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Lily Cho (2)

Narratives on Exploration

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EN 2220
Lily Cho

Cartier, Franklin and Inuit Testimony "Discovery" and Exploration Narratives  For Cartier, the notion of discovery was important to how we look at exploration narratives  The idea of Canada as a vast and empty land is a trop that dominates the exploration narratives o For these explorers, the emptiness of Canada had to do with the notion of discovery  Imagine what it is like to live in Europe in the 16th century and to be told that there is new land across the ocean  Exploration narratives extremely popular in Europe from 16th century and onwards  Exploration narratives often began as journals or logs or reports, but were often revised for commercial publication o Its important to think about this because it tells us how these narratives came about o Their genealogy was not as best sellers o They were not written to be best seller books Background Contexts for Exploration Narratives  They have documentary and scientific undertaking o They began as documents for scientific discovery  Emerged into this tradition of adventure and travel takes  They were also driven by the idea of commerce and imperialism o Imperialism - the exercise of one nation-state trying to extend its territory by claiming further land and expanding its culture by erasing other cultures o Imperialism because expanding more land for king of France o Conversion - bring savages to Catholicism Documentary and Scientific Undertaking  18th century - age of reason o The age of reason had everything to do with trying to make the world rational  The privileging of logic over emotion o This comes back to documentary and science because they could not have emotion  Often written under extreme duress o The conditions underwhich these were written were bad  Making the "strange" more familiar or comprehensible o Focused on taking all the newness of Canada and trying to help the people who read the logs to understand the experiences they were having Adventure and Travel Narratives  Popular fictions o They became this despite what they began as o Incredibly influential  Cartier's Voyages published serially  Basis for literary production ie. Shakespeare's Tempst, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Defoe's Robinson Crusoe o These are all important works of english literature  The idea of Canada travels across other cultural ages and literary forms o All began with Cartier's logs Commerce and Imperialism  Sir Walter Raleigh: "He who controls trade controls … the world"  Controlling the world = controlling how it is documented  Descriptions of aboriginal peoples justified European conquest  Relationship between commerce and representation o Controlling what you see and how you see it  Mapping and "discovering" new land = staking a claim to it  Colonial ambition for controlling the world - when Cartier names things What is the nation?  Connections and crisis  These early encounters were about connections between people who had not met each other before  These encounters produced a crisis o The crisis has to od with reorienting how everyone views themselves from both sides  Cartier didn’t expect to meet the people he did o This destabilizing experience is another way we can read the enduring effects of these narratives on Canadian literature  We are still very much a nation marked by connections and crisis o Always introducing new people and connecting with them o Destabilizing and reorienting how you view yourself  Crisis of Encounter - both sides sees the other as an alien but logically they are both Canadian o Constantly questioning to your place in Canada Jacques Cartier (1491 - 1557)  First voyage in 1534 to Newfoundland Second voyage in 1535 - "discovered" St. Lawrence   Third voyage 1541 - establish a colony in Stradacona (now Quebec City) Narrative Strategy that Cartier Uses  Verb tense o Pg. 43 of reading as example o Uses mostly the simple past tense o Use of the sim
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