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The Making of Orcadia

Narrative Identity in the Prose Work of George Mackay Brown


Berthold J. Schoene

The gradual establishment of George Mackay Brown as Orkney's literary spokesman over the last four decades has instigated a revival of the Orcadian tradition in literature. In light of Paul Ricoeur's concept of narrative identity this study explores the correlations between Brown's work and the construction and maintenance of a distinct Orkney identity. It posits that communal identity derives from dynamic narrative processes merging fact and fiction into a story that is generally accepted as authentic in spite of its essentially mythic nature.
Contents: The Poetics of Historiography - Orkney's Historical Tradition - Brown's Exploration of Historical Continuity - The Poetics of Myth-Making - Brown's Construction of the Community Myth - The Poetics of Faith - Brown as Storyteller and the Limits of Narrative