Speculative Fictions: Contemporary Canadian Novelists and the Writing of History

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 2002 - 316 ˹
Herb Wyile provides a comparative analysis of the historical concerns and textual strategies of twenty novels published since the appearance of Rudy Wiebe's groundbreaking The Temptations of Big Bear in 1973. Drawing on the work of theorists and critics such as Hayden White, Mikhail Bakhtin, Fredric Jameson, Linda Hutcheon, and Michel De Certeau, Speculative Fictions examines the nature of these novels' engagement with Canadian history, historiography, and the writing of historical fiction. In the 1970s and early 1980s, writers such as Wiebe, Joy Kogawa, and Timothy Findley set the stage for a predominantly postcolonial and postmodern interrogation of traditional conceptions of Canadian history, the writing of history and fiction, and the idea of nation. Through his comparative approach, Wyile emphasizes the ways in which this spirit has been sustained in more recent historical novels by Jane Urquhart, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Tom Wharton, Margaret Atwood, and others. He concludes that the writing of history in English-Canadian fiction over the last thirty years makes a substantial contribution to a revisioning of history and to a postcolonial renegotiation of Canada and Canadian society as we enter into a new century.

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History Theory and the Contemporary Canadian
3
Historical Sites
34
Textual Strategies
138
Commodity Culture and
214
Notes
267
Bibliography
297
Index
311
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CA

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