Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Modern cultural, literary and linguistic perspectives

Andrea Szabó F.: Defamiliarizing the Happy Ending and Refamiliarizing the Land: Alice Munro's "Real Life"


Alice Munro was canonized as a Canadian author representing the vision and values of her native Sowesto region in the early 1980s (Thacker, "Go" 156-7). Ever since, her fiction has been seen to attest to the productivity of (semi-)peripheral regional cultural identities, far from bustling cities and centers of power. Yet, there is generally little that is nostalgic about her small towns: they are restrictive, providing little opportunity to its characters to even formulate their desires to be someone else, to be somewhere else, and to do something different. Yet, when against all odds, it still happens, the characters who aspired and managed to live a different life cannot but feel that somehow, somewhere along the road they made a mistake to want to leave their home. Sowesto in Munro's fiction is a place of curious inclusion: once one gains a full permission of entry to it, it can never be left. It is mythical in the sense that it allows for a oneway traffic only, compressing all times, places, social, cultural and historical contradictions into a place that pulls one forever back.

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ISSN 1786-7967

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