Sharpe’s edition provides a tidy, if implicit, parallel to Garner’s collection. Sharpe’s edition fits into broader digital and print publications, draws together multiple critical contexts, and features a writer whose work appeared primarily in Canadian venues. Thanks to Sharpe’s editorial treatment, Garner’s “multimedia production” across print, film, and radio spans outwards from the print instance of the stories; the multiplicity of international, Canadian, classed, gendered, and radicalized contexts emerge as networked connections across Garner’s short fiction. The connections of Canadian literary production and archival recovery to their international contexts come to light.
In recent years, Canadian modernist literature has been the subject of wide-ranging recovery projects like Editing Modernism in Canada and the Canadian Writing and Research Collaboratory, many of which have been facilitated by digital platforms. Part of the Canada and the Spanish Civil War sub-series of the University of Ottawa Press’s Canadian Literature Collection, Best Stories is the second literary work brought out in print as part of spanishcivilwar.ca, a more holistic digital archival recovery platform. In addition to the context of Canadian modernist recovery projects, Sharpe’s collection engages in the global recovery of leftist literature. Cary Nelson has elucidated the history of American revolutionary left politics and literature, and Valentine Cunningham has collected British leftist poetry on the Spanish Civil War. Sharpe’s collection joins scholarship by Candida Rifkind on Canadian leftist modernism and Michael Petrou on Canadian volunteer combatants in the Spanish Civil War. Her specific intervention demonstrates the integration of these contexts: international conflicts like the Spanish Civil War and domestic working-class leftist politics shape Garner’s modernist-realist perspective of Canadian life.