Cartographic Dissonance: Between Geographies in Douglas Glover’s Elle


This paper juxtaposes the multiple sixteenth-century geographies of Douglas Glover’s Elle, introducing a theory of cartographic dissonance to refer to the ability to hold two or more “competing” conceptualizations of a single geographic space in mind. As I will demonstrate, the evolving trajectory of this novel moves readers to regret the imperial project as it was carried out in these lands. And as contact emerges from Elle’s narrative as a missed opportunity to cooperatively create a truly “new” world, the novel simultaneously draws our attention to some of the specific ways in which Canadians continue to perpetuate this failure.

This article “Cartographic Dissonance: Between Geographies in Douglas Glover’s Elle” originally appeared in Tracking CanLit. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 220 (Spring 2014): 116-30.

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