Southern Ontario Gothic

Southern Ontario Gothic is a sub-genre of the Gothic novel genre and a feature of Canadian literature that comes from Southern Ontario.

Writers of this sub-genre include Alice Munro, Timothy Findley, Douglas Cooper, Margaret Atwood, Robertson Davies, Jane Urquhart, Marian Engel, James Reaney, Susan Swan, George Elliott, Graeme Gibson and Barbara Gowdy.

Like the Southern Gothic of American writers such as William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor and Eudora Welty, Southern Ontario Gothic analyzes and critiques social conditions such as race, gender, religion and politics, but in a Southern Ontario context. Southern Ontario Gothic is generally characterized by a stern realism set against the dour small-town Protestant morality stereotypical of the region, and often has underlying themes of moral hypocrisy. Actions and people that act against humanity, logic, and morality all are portrayed unfavorably, and one or more characters may be suffering from some form of mental illness.

Some (but not all) writers of Southern Ontario Gothic use supernatural or magic realist elements; a few deviate from realism entirely, in the manner of the fantastical gothic novel. Virtually all dwell to a certain extent upon the grotesque.

Notable novels of the genre include Davies' Deptford Trilogy, Findley's Headhunter, The Last of the Crazy People and The Wars, Cooper's Amnesia and Delirium, Swan's The Wives of Bath and Atwood's The Blind Assassin, Cat's Eye and Alias Grace.

See also United Empire Loyalists, Methodist Rome.
For the gay men's lifestyle magazine, see Genre (magazine).
A genre [ˈʒã:rə], (French: "kind" or "sort" from Greek: γένος (genos)) is a loose set of criteria for
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Gothic fiction is an important genre of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. As a genre, it is generally believed to have been invented by the English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto.
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Canadian literature may be divided into two parts, based on their separate roots: one stems from the culture and literature from France; the other from Britain.
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Southern Ontario is the portion of the Canadian province of Ontario which lies south of the French River and Algonquin Park.

For most purposes, Southern Ontario is much more commonly divided into smaller regions, such as Eastern Ontario, Western Ontario, Central Ontario,
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Alice Ann Munro, née Laidlaw (born 10 July 1931) is a Canadian short-story writer who is widely considered one of the world's premier fiction writers. Munro is a three-time winner of Canada's Governor General's Award for fiction.
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Timothy Irving Frederick Findley, OC , O. Ont. (October 30, 1930 - June 21, 2002) was a Canadian novelist and playwright. He was also informally known by the nickname Tiff or Tiffy, an acronym of his initials.
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Douglas Anthony Cooper (born 1960 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a writer who lives in Oaxaca, Mexico. He is often compared to metaphysical novelists like Italo Calvino and Milan Kundera, and many critics, including The New York Times, have likened him to Vladimir Nabokov.
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Margaret Atwood

Born: November 18 1939 (1939--) (age 69)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Occupation: Novelist, Poet
Nationality:  Canada
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William Robertson Davies

Robertson Davies in 1984
Born: 28 August 1913
Thamesville, Ontario, Canada
Died: 2 December 1995
Orangeville, Ontario, Canada
Occupation: Journalist, playwright, professor, critic, novelist
Nationality: Canadian
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Jane Urquhart, OC (born June 21, 1949) is a Canadian author.


Born 200 miles north of Thunder Bay in Little Longlac, Ontario, Jane Urquhart was the second of three children and the only daughter of Marian (née Quinn) and Walter Carter, a prospector and mining
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Marian Engel, n̩e Marian Ruth Passmore (May 24, 1933 РFebruary 16, 1985) was a Canadian novelist.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, she was educated at McMaster University and McGill University, where she wrote her Masters thesis on the English Canadian novel, under
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James Crerar Reaney (born September 1, 1926) is a Canadian poet, playwright and literary critic. He was born in Easthope, Ontario.

Reaney won his first of three Governor General's Awards for the book of poetry The Red Heart in 1949.
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Susan Swan (born June 9, 1945) is a Canadian author. Born in Midland, Ontario, she studied at McGill University. Her list of works includes The Wives of Bath (1993), and What Casanova Told Me (2004).
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George Elliott (1923 - 18 May 1996) was a Canadian novelist.

Born in London, Ontario, Elliott attended the University of Toronto, where he was an editor for the student newspaper, The Varsity.
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Graeme C. Gibson (born 9 August 1934) is a Canadian novelist who lives in Toronto, Ontario. He is a Member of the Order of Canada (1992), and was one of the organizers of the Writer's Union of Canada (chair, 1974-75).
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Barbara Gowdy CM (born 25 June 1950) is a Canadian novelist and short story writer. Born in Windsor, Ontario, she is the long-time partner of poet Christopher Dewdney and resides in Toronto.
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Southern Gothic is a subgenre of the Gothic writing style, unique to American literature. Like its parent genre, it relies on supernatural, ironic, or unusual events to guide the plot.
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"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
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William Faulkner

William Faulkner photographed in 1954 by Carl Van Vechten
Born: September 25 1897(1897--)
New Albany, Mississippi, U.S.
Died: July 6 1962 (aged 66)
Byhalia, Mississippi, U.S.
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Flannery O'Connor

Born: March 25 1925(1925--)
Savannah, Georgia
Died: July 3 1964 (aged 39)
Baldwin County, Georgia
Occupation: Novelist, Short story writer
Genres: American Southern Gothic
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Eudora Alice Welty (April 13 1909 – July 23 2001) was an award-winning American author and photographer who wrote about the American South.

Welty was born in Jackson, Mississippi and lived a significant portion of her life in the city's Belhaven neighborhood, where her
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society is a grouping of individuals which is characterized by common interests and may have distinctive culture and institutions. Members of a society may be from different ethnic groups.
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The terms Realism, Realist (in reference to an adherent of "Realism"), or Realistic may refer to:


  • Realism (arts), the lifelike depiction of subjects, without embellishment or interpretation.

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Protestantism encompasses the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated with the doctrines of the Reformation. The word Protestant is derived from the Latin protestatio meaning declaration
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MeSH D001523 Mental disorder or mental illness are terms used to refer a psychological or physiological pattern that occurs in an individual and is usually associated with distress or disability that is not expected as part of normal development or culture.
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The supernatural (Latin: super- "above" + natura "nature") pertains to entities, events or powers regarded as beyond nature, in that they cannot be explained from the laws of the natural world.
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Magic realism (or magical realism) is an artistic genre in which magical elements appear in an otherwise realistic setting.

As used today the term is broadly descriptive rather than critically rigorous.
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grotesque commonly means strange, fantastic, ugly or bizarre, and thus is often used to describe weird shapes and distorted forms such as Halloween masks or gargoyles on churches.
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The Deptford Trilogy is three related novels by Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist, and professor Robertson Davies.


The trilogy consists of Fifth Business (1970), The Manticore (1972), and World of Wonders (1975).
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Headhunter is a novel by Timothy Findley. It was first published by HarperCollins in 1993.

Plot summary

The novel is set in a dystopic Toronto, Ontario buffeted by a mysterious plague called sturnusemia, which is believed to be carried by starlings.
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