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In-Between – Liminal Spaces in Canadian Literature and Cultures


Edited By Stefan L. Brandt

In the past few years, the concept of «liminality» has become a kind of pet theme within the discipline of Cultural Studies, lending itself to phenomena of transgression and systemic demarcation. This anthology employs theories of liminality to discuss Canada’s geographic and symbolic boundaries, taking its point of departure from the observation that «Canada» itself, as a cultural, political, and geographic entity, encapsulates elements of the «liminal.» The essays comprised in this volume deal with fragmented and contradictory practices in Canada, real and imagined borders, as well as contact zones, thresholds, and transitions in Anglo-Canadian and French-Canadian texts, discussing topics such as the U.S./Canadian border, migration, French-English relations, and encounters between First Nations and settlers.

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Diane Schoemperlen’s By the Book: Stories and Pictures – Fragments in Contrapuntal Unity (Nikola Tutek)


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Nikola Tutek

Diane Schoemperlen’s By the Book: Stories and Pictures – Fragments in Contrapuntal Unity

Abstract: This paper deals with an artistic experiment of the Canadian author Diane Schoem­perlen in the form of the short story. Schoemperlen, in her previous publications, used illustrations and collages that are incorporated into her literary art. In her most recent work—titled By the Book: Stories and Pictures—she goes one step further, using samples of existing texts and interpolating them into her writing. Hence, Schoemperlen creates ‘verbal collages’ which she complements with visual ones. The two media—verbal and visual collages—are united in By the Book in terms of the pairs ‘connection-disconnection,’ ‘resonance-dissonance,’ and ‘collision-collaboration.’ It is the aim of this this essay to shed light on these intricate relations and, in a second step, to position Schoemperlen’s work within theories of the short story.


In this essay, I will examine the literary and visual art experiment of Canadian author Diane Schoemperlen—namely, her much-praised 2014 book By the Book: Stories and Pictures. I will argue that By the Book is Schoemperlen’s most radical experiment in both her literary and visual production which expands the borders of the literary genre of the short story and even undermines or, rather, redefines the notion of authorship. The following research questions derived from this main argument:

In order to propose answers to these questions, I will briefly analyze...

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