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The Quest of the Folk: Antimodernism and Cultural Selection in Twentieth-Century Nova Scotia [Paperback]

Ian McKay
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Paperback, Aug. 29 1994 --  

Book Description

Aug. 29 1994
The use and abuse of the idea of the "Simple Life" in tourism promotion and the massive dissemination of folk images are analysed in depth. McKay examines how Nova Scotia's cultural history was rewritten to erase evidence of an urban, capitalist society, of class and ethnic differences, and of women's emancipation. He sheds new light on the roles of Helen Creighton, the Maritime region's most famous folklorist, and Mary Black, an influential handicrafts revivalist, in creating this false identity. McKay also looks at the infusion of the folk ideology into the art and literature of the region. McKay puts the folk concept into contemporary and international contexts by drawing on Marxist notions of political economy, Gramscian models of cultural production and hegemony, and Foucaultian structuralism. The Quest of the Folk will be of interest to folklorists, cultural historians, literary scholars, and anyone with an interest in the local history of the Maritimes or Maritime regional identity.

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"A compelling and innovative book .... McKay writes with a felicitous style, and his penetrating and hard-nosed critical stance promises to make this one of the more controversial works to emerge in Canadian history in recent years, particularly as it relates to the careers of the demigods of Nova Scotia's folk essence, Helen Creighton and Mary Black." Colin Howell, Department of History, St Mary's University. "A magnificent piece of analysis bristling with insights. The Quest of the Folk is some of the best cultural history that has been produced in this country." Keith Walden, Department of History, Trent University.

About the Author

Ian McKay is professor of history, Queen's University, and the author of For a Working-Class Culture in Canada: A Selection of Colin McKay's Writing on Sociology and Political Economy, 1897-1939.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Great Tartan Sept. 2 2001
Format:Hardcover
Essential reading for anyone studying anything about Nova Scotia. Work past your assumptions of 'Canada's Ocean Playground' and the people who live there. Clear, concise and often amusing writing elevates this book way beyond dry academic study.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Great Tartan Sept. 2 2001
By This is Susan Bell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Essential reading for anyone studying anything about Nova Scotia. Work past your assumptions of 'Canada's Ocean Playground' and the people who live there. Clear, concise and often amusing writing elevates this book way beyond dry academic study.
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