The Daughter's Way: Canadian Women's Paternal Elegies

The Daughter's Way: Canadian Women's Paternal Elegies

by Tanis MacDonald

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Overview

The Daughter’s Way investigates negotiations of female subjectivity in twentieth-century Canadian women’s elegies with a special emphasis on the father’s death as a literary and political watershed. The book examines the work of Dorothy Livesay, P.K. Page, Jay Macpherson, Margaret Atwood, Kristjana Gunnars, Lola Lemire Tostevin, Anne Carson, and Erin Mouré as elegiac daughteronomies—literary artifacts of mourning that grow from the poets’ investigation into the function and limitations of elegiac convention. Some poets treat the father as a metaphor for socio-political power, while others explore more personal iterations of loss, but all the poets in The Daughter’s Way seek to redefine daughterly duty in a contemporary context by challenging elegiac tradition through questions of genre and gender.

Beginning with psychoanalytical theories of filiation, inheritance, and mourning as they are complicated by feminist challenges to theories of kinship and citizenship, The Daughter’s Way debates the efficacy of the literary “work of mourning” in twentieth-century Canadian poetry. By investigating the way a daughter’s filial piety performs and sometimes reconfigures such work, and situating melancholia as a creative force in women’s elegies, the book considers how elegies inquire into the rhetoric of mourning as it is complicated by father-daughter kinship.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781554585212
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Publication date: 09/13/2018
Pages: 279
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Tanis MacDonald is an associate professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. She is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Rue the Day (Turnstone Press, 2008), and the editor of Speaking of Power: The Poetry of Di Brandt (WLU Press, 2006). Her book The Daughter’s Way: Canadian Women’s Paternal Elegies was a finalist for the 2012 ACQL Gabrielle Roy Prize for Literary Criticism.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents for
The Daughter’s Way: Canadian Women’s Paternal Elegies, by Tanis MacDonald

Acknowledgements

Part I: The Daughter’s Way

Introduction: Who Could Not Sing: Elegy and its (Female) Discontents

Chapter One: Elegy and Authority: The Daughter’s Way

Part II: Daughters of Jove, Daughters of Job: Canadian Modernism’s Bloody-Minded Women

Chapter Two: Two Jove’s Daughter: Dorothy Livesay’s Elegiac Daughteronomy

Chapter Three: “So much militia routed in the man”: P.K. Page’s Military Fathers

Chapter Four: “Absence, havoc”: Jay Macpherson’s Rebellious Daughters

Part III: Differently Conceived Nations: The Mourner’s Journey

Chapter Five: “Do what you are good at”: Margaret Atwood’s Authorizing Elegies

Chapter Six: The Pilgrim and the Riddle: Anne Carson’s “The Anthropology of Water”

Chapter Seven: Gateway Politics, Grief Poetics: West Meets West in Kristjana Gunnars’ Zero Hour

Part IV: Furies and Filles de la Sagesse: Language and Difference at Century’s End

Chapter Eight: Signature, Inheritance, Inquiry: Lola Lemire Tostevin’s Cartouches

Chapter Nine: Elegy of Refusal: Erin Mouré's Furious

Conclusion: From the Water

Works Cited

Index

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