Loretta Czernis applies her sociological training in document analysis to study one government prescription for what ails Canadians. The Report of the Task Force on Canadian Unity rewrote Canada by reinventing patriotism, essentially inviting Canadians to imagine a new Canada. The Report itself is the product of what she calls the “federal writing machine” which exists to continually rewrite and thus reinvent Canada. Czernis’ contextual reading of the Report occurs on two levels: reading technically, she examines the Report’s anonymous writing style that asks readers to imitate its own conclusions (be patriotic, buy a flag, shop at home). Gestural reading invites reading as performance. Canadians are invited to participate in reshaping Canada by reading Canada allegorically, as a social body, capable of changing its form. What a document may intend is not always the same as what is read into it. Mistakes can and do occur in the reading. Czernis suggests that these “mistakes” constitute a significant form of resistance to the anonymous writing machine. Weaving a Canadian Allegory will be of special interest to Canadianists, sociologists and to those involved in cultural, political and textual studies.
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