Trans-Iterating Residential School Experiences: Modelling Reconciliation in Tomson Highway’s Kiss of the Fur Queen
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This paper looks at Tomson Highway’s Kiss of the Fur Queen as a translated text, exploring theories of translation as both transference—from one culture to another—as well as re-signification from one language to another. Focusing in on what constitutes the effable, the paper examines the phenomenological component of translation and literary composition from a dual perspective or identity. Through close reading the limitations of translation and trans-iteration are explored, revealing the locus of ‘ineffability’ in the trauma of the Okimasis brothers’ suffering in the residential school system. The concept of trans-iteration is coined here as the translation of meaning from one signifying system to another semiotic construct—in this case music or musicality. The paper then moves to a second, shorter, section that focuses on the issues of reconciliation and redress for residential schools in Canada. Briefly examining the models and goals of reconciliation in this administrative context, the paper then puts forth Vizenor’s model of survivance, and Highway’s text as a survivance text, as a working model for testimony and witness in the current context of reconciliation.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
Copyright DateAugust 2011
Kiss of the Fur Queen
Truth and Reconciliation Commission