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The Spatial Dimensions of Landscape and Cultural Identity

A Case Study of The Magdalen Islands, Quebec

Master's Thesis 1999 95 Pages

Cultural Studies - Canada

Excerpt

Table Of Contents

Acceptance Form

Abstract

Acknowledgements

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Chapter 1: Theoretical Perspectives
1.1 : Introduction
1.2: Cultural Identity
1.3: Landscape, Place, And Space
1.4: Landscape, History, And Memory
1.5: Literature And Culture
1.6: Case Study

Chapter 2: Spaces Of Representation: Literature And The Magdalen Islands
2.1 : Introduction
2.2: Biographies And The Islands
2.3: Fiction And The Islands
2.4: Poetry And The Islands
2.5: Historical Texts And The Islands

Chapter 3: Discourse Analysis: The Language Of Place And Identity
3.1: Introduction
3.2: Cultural History As Discourse
3.3: Madelinot Texts And Cultural Meaning

Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Abstract

Studies done in a wide variety of academic disciplines demonstrate that people, culture, and the physical environment are inherently intertwined. This case study investigates the relationship between culture and landscape in the Magdalen Islands. In particular, it uses literary analysis to explore the role of historical experiences of the spatial dimensions of landscape in molding Madelinot cultural identity. The experiences captured and recorded in biographical, fictional, poetic, and historical writings about a Madelinot cultural context bring together a number of ideas expressing this relationship. This examination also identifies the influence of landscape in shaping cultural narratives in the Islands. This thesis looks at Madelinot cultural identity in a way which has not been done before.

Acknowledgements

I spent a great deal of time preparing this thesis and I would like to express my gratitude to a number of individuals. First of all, I am thankful to my family for fostering my pride in our seafaring heritage and instilling in me the Madelinot spirit. I also thank the people of my community who continue to impress me by their courageous efforts to keep our unique culture and way of life alive. Thanks to the faculty and staff of the School of Canadian Studies for their constant support in ail of my academic endeavors while at Carleton University. Finally, Í would especially like to thank Julian Smith for his encouragement, knowledge, and expertise without which this project might not have been realized.

Preface

Many Québécois and Acadian academics, artists, and authors have captured the spirit of the Magdalen Islands in their works over the years. A relatively small portion of these works, however, are available in English translation. As a result, the Islands remain virtually unknown outside French Canada. The primary reason for my interest in this project is to increase awareness of the vibrant and dynamic Madelinot culture among English Canadians.

As a native-born Madelinot, the spectacular and powerful landscape of the Magdalen Islands is a repository of my most cherished memories. It is a landscape with which I strongly Identify and represents everything that I know and love. Although selecting narrative texts for this study was a difficult task, the choices made are highly expressive of the depth and nature of our historical relationship with the archipelago's landscape. This study is intended to acquaint its readers with some of the materials pertaining to our culture, share some of the landscape experiences which have shaped it, and stimulate interests in it for future investigations within an English language context.

Introduction

The Magdalen Islands is an archipelago situated in the south-central portion of the Gulf of St Lawrence. The chain of islands is approximately sixty miles in length and runs in a southwest/northeasterly direction. It is located ninety five kilometers from Cape Breton Island and two hundred and fifteen kilometers from the Gaspé peninsula. The archipelago is comprised of a dozen tiny islands of which six are connected by long stretches of sand dunes. Its total land mass encompasses less than fifty thousand acres. Its population exceeds fourteen thousand inhabitants making it one of the most densely populated rural regions of Canada (Cayo, 1991:35).

The Madelinot people are closely linked to the archipelago’s unique landscape. They are directly descended from the 250 Acadian refugees who arrived in the late 18th century from St. Pierre and Miquelon, a French outpost which had attracted to them many Acadian families deported from Nova Scotia (Halliday, 1973: 9). When the French Revolution of 1789 eventually reached the tiny Islands dividing the loyalties of its inhabitants, the Acadians fled to the isolated and uninhabited Magdalen Islands in search of sanctuary. The Acadians immediately began the colonization of the Islands. The archipelago’s historical isolation has shaped almost every aspect of their culture. For example, narrative texts about a Madelinot cultural context demonstrate that many of the Islander’s ritual activities and values and beliefs have emerged from their struggles to survive a reclusive maritime life. This historical physical and psychological relationship with the archipelago’s landscape has contributed significantly to their strong sense of identity and attachment to place.

