British Journal of Canadian Studies

More than Representation: Storytelling and Self-Invention in Alistair MacLeod's Narratives

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2008), 21, (2), 239–256.

Abstract

This article develops ways of reading resonance and connection between Alistair MacLeod's short stories and his novel No Great Mischief (1999) by focusing not only on what is said but on what is not said. It does so by developing MacLeod's concern with the continuously evolving subject in his short stories before touching on similar thematic concerns in the novel. As MacLeod demonstrates, the past is necessarily present in our conscious experiencing, just as our present understanding continuously reinvents our perceptions of what has been and our expectations of what is to come. By framing MacLeod's fiction within contemporary theories of memory and narrative self-construction, storytelling is revealed as more than a mere representation of the past. Rather, it becomes a means of articulating and interpreting temporal existence, as well as of constructing personal and social identity.

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Details

Author details

Selby, Sharon