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Of West, Quests and Bullwhips: George Bowering’s Caprice Rides through the Western Genre


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Polić, Vanja. (2014). Of West, Quests and Bullwhips: George Bowering’s Caprice Rides through the Western Genre. Umjetnost riječi : časopis za znanost o književnosti, 58(3-4). pp. 369-389. ISSN 0503-1853

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George Bowering’s novel Caprice (1987) generally conforms to the literary code of the western genre, although both its form and content surpass those of a typical western. This article will focus on the novel’s departures from the western, particularly its deconstruction of the grand narratives of history and the related myth of the Wild West. It will do this through the introduction of multiple alternative histories and perspectives, in the form of fragmented narratives and diverse conceptions of time and place, addressing: the differentiation between American and Canadian myths of the Wild and Mild West respectively, which reflect the distinct ideologies and histories of inception of these bordering countries; the deconstruction of the western genre through postmodern play with western tropes, such as the concepts of cowboy, Indian, the West, guns, and violence; and its engagement in the metatextual play with history and narrative. The aim is to show that Bowering’s Caprice—a parody of the western genre written on the cusp of Canadian postmodernism—functions as palimpsest of the new (Canadian) western.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: western, cowboys and Indians, Canadian and US Wild West(s), metahistory, chronotopical and chronological approach, postmodernism, heterotopia
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2017 09:42
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2017 09:42

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