Today, the Magdalen Islands represents a region of the Province of Quebec. They were annexed to the province in 1895. Some 14, 000 French speaking people still inhabit the islands, almost all of them Acadian (Halliday, 1973: 9). For example, this is evidenced by the large number of Acadian surnames found in the Islands such as Aucoin, Longépée, and Harvie. There are more people in the Magdalen Islands with these surnames than in the entire city of Montreal (Halliday, 1973: 9). Although a regular ferry service to Prince Edward Island and flights to mainland Quebec have increased their links to the rest of the continent, relatively few Madelinots leave the Islands for a long period of time. Most of them choose to remain and pursue the enduring traditional Acadian lifestyle of fishing and fanning. The large number of public service jobs created in recent years by the provincial government has also encouraged educated Madelinots to stay at home (Cayo. 1991: 40). Although historical ties with the Islands have been weakened by a modem lifestyle, it is clear that landscape remains a key factor in the organization of Madelinot culture and cultural experience in the archipelago (Shields, 1986: 2).

My interest in the relationship between culture and landscape in the Magdalen Islands arises mainly from research papers written for a seminar course on landscape and cultural identity in Canada. My research for this particular project failed to uncover any study devoted specifically to the implications of landscape experiences in defining Madelinot cultural identity. Past studies on the Islands have traditionally limited their research to environmental issues, local history, and material culture. Thusfar, no study has attempted to explore the issues with which this thesis deals. For example, my analysis of literary portrayals of local culture establishes the direct import of individual and collective experiences of the spatial dimensions of landscape on the construction of Madelinot cultural identity. It elucidates the ways in which landscape experiences have worked to define Madelinot culture and consciousness by focusing on the unequivocal historical realities that literature dealing with the Islands represents (Kelly, 1993). This thesis offers an original way of looking at an important and overlooked factor in studies pertaining to this distinctive maritime culture.

This thesis is divided into three chapters. Chapter 1 provides a review of the works which inform this study and which seek to explain some of the complexities of the relationship between culture and landscape. This discussion raises and addresses broader issues of place, space, history, and memory and their role as active agents in cultural experiences of landscape. Links between culture and environment are established which demonstrate the possible ways in which landscape experiences contribute to formulations of cultural identity. The discussion culminates in a framework for a case study which uses literary analysis as a means of exploring the relationship between culture and landscape in the Magdalen Islands.

Chapter 2 consists of an analysis of a variety of narrative texts dealing with the Islands and their people. This is used as a means of exploring the dynamics of the interplay between the Madelinot people and the archipelago’s landscape. Textual representations of their historical landscape experiences serve to qualify them as a key factor in shaping their culture and illustrate some of the effects of this shaping. Specific passages drawn from the texts selected for analysis are interpreted in relation to the ideas considered in the theoretical chapter. This discussion also designates the role of the Madelinot landscape in shaping the narrative selections.

Chapter 3 includes a discourse analysis of the narrative texts reviewed in the preceding chapter. The texts are located within a particular discursive framework to reveal their intertextualities and the ways in which they work to produce a broader image of Madelinot culture and identity. This examination also entails a general discussion of the links between narrative texts and cultural meaning. This suggests the possible consequences of literary texts about a Magdalen Islands cultural context for Madelinot cultural identity.

In summary, this study proposes an exploration into Madelinot cultural identity premised on literary articulations of the historical realities of the relationship between culture and landscape in the Magdalen Islands. A disourse analysis of the narrative selections aims to illustrate how Madelinot cultural identity has been shaped by meaningful experiences of the spatial dimensions of landscape. This approach also suggests the value of narrative texts in the Madelinot people’s perceptions of their culture and the historical conditions through which it materialized. In general, the main objective is to reveal landscape experiences as a primary element of the constitution of Madelinot cultural identity.

Chapter 1 Theoretical Perspectives

1.1 Introduction

In this chapter, I examine the relationship between the terms landscape, place, space, and cultural identity. This is done by examining some of the significant theories which inform this study and their assumptions about the ways in which cultural identities are constructed in relation to the physical environment within which they are located. Issues of history and memory are also raised and addressed in order to emphasize their role in cultural identity formation. This investigation culminates in the establishment of a framework through which the perspectives looked at in the chapter may be used as a basis for the subsequent literary analysis of Madelinot cultural identity.

