Knjižnica Filozofskog fakulteta
Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Institutional Repository

Shoot! by George Bowering: the untold story of the conquest of the canadian West


Downloads per month over past year

Polić, Vanja. (2013). Shoot! by George Bowering: the untold story of the conquest of the canadian West. Umjetnost riječi : časopis za znanost o književnosti, 57(3-4). pp. 203-225. ISSN 0503-1853

PDF (Croatian)
Download (147kB) | Preview


The article analyzes strategies by which Canadian writer George Bowering in the novel Shoot! (1994) deconstructs the master narrative of the white settlement of Canada on the example of a historical event, the story of the McLean brothers and Alex Hare, excluded from the official history of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Strategies of the construction of white history are dissected, especially with regard to the construction of white colonial identity and legitimation of land appropriation: those are the concept of white civility based on the isochronous understanding of societal development which justifies English superiority over other societies; the concept of Britishness through which the subordinated ethnicities within the British isles erased their differences and adopted English identity before the rest of the world; belief in the imperial legislation as the guarantee of the society’s civility. Colonization and racism were also justified through these white discourses. Bowering in the novel offers a counter-discourse to the white monologism through the polyphony and dialogism because the novel is literally a weave of numerous stories from the oral traditions of the First Nations as well as stories from white historical archives. Postcolonial analysis of the novel shows how from the white perspective the contact zone (Pratt) produced the abject (Kristeva), the unwanted »race« of the Métis who were perceived as a threat to the ordered white society and were proof of the dark side of land appropriation and abuse of the indigenous people. The article also discusses the colonial policy of identifying First Nations and Métis with children, Queen’s people, which was yet another legitimation tactic for the depravation of the autochthonous population in Canada. Finally, it is shown how Bowering uses irony to indicate the necessity of a wider reconceptualization of the official Canadian history.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: George Bowering, Métis, irony, history/narrative, polyphony and dialogism, white civility, postcolonialism, imperial politics, whiteness, Canada
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2018 18:11
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2018 18:11

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item