Skip to navigation – Site map

HomeNuméros531 - Le souffle réparateur de la p..."With Robert, Xavier and Elijah i...

1 - Le souffle réparateur de la parole : The Wars de Timothy Findley / The Healing Strength of Words:Timothy Findley's The Wars

"With Robert, Xavier and Elijah in Flanders": Re-Examining Timothy Findley’s The Wars (1977) and its Literary Legacy

Corinne Bigot
p. 53-64


Cet article s’intéresse aux stratégies déployées par l’écrivain canadien Timothy Findley dans son roman The Wars (1977) pour, d’une part, remettre en cause les versions officielles de la Grande Guerre et des guerres, ainsi que les versions idéalisées qu’elles ont suscitées, et d’autre part, tracer des parallèles entre le champ de bataille des Flandres et le Canada. Ces stratégies sont lues en regard des stratégies mises en œuvre par un écrivain canadien, Joseph Boyden, dans Three Day Road (2005), roman qui atteste de l’importance de The Wars, et qui, lui aussi, transporte la Guerre vers le Canada pour opérer un décentrement de l’histoire en mettant l’accent sur l’expérience personnelle et celle des individus marginalisés.

Top of page

Full text

  • 1 See Hastings.

1Over 600,000 Canadians served in the First World War; of these, more than 66,000 were killed. The Somme, Passchendaele, and Vimy became household names in Canada and may still stir emotions today. The Battle of Vimy Ridge (1917) in particular has been given an iconic status as a decisive victory. However, in his 1977 novel The Wars Timothy Findley chose to depict an earlier battleground, Ypres, and a time when nothing much happened there, January to June 1916.1 In Three Day Road (2005) Joseph Boyden partly places his protagonists in the same battlefields—the Ypres salient and Saint Eloi craters. The Wars is centered on nineteen-year- old Robert Ross, the son of an affluent Toronto family whose money relies on industrialization while Boyden’s protagonists, Elijah Whiskeyjack and Xavier Bird, two Cree Canadians from Northeastern Ontario, have a different background. Boyden foregrounds the role played by Native soldiers, but there is no denying that Three Day Road bears testimony to the legacy of The Wars. Both novels tell individual, personal stories and experience, and represent history from a marginal perspective, as epitomized by Boyden’s hero’s shouting, "I do not understand, I am Cree Canadian" (20), echoing Robert’s cry, "je suis Canadien" as he fails to communicate with a local. Findley’s novel exposes how children’s literature, photographs, music or an infamous painting help construct glorified versions of wars and the War. To these, his counter-narrative opposes the experience of a war that was anything but heroic, where soldiers suffered complete annihilation but waged no battle except on their fellow soldiers. In Three Day Road, Boyden resorts to the opposite strategy (overkilling) and to a Native myth in order to raise the question of what it means to praise men who kill other men. I propose to read these two novels together, analyzing and comparing the strategies the writers deploy to debunk official versions and convey the insanity of war as experienced by individuals. I will examine as well the strategies Findley and Boyden use to suggest parallels between the situation on the frontline and in Canada.

2The Wars aims to debunk glorified versions of the First World War, and of wars. Thus, specific war texts, as Lorraine York puts it, "enter that fictional world and become woven in its fabric" (York 1991, 31). As both Frank Davey and Lorraine York have demonstrated, The Wars posits and emphazises the "heavily scripted character of Canada of 1914" (Davey 116) showing that the War was "textually determined and produced" (Davey 117). Most prominent is the role of photographs which the novel foregrounds. Davey argues that the script emphasizes heroic death for men, as epitomized by the evocation of the photograph of Robert as a dead hero, while "the society’s preferred script for women is passivity" (Davey 117) as epitomized by Barbara d’Orsay whose silence Davey rightly emphasizes. Interestingly, she first appears as a picture, in a Canadian magazine: "[Taffler’s] picture appeared in The Canadian Illustrated—showing him in London with Lady Barbara d’Orsey: hero and daughter of Marquis!" (44) With the insistence on the titles, the caption and photograph construct a reassuring script. The picture is evidence that Britain recognizes and honours the countries of the Commonwealth, it is part and parcel of a scripted version of the war. Every description suggests that Barbara is posing, as if she were being photographed. She appears at hospitals "standing at the foot of the bed [...] with her flowers" (Findley 125) and is often depicted at home standing, between doors or behind the window pane, as when she looks at Robert leaving (180). Barbara is never allowed to depart from script even though it turns her into stone: "she was like that cold white vase and never said a word. She stood and watched them dying like a stone" (115). Barbara’s last known lover is an Australian officer, which suggests her life continues true to script.

