New Publication: Reconstructing National Identity: The Nation Forged in Fire-Myth and Canadian Literature

In the diversified and ambiguous, globally and glocally networked mobile present, national identities are challenged internally and externally in multiple ways. In Canada intellectuals and notable novelists have lately begun to remember and re-discover the significance of the First World War for their construction of a Canadian national identity. The book presents the first large-scale interdisciplinary analysis of these developments. The author of this Bourdieusian inspired literary-critical research work nails down the sociological foundations of the concept of the nation before then discussing aspects of the role of the First World War for (Canadian) national identity and the relevant memorial discourse. The reconstruction focuses on how remarkable Canadian authors – including Hugh MacLennan, Timothy Findley, Jack Hodgins, Jane Urquhart, Frances Itani and Joseph Boyden – have challenged, re-imagined and rewritten the Nation Forged in Fire-myth in the 20th and 21st century to bring to life the experiences of national minorities like women, indigenous people, migrants, war veterans, children and people with disabilities. The study shows that the literary workings on the myth, myth reconstruction and myth deconstruction is a fascinating though ambivalent and dynamic project in the Third Millennium.

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