Throwing voices, dialogism in the novels of three contemporary Canadian w men writers
Gantzert, Patricia L.
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It is my interest in the innovative, experimental, and challenging works of contemporary Canadian women novelists that leads me to choose three very recent and relatively unexplored texts as the subjects of my study of dialogism in Canadian fiction. Each work is the first novel of the writers in question and each demonstrates the local, yet communal, concerns with identity, marginalization, and post-colonial hybridization in Canada. The novels I investigate are Margaret Sweatman's Fox, Roberta Rees's Beneath the Faceless Mountain, and Hiromi Goto's Chorus of Mushrooms. These texts confront important social, racial, and ideological issues with a contrasting and distinctive range of dialogic strategies. My inquiry determines how Canada, with its multicultural diversity and heterogeneous political and social foundations, is productively realized as an ideally open-ended dialogistic space in these texts, as well as how these texts qualify as genuinely dialogic novels within a framework of the ideas of M. M. Bakhtin. The organization of my essay takes shape through a transverse approach to the novels in order to involve the texts at various levels and present a composite examination of the dynamic socio-linguistic aspects of each. These novels amplify the social phenomenon of communication and understanding, the formation of attitudes and values, the inextricable ties between language and life by utilizing narrative strategies that re/produce the struggle and challenge of forming autonomous consciousnesses within collective communities. I specifically consider the way they confront, search, and play with historical and cultural contexts, and the spaces between fact and fiction, author and reader, boundaries and margins, past, present, and future. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)