British Journal of Canadian Studies

The reworkings of the Western from the northern side of the Medicine Line: Caple’s In Calamity’s Wake, Vanderhaeghe’s The Englishman’s Boy and Stenson’s Lightning

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2015), 28, (2), 205–221.

Abstract

This article analyses the adaptation and appropriation of the Western genre in novels by three Canadian authors: Natalee Caple’s In Calamity’s Wake, Guy Vanderhaeghe’s The Englishman’s Boy and Fred Stenson’s Lightning. All three novels revisit, re-interpret and subvert the myth of the Wild West by: focusing on historicity in the form of historiographic metafiction or historical fiction; differentiating between the Canadian and American Wild Wests; laying bare the mythologisation processes of the Wild West as a nation-making myth; and foregrounding characters ex-centric for the Western, such as women, First Nations, Canadians, and atypical cowboys. In this way, the novels contribute to the Canadian new Western genre.

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Polić, Vanja