The Newfoundland outport novel; perceptions of place and identity. 1858-2014.

Ashworth, Angela (2021). The Newfoundland outport novel; perceptions of place and identity. 1858-2014. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis traces the development of a unique phenomenon in place-based literature identified as the outport novel genre. The Newfoundland fishing villages, known as outports, have inspired both insider and outsider writers. The cultural importance of the iconic outport is in evidence in the arts, literature and music of Newfoundland as expressions of the cultural nationalism of the island. However, the outport novel reveals a more nuanced and comprehensive overview of Newfoundland cultural identity over time. Individual and group experience of place have an impact on the formation of personal and communal identity. Bernice Morgan was the first local novelist to explicitly link Newfoundland identity to ‘the culture of place’ in 2003. In this thesis, the evolution of the genre is explored and analysed through five case studies at strategic points in time. The first Newfoundland novel, New Priest in Conception Bay (1858) by R.T.S. Lowell, established the outport as the setting for the local genre. The study ends with an analysis of Michael Crummey’s Sweetland (2014). The academic field of literary criticism has generated considerable interest in the Newfoundland novel since Confederation with Canada from both insiders and outsiders. What the outport novels represent and why their themes are so important in cultural expressions of Newfoundland identity is their role in transposing the underlying norms and values of the outport community into a future Newfoundland consciousness.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History


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