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Volume 33, Number 2 (2008)

Shoring against Our Ruin: Sheldon Currie, Alistair MacLeod, and the Heritage Preservation Narrative

  • Thomas Hodd
March 31, 2009


Sheldon Currie's "The Glace Bay Miners' Museum" (1977) and Alistair MacLeod's "The Tuning of Perfection" (1984) are short stories that explore the issue of cultural authenticity. Through similar narratives, they warn of increased commodification of Scottish culture at the hands of the Atlantic Canadian tourism industry. They present "heritage preservation narratives," comprised of several clearly defined characteristics, through which Currie and MacLeod express their frustration over an exploitative industry that threatens to erase authentic heritage traditions from the region, a threat identified by scholars such as James Overton and Ian McKay.