“Something in Between”: Monkey Beach and the Haisla Return of the Return of the Repressed

  • David Randall Gaertner University of British Columbia


The return of the repressed is a pervasive trope in Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach and it has been well theorized in the criticism surrounding the novel—from a Freudian perspective. However, in order to fully understand the aesthetics and politics of this important text more work is needed to develop the ways in which readers can engage with repression and its return from an Indigenous—and more specifically—Haisla, point of view. Via close reading and historical analysis, this essay locates the return of the repressed in relation to settler colonialism and traditional Haisla storytelling and fundamentally reframes arguments concerning psychoanalytic critique and Indigenous literature.

Author Biography

David Randall Gaertner, University of British Columbia
David Gaertner is a settler scholar of German descent and an Assistant Professor in the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program at the University of British Columbia. His research and teaching investigate literature and new media within a decolonial framework.