Inventing the Past: Regional Myth in Michael Crummey’s Galore and Richard Flanagan’s Gould’s Book of Fish
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This thesis seeks to investigate the ways in which a novel from Newfoundland and a novel from Tasmania use history and myth to reimagine their colonial beginnings in light of recent debates about finding and defining regional and national identity. Specifically, I will look at how Michael Crummey’s Galore uses folklore to tell a founding story of Newfoundland – a place where the impulse to recover a lost past is still strong, and where efforts to do so contribute to the region’s dominant culture industry. In comparison, I address how Richard Flanagan’s Gould’s Book of Fish, in its retelling of the Tasmanian settler story, works to expose the myths of foundational and historical narratives and explore the impact that these forged narratives have on identity-formation in the present.