Reviewed by:
Montreal-Glasgow. Edited by Bill Marshall . University of Glasgow French and German Publications, 2005. ixv + 262 pp. Pb £15.00.

This well-edited volume deals with the culture (in the broadest sense) of two great cities and is divided into several sections: Architecture, History, Literature, Theatre, Film and Television, and Exchanges. The approach is largely but not exclusively comparative. Holly Kinnear shows how personalities involved with both cities were responsible for the impact made on their urban landscapes by the [End Page 419] Beaux-Arts movement, and François Dufaux underlines the high proportion of rental accommodation in the shape of multi-family tenement-type buildings to be found in both cities, but notes a number of differences in their architectