Graphies and grafts: (con)texts and (inter)texts in the fiction of four contemporary Canadian women
This study provides a close reading and a critical analysis of four novels by contemporary Canadian women writing in English: Joy Kogawa's Obasan (1983), Sky Lee's Disappearing Moon Cafe (1990), Kristjana Gunnars's The Prowler (1989), and Aritha van Herk's No Fixed Address (1987). The analysis draws on a combination of post-structuralist, post-colonial and feminist working concepts and perspectives. It is predicated on the assumption of the fundamental interconnectedness of all aspects of human knowledge, and partakes of the process of intertextuality affecting our own contemporary experience of the world. Recent fiction by women, but also feminist and postcolonial theories of meaning and textuality, have had an important share in changing our views of the world/text from a closed structure to a constant process of cultural/textual interaction between two or more cultures/texts. The novels examined here provide rich sites for the exploration of these changing paradigms and their exegesis will offer alternative ways of dealing with language, history, gender, fiction, text and reality in Canada and elsewhere.
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absence Arachne Arachne's argues Asian Canadian autobiography becomes biblical body Canada Canadian Literature cartographical cartography cathect Chapter character Chinese Canadian complex connection constructed contemporary context critical cultural death deconstruction Disappearing Moon Cafe discourse displacement Emily Emily's experience exploration female subject feminist fiction Fixed Address Fong Mei gender genre Gunnars Gunnars's Gwei Chang Herk Herk's Huggan Icelandic identity instance intertextual Inuit Japanese Canadians Joy Kogawa Kae's Kelora Kogawa Kristjana Gunnars language Lee's literally literary male maps meaning metafictional metaphorical mode mother Mui Lan myth Nagasaki Naomi narrative narrator narrator's notion novel Obasan paradigms patriarchal phallogocentric picaresque plot political position postmodern prairie Prowler reader reading relation representation reterritorializing romance seems seen self-conscious sense sexual Significantly signifier silence spatial spider story structure Suzie Suzie's symbolic tells text's textual Thena theory tion tradition truth unveils Vancouver Western woman words writing subject