In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

HUMANITIES 343 she continues, Findley begins his novels with a scene that is repeated later in the book, and, finally, she points out the repetition in novel after novel of a story that begins with violence. Regarding this last point, Hunter notes that violence is the impetus that originates the narration, but she also sees in it the possibility that the beginning of writing, in particular, is a form of violence. Starting from Derrida's use of writing as a metaphor for investigating the split between signified and signifier, thought and word, and intention and meaning, and from D.A. Miller's study of narrative, Hunter takes the notion of the violent act of narrating and interprets it as the pivotal moment at which the desire to narrate is frustrated by the ineffability of the stories to be narrated. She explains this unnarratability with the fact that what is ineffable in the story is often taboo and impenetrable for the innocent adolescent. What allows the UlUlarratable to be narrated is the loss ofinnocence. To explain this point, Hunter parallels this downfall from the innocence of childhood into adulthood with ancient Greek tragedy, where the narrative movement of tragedy has traditionally been described as a decline from a superior state. This parallel is particularly effective in her analysis of Cassandra, the protagonist of Findley's first published play, Can You See Me Yet? Hunter concludes her innovative and stimulating study by arguing that Findley's writing seems always to desire the ineffable , and that the tension inherent in the desire to narrate the untellable generates an explosion, which is the constructing and writing of the UlUlarratable story. Lorraine York's analysis of Findley's representation of the racial and etlmic Other opens up a field of study as yet virtually untouched by Findley scholars. By paying attention to Findley's self-consciousness about the fact that the racial!ethnic Other has always been depicted by a white hand, York points out that, by doing so, Findley opens up his own ceuvre for self-conscious examination. She then offers an attentive and careful analysis of the presence of the racialized/ethnicized Other in Findley's works. The essays by Barbara Gabriel, Tom Hastings, and Peter Dickinson are also noteworthy because each offers a new approach to Findley studies by attending to the linkbetween his works and the EuropeanIiterary tradition. (MARIA CRISTINA SAVIOLI) Coral Ann Howells. Alice Munro Manchester University Press. xviii, 184. $23.95 Alice Munro is a volume in the Contemporary Writers Series published by Manchester University Press. Like other volumes in the series, this one includes a chronology of the writer's life, an introduction on 'contexts and intertexts,' discussion of the writer's major works individually in chronologically arranged chapters, and a bibliography of primary and secondary 344 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 works. The mandate of the series is to provide 'comprehensive general introductions' to and 'stimulating original theses' on the works of 'culturally diverse contemporary writers from outside Britain and the United States,or from J'minority"backgrounds within Britainorthe United States.' It seems an odd fit to put Munro into a category of writers who require a 'general introduction.' The series editor's foreword creates an illfitting frame for a book that offers more than an introduction to Munro, and that, with a few minor exceptions, addresses itself to an audience not assumed to be exclusively British or American. Howells's book is suited to readers both new to and familiar with Munro. Her study combines thematic and structural analyses of Munro's collected stories from Dance of the Happy Shades to Open Secrets. Howells chooses the imagery of maps and mapping and the treatment of women's romantic fantasies as her thematic focal points while also arguing for her sense of the structural doubleness of vision and layering of realism and fantasy in Munro's stories. Treahnents of these themes and structures are deftlywoven togetherin clearandstraightforward analyses. Howells poses a series of questions in each chapter, a strategy that keeps the reader engaged in the analysis. Each chapter on Munro's books takes up three to five stories for discussion. While keeping to the thematic and...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 343-345
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.