In Michael Crummey’s novel Sweetland (2014), which belongs to the genre of Canadian Gothic, ghosts function as warnings and reminders on a broader cultural and national level. The article analyzes different kinds of hauntings in the novel to show how they emphasize the notions of belonging to a local community and specific location, to alert to the disappearance of the traditional ways of life and the importance of cultural memory for the survival of a comprehensive and diversified Canadian identity. The hauntings include: ‘typical’ ghosts haunting individual characters; workings of capital and national consolidation, which are shown haunting the local community (serving as a synecdoche of the Newfoundland region); hauntings of disappeared local communities in the impersonal national construct of Canadian culture (cultural mosaic); hauntings which emphasize notions of belonging to and emplacement into Canada’s Atlantic region; the haunting of the unrecordable quality of lived experience in such a community; and the inevitability of the book to be a record of absence as well as warning of that absence. The article discusses and postulates hauntings as a strategy of resistance against historical amnesia, but also as testaments to belonging.
|ScienceOpen disciplines:||Sociology, Political science, Anglo-American studies, Americas, Cultural studies, History|
|Keywords:||capital, Michael Crummey, Sweetland , Canadian Gothic, haunting, ghosts, belonging, cultural haunting, historical erasure, storied pasts|