The writing of Canada’s aboriginal peoples is, predictably, replete with colonial history and (post-) colonial horrors. It is also replete with myth – from the ubiquitous trickster to all sorts of ghosts that have come to haunt First Nations people in a (post-)colonial, globalized world. This study looks at four contemporary First Nations novels to trace these ghosts – Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach, Tomson Highway’s Kiss of the Fur Queen, and Drew Hayden Taylor’s The Night Wanderer and Motorcycles and Sweetgrass. It explores the question of how a traditional Eurocentric mode, the gothic, at the heart of which lie both imaginary horrors and the (colonial) binary of ‘self’ and ‘other’, can be turned back on itself in a very deliberate ‘writing back’ paradigm to express very real colonial horrors. This study also centers on the phenomenon of spiritual realism, prevalent in post-colonial writing all over the world, a mode in which mythical and spiritual elements enter a narrative of undiluted social realism to create a hybrid, decolonizing life-world, facilitating and celebrating a recovery of indigenous identity and culture in a globalized world, balancing colonial history with First Nations heritage.
Der Autor Georg Hauzenberger studied English Literature, Canadian Studies and Economics at the University of Augsburg and Carleton University, Ottawa, sparking his interest in First Nations writing. He has an administrative post at the University of Augsburg.