The primary and secondary theories used in this chapter were raised and developed within a broad range of academic disciplines and, in this regard, they reflect a wide array of perspectives and themes concerning the association between cultural identity and the physical environment. The main theme identified in the theoretical analysts is the strong association between the terms landscape, place, and space and its role in the foundations of cultural identity. An understanding of this association and the profound psychological links between people and place is vital in any attempt to interpret cultural identity and the mechanisms through which it has been constructed. A second theme recognized as fundamental is the relationship between landscape, history, and memory and its effects on cultural identity formation. Past individual and collective experiences of place are important in the process by which cultural identities are formed.

A third theme is the relationship between culture and literature and its role as a key factor in understanding the links between people, landscape, and cultural identity.

1.2 Cultural Identity

Cultural identity is a fundamental feature of a community’s existence (Larouche, 1997) and it is the primary mechanism through which it expresses its differences from others. With each generation a community’s history is written and rewritten and “then through a process of socialized learning” (Lewis, 1995: 366) is often accepted as representational of its culture1; thus, contributing to its understandings of itself. Many theorists (Wilson, 1980; Davis, 1995; Wenger, 1997), imply that this process represents a form of cultural memory2and the perspectives recorded become thought of as something of collective significance in terms of shaping a culturally identifiable community to which people feel connected. Articulated within representations of its cultural identity is a wide array of cultural values and beliefs through which a community expresses itself and binds its members together in a shared sense of purpose (Buttimer, 1980). Ideals and conventions contribute to a people’s understandings of themselves and their cultural identity by allowing them to situate themselves within the contexts of a specific group, history, and culture (Davis, 1995). They also function as a filter through which a community’s interpretations of the world are conveyed within the context of a larger society.3When we speak of cultural identity in its most relevant sense it generally incorporates everything that is considered to be representative of a community’s existence. A community constructs its cultural identity by linking itself to both its past and present worlds by means of understanding and reaffirming the roots out of which it emerged. Green (1984) suggests that it is generally constructed and developed over time in relation to various aspects of history, region, and place “internalized and lived*’ (Kelly, 1993: 4) by its members. In short, manifestations of cultural identity are often rooted in a shared past constructed of individual and collective experiences of place (Hummon, 1992: 258).

1.3 Landscape, Place, And Space

Von Maltzahn (1994:109) claims that landscape is i4the experiential space of everyday life which requires the presence of not only actual land but of ourself with our particular point of view.” He implies that our relationship with the landscape is formed by our experiences of the components that make it up. This relationship encompasses many spatial experiences influencing our perceptions of the physical environment. How are landscape experiences spatial in nature? We are connected to landscape physically and psychologically in time. It constitutes a space within which we experience ourselves in relation to our surroundings. It is by locating ourselves in relation to the structures that inwardly and outwardly express our cultural characteristics that we become conscious of place (Golledge and Stimson, 1997: 393).4As Von Maltzahn (1994:110) interprets it, “landscapes are structured and determinate in their composition.” In the traditional sense, landscape is literally that which surrounds us. It is composed of an integration of the natural and built environments. It is an organized use of geographical space which is essential in the linkage between people and place. This way of perceiving landscape suggests a form of place construction by means of which people interpret and become attached to the built structures of a locality (Quantic, 1995). It further suggests that landscape is a socially constructed use of space exhibiting the realities of our existence (Shields, 1986). How does the organization of landscape and its features affect the nature of our identification with place? Von Maltzahn suggests that we have space, which is homogenous and neutral, in which we culturally construct place. Landscape has an emotional impact on us and the meanings that places exhibit permit us to separate ourselves from others and shape our cultural identity. We are linked to place by what is present in our environment. The emotional aspect of our relationship with the landscape and this time-space connection have profound cultural implications in terms of generating a strong sense of place identity. It is through this association that we become aware of the nature of the physical space that we occupy which shapes our image of place. Our emotional experiences of landscape influence, to a large degree, the way that we perceive, interpret, and interact with it. in their perspective, Altman and Chemers (1980:1) assert that in order to understand the relationship between people, the physical environment, and culture “we must consider the three as a unity.” They suggest that this association can be understood as an interdependent social system in which each of the constituent parts may be considered as significant in ternis of a culture’s social life2and identity. How does this association affect the nature of our landscape experiences? The landscape features, the valleys, oceans, beaches, and communities all have an impact on the way in which we assess our surroundings. People use these spaces in an organized way to build places of social interaction through which a particular social system may be articulated, developed, and maintained. People are not only physically located within the landscape but are an intrinsic and participatory part of it This further contributes to the strong psychological links between people and place and their feelings of place attachment.6As Altman and Chemers (1980:6) interpret it this is evidence that the physical environment does have a substantial impact on a culture’s development in terms of “customs, lifestyle, and behaviors.” The impact of certain landscape features on a culture can be a powerful determinant in the development of its values and beliefs.7This is often the result of intense interactions with the landscape and its relevant components over time. What are the implications of these interactions on our everyday lives? Altman and Chemers imply that this interactive alliance gives rise to the search for cultural meaning in our surroundings- For example, certain landscape features can influence our perceptions of them because they represent some facet or event that has had an acute emotional affect on our relationship with place. Responses to place reveal a space from which we are able to locate and draw a sense of ourselves capturing the essence of our relationship with the physical environment (Kelly, 1993: 2). This is precisely why the landscape features, whether natural or constructed, are often understood as being particularly significant in the lives of the people who share them. Reaction to place involves perceptions of the location which over time take on symbolic cultural significance to reflect our cultural values and beliefs, aspirations, and notions about our identity as a community.

