(RE)IMAGINED COMMUNITIES

Alexander Luft

Abstract


A quarter-century has passed since Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News won the Pulitzer Prize and kindled an international interest in Newfoundland, and in that time, the island has fostered a tourism industry catering to those expecting the quaint seaside villages of Proulx’s novel. This paper re-evaluates Proulx’s 1993 work, especially its imagination of Newfoundland as a geographically peripheral location at the edge of rapid economic change. The novel works through its internal newspaper, the Gammy Bird, to depict a community’s self-representation as resistance to outside economic and cultural forces, often framing traditional ‘native’ storytelling against modern, fact-driven journalistic conventions. Yet, The Shipping News is not a native text to Newfoundland, and its fictional reimagination of the island accomplishes the same outside obfuscation it ascribes to contemporary journalistic practice.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21153/cinder2019art864

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