Comparative Literature: Reading the Canadian Nation(s)

Paul D. Morris

Abstract


"various communities within multinational Canada adhere to different understandings of the nation, and, further, these same communities are at differing stages in their negotiation of an ethnic or civic form of nationalism. Multiculturalism emerged in the context of socially and historically determined paradigms of the nation and nationalism; these same forces must figure
in its re-evaluation....this paper identifies five “communities” in Canada as fields of comparative literary inquiry. The implicit assumption here is that recognition of the preoccupations of these collectives vis-à-vis the nation will precede any attempt to arrive at what Hayden King referred to as “a cohesive and honest narrative” about the Canadian nation."

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