In another perspective, Jay Appleton (1975:84)s suggests that the human experience of landscape is determined by people’s ability to effectively “use their environment to further their biological needs.” His “habitat theory” suggests that our perceptions of the landscape around us are influenced by the “prospects” that it offers us as a “refuge” for our survival. This implies that the environmental features of the landscape exemplify something meaningful and valuable about our existence. This way of thinking about landscape emphasizes the importance of geographical spaces and their composition in the development of place identity. The conditions of the environment in which we physically and emotionally construct place can serve to remind us of our origins and the ways that it has nurtured our culture (Marcus, 1992: 89). The conditions confronting us in our habitat are often reminiscent of past history and to the lives of previous generations and their experiences and achievements in terms of survival. The natural and built components of our environment can resonate with the physical and psychological realities of place which are of common concern to each generation confronted by them. We conceive of landscape as a place containing many individual and collective life experiences influenced by the environmental context within which they were experienced (Buttimer, 1980; Aitken et al., 1989). Consequently, we endow the landscape and its composition with symbolic meaning and value.9Appleton argues that our physical and perceptual experiences of landscape may be premised on the recognition of its character and make-up as a natural space. What, then, can be said about this relationship and culture? The explicit interplay between people and their surroundings reflects their attitudes about the physical environment and generates explanations about their practices with regard to it. As Appleton (1975:2) suggests, “Landscape is a kind of backcloth to the whole stage of human activity.” Landscape, in this sense, is socially constructed by means of rituals and traditions. This also leads to the relevance of cultural practices in interpreting the social meanings that places exhibit Certain experiences of the geographical composition of landscape may even have an impact on why we like or dislike certain places. We are attached to some places more than others because they fulfill certain emotional or physical needs;10thus, they represent a cultural experience.

Tuan (1979:93) suggests that landscape can be viewed as a “clue to a region’s human personality.” This implies that the human aspect of landscape can be understood by evaluating the visual material aspects of place which exhibit certain cultural qualities unique to our community, particularly the built structures of place. These structures display a community’s social practices and the rituals that define its everyday life (Dear and Wolch, 1989: 9). They also make apparent the various ways in which a culture can experience the physical elements of a geographical space by subtly referring to the depth and nature of its past interactions with it This evokes assumptions about the nature and character of the community. What can we learn about a culture from the visual aspects of place? We can see in the landscape how its constituent parts have a bearing on the ways in which people react toward it They can evoke images of how a culture integrates into an environment and functions within it The material aspects of place mirror people’s attitudes about place and how they emerged from relations with the landscape. This ultimately contributes to the ways in which they assess their surroundings. As Tuan (1979:93) proposes, landscape offers us “a mental image in which visual elements of the landscape suggest, and are interwoven with, relations and values that can not be seen." What is seen in the landscape underscores the connection between a culture and landscape components and its role as a basis for cultural development (Riley, 1992). How, then, may we apprehend the connection between the visual elements of landscape and culture? Tuan implies that landscape may be viewed as a centre of cultural activity by means of which a community and its environment both develop a distinct and coherent personality. Our experiences of the geographical spaces in which we make our home is a determinant in the construction of our cultural character traits. The unique attributes of which our culture is composed are reflected in the places we construct and the rituals that unfold within them. This process contributes to our understandings of our thoughts and feelings about place and the nature of its composition as both a natural and socially constructed environment The visual elements of landscape corroborate, to a large degree, the ways in which we relate to our environment and how it is implicated in our state of mind.

In short, experiencing the landscape within the context of social interactions and the ways that we remember them can influence our emotional responses to place and our sense of identification with it It is often through memories of relationships formed with people that we develop a shared sense of the past, present and future giving us the power to sustain the cultural aspects of place that differentiate us from others.

