|Title||Canadian literary pilgrimage: From colony to post-nation|
This thesis establishes the presence of pilgrimage in Canadian literature as reflective of Canadian cultural and global changes. It shows the enduring archetypal characteristics of pilgrimage from the earliest pre-Confederation travel writing to contemporary and postmodern novels. The topic of Canadian literary pilgrimage allows for an eclectic and necessarily multi-disciplinary approach and also for the study of the earliest Canadian letters and contemporary novelists, as well as for a breadth of forms, including journals, letters, archival sermons, dramatic works, poetry, and contemporary Canadian novels. Chapter one begins with the cultural figure of Brebeuf as pilgrim first in The Jesuit Relations 1632-1673), proceeds to E. J. Pratts long-poem Brebeuf and his Brethren 1940), on-site research at the memorial to Brebeuf in Midland, Ontario, and concludes with the post-colonial revisiting of this figure in James W. Nichols dramatic work, Saint-Marie Among the Hurons 1980), and in Brian Moores Black Robe 1985). Chapter two turns to Oliver Goldsmiths The Rising Village and explores Protestant pilgrimage, marking the material and spiritual progress of that pilgrimage. The thesis then looks at Goldsmiths work in conjunction with the influential sermons and journals of Bishop John Inglis of Nova Scotia. Chapter three follows pilgrimage into more contemporary works in Robertson Davies Fifth Business and Jane Urquharts The Stone Carvers, incorporating post-structuralist discussions of the nomad as pilgrim or anti-pilgrim figure and the implications of homelessness to the pilgrimage paradigm. Chapters four and five analyze Richard B. Wrights The Age of Longing and Clara Callan, and Timothy Findleys The Butterfly Plague and Headhunter, which are explored in light of some of Jacques Derridas writing and the critical utopian studies of Ernst Bloch.
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