A Cop, a Thief, and a Priest ...and some bad grammar: An Unruly Un-Love Story and the First Nations Fiction Diction Essay That Goes With It

Jesse Macpherson (2010). A Cop, a Thief, and a Priest ...and some bad grammar: An Unruly Un-Love Story and the First Nations Fiction Diction Essay That Goes With It MPhil Thesis, EMSAH, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Jesse Macpherson
Thesis Title A Cop, a Thief, and a Priest ...and some bad grammar: An Unruly Un-Love Story and the First Nations Fiction Diction Essay That Goes With It
School, Centre or Institute EMSAH
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-06
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Supervisor Veny Armanno
Gillian Whitlock
Total pages 209
Total colour pages n/a
Total black and white pages n/a
Subjects 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing
Abstract/Summary This dissertation is comprised of two distinct but related components. The larger component is a short novel, titled A Cop, a Thief and a Priest. This is the story of three very different men, the woman they all want, her daughter who gets in the way, the secrets they all try to hide, and a few bedtime stories. Plus a Canadian Native or two. And maybe a bomb, as well. This work of fiction is written with a shifting perspective and varying degrees of adherence to the rules of grammar, depending on the narrator and characters in the scene. The story focuses on seriously flawed people in potentially harmful, though ceaselessly humorous, relationships and how they try to choose the best out of the poor options in front of them. In the course of the novel several Native Canadian/First Nations characters appear. Some are characters within the story, and others are cast members of several bedtime stories told by the three primary male characters. As I am not Canadian First Nations, I had concerns over writing dialogue and characterization of Canadian Native characters. In response to these misgivings, the accompanying critical essay component of this dissertation deals with the issue of a non-Native author writing Native characters. The thesis essay explores this question in the fiction of three Canadian authors who are not Canadian First Nations. I examine specifically their use of grammatical errors in the dialogue of their Native characters as a device to present diction as an element of the character’s status, education, gender, age, race or culture. The three authors chosen are W.P Kinsella, Anne Cameron, and Thomas King. These writers use diction variously, and each is scrutinized according to guidelines drawn from writing theory texts, commercial writing guides, and writing practice prescriptions from successful authors. The conclusions are considered in the crafting of my own First Nations characters.
Keyword orality, storyteller, grammatical error, voice appropriation, First Nations, Native, interfusional, dialogue, characterization, narrator

 
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Created: Mon, 26 Jul 2010, 17:13:34 EST by Jesse Macpherson on behalf of Library - Information Access Service