The indigenous Gothic novel : tribal twists, native monsters, and the politics of appropriation
Gore, Amy Elizabeth.
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Although reading Native literature for cultural epistemology and rhetorical sovereignty remains important, an examination of Indigenous literature as text remains under-utilized. A critical inquiry into form and genre not only validates Native novels as literary art, it creates a fresh approach to their treatment of contemporary issues. Specifically, the recent prevalence of First Nations Gothic novels opens new questions for critics of Indigenous literature. Do certain genres better lend themselves to the common topics of Indigenous texts? How does the Gothic and the post/colonial synthesize uniquely into and perform within contemporary First Nations novels? What is it about the Gothic that might lend itself to the aesthetic purposes of an Indigenous author and why has this combination produced an abundance of triumphant texts in the last few decades? As a site of subversion, of a past that haunts the present, of a society in transition, and of cultural anxiety, these characteristics explain the current merger of the Gothic and the Indigenous. As I will delineate with various post/colonial theories and in specific texts such as Eden Robinson's 'Monkey Beach' and Joseph Boyden's 'Three Day Road', each of these themes proposes an invigorating method of Indigenizing the Gothic novel.