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Forging the PastSeth and the Art of Memory$
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Daniel Marrone

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496807311

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496807311.001.0001

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date: 19 November 2017

Forging Histories: Ghost Worlds and Invented Communities

Forging Histories: Ghost Worlds and Invented Communities

Chapter:
(p.149) 7 Forging Histories: Ghost Worlds and Invented Communities
Source:
Forging the Past
Author(s):

Daniel Marrone

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496807311.003.0008

This chapter explores Seth’s invented worlds and interior landscapes, making particular use of Linda Hutcheon’s concepts of the heterocosm and historiographic metafiction, as well as certain frameworks from Hayden White’s landmark work Metahistory (specifically, the conception of three kinds of historiography: fabulous, true, and satirical). Seth ambivalently situates himself in relation to the past by remaking it in fictional form – and in the process encourages the reader to take up a similarly ambivalent position. Seth takes advantage of the credibility often attributed to historicizing discourses, using them to fortify his invented Canadian realities. His work accommodates the double meaning of the word “forge” and in doing so points to the deliberate manipulation of material that even the most apparently neutral history entails. Seth’s work engages readers in the process of making their own historical knowledge. Moreover he prompts readers to make historical knowledge that is ironic, nostalgic, or otherwise ambivalent.

Keywords:   Heterocosm, Historiography, Metafiction, Canadian, Satire

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