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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54694
Doc. No:TL24648
Call number:‭3233922‬
Main Entry:Meredith L. Shoenut
Title & Author:Canadian postwar perspectives of her-story: Historiographic metafiction by Laurence, Kogawa, Shields, and AtwoodMeredith L. Shoenut
College:Illinois State University
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:331
Abstract:This project illustrates and extends Canadian women's perspectives of history through historiographic metafiction. I analyze how over the past 30 years Canadian women's literature subverts traditional notions of historical writing; these postmodern revisionings of the past question the official historical version of particular events and people. I begin by reviewing the theory surrounding historical fiction; I utilize Linda Hutcheon's construction of this postmodern genre to investigate how this fiction writes a counterhistory. I next open my discussion by investigating the specific textual strategies of historiographic metafiction in Canadian women's writing---namely, Margaret Laurence's The Diviners, Joy Kogawa's Obasan, Carol Shields's The Stone Diaries, and Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin ---that present self-reflexive interaction between history and fiction. Each of these postmodern narratives occurs in Canada during the twentieth century; various wars and other historical events as well as historical figures are referred to or investigated in order to both posit the necessity of history and investigate it as a demonstrable discourse. Each heroine addresses multiple versions of truth, the construction of history as myth, power issues and the human construct, as well as problematic narrative voices, including the unreliable narrator. I argue that Canadian women's historiographic metafiction re-examines traditional historical narratives in order to reveal the wounds of Canada's past and write women back into history from which they have traditionally been excluded. This project includes an analysis of themes in Canadian women's writing as elucidated by American female undergraduates in a women's literature class. Initially, these students shared misconceptions about Canada as well as women's issues. I argue from a pedagogical standpoint that these motifs in Canadian women's literature allowed my students to identify with the concerns of marginalized women, and consequently, myths regarding Canada were dispelled. I conclude by offering recommendations for a course in Canadian women's historiographic metafiction.
Subject:Language, literature and linguistics; Atwood, Margaret; Carol Shields; Historiographic metafiction; Joy Kogawa; Kogawa, Joy; Laurence, Margaret; Margaret Atwood; Margaret Laurence; Postwar; Shields, Carol; Canadian literature; 0352:Canadian literature
Added Entry:R. McLaughlin
Added Entry:Illinois State University