1.4 Landscape, History, And Memory

Lowenthal (1975:5) asserts that the "features and patterns of landscape make sense to us because we share a history with them.” He suggests that the past is a collection of memories of place and that it is a fundamental component in shaping and developing our community in the present It functions as a mechanism through which we are able to uncover explanations about our identity and how it evolved in relation to the landscape. The temporal aspects of place document the social and cultural realities of place development This also suggests that they are fundamental components in the process of individual and collective self-definition.11There is a strong connection between past individual and collective experience and landscape components which influences our perceptions and interpretations of it. How does this relationship affect a culture? Recollections of historic encounters with certain landscape features can affect our perceptions of them because they are believed to express certain social or cultural characteristics of our community (Newman, 1997). They can reveal details to a culture about the challenges that their ancestors struggled over in the past which work to define their culture in a particular way. In this respect, a sense of place identity materializes in relation to the cultural meaning derived from historical place experiences- This influences our interpretations of ourselves and the place in which we live. How do historical interactions with the landscape influence our views of it? As Lowenthai (1975:6) interprets it, past experiences of landscape are often “incarnate in the things we build and the landscapes we create.” The built structures of the landscape are often highly representative of our perceptions of our environment. They illustrate our past experiences of it and the ways that we remember them. Encounters and interactions between people and landscape over a long period of time mark the character of a place and cultivate the history in which they maintain their identity. Anchored within these remembered landscape experiences are conceptions of place which contribute to our understandings of the ways in which the physical environment has been implicated in the evolution of our culture and identity. The landscape conveys explanations about the ways that we have learned to adapt and blend in with our environment by means of historical experiences of place. In general terms, the interplay between built form and natural space situates us in the past, present, and future.

Meinig (1979:172) suggests that past landscape experiences can be considered important in terms of‘^vhat we understand to be the nature of our society and its essential history()” Landscape experiences can work to reveal explanations about the construction of our culture and our subjective experiences of our physical environment. How is memory implicated in landscape experience? Memories of place experiences often allude to the ways that we have been shaped culturally by our environmental experience (Aitken et al., 1989:218). They particularly authenticate the role of landscape in understanding the shared values and beliefs that we exhibit and how they transpired in relation to landscape experiences. We learn to self-consciously understand the correlation between the landscape and our culture and the reasons behind the nature of our relations with it. How, then, is our present landscape experience affected by past interactions with it? Memories of historical interactions with the landscape conditions the way that we relate to it in terms of making us more aware of the past They evoke meanings and symbols with which we associate our sense of identity. Metnig (1979:164) implies that landscapes are ‘*a part of the shared set of ideas and memories and feelings which bind people together.” We endow particular landscape features with symbolic meaning because they are believed to highlight the historical conditions under which certain cultural activities played out in the landscape have taken on form. Our sense of continuity and place connection is nurtured by memories of significant landscape experiences (Marcus, 1992: 87). They can be powerful reminders of people and events that have had an impact on our cultural development. The landscape and its components contribute to the preservation of our heritage12by reflecting our ideals and conventions and the history from which they emerged.

Sopher (1979:136) implies that “landscape can be in large part that of the remembered field of familiar experience.” The interplay between time and landscape contributes to our ability to create collective recollections of place experiences that marked the daily life of our community. Although a culture’s landscape experiences vary significantly across time and space, they usually connote many cultural meanings involving the retention of people and things from which we are separated in time and space. Memorable landscape experiences are important in terms of linking us to these common aspects of place understood as characterizing the nature of our culture and home. How may we apprehend the meaning conveyed through the intertwining of these elements? A wide array of common interests and relationships are communicated to cultures within the context of historical place experiences (Brodie, 1994). Our understandings of the common connections that bind us together can influence our evaluation of place experiences, in this respect, our interpretations of the cultural meanings derived from landscape experiences may be premised on memories of our experiences of specific landscape components. How do these experiences contribute to our relationship with the landscape? As Sopher (1979:138) suggests, they can encourage "A consensus that a particular component of the landscape stands for place.” Certain landscape features may be understood as being highly representative of how the landscape was socially experienced in history; thus, endowing place with humanistic qualities. This gives the landscape a sense of home which is the most remembered aspect of place. In general, we begin to self-consciously recognize these place distinctions as artifacts of our common past and collective cultural experience of landscape.

