Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

English

Supervisor

Dr. Manina Jones

Abstract

This dissertation explores The New Yorker magazine's role in shaping the Canadian short story, the contributions of Canadian authors to the magazine, and the aesthetic and ideological implications of transnational literary production. Using archival evidence, it explicates the publication histories of stories by Morley Callaghan, Mavis Gallant, and Alice Munro, as well as these authors' relationships with their editors at The New Yorker, in order to demonstrate some of the ways that Canadian literature emerged out of, as well as contributed to, North American transnational contexts. This project uses the work of textual studies scholars, and applies theories of literary collaboration to conceptualize the power dynamic between each author and his or her editors and its relationship to the material history of The New Yorker as a for profit endeavor. In the process, it attempts to negotiate the competing discourses of North American studies and Canadian literary nationalism, positing a correlation between the ways that these authors negotiate their relationships to place and nationalism in their work and the ways in which they react to the idea of giving up authorial control in their dealings with The New Yorker. Despite scholars' recognition that Canadian writing has long been in conversation with the literatures of other nations, until now no studies have attempted to delineate the nature and significance of transnational exchange in the development of the contemporary short story—a form often considered the premier genre of Canadian fiction. The study of these three authors together, each of which represents a discrete moment in the history of The New Yorker, offers a preliminary history of the impact of the intersection of transnationalism and collaboration on the Canadian short story, and the ways that these individual authors' conceptions of place and national identity inflect, or are reflected in, their approaches to collaborative writing practices.


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