ALISTAIR MACLEOD’S WRITING AS AN APOLOGY TO SCOTTISH HERITAGE IN CANADIAN LITERATURE

Juan José Varela Tembra, Arburim Iseni

Abstract


Scottish emigration to North America is certainly one of the most relevant events in Scottish history. In Canada, Scottish immigrants and their descendants have contributed widely to the formation of Canadian society and culture. In the literary field, writers of Scottish origin as Alice Munro and Margaret Laurence have attained recognition for their work, and certain elements of the Scottish heritage are seen without difficulty in their work. The significance of Scotland is even more deeply felt in the stories of Alistair MacLeod, whose original Cape Breton tales examine the lives of displaced Scots who have frequently had to face difficulty and hardship in their new environment. Family history, oral tradition, nostalgia, clan loyalty, and the connection between Scotland and Nova Scotia have an influence in the lives of most of MacLeod’s characters.
This contribution is aimed to establish the ways in which Scotland is shown in Canadian literature written by authors of Scottish descent. Its objective is firstly to broadly discuss the idea of Scotland in Canadian literature, and then, more concretely, to examine the importance of Scotland and Scottish heritage in the stories of Alistair MacLeod. His revealing stories come across more as an oral narrative than as a written one. The oral tradition is an important aspect of the Scottish Gaelic community which MacLeod’s family belongs to, and this fact shows the role of this heritage in his work.
Keywords: Scottish emigration, Scottish tradition, Canadian literature of Scottish origin, Alistair MacLeod short stories, Cape Breton, etc.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.0001/(aj).v1i3&4.382

DOI (PDF): http://dx.doi.org/10.0001/(aj).v1i3&4.382.g419

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