To summarize, the intertwining of the spatial dimensions of landscape and culture is a key factor in shaping communities and their collective identities. Landscapes and the meanings that they exhibit suggest the significance of the physical environment in our social and cultural history. The natural and built elements of landscape express in explicit and implicit ways our history, values and beliefs, and attitudes and feelings about ourselves and our home. The landscape provides tangible evidence of the essence of a culture’s existence and the roots from which the nature of its everyday life emerged and developed.

1.5 Literature And Culture

The relationship between literature and culture is an interesting approach to exploring a people’s historical and continuously evolving relationship with a place. In this respect, the choice of literary analysis as a means of exploring the relationship between culture and landscape is important for two reasons (Thompson, 1967: 1). First of all, literature that concentrates on a particular culture locates it in time and space through a collection of representations composed of the blending of fiction and reality (Quantic, 1995). The explicit interplay between literature, fiction, and actual historical reality often constitutes a cultural expression that provides clear evidence that the landscape can be directly implicated in the construction of cultural identity. The language of literature does more than just give an account of the elements that make up the physical environment. It frequently underscores the place of landscape in our social and cultural history and serves to remind us that the past can be relived and have an impact on the present (New, 1997). Secondly, and with this in mind, literature can also serve to reveal the inter-relatedness of history, culture, the natural and built environments, and the spatial dimensions of landscape as powerful determinants in people’s interpretations of themselves and their world (Kelly, 1993; New, 1997). It can suggest to us, through the discourse and images elucidated in the texts (Kelly, 1993: 41),b that place and space are the essence of community life from which a sense of identity may emerge and develop in the surrounding landscape. In general terms, literature often articulates the social, cultural, and historical contexts in which people have experienced the landscape within which they are located.

1.6 Case Study

The Magdalen Islands has acquired a reputation as a unique landscape influencing a variety of literary activities, particularly in more recent years. The archipelago’s inspiring geographical setting in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and its epic seafaring history have given rise to a rich literary heritage in which the landscape occupies a position of prominence. Literature about the Islands is also highly representative of the homogeneous Madelinot culture that evolved in isolation for nearly three hundred years (GAMI, 1993). The landscape has shaped almost every facet of the Islands’ cultural history, particularly since the arrival of the first permanent Acadian settlers. Literary representations of the relationship between the local landscape and the Madelinot people’s relentless struggle to survive it clearly delineate that the landscape is directly implicated in defining their very existence and identity as a people. In addition, they provide insights into the ways in which the powerful forces of place have worked historically to influence the thoughts and ideas of its dwellers about the realities that the landscape represents for them as a culture.

In this project, I propose a case study of cultural identity in the Magdalen Islands. I will not make broad generalizations about the mentality of the Madelinot people or their collective identity. This study will put forth a way of viewing, interpreting, and understanding the relationship between the Islands’ landscape and the evolution of Madelinot cultural identity (New, 1997). A knowledge of the inter-connectedness of the terms discussed in the chapter is, however, important in establishing a general understanding of the implications of historical subjective experiences of the physical environment on cultural identity (Kelly, 1993).

This study proposes a literary analysis of a variety of virtually unexplored texts which highlight the overt cultural associations between people and place in the Islands, including biographies, fiction, poetry, and historical texts. It is within this particular context that the themes, discourse, and images in literature about the Islands will be examined to demonstrate that the physical environment plays an important role in shaping the cultural values and practices of Islanders ultimately contributing to the development of their cultural identity (Altman and Chemers, 1980). Thematic representations of the interactions between Islanders and the landscape will also be drawn from the texts selected for analysis to investigate the ways in which the Madelinot people have had a direct and profound affect in shaping the Islands’ landscape in terms of the historical process of adaptation and survival (Appleton, 1975; Lowenthal, 1975; Altman and Chemers, 1980; Aitken et al., 1989). This analysis will also seek to make evident that the common elements that inspire the symbols and images, discourse, attitudes, and values represented in the texts arise from the landscape itself and the emotional significance that the Madelinot people assign to it (Altman and Chemers, 1980).

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Details

Pages
95
Year
1999
ISBN (eBook)
9783656617624
ISBN (Book)
9783656617570
File size
77.5 MB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v270757
Grade
Satisfactory
Tags
Canada Quebec Literature Thesis Masters Magdalen Islands Iles de la Madeleine Landscape Culture Identity Cultural Identity Ethnic Origin Acadian Québécois Canadian Regional Canadien Canadien Français French Canadian Cultural Landscapes Islands Archipelago

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Title: The Spatial Dimensions of Landscape and Cultural Identity