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Inscribing Irish Identities in Upper Canada: Patrick Slater's the Yellow Briar

Michael Kenneally
The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies
Vol. 31, No. 1, Irish-Canadian Connections / Les liens irlando-canadiens (Spring, 2005), pp. 60-66
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25515560
Page Count: 7
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Inscribing Irish Identities in Upper Canada: Patrick Slater's the Yellow Briar
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Abstract

L'ouvrage de Patrick Slater intitulé, Yellow Briar: A Story of the Irish on the Canadian Countryside (1933) est considéré comme l'autobiographie d'un immigrant irlandais-catholique qui a vécu une grande partie de sa vie parmi les Irlandais méthodistes vivant au nord de la ville de Toronto. Le livre fut réellement écrit par John Mitchell qui, en choisissant les procédures narratives pour une écriture autobiographique, enrichit l'étendue des tropes créées au sujet des traditions sectaires dualistes de Irlande implantées dans le Canada du 19ième siècle. Conscient des limites que pouvait nous offrir une narration évolutive, les manœuvres rhétoriques utilisées par Mitchell dans cette forme autobiographique lui ont permis de présenter un portrait beaucoup plus complexe mais plus exact de l'identité des immigrants irlandais du Haut-Canada. /// Patrick Slater's The Yellow Briar: A Story of the Irish on the Canadian Countryside (1933) is the supposed autobiography of an Irish Catholic immigrant who spent most of his life among Irish Methodists who had earlier settled in the hills north of Toronto. The work was actually written by John Mitchell who, by co-opting the narrative procedures of autographical writing, subverts and enriches the range of tropes created when the dual sectarian traditions of Ireland are re-located in nineteenth-century Canada. Mitchell's rhetorical manoeuvrings within the borrowed autobiographical form allow him to present a far more complex and multivalent depiction of Irish immigrant identity in Upper Canada than the ostensible ameliorating narrative might suggest.

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