by Robert Kroetsch and reasserted by Glen Wilmott makes it imperative to look at highly experimental literary works in the first half of the 20th century in Canada. The purpose of this paper, thus is to make a case for the inclusion Irene Bird’s Waste Heritage in the repertoire of modernist works in North America. The various criticism of Canadian literature as not having a modernist era needs to be debunked. The false assertion that Canadian literature moved straight from the Victorian era to a postmodernist face is probably due to the difficulty of defining what modernism is. The evolution and the expansion of the term modernism makes it imperative for one to reappraise the creative works of Irene Bird (Waste Heritage) and Sheila Watson (Double Hook) as modernist. An attempt to include Waste Heritage in the new modernist discourse of global literature by looking at the experimental way by which Baird used documentary modernism. The sustainability of a growing modern society vis-à-vis modernism, and the resistance of capitalism in Baird’s narrative would be used to make a case for Baird’s modernism.


Modernist era, Canadian literature, Experimental, Waste Heritage, Expansion

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