“Coming Home” Through Music: Cree and Classical Music in Tomson Highway’s Kiss of the Fur Queen

Abstract:

This article examines the purpose of music in Tomson Highway's Kiss of the Fur Queen by exploring its connection to the growth and development of the protagonist and musician Jeremiah Okimasis. In considering the growth of Jeremiah's character, I explore ways in which the novel's Bildungsroman structure is both exemplified and problematized by Highway's use of Cree and Classical musical aesthetics, and investigate the development of Native youth identity as well as a Cree cultural home. What is ultimately revealed is a trickster poetics at work in the text, as demonstrated by music's ability to lure characters into and out of cultural spaces of belonging while also functioning as an essential method of Cree cultural survival.


This article ““Coming Home” Through Music: Cree and Classical Music in Tomson Highway’s Kiss of the Fur Queen” originally appeared in Meanwhile, Home. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 232 (Spring 2017): 65-98.

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