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Picture of The Memory of Nature in Aboriginal, Canadian and American Contexts

The Memory of Nature in Aboriginal, Canadian and American Contexts

Editor(s): Françoise Besson, Claire Omhovère, Héliane Ventura
Contributors: Lee Schweninger, Julie Leblanc, Geneviève Chevallier, Françoise Besson, Jean-Jacques Lecercle, Thomas Wharton,

Book Description

This volume engages the reader’s interest in the relationship that binds man to nature, a relationship which makes itself manifest through certain literary or visual artefacts produced by Native or non-Native writers and artists. It ranges from the study of literatures (mainly from Canada – including Quebec and Acadia – but also from Britain, the United States of America, France, Turkey, and Australia) to the exploration of films, photographs, paintings and sculptures produced by Aboriginal artists from North America. Thanks to a relational paradigm founded on spatial and temporal enlargement, it re-imagines the critical outlook on indigenous production by instigating a dialogue between endogenous and exogenous scholars, novelists and artists, and by weaving together interdisciplinary approaches spanning anthropology, geology, ecocriticism and the study of myths. From the writings by Scott Momaday to those by Tomson Highway, from Pauline Johnson to Louise Erdrich, or from the photographs by William McFarlane Notman and Edward Burtynsky or the films by Randy Redroad to the paintings by Emily Carr, it explores art as the sedimentation of nature. It simultaneously interrogates the representation of nature and the nature of representation as a geological and generic process inscribed in the history of mankind. Without eclipsing differences and imposing a reified Eurocentric critical discourse upon indigenous productions, this volume does not colonize indigenous texts or indulge in cultural appropriation of works of art, but looks for historical, mythological or geological traces of the past; a past characterized by the intimacy between man and animal, man and rock, or man and plant, a past which is allowed to resurface through the creative and critical outlooks that are bestowed upon its subjacent or subterranean existence. It resurfaces, not as nostalgic memory but as an interactive fertilization giving the present a new life in which the non-human provides a key to the understanding of the human bond to nature.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-5473-3
ISBN-10: 1-4438-5473-5
Date of Publication: 01/03/2014
Pages / Size: 382 / A5
Price: £49.99


Françoise Besson is Professor of Literature in English at the University Toulouse 2-Le Mirail. Her research focuses on the relationship between landscape and writing in English, Native American and Canadian literature. She has published extensively on those subjects. She is also the author of several collections of poems, tales and short stories.

Claire Omhovère is Professor of English and Commonwealth Literature at University Paul Valéry–Montpellier 3. She is the current editor of Commonwealth Essays and Studies. She has published articles in French and Canadian journals and contributed book chapters on the novels of Robert Kroetsch, Rudy Wiebe, Jane Urquhart and Miriam Toews.

Héliane Ventura is Professor of Contemporary Literature in English at the University Toulouse 2-Le Mirail, and her research is mainly centered on the short story written by women in the contemporary English-speaking world, exploring the rewriting of the canon, the resurgence of images and the emergence of transatlantic literatures. She has recently devoted her research to Aboriginal writing and written articles on Pauline Johnson, Eden Robinson and Tomson Highway. Since 2010, she has edited several volumes, mainly focusing on Alice Munro and Jane Urquhart.