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The passage is a part from Barron's 6 GRE Practice Tests.

Yet if Coupland and his compatriots do not recognize their place in Canadian literature, Coupland does recognize himself as a Canadian writer who is intent on investigating the culture of his country through his art. Dedicating his book 'Souvenir of Canada' to his father, a more Canadian man is hard to imagine, Coupland adds, and to follow in his foot-steps is the deeplest of honors.

I don't know the exact meaning of this passage in that

  1. What does 'yet if' mean in the first sentence?

  2. What does "a more Canadian man is hard to imagine", "Dedicating his book to his father", or "the book 'Souvenir of Canada'" mean?

  3. Coupland adds what? :( I hardly understand what the last sentence means.

  • It is preferred if you can post separate questions instead of combining your questions into one. That way, it helps the people answering your question and also others hunting for at least one of your questions. Thanks! – Catija Aug 11 '15 at 14:35
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Dedicating his book 'Souvenir of Canada' to his father, a more Canadian man is hard to imagine, Coupland adds, and to follow in his foot-steps is the deeplest of honors.

It's not a well written sentence. If you take out the first clause it might be easier for you to interpret.

A more Canadian man is hard to imagine, Coupland adds, and to follow in his foot-steps is the deepest of honors.

You can go a step further by rearranging the sentence to avoid the spilt "he adds".

Coupland adds [that] a more Canadian man is hard to imagine, and to follow in his foot-steps is the deepest of honors.

You then end up with:

Coupland dedicated his book 'Souvenir of Canada' to his father. He adds that a more Canadian man is hard to imagine, and to follow in his foot-steps is the deepest of honors.

That is the meaning of the sentence. However, it doesn't flow well in terms of good writing, I think it would need the context of the whole page to rewrite it in a more understandable way.

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  1. You can change "Yet if" in this sentence to "But if" or "Even if" to make it easier to understand.

  2. It means that his father is a more Canadian man than Coupland himself. Since Coupland don't recognize his place in Canadian literature, it's hard to dedicating his book to his father (a more Canadian man). I'm guessing that Coupland's father is a Canadian and Coupland himself is not a Canadian, thus his father has more information than Coupland about Canada.

  3. "Coupland adds" means additional comments about dedicating his book.

Dedicating his book to his father is hard to imagine

is additional comments followed by

and to follow in his foot-steps is the deeplest of honors.

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1: Even if. Some examples: http://www.godvine.com/bible/1-peter/4-16 But don't worry, it's very hard to see someone using these terms nowadays.

2: He's saying that his father is the most perfect representation of a Canadian, he's too Canadian, he fits every stereotype.

3: He's adding "a more Canadian man is hard to imagine".

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What does 'yet if' mean in the first sentence?

  • In this case @john stuart was right. It implies that in a previous paragraph it has been stated that they do not consider their work Canadian literature and in contrast to this (even though he doesn't think it is Canadian literature) he does consider himself a Canadian writer.

What does "a more Canadian man is hard to imagine", "Dedicating his book to his father", or "the book 'Souvenir of Canada'" mean?

  • For the "a more Canadian..." section @Alexandre Borela is right. It is saying his father represents Canada ideally.
  • "Dedicating his book to his father", now this is a common practice. A "dedication" will often be included in a book to honor people that inspired or helped the writer.In this case he is saying he wrote the book for his father.
  • 'Souvenir of Canada'is the name of his book. it is also common to simply italicize a piece of literature's proper name: Souvenir of Canada.

Coupland adds what?

  • @john stuart covered this well. It could be reworded as "Dedicating his book 'Souvenir of Canada' to his father Coupland states "A more Canadian man is hard to imagine and to follow in his foot-steps is the deepest of honors."".
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