Staines, David McKenzie

David McKenzie Staines, literary critic, university professor, editor (b at Toronto 8 Aug 1946). Staines studied at the University of Toronto (BA 1967) and Harvard (MA, 1968; PhD, 1973). A professor of English at the University of Ottawa, Staines has written extensively on medieval, Victorian and Canadian literatures. At home in English and French, he continues the tradition of such critics as E.K. BROWN and Northrop FRYE in emphasizing a combination of self-critical nationalism and rigorous scholarship when exploring and forwarding appreciation of our national literatures. His wide-reaching and revealing study of Canada's literary culture at century's end, Beyond the Provinces (1995), is representative of this commitment. Opening with a consideration of the colonial mentality that pervaded Canadian literature at the end of the 19th century, the book explores the events and stories that sparked the flourishing of Canada's literary independence and defined the conditions of its emerging maturity.

A respected editor, Staines has been editor of the scholarly Journal of Canadian Poetry since 1986 and general editor of McClelland & Stewart's New Canadian Library series since 1988. He has also compiled a number of important essay collections, including The Canadian Imagination (1977), a book that introduced Canadian literature and literary criticism to an American audience, a collection of selected Canadian essays by E.K. BROWN (1977), and 2 volumes of the University of Ottawa's long-running reappraisal series on Morley CALLAGHAN (1981) and Stephen LEACOCK (1986). An authority on Arthurian legends, he has published Tennyson's Camelot: The Idylls of the King and Its Medieval Sources (1982) and translated The Complete Romances of Chrétien de Troyes (1990).