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Fear and Temptation

The Image of the Indigene in Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand Literatures

by (author) Terry Goldie

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Apr 1993
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 1989
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 1993
    List Price

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Goldie skillfully reveals the ambivalence of white writers to indigenous culture through an examination of the stereotyping involved in the creation of the image of the "Other." The treacherous "redskin" and the "Indian maiden," embodiments of violence and sex, also evoke emotional signs of fear and temptation, of white repulsion from and attraction to the indigene and the land. Goldie suggests that white culture, deeply attracted to the impossible idea of becoming indigenous, either rejects native land claims and denies recognition of the original indigenes, or incorporates these claims into white assertions of native status. After comparing the works of Canadian author Rudy Wiebe and Australian author Patrick White, Goldie concludes by linking the results of his literary analysis to wider cultural concerns, particularly land rights. He shows that literary views of natives, both positive and negative, emphasize the same charac-teristics and he suggests that escape from this limited vision may open the door to solving the problems of native sovereignty.

About the author

Terry Goldie is the author of the memoir queersexlife (Arsenal Pulp Press) and the editor of the anthology In a Queer Country: Gay & Lesbian Studies in the Canadian Context (Arsenal Pulp Press). His other books include Pink Snow: Homotextual Possibilities in Canadian Fiction (Broadview 2003), and Fear and Temptation: The Image of the Indigene in Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Literatures (McGill-Queen`s, 1989). He is a professor of English at York University in Toronto, where he teaches Canadian and postcolonial literature with particular interest in gay studies and literary theory.

Terry Goldie's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"This wide-ranging study is learned and thorough ... Goldie's method is incisive and stimulating ... No one wishing to write in the future on the image of native people in Commonwealth literatures will be able to ignore Fear and Temptation. Its range of interest, wealth of material, and array of learning make it essential reading." Rowland Smith, English Studies in Canada. "Fear and Temptation is a timely, exhaustively researched, and pioneering inquiry. Goldie's energetic engagement with his subject sparks exciting ideas for more specific semiotic comparisons." David Dowling, Letters in Canada. "Clearly, this study is an important reference and resource book for the student of Canadian literature and culture, comparative culture studies, postmodern culture, and communication theory, as well as for those readers interested in such topics as racism, Native sovereignty and the Production of propaganda." Beverly Rasporich, Canadian Book Review Annual. "This is a strong structuralist study which establishes the similar semiotic codes in Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand white literatures for representing the Indians, Aboriginals, and Maoris." Coral Ann Howell, British Journal of Canadian Studies.

Other titles by Terry Goldie