Weibe’s short story Where is the Voice Coming From reflects on facts and mysteries written by other scholars. The author has explored complex reviews in several documents that examined the topics of history and fiction. The story tells about Almighty Voice, a young Indian who is arrested and held at Duck Lake. The characters then give contradicting views on the case, which presents the author’s main point about facts and fiction, and encourages readers to think about the nature of these phenomena in literature and life (Wiebe, 1974). The purpose of this paper is to discuss several works relating to the story in question, as well as the main topic Weibe tried to address in it: facts against fiction.
There have been numerous books, stories, and articles that discussed Where is the Voice Coming From, its impact, and its implications. Many of them examined the ways in which the story reflects real life. For example, Milena Kaličanin’s article discusses the relationship between Weibe’s story and the historical context in general, as well as different views on experiencing reality and conveying it through language (2017). In turn, Lynch (2013) examines the factual and fictional use of history in Canadian literature as a broader context. In his article, Lynch states that Weibe’s story is arguably the most representative literary work in terms of addressing the issue of historical accuracy in literature (Lynch, 2013). Another article that made a significant contribution to the discussion of facts and fiction in literature, as well as in real life, is the work by John Thieme (1982). In his article, Thieme discusses the reliability of historical evidence, analyzing Weibe’s short story in detail. He argues that “the unreliability of much of the evidence seriously question the value of such historiographies” (Thieme, 1982, p. 176).
It can be argued that Thieme’s article is the one that helps most with the research question of this paper. First, this article presents the views of different writers and historians who discussed Where the Voice is Coming From in their works. Thieme also adds his own comments to analyze the ideas. Moreover, he studies the plot thoroughly to find the moments where historical facts could get mixed with fiction and imagination. He then suggests ideas about why this happens and if the adequate representation of historical events is even possible. As a result of his discussion and analysis, he returns to the problem of “making the story,” which is used at the very beginning of Where is the Voice Coming From (Thieme, 1982, p. 180). He also argues that Voice is both the “symbol of Cree defiance and an image of the fictional narrative which is concerned with the author’s attempt to locate the origins of such fiction” (Thieme, 1982, p. 180). This adds another important point to the discussion, which is viewing white people as a group with dominant voices in the discussion of historical accuracy.
Weibe’s story Where is the Voice Coming From is a work that discusses the fiction of mysteries and lies developed by the post-colonial people to influence the Canadians and the general public. Weibe compiled the views and documents of various authors who represented their arguments to influence society. It can be stated that Thieme’s article Scheherazade as a historian: Rudy Wiebe’s ‘Where is the voice coming from?’ is one of the best works that relate to Weibe’s story. It analyzes different views on the nature of facts and fiction and states that it is extremely difficult to represent history with complete accuracy.
Kaličanin, M. (2017). Fact versus fiction in Rudy Wiebe’s “Where is the voice coming from.” Neohelicon, 44(1), 169-176. Web.
Lynch, G. (2013). Presenting the past: The tendentious use of history in contemporary Canadian literature. American Review of Canadian Studies, 43(1), 1-11. Web.
Thieme, J. (1982). Scheherazade as historian: Rudy Wiebe’s ‘Where is the voice coming from?’. The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 17(1), 172-181. Web.
Wiebe, R. H. (1974). Where is the voice coming from? McClelland and Stewart.