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

Vanja Polić ; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 119 Kb

str. 369-389

preuzimanja: 568



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.

Ključne riječi

western; cowboys and Indians; Canadian and US Wild West(s); metahistory; chronotopical and chronological approach; postmodernism; heterotopia

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