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“How Strange Life is!”: The Performative Narrator and Chaucerian Similarities in Steven Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town

Title
“How Strange Life is!”: The Performative Narrator and Chaucerian Similarities in Steven Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town
Author
Eckert, Kenneth David
Keywords
Stephen Leacock; Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town; Geoffrey Chaucer; Sir Thopas; Canadian fiction
Issue Date
2019-03
Publisher
대한영어영문학회
Citation
영어영문학연구, v. 45, No. 1, Page. 199-216
Abstract
Stephen Leacock’s humorous Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912) is now less known outside Canada, but was in its time possibly more recognized abroad than the country was, and remains a foundational touchstone of Canadian fiction. Yet its genial humor has brought it affection but slighter academic regard, and its amorphous narrator has received criticism for his claimed inconsistency in knowledge level and identity. This article asserts that this alleged inconsistency can be explained by the example of Chaucer’s Tale of Sir Thopas. While it is an odd connection, Chaucer also deploys a narrator who knowingly employs a lowered or counterfactual viewpoint, and so both the poem and the Sketches are contextualized as explicit performances. Recognizing the narrator’s guise as an admitted reciter separate from his fictive story may help elucidate this critical issue and raise regard for Leacock’s masterpiece.
URI
https://www.earticle.net/Article/A349864https://repository.hanyang.ac.kr/handle/20.500.11754/112611
ISSN
1226-8682
Appears in Collections:
COLLEGE OF LANGUAGES & CULTURES[E](국제문화대학) > ENGLISH LANGUAGE & CULTURE(영미언어·문화학과) > Articles
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