Contacting the dead: echoes from the Haisla diaspora in Eden Robinson's "Monkey Beach"

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Date
2011-09-12
Authors
Moore, Gerard Joshua
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Abstract
The purpose of this thesis was to posit an explanation of recurrent liminal imagery in Eden Robinson’s novel Monkey Beach by exploring the ways that the text can be read as an expression of diasporic awareness. The Haisla in Monkey Beach experience a form of exile that is atypical because it occurs within the limits of their homeland. This thesis explores the dimensions of this exile by examining the ways that the Haisla community’s connection to its homeland has been altered in the wake of colonial contact. What this study revealed is that although Monkey Beach exposes disruptions in the connections between the Haisla and their homeland, the adaptation of Aboriginal storytelling techniques to the form of the novel represents both a positive continuation of indigenous traditions and an active resistance of cultural erasure.
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Keywords
Canadian Literature, Diaspora, Residential Schools
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