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Making Believe

Questions About Mennonites and Art

Magdalene Redekop (author)

ISBN: 9780887558573

Publication Date: Apr 2020

Format: Paperback

Also available as: Hardback  

Confronted with an embarrassment of riches that resist survey, Magdalene Redekop opts for the use of case studies to raise questions about Mennonites and art. Part criticism, part memoir, Making Believe argues that there is no such thing as Mennonite art.
£29.50

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Making Believe responds to a remarkable flowering of art by Mennonites in Canada. After the publication of his first novel in 1962, Rudy Wiebe was the only identifiable Mennonite literary writer in the country. Beginning in the 1970s, the numbers grew rapidly and now include writers Patrick Friesen, Sandra Birdsell, Di Brandt, Sarah Klassen, Armin Wiebe, David Bergen, Miriam Toews, Carrie Snyder, Casey Plett, and many more. A similar renaissance is evident in the visual arts (including artists Gathie Falk, Wanda Koop, and Aganetha Dyck) and in music (including composers Randolph Peters, Carol Ann Weaver, and Stephanie Martin). Confronted with an embarrassment of riches that resist survey, Magdalene Redekop opts for the use of case studies to raise questions about Mennonites and art. Part criticism, part memoir, Making Believe argues that there is no such thing as Mennonite art. At the same time, her close engagement with individual works of art paradoxically leads Redekop to identify a Mennonite sensibility at play in the space where artists from many cultures interact. Constant questioning and commitment to community are part of the Mennonite dissenting tradition. Although these values come up against the legacy of radical Anabaptist hostility to art, Redekop argues that the Early Modern roots of a contemporary crisis of representation are shared by all artists. Making Believe posits a Spielraum or play space in which all artists are dissembling tricksters, but differences in how we play are inflected by where we come from. The close readings in this book insist on respect for difference at the same time as they invite readers to find common ground while making believe across cultures.
Pages 424
Dimensions 229 x 152 x 26
Date Published 30 Apr 2020
Publisher University of Manitoba Press
Subject/s Theory of art   Literary studies: general   Literary companions   Art treatments & subjects   Religious groups: social & cultural aspects   Art styles not defined by date   Other Nonconformist & Evangelical Churches  
  • Introduction: On Beginnings
  • Ch. 1 Making Believe: Sparks Flying in the Contact Zone
  • Ch. 2 Us and Them: Real Toads in Imaginary Ghettos
  • Ch. 3 Resisting Nostalgia: Little Shtahp on the Prairie
  • Ch. 4 Location, Dislocation: Harvesting a Literary Bumper Crop
  • Ch. 5 Melos and Logos: Talking About Music
  • Ch. 6 Iconoclash: Redecorating the Spielraum Conclusion: On Endings
Magdalene Redekop is Professor Emerita of English at the University of Toronto. She is the author of Mothers and Other Clowns: The Stories of Alice Munro.

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