|제목||“How Strange Life is!”: The Performative Narrator and Chaucerian Similarities in Steven Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town|
Stephen Leacocks humorous Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912) is now less known outside Canada, but was in its time possibly more recognized abroad than the country was, and remains a foundational touchstone of Canadian fiction. Yet its genial humor has brought it affection but slighter academic regard, and its amorphous narrator has received criticism for his claimed inconsistency in knowledge level and identity. This article asserts that this alleged inconsistency can be explained by the example of Chaucers Tale of Sir Thopas. While it is an odd connection, Chaucer also deploys a narrator who knowingly employs a lowered or counterfactual viewpoint, and so both the poem and the Sketches are contextualized as explicit performances. Recognizing the narrators guise as an admitted reciter separate from his fictive story may help elucidate this critical issue and raise regard for Leacocks masterpiece.