New World Myth: Postmodernism and Postcolonialism in Canadian Fiction

New World Myth: Postmodernism and Postcolonialism in Canadian Fiction

by Marie Vautier
     
 

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In this comparative study of six Canadian novels Marie Vautier examines reworkings of myth in the postcolonial context. While myths are frequently used in literature as trans-historical master narratives, she argues that these novels destabilize the traditional function of myth in their self-conscious re-examination of historical events from a post-colonial

Overview

In this comparative study of six Canadian novels Marie Vautier examines reworkings of myth in the postcolonial context. While myths are frequently used in literature as trans-historical master narratives, she argues that these novels destabilize the traditional function of myth in their self-conscious re-examination of historical events from a post-colonial perspective. Through detailed readings of Francois Barcelo's La Tribu, George Bowering's Burning Water, Jacques Godbout's Les Tetes a Papineau, Joy Kogawa's Obasan, Jovette Marchessault's Comme une enfant de la terre, and Rudy Wiebe's The Scorched-Wood People, Vautier situates New World myth within the broader contexts of political history and of classical, biblical, and historical myths.

There is an emphasis on de-constructing, de-centring, de-stabilizing, and especially demythologizing in the study that illustrates New World myth narrators questioning the past in the present and carrying out their original investigations of myth, place, and identity. Underlining the fact that political realities are encoded in the language and narrative of the works, Vautier argues that the reworkings of literary, religious, and historical myths and political ideologies in these novels are grounded in their shared situation of being in and of the New World.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
In this comparative study of six Canadian novels, such as George Bowering's and Joy Kogawa's , Vautier (Canadian literature, U. of Victoria) discusses new visions about myth in the postcolonial context. She argues that a novel's self-conscious reexamination of historical events warp the traditional function of myth, and thus the reworkings of literary, religious, and historical myths in these novels are grounded in their shared status as New World writings. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher

"A serious advance in research in the field. Vautier's argument is impeccably developed and her style is clear and engaging. She displays an excellent grasp of both the larger theoretical contexts and the details of textual craft in the books she considers. I found it most enjoyable and interesting to read." Diana Brydon, Department of English, University of Guelph

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780773516694
Publisher:
McGill-Queens University Press
Publication date:
06/28/1998
Pages:
364
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.94(d)

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