"Canadians have been searching for and discussing cultural identity since Confederation. According to Justin Edwards, our stories and literature might be showing us our greatest fear: perhaps we don't have one. In Gothic Canada, Edwards explores both the search for identity and the haunting spectral elements in Canadian literature. Analyzing literature from the nineteenth century through to the modern fiction of Atwood and Ondaatje, Edwards finds a common thread. 'The thing that Gothic Canadian texts have in common is the question 'who are we?' and a source of fear and anxiety is generated from not being able to answer this question,' says Edwards." -- Lynne Stefanchuk, Prairie Books NOW. "This is another volume in the praiseworthy cuRRents Canadian literature series. Edwards explores the connections between the formation of identity and gothic, through analysis of discourses in Canadian culture." Anne Burke, Prairie Journal Trust, July 22, 2005 "This book could have been called 'Negotiating with the Dead', for it is a literary study of how Canadian narratives of national identity and history are haunted and undermined by stories from the past. ... With his choice of literary texts and films from the nineteenth to the late twentieth century, Edwards offers an overview of crisis nodes in Canada's history, suggesting that a gothic discourse of anxiety and even terror shadows national assertions of 'peace, order and good government.' He emphasises cultural, political, and psychological dimensions of 'northern gothic, Native gothic, diasporic gothic, and the gothic films of David Cronenberg and Lynne Stopkewich." -- Coral Ann Howells, University of Reading, British Journal of Canadian Studies, 19.2Vom Verlag:
Canadians have always been obsessed with the idea of their own identities. Stories that tell us who we are provide a reassuring sense of identity for the individual and the nation. Hockey. Maple Leaves. Beavers. But collective stories tend to be haunted by a fear that a shared narrative might be nothing more than an elaborate artifice. This fear has long been a source of gothic inspiration for Canadian writers. A haunted Canadian self returns again and again. Polite. Friendly. Not American. With examples of gothic discourse from Canadian fiction, autobiography, film, poetry, and drama, Justin Edwards analyses the ghost at the heart of the nation. A major contribution to cultural and literary studies, Gothic Canada unearths two centuries of Canadian gothic writings to reveal uncanny traditions of trauma, repression, and monstrosity.
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