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Whylah Falls

Course Code
Robert Mc Gill

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March 3 rd
The Historical and the Pastoral
The Epic vs. the Lyric Sequence
Polyphony and the Florilegium
Intertextuality: Varieties and Functions
This Song is Canadian Literature
The Adoration of Shelley and of Literature
Othello, Realisms, and Monochromatism
It wants to bleed romantic nationalism with hybridity Whylah is both hybrid
and romantic, and self respective poetry
Look forward exile poem
Preface: proem preface to book narrated by the position of an outsider
Humanized soil a home for someone
Then the people have been affected by the soil reciprical relationship
rootedness is emphaised
Avacation of the Pastoral
Originally a Greek form representing the lives of shepherds—often depicted as
amateur poets and/or musicians
Depicts simpe, idyllic rural life in which humanity and nature co-exist
Where are we in the 1930s?
Town has a history but it is more a place of art, removed from history then one
of the anti-20th century gardens of no reference to dates
Eg. Sir Phillip Sidney The Arcadia (late 16th century)
Names in the book suggests intertexuality to writers: Pablo, Shelley, Pushkin
multiallusion names
The characters are artists and themselves as an art form
Literary community how texts talk back and forth to one another in terms of
artists and literary form
How does the book relate hybridity to beauty? Different types of poetry here,
ballads, haiku, sonnets
Lyric Poetry
Poetry with a single speaker, often foregrounds rhythm and repetition, often
expressing intense emotion and often organized around a single theme
Whylah Falls is an extended lyric book with many lyric voices
Why does it have this form?
Lyric sequence is a modern form, they left behind the epic

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What has the epic done historically? (Archibald, Barometer Rising) interested
in national origins, crisis, identity and unity to bring together the nation
depends upon a single epic hero and a single narrator with a pan national vision
Pg. 147 poem treats the epic
‘Responsive reading
The text foregrounds the possibility of a more conventional epic, heroes they
could focus on
Polyphony: the use of multiple narrative voices without any single voice
predominating. Clark focuses on breadth of community
(Jest of God and Lives of Girl and women (do these)
The murder of Othello is not a personal tragedy he does not represent the
community, it has already happened at the beginning of the novel and we see the
effects of his death and how it unites through it
Pablo compares himself to entries in an encyclopedia of flowers’ and Core and
Sals relationship a florilegium of mistakes a collection of flowers or of literary
Page 39 Icerous represent the way he uses his passion
Pg. 134 preaching biblical language Noahs trope is flipped into corruption
Pg. 41 Jericho the place was destroyed and Cilia is talking about love and how
she will triumph by going there
Pg. 116/120? the three wise men anoint me and he is once again anointed at
death compared to Othello
The Song of Songs (of Solomon) is used as an epigraph and is about love both
spiritual and physical love. Allegorical text with religious meaning. Cilia in
Whylah Falls struggles for a love that is both but she is betrayed by it
Pg. 10/29 Rose vinegar Quixote courtly lover fantasist Xavier who faces the
possibility of his love going un-requited
Examples of Intertexuality
Canonical Western Poetry: The Song of Solomon, T.S. Eliot
Afro-diasporic Poetry: Langston Hughes, Paul Dunbar
Afro-diasporic Music: jazz, blues
Literautre of Acadia: Charles G.D. Roberts, Evangeline about Acadian expulsion
of French by English)
Functions of Green Grass Running Water
Contesting a Eurocentric Canon
Modeling Aboriginal Adaptability
Challenging the Readers Desire for Mastery
Othello is a twist on Shakespeares Othello a figure of racial injustice
A kinship between western canon and Afro-Canadian writing part of the gang
something that is already hybrid, from the beginning it has been a synthetic
Wants us to appreciate the genealogy of the Afro-Canadian cultural
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