A Lesson to Be Learned: Reclaiming the Region in Eden Robinson's *Monkey Beach*



Year of publication 2013
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Eden Robinson's first novel Monkey Beach (2000) offers a complex representation of contemporary Indigeneity in Canada. Set on the northwest coast of British Columbia, it has often been read as an example of northern postcolonial Gothic, a genre operating mainly through the tropes of haunting in the context of a settler nation. This article aims to analyze the ways in which Robinson reclaims the region of the Haisla nation, particularly through "lessons" dispersed throughout the texts: they are geography "lessons" inviting the readers to re-assess the spatial markers of the territory that belongs to the Other and that has been exploited by the colonizers. Second, they are "lessons" in traditional Haisla knowledge that, by openly competing with popular culture references, also make readers aware of a profound cultural difference and thus defamiliarize the cultural space in question. And lastly, they are "lessons" in Indigenous spirituality that, by turning the ghosts and monsters into a familiar part of everyday Haisla reality, bring home the novel's implicit critique of Western skepticism and spiritual emptiness.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.