A biography of Norman Duncan

Moore, Thomas Richard. (1977) A biography of Norman Duncan. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This is the first attempt to write a scholarly biography of the important and neglected Canadian writer, Norman Duncan. Duncan was a prolific writer of 20 books and numerous stories and articles before his premature death in 1916. This paper is a result of interviews with the few remaining people who knew Duncan, and a study of his published and unpublished work. Most of Duncan's writing, and, as is the consensus among critics, his best work, dealt with Newfoundland and Duncan's reaction to it. During his first summer in Newfoundland in 1900, and in his subsequent visits to the island, Duncan was captivated and inspired by the fishermen of Newfoundland who eked a livelihood from so harsh an environment. Their struggle symbolized for Duncan man's struggle in a harsh and oppressive universe. Duncan's capacity to enter sympathetically into the life style of the people he described was demonstrated in his Newfoundland writings as well as in his stories about the Syrians in New York, the desert wanderers of Palestine and Egypt, and the settlers of Australia. This paper refers to the writings insofar as they elucidate the man's life story. His biography is traced from his birth in Brantford, Ontario, in 1871, to his untimely death in Fredonia, New York, in 1916. His work with various American newspapers and universities is discussed, as well as his acquaintance with Sir Wilfred Grenfell and W.L. Mackenzie King. His growing dependence upon alcohol, finally resulting in abject alcoholism, is discussed and related to the writings, especially in his final years. This paper is a correlation of all the existing and often contradictory facts and memories about the life of Norman Duncan.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7833
Item ID: 7833
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 113-118.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1977
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Duncan, Norman, 1871-1916

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