A politics of location : subjectivity and origins in the work of Mavis Gallant, Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood.
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This thesis attempts to discover the links between concepts of identity and origins, and Canadian women's writing. The work of three English-speaking Canadian women writers, Mavis Gallant, Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro, will be examined in order to discover the ways in which their writings problematize feminine subjecthood, and in doing so shed light on a specifically Canadian 'discourse' of identity. I posit thereby, that perceiving the absences and silences structuring their modes of representation is a (symbolic) means of perceiving Canada as a dualistic, fractured, and contradictory unity. This implies a dialogue between text and context: a reading of one through the other. The three writers in question draw on diverse, and often opposing, centres of cultural and personal consciousness. I shall attempt to demonstrate however, that the problematical concept of origins and its relation to location and to feminine self-hood defines all three. To do so I have chosen those texts, whether novel or short story, which to my mind best articulate the social, cultural and symbolic discourses informing the definition 'English-speaking Canadian Women's writing'. Other works not included would undoubtedly have proved of interest, but the type of 'close reading' which such themes required entailed an automatic limitation on the range of fiction under scrutiny
AuthorsSturgess, Charlotte Jane
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