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Canadian Gothic: Literature, History, and the Spectre of Self-Invention

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In Canadian Gothic, Cynthia Sugars explores the origins and history of the Canadian gothic tradition, tracing the ways that the gothic genre has been reinvented for a specifically Canadian context. Sugars demonstrates how, from very early on, the Gothic has held a precarious position in Canadian literature. Canada had long been perceived as an empty terrain unhaunted by a In Canadian Gothic, Cynthia Sugars explores the origins and history of the Canadian gothic tradition, tracing the ways that the gothic genre has been reinvented for a specifically Canadian context. Sugars demonstrates how, from very early on, the Gothic has held a precarious position in Canadian literature. Canada had long been perceived as an empty terrain unhaunted by a historical tradition and incapable of inspiring ghosts or gothic tales. Sugars argues instead that many Canadian writers have created a distinctly Canadian Gothic, one expressed in a postcolonial context and found in early aboriginal and diasporic writings. Among the authors she discusses are Dionne Brand, David Chariandy, Wayson Choy, Hiromi Goto, Suzette Mayr, and Michael Ondaatje.


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In Canadian Gothic, Cynthia Sugars explores the origins and history of the Canadian gothic tradition, tracing the ways that the gothic genre has been reinvented for a specifically Canadian context. Sugars demonstrates how, from very early on, the Gothic has held a precarious position in Canadian literature. Canada had long been perceived as an empty terrain unhaunted by a In Canadian Gothic, Cynthia Sugars explores the origins and history of the Canadian gothic tradition, tracing the ways that the gothic genre has been reinvented for a specifically Canadian context. Sugars demonstrates how, from very early on, the Gothic has held a precarious position in Canadian literature. Canada had long been perceived as an empty terrain unhaunted by a historical tradition and incapable of inspiring ghosts or gothic tales. Sugars argues instead that many Canadian writers have created a distinctly Canadian Gothic, one expressed in a postcolonial context and found in early aboriginal and diasporic writings. Among the authors she discusses are Dionne Brand, David Chariandy, Wayson Choy, Hiromi Goto, Suzette Mayr, and Michael Ondaatje.

30 review for Canadian Gothic: Literature, History, and the Spectre of Self-Invention

  1. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Perhaps 2 out of 5 is not fair. Perhaps expecting that a tome entitled "Canadian Gothic: Literature, History, and the Spectre of Self-Invention" would explore a broad range of Canada's Gothic Literature. I know that it really is not possible to expect Cynthia Sugars, a Professor of English at the University of Ottawa, to eschew the detestable academic habit of altering nouns into verbs when there are perfectly good verbs available in the English language that would do the trick. To quote from one Perhaps 2 out of 5 is not fair. Perhaps expecting that a tome entitled "Canadian Gothic: Literature, History, and the Spectre of Self-Invention" would explore a broad range of Canada's Gothic Literature. I know that it really is not possible to expect Cynthia Sugars, a Professor of English at the University of Ottawa, to eschew the detestable academic habit of altering nouns into verbs when there are perfectly good verbs available in the English language that would do the trick. To quote from one of the blurbs on the back cover: "...'Canadian Gothic' is a groundbreaking study of the history of English-Canadian Gothic from its colonial beginnings to the present, offering a depth and breadth of analysis that is unprecedented and comprehensive in scope. - Jennifer Andrews, Professor and Chair of the Department of English, University of New Brunswick. High praise, pity it is undeserved. I cannot speak to the "unprecedented in spoke" but can speak to the "comprehensive in scope". To put it politely, it's a gross exaggeration. I'm not feeling polite, it's a base lie. Anyone who has read Canadian literature - and especially a gothic specialist would be aware of and know intimately of all the which texts ghostly, monstrous, remote and supernatural elements. These may not form the backbone of Canadian Gothic literature but they certainly are its gristle. Reading this text one can only imagine that the uncanny exists only as a vestigial appendix in the bowels of English Canadian fictions. Sugars seems to cherry pick texts to "prove" her thesis explained in Chapter headings such as: Here There Be Monsters: Wilderness Gothic and Psychic PROJECTION Haunted by a LACK of Ghosts: Gothic ABSENCE and Settler Melancholy To be fair, my background is in the biological sciences. There, as in all sciences, one posits a theory and then looks at ALL available evidence before drawing conclusions. If ALL available evidence is not available or is too vast to handle then it is accepted practice to take SEVERAL randomized samples and test the theory against those samples. IF and WHEN results from those samples AGREE enough with each other to be STATISTICALLY significant then and ONLY then can one draw any conclusion whatever. Sugar, and she is no exception, has put the cart before the horse. Theory first, then look texts which support the theory or can be interpreted to support the thesis which leads to the grand conclusion that you were right after all. (Much ado about nothing.) Pity. I really was looking forward to learning something.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

  3. 4 out of 5

    Breanna Keeler

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jaye

  5. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Keeler

  6. 5 out of 5

    Miss Susan

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Morris

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisastrawberry

  10. 5 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mely

  12. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Langer

  13. 5 out of 5

    Al

  14. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emma

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laurie (Mots Insatiables)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Neveen

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jessica (Southern Ontario Gothic)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

  21. 5 out of 5

    Markéta Barochová

  22. 4 out of 5

    Henrik

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karl

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hartley

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

  26. 5 out of 5

    Raluca Lupei

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Quinn

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jen

  30. 4 out of 5

    Will A

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