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  • 8.1 : 1999 : PDF: Pit(iful) Male Bodies: Colonial Masculinity, Class and Folk Innocence in Margaret's Museum by Lee Parpart
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    Pit(iful) Male Bodies: Colonial Masculinity, Class and Folk Innocence in Margaret's Museum

    by Lee Parpart

    Abstract: This essay looks to Mort Ransen's 1995 feature, Margaret's Museum, as an example of how conceptual additons to the "colonial masculinity" model advanced by Robert Fothergill in the 1970s might add to an understanding of the way colonial histories and masculinities circulate within films form the margin. Contrary to the view that English Canadian films are populated with "victims" and "losers" who exemplify a recognizably Canadian will-to-lose, Margaret's Museum tends to trouble claims about a pan-Canadian version of imperilled masculinity by foregrounding the local and the particular, and prompts us to foreground differences and contraditions at the level of region, class and gender. By focusing attention on Cape Breton's complex colonial history relative to the rest of Canada and its ambiguous position within reginal constructions of what Ian McKay has termed the myth-symbol complext of Folk Innocence, this paper argues for a reading of the film that stresses its particularity within a distinct experience of colonialism and within the constructions of colonial masculinity that have tended to correspond with that experience. Furthermore, Margaret's Museum departs from other neo-colonial narratives by adopting "the feminine" as a position from which to deconstruct patriarchal tendencies in the community's response to its own marginality.

    Résumé: Cette article analyse Margaret's Museum de Mort Ransen a la lumiŠre d'un développement conceptuel de la notion de "masculinité coloniale" proposée par Robert Fothergill au cours des années 70, qui permet de mieux comprendre comment la masculinité coloniale et ses histoires circulent a travers des films issus de régions marginales. Contrairement a la perception traditionnelle du cinéma canadien anglais peuplé de perdants et de victimes qui incarnent le "besoin de perdre" des canadiens, Margaret's Museum questionne l'idée d'une masculinité pancanadienne en péril, en mettant l'emphase sur le local et le particulier pour souligner les différences et les contradictions entre les régions, les classes sociales et les genres. En se concentrant sure l'histoire coloniale complexe du Cap Breton, par rapport au reste du Canada, et sur sa position ambigu‰ face aux constructions régionales "d'innocence du peuple," cet article propose une lecture du film qui exprime un aspect distinct de l'expérience du colonialisme et de la construction de la masculinité coloniale. De plus, Margaret's Museum se démarque de la majorité des autres textes néo-colonialistes en adoptant une position féminine pour élaborer sa déconstruction de la vision patriarcale que la communauté a de sa propre situation maginale.

    PDF: cj-film-studies81_Parpart_bodies.pdf