Arthur Stringer began his professional literary career at the Montreal Herald (1897-1898) and the American Press Association. He was a prolific writer who published works in a number of genres. Stringer published 15 volumes of poetry, 22 screenplays and over 40 novels.
Among Arthur Stringer's many poetry publications, Open Water (1914) stands out as a seminal Canadian modernist collection. In the foreword to Open Water, Stringer describes the modernist movement as a natural evolution rather than a reactionary movement. This contention stands in contrast to the idea that the free-form and free-verse style of modernist poetry was created to stand in opposition to the forms of its predecessors. He states that "all art...has its ancestry" and that it is the duty of poetry to remember this ancestry while moving forward. Modernist stylistic influences can be seen throughout Stringer's Open Water, particularly in the utilization of free verse and non-rhyming stanzas.
Arthur Stringer is most known for his novels, which span several genres, including crime (The Wire Tappers) and adventure stories situated in Canada's north (Empty Hands). He is best known for his "prairie trilogy": Prairie Wife (1915), Prairie Mother (1920) and Prairie Child (1922). The trilogy progresses from a romanticized vision of pioneer life to a realistic portrayal of the harsh realities of Canada's wilderness. Written in epistolary form, the work is reminiscent of works by earlier Canadian writers Susanna MOODIE and Catherine Parr TRAILL both formally and thematically.
London's Thames Valley District School Board honoured Stringer by opening Arthur Stringer Public School in 1969, an institution with a specific focus on childhood literacy.
Author RODGER J. MORAN
Links to Other Sites
The annual Christmas card
View images of a Christmas card that Arthur John Arbuthnot Stringer exchanged with friend Madge Macbeth. From Queen's University Archives.
Selected poems and brief biographical notes about Canadian-born poet and novelist Arthur John Arbuthnott Stringer. From the University of Pennsylvania website.