Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/8389
Timothy Findley’s Not Wanted on the Voyage is a work of Canadian literature which re-tells the Biblical story of Noah and the Ark with the sympathetic viewpoint of creatures, both human and non-human who were, or almost were, left behind and forgotten in the worldly deluge. The revised fable heeds a warning to patriarchal and myopic visions of the world in which diversity and/or dissention is ignored or made obsolete; there is too much varied nature, history and humanity to be lost through ignorance and the abuse of power. Canada’s post-colonial heritage and its immigrant character perplex, and perhaps even mystify, any stable definitions or claims to a national identity; its foundations are exceptionally disparate. It could be posited that the multi-cultural and pluri-lingual populace is faced with an identity crisis if no single identity is accorded ultimate agency or citizenship. Yet this pluralistic nature instigates and necessitates such an ambiguous national character in order to not forget or ignore its actual basis. Parallel, Findley’s deconstruction of Noah’s dominance reveals a diverse society seeking new commonalities as it founds a new world. Through a reflection on his evaluation of primordial themes of sexuality, struggle and survival, I argue that his novel suggests common, if incongruent, humanity to be the paramount groundwork underpinning a healthy society. Canadian identity is perhaps a vague concept, but the hope is that its incorporation of a multitude of dissimilar and ambiguous characteristics is augural of a healthy and progressive nation and literature.