Southern Ontario Gothic


Southern Ontario Gothic

Southern Ontario Gothic is a sub-genre of the Gothic novel genre and a feature of Canadian literature that comes from Southern Ontario.

Writers of this sub-genre include Alice Munro, Timothy Findley, Douglas Cooper, Margaret Atwood, Robertson Davies, Jane Urquhart, Marian Engel, James Reaney, Susan Swan, George Elliott, Graeme Gibson and Barbara Gowdy.

Like the Southern Gothic of American writers such as William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor and Eudora Welty, Southern Ontario Gothic analyzes and critiques social conditions such as race, gender, religion and politics, but in a Southern Ontario context. Southern Ontario Gothic is generally characterized by a stern realism set against the dour small-town Protestant morality stereotypical of the region, and often has underlying themes of moral hypocrisy. Actions and people that act against humanity, logic, and morality all are portrayed unfavourably, and one or more characters may be suffering from some form of mental illness.

Some (but not all) writers of Southern Ontario Gothic use supernatural or magic realist elements; a few deviate from realism entirely, in the manner of the fantastical gothic novel. Virtually all dwell to a certain extent upon the grotesque.

Notable novels of the genre include Davies' "Deptford Trilogy", Findley's "Headhunter", "The Last of the Crazy People" and "The Wars", Cooper's "Amnesia" and "Delirium", Swan's "The Wives of Bath" and Atwood's "The Blind Assassin", "Cat's Eye" and "Alias Grace".

The genre has been criticised as having "little or nothing to distinguish it from everyday, garden-variety type realism." [Ingham, David. [http://www.lib.unb.ca/Texts/SCL/bin/get.cgi?directory=vol15_2/&filename=Ingham.htm Bashihng the Fascists: The Moral Dimensions of Findley's Fiction] . "Studies in Canadian Literature." Retrieved on: December 3, 2007.]

ee also

*United Empire Loyalists
*Methodist Rome

Notes

References

* Becker, Susanne. 1999. "Gothic Forms of Feminine Fictions." Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0719053313
* Edwards, Justin D. 2005. "Gothic Canada: Reading the Spectre of a National Literature." Edmonton: University of Alberta Press. ISBN 978-0-88864-441-1.


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