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Martha Ostenso, literary history, and the Scandinavian diaspora

Hammill, Faye (2008) Martha Ostenso, literary history, and the Scandinavian diaspora. Canadian Literature, 2008 (196). pp. 17-31. ISSN 00084360

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Abstract

Through a case study of Martha Ostenso, this essay explores the exclusionary practices of literary history, and the ability of migrant writers to destabilise constructs of nation and region. Ostenso's career has been presented in strikingly different ways by Canadian and American literary historians, and she is inscribed into a variety of incompatible narratives of immigrant assimilation or regional literary development. Neither American nor Canadian critics, however, pay attention to Ostenso's use of Scandinavian material, perhaps because the Scandinavian diaspora disrupts nationalist literary histories by crossing political and cultural boundaries between America and Canada. This essay revises accepted views of Ostenso's reputation by concentrating on her multiple ethnic, national and regional identification, and it also initiates critical recuperation of some of Ostenso's neglected novels, The Young May Moon (1929), The White Reef (1934) and Prologue To Love (1932).

Item type: Article
ID code: 16694
Keywords: martha ostenso, scandinavia, diaspora, the white reef, wild geese, the young may moon, prologue to love, english studies, Literary History, American literature, Literature and Literary Theory
Subjects: Language and Literature > Literature (General) > Literary History
Language and Literature > American literature
Department: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) > School of Humanities > English
Depositing user: Mrs Tereza McLaughlin-Vanova
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2010 16:32
Last modified: 27 Mar 2015 02:57
URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/16694

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