3Glorified versions of the War evoked in The Wars include photography, music and songs, as photographs turn into films: "Here is the Boys’s Brigade with band [...] here are soldiers, arm in arm and singing: ‘Keep your head down, Fritzie Boy! ‘" (Findley 4). It is no coincidence that boys are mentioned since Findley shows the role played by children’s literature. Attention is drawn to the books Robert’s cabinmate reads on board the SS Massanabie—the complete works of George Alfred Henty (Findley 59-61). A very prolific (British) novelist, Henty wrote over 120 books most of which are about great men and battles. As Captain Ord’s irony makes it clear, these books constructed images of men as heroes: "since he was going to do a boy’s work he must read the ‘stuff of which boys are made’" (58-59). As Ord reads With Clive in India, With Wolfe at Quebec or With Wellington in Waterloo, on the journey to Flanders, it is tempting to think that Findley is inviting us to read an ironic narrative entitled "With Ross in Flanders."

4One title in particular deserves attention, since it is part of a web of references to Canada’s history and civil wars: "by now [Ord] was With Wolfe at Quebec" (61). The actual title however is With Wolfe in Canada: The Winning of a Continent. Findle’vs title changes perspectives, from an English perspective to a Canadian one, which is also the case of a dialogue between Barbara and Robert; Barbara remarks that Wolfe won Canada for Britain: "he [...] got your country for us" (120), revealing her imperialist perspective while Robert’s answer that soldiers got Canada for Wolfe (120) may suggest that Findley intended an opposition between the imperialist perspective and the soldier’s. Thus by choosing a mutinous soldier as the protagonist, he provides an alternative version, presenting history not from the centre but from the margin. I argue that there is more to it since the title Wolfe at Quebec also evokes the battle of Quebec, hence a civil war. The most famous battle of the Seven Years’ War took place in 1759, on the Plains of Abraham, and was won by the British, under Wolfe’s command. A third allusion reveals how a book, a painting conjuring up a famous battle and the death of an iconic hero can be woven into a glorified version of war:

Oh—I can tell you, sort of, what is might be like to die. The Death of General Wolfe. Someone will hold my hand and I won’t suffer pain because I’ve suffered that already and survived. In paintings—and in photographs—there’s never any blood. (Findley 49)

5As the italics indicate, The Death of General Wolfe refers to a painting, by Benjamin West (1770), depicting the death of Wolfe after he won the battle of Quebec. The painting, which can be seen at the National Gallery of Canada, was a gift of the Duke of Westminster to Canada in 1918, which provides a connection to World War One. It depicts, as the narrator underlines it, a sanitized and idealized battle scene: the battle is over, and clearly relegated to the background (billowing smoke, ships). In the foreground, the only signs of disorder are a rifle and a hat on the ground, but although Wolfe is dying, there is no blood since a handkerchief is pressed onto his wound, hiding it. Wolfe is surrounded by his fully-clothed men and most visible is a Native warrior with his traditional weapons, hinting at reconciliation between First Nations and the British. Like the reference to Henty’s books, the painting shows that war is a narrative, which the next sentence underscores: "his wounds are poems" (Findley 49).

6Both Findley’s and Boyden’s novels show that such narratives say nothing about "what is might be like to die" on the battlefields of Flanders; Robert will slowly and painfully die from his injuries. Both novels depict the crude and unbearable realities of the war, foregrounding the soldiers’ injuries and pain, dismembered bodies, and corpses. Both use the journey across the Atlantic Ocean to foreshadow what the narratives will depict. In The Wars, Robert is sent below deck to deal with the horses: the place is alive with flies and rats, as manure is left lying around (Findley 62). Storms rage and the freezing sea presents the biggest threat of all, all the more so are there are not enough boats for all the men (Findley 61). The journey, Robert discovers, is nothing like the stories in The Boys’ Own Annual or Conrad (57). Boyden’s hero Xavier who looks after the horses on board the ship ends up killing two injured horses (Boyden 175). The killing of the horses is simultaneously described as a butchery (175) and praised by the officer as "no mean feat" (175), announcing the central issue in Three Day Road.

7The first depiction of the plain of Flanders in The Wars conjures up and debunks earlier historical narratives: the immensity of the plain of Flanders that stretches through Europe from Russia to Spain (Findley 75) as its role as a battlefield since the times of Caesar (76) is contrasted to the fact that in 1916 the British army was mired in mud. There had been no passing through, instead men and horses simply "sank from sight" (76) as mud rose and swallowed the soldiers (76). One of the most striking features of The Wars as a war novel is that there is very little action on the part of the British and Canadian troops. Robert himself does not win any battle, and he rarely fights. The enemy is invisible, as epitomized in the fog scenes (80-1) where fear arises from "the awful sense of void" (81). By the end of his time in Flanders, Robert will only have seen one German soldier, an eighteen-year old boy wearing no helmet or hat (143), and who was reaching for his binoculars to watch a bird when Robert shot him (146). By contrast, in Three Day Road there is a clear insistence on the fact that Elijah and Xavier kill many German soldiers, feats for which they are valued and praised. Everybody in the unit keeps count of how many soldiers they kill, Elijah himself boasts of having killed 194 men "to date" (265) and is eventually said to have "reached 356 kills" (310, emphasis mine). The noun "kill" would usually refer to game, which suggests that fighting the enemy has become hunting, and the German soldiers have turned into game. Xavier gradually starts suspecting that Elijah finds so much pleasure in the killings that he leaves the trenches at night to kill sleeping soldiers (265). However, as Neta Gordon points out, the moral issue the novel raises is raised by Elijah, not Xavier, when Elijah tells Xavier "‘I’m not crazy [...] What’s mad is them putting us in trenches to begin with. The madness is to tell us to kill and to award those of us who do it well’" (322). His remark echoes the harrowing question Robert’s mother raises: "‘What does it mean—to kill your children? Kill them and then...go in there and sing about it! ‘" (Findley 54)

8Both novels aim to show the insanity of war. In The Wars the narrative focuses on the effects of bombings on soldiers, mostly using passive voices: "troops were obliterated and the others brought forward. Companies were decimated to the size of sections" (Findley 147). The most interesting aspect here is that grammar obliterates the difference between the Germans and the British military command. In Three Day Road, passive voices are often used when it comes to moving troops: "We hear words that we will be moved out of this quiet place in Saint Eloi and marched down there" (Boyden 132); "our battalion is sent to a village named Albert" (165); "we are moved North before the New Year" (189). In The Wars, when there is movement, at last, the image of the "giant conveyor belt" moving "back and forward, forward and back" (Findley 199) turns it into an insane never-ending circle, and Robert "hardly knew which way they went" (199). The soldiers are the victims of an inhuman war effort, as is the case with the new weapon: "the night lit up with the flames of a terrible new weapon and the days impaled on fire" (Findley 147) or the destruction of Bailleul: the narrator clearly parallels the actions of the Germans who turn their guns to bomb the town and the decision of the British army to fill Bailleul with the ammunition and gasoline that will explode and with the soldiers who will die as they stand "rigidly waiting for their orders to advance" (Findley 207).

9As early as the first Flanders scenes, there is no telling who or what should be blamed. The earth itself kills the soldiers, swallowing them as "their graves just dug themselves and pulled them down" (Findley 76). Natural order is reversed when clay, the material of creation in the Bible, kills: "a handful of this clay could knock a person out" (Findley 79). In both novels, the natural order of the elements is reversed: the earth falls from the sky (Findley 121) and falls on the soldiers’ heads (Boyden 57), water rises out of the ground (Findley 76) or burns (Findley 147), men are repeatedly sent flying (Boyden 10, 260) or expelled from the earth: "a wave of heat coughs [Xavier] up from the earth" (Boyden 15).

10 Soon, in the craters and the trenches, there is no means to separate the living from the dead. Robert grabs the "out stretched hand" of a corpse he sends "sliding" down to the bottom of the crater (Findley 134) and in Three Day Road a soldier who has fallen into the crater comes up holding a human arm (Boyden 18). There is no telling the dead from the living as dead soldiers are described as if they were alive; when Robert first encounters a dead body, the resemblance with Robert is emphasized, and the man is described as moving: "a man like himself—in uniform and greycoat […] he was moving—or trying to move" (Findley 87). In Three Day Road, the eerie light of the shellfire turns the dead into the living:

Besides the limbs, rotten faces peer at us [...]
"Xavier, see those faces there," Elijah says to me in Cree [...] "They look alive."
He is right. When shellfire flickers ... the faces come alive. (64)

11As in The Wars, the corpses are the subject of verbs of action and attention is drawn to dismembered body parts.

12It also proves difficult to tell the sane from the insane. Xavier finds himself unable to tell whether Elijah is sane or insane, and whether he tells the truth or jokes when he claims to be eating human flesh (Boyden 287). Eventually, madness is epitomized by the image of the shell since the polysemy of "shell" suggests that Robert’s mind has become a weapon: "his mind had shrunk to a small, protective shell" (Findley 201).

13Eventually, the divide between the enemy and fellow soldiers/brothers is obliterated. Robert assumes he was raped by the inmates of the Asylum, only to realize his assailants were his fellow officers (Findley 193). The rape scene with its emphasis on dismembered body parts is made all the more terrifying as it recalls two other scenes where Robert is helped, if not saved, by his fellow officers. For instance, after the trench collapsed, "they dragged Robert out by his arms and pulled him to his feet" (124) and when he nearly drowns, "several pairs of hands reached down and drew him to the top" (89). Identical vocabulary is used, with one difference–he is dragged down in the rape scene. Soldiers are killed by their own military command—Purchas, Robert discovers, was shot in the back by the British army (Findley 201)—or by their fellow officers: Captain Leather shoots Devlin (Findley 202) and is shot by Robert (203). The only battle that is actually described in The Wars, the only battle that the British army is seen waging is waged against Robert:

Forty men had taken after him on foot [...]
From this point on, all that happened is very clear and precise.
The sun had risen. It was a cloudless, humid day. The air was filled with the sound of insects.
Mickle deployed his men around the barns—with orders to shoot if Robert opened fire. (210)

14Ironically, it is the one battle in The Wars that bears any resemblance to battles as depicted in glorified narratives, emphasizing order and planning.

15In Three Day Road Elijah kills two soldiers from his unit who threaten to report him, battering their skulls (Boyden 313) and in the crater repeatedly tries to kill Xavier (339). Xavier eventually receives a medal for bravery, but only because the army has mistaken his action—Xavier kills Elijah (339) but the army believes he tried to save a soldier—and mistakes him for Elijah (345). Death is reinterpreted as life, due to the army’s incapacity to identify its soldiers from one another.

16Findley’s hero is the epitome of the novel’s ironies and reveals the very close links between Europe’s battlefields and Canada’s industries, which the novel demonstrates. Robert Ross, who enlists because he wants to cut ties with his father, bears the name of the Ross rifle, which was produced in Canada from 1903 to 1918 and (although it was withdrawn in 1916) continued to be used by many snipers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force until the end of the war due to its exceptional accuracy. It is the very weapon Boyden’s heroes, Elijah and Xavier, use (Boyden 11, 79, 94, 119, 168, 179). Since the name of the rifle is mentioned a dozen times, it is tempting to imagine that Boyden chose to foreground this detail as a tribute to Findley’s novel and not just for the sake of historical accuracy. Robert’s name and the rifle symbolize the role of the Canadian industries in the War. Throughout the novel Findley reminds his readers that the war in Europe that killed thousands of Canadian soldiers also made Canada quite prosperous (Hastings 95). This is clearly shown when Robert sees a pair of Raymond/Ross tractors dragging a howitzer (Findley 188) and by the depiction of the fires of Robert’s father factories, which Robert sees during his train journey from Alberta to Ontario (45). War has clearly increased activity and production. The detail also clearly foreshadows the fires that will destroy Flanders with the new weapon that scorches everything, drawing parallels between the battlefield and Canada, which is one of the main points both novels make.

17The Wars and Three Day Road repeatedly blur distinctions between Europe and home, the War and domestic wars. Findley’s fourteenth chapter opens with the rains that pour all over North America and Europe (Findley 33), while Boyden’s third chapter opens with the rain in Canada, and a connection with the battlefield: "Rain patters on the sand all around me tonight, slowly soaks through the wool of this uniform I still wear, the animal scent of it pulling me back to the battlefields" (Boyden 10). The Flanders scenes in The Wars and Three Day Road emphasize the same elements: mud, rain and fire, and parallels are drawn with Canada. The mud that threatens to swallow the soldiers, Xavier realizes, "is not all that different from the mud of the Moose River" (Boyden 17). The fire that rages in the bush and sears it (47-56) clearly foreshadows the scenes in Flanders, where "the night sky is on fire" (31), and as he witnesses the fire in the bush, Elijah’s words say it all: "The world is burning" (47). In The Wars, the effects of the German bombings are conveyed by everyday life vocabulary, to blur distinctions between the trenches and home. Gas is compared to Robert’s mother’s veils (Findley 137), the storms are said to last "until the clay was baked and the earth was seared and sealed with fire" (138, emphasis mine); and the crater is compared to a sink (138). The topography and geography of Flanders are depicted with vocabulary referring to human body parts such as an elbow (200) and a broken arm, "the plain on which Ypres stands stretches like a broken arm through Europe" (75), echoing the depictions of Canada’s plains: "the arms of rock and the broken, frozen fingers of nameless rivers" (45). Flanders and Canada are brought together through images that foreground dismembered body parts. The same holds true of the rape scene. The emphasis on body parts, as York argues, dramatizes what the war has done, it has broken human being into parts, "either in the sense of dismembering them on the battlefield or fragmenting their minds" (York 1990, 50) which is also shown in the crater scenes. Findley "draw[s] parallels between domestic and wartime battles" (York 1991, 30) for instance the echoes between the bathroom scene in Toronto between Robert and his mother and the crater scenes are striking, from the image of the mountain climbers which describes the ash falling in the tub (21) and Robert’s efforts to climb up the crater, "like a mountain climber" (138), to the use of very short sentences: "Robert sat frozen" (23) / "Robert froze" (142). Ultimately, The Wars, as York has it, is "a war novel that is largely concerned with domestic strife" (York 1991, 31).

18In Three Day Road, Boyden foregrounds the hunting skills of the Cree snipers which mark them as "different" from the other soldiers, and on which they rely—hence Xavier’s use of the word "hunting" for their missions—until the soldiers in their unit admire them for these skills. At times Xavier describes the other soldiers as "warriors": "[Breech] wants to show his superiors that he is a warrior of the highest order" (Boyden 132), thereby blurring differences between the Cree and the "white" Canadians. Boyden’s other narrator, Niska, Xavier’s aunt, draws an explicit parallel between the battlefields in Flanders and Canada when she states: "No one is safe in such times, not even the Cree of Mushkegowuk. War touches everyone and windigos spring from the earth" (45). Boyden interweaves the story of Niska, who has spent her life in the woods, and is revealed to be a windigo killer (330) with the narrative of Xavier and Elijah’s experience as soldiers in Flanders. Boyden uses the Algonquin myth of the Windigo (a monster, who used to be a man or woman whose consumption of human flesh triggers a descent into bloodthirsty madness) to denounce the insanity of the war. Elijah, as seen through the eyes of Xavier, seems to have gone windigo: he mutilates the Germans he has killed, goes out "hunting" at night, to kill sleeping soldiers, and jokes about eating human flesh. Xavier eventually witnesses Elijah plunging his knife into a German boy and sees his friend’s face smeared with blood (321). There is an ellipsis when it comes to the action itself, instead emphasis is on put on his bloodied face. When he kills Elijah, Xavier confesses to having become what his aunt is, a windigo killer (340). Read in the context of Xavier’s accounts of how the damaged earth swallowed men or spat them out, Niska’s remark that war touches every one and that windigos spring from the earth, suggests war turns men into windigos. Exploring the myth of the windigo, Boyden intends to explore the moral issue posed by war: it forces men to kill other men and gives medals in recognition of such actions. The war forces us to wonder where the moral boundary is in those circumstances, when killing is encouraged and valued.

19While Findley emphasizes similarities between domestic and sexual violence and the war, and highlights social divisions in Canada (as epitomized by the divisions on the ship) Boyden’s purpose is to show Canada as a nation at war with itself. He shows similarities between the annihilation that takes place in Flanders and what happens in Canada—a slower annihilation, the destruction of the Cree and Ojibwe cultures, which is described in the chapters narrated by Xavier’s aunt, Niska. As Neta Gordons puts it, the status of the First World War "as a war of attrition" enables it to be become "a rich site of oppositional comparison for a narrative of cultural genocide" (Gordon 123). In Boyden’s novel violence against First Nations is shown as nuns in charge of the residential school prevent the Native children from speaking their tongue: they hit or starve (85-6), or sexually abuse their Indian charges (314). Niska recalls the violent contempt of the proctor of the Hudson Bay’s Company for those who came for help (83). Xavier and Elijah discover discrimination when they get on board the train: they are asked to leave the car, and find the one fit for Indians (149). Interestingly, Findley used the trope of the train to evoke the fate of Canada’s Native population. Robert and his fellow soldiers look at a group of Indians from behind the train windows when the train rushes past them (Findley 44-5): it is a powerful albeit fugitive evocation of the fate of the First Nations that are left behind. The Indians stand in the cold, barely protected by their blankets as the wind blows and blows the snow around their legs (44-5). Yet the last sentence of the passage is quite ambiguous as to who the ghosts are since the soldiers are staring at the ghost-like Indians who are staring at the soon-to-be dead soldiers: "All the soldiers pressed against the windows looking out [...] the Indians [...] stood and stared at all the faces—ghosts through the frosted glass" (45); the opposition between the passing train and the still horse epitomizes the cultural impasse (York 1991, 44).

20In Three Day Road, another parallel between Flanders and Canada is created by the facts that Boyden repeatedly calls morphine "the medicine" and Xavier refers to it as "the amber / golden liquid" (138, 195), a play on words which echoes alcohol, that other white man’s medicine that was given to indigenous populations in Canada. Elijah soon becomes addicted, in much the same way as Native tribes became addicted to alcohol. Yet, as Neta Gordon points out, the novel also "set[s] the dangerously addictive effects of morphine against the power of the traditional matatosowin" (Gordon 123). As the novel ultimately shows, the matatosowin allows for psychic healing. Although he is shown to be eaten alive by guilt as much as morphine, Xavier fares better than Robert: back home, in the bush, Xavier is purged of his bad dreams and guilt thanks to the ritual and to the stories that Niska keeps telling him. Most importantly, Xavier is able to tell the final part of his story, as he confesses to having killed Elijah.

21Contrary to Findley’s protagonist, Xavier gets to tell his own story. Although there are two narrators, Niska and Xavier, the two narratives intertwine harmoniously, the heading of each chapter, whether narrated by Xavier or Niska, is a Cree word followed by its English translation, announcing Xavier’s return and the resilience of their culture. This is also epitomized when Xavier claims that he does not need the white soldiers’songs since he has his own songs, using two pronouns, which suggests agency, rather than poor English: "Me, I won’t sing their songs. I have my own songs" (Boyden 15). By contrast, Robert’s story has to be reconstructed, through memories, testimonies and photographs.

22Findley gives voice to several female storytellers, the nurse, who defends Robert’s action, and Barbara’s sister, Juliet who got to write the epitaph on Robert’s grave. Most importantly, Juliet’s voice is described as a "song" whose resonance causes crystal to "vibrate" (Findley 157). The main narrator, however, remains anonymous, speaking about himself or herself (his sex has often been debated) by the pronoun, "you, "thus engaging the reader in the search for evidence in the archives. Boyden for his part chose two narrators whose command of English is poor (Xavier) or inexistent (Niska). One of his narrators literally lives and speaks from the margins: Niska escaped from the residential school when she was a child, and has lived in the bush her entire life. Both novels tell the story from the individual perspective that is also a marginal perspective. Although Robert clearly belongs to a privileged social class, he is seen as marginal due to the emphasis on his aloofness and silence. There is clear emphasis on his fear of being seen for what he is—that is to say "peculiar" (Findley 34). Both Findley and Boyden give a voice to marginalized characters, honoring individual stories, proposing alternative versions of history, not only of the War, but of Canada, for both novels are very much about challenging versions of Canada.

Top of page


Boyden, Joseph, Three Day Road, London: Penguin Books, 2005.

Davey, Frank, Post National Arguments: The Politics of the Anglophone Canadian Novel Since 1967, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993.

Findley, Timothy, The Wars [1977]. London: Faber and Faber, 2001.

Gordon, Neta, "Time Structures and the Healing Aesthetic of Joseph Boyden’s Three Day Road", Studies in Canadian Literature, vol. 33. 1 (2008): 118-135.

Hastings, Tom, "‘Their Fathers Did It to Them’: Findley’s Appeal to the Great War Myth of a Generational Conflict in The Wars", Essays on Canadian Writing, vol. 64 (Summer 1998): 85-103.

York, Lorraine, Frontlines. The Fiction of Timothy Findley, Toronto: ECW Press, 1991.

-----, Introducing Timothy Findleys The Wars, A Reader’s Guide, Toronto: ECW Press, 1990.

Top of page


1 See Hastings.

Top of page


Bibliographical reference

Corinne Bigot, "With Robert, Xavier and Elijah in Flanders": Re-Examining Timothy Findley’s The Wars (1977) and its Literary LegacyCaliban, 53 | 2015, 53-64.

Electronic reference

Corinne Bigot, "With Robert, Xavier and Elijah in Flanders": Re-Examining Timothy Findley’s The Wars (1977) and its Literary LegacyCaliban [Online], 53 | 2015, Online since 24 August 2015, connection on 29 March 2023. URL:; DOI:

Top of page



Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International - CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Top of page
  • Logo Presses universitaires du Midi
  • DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals
  • OpenEdition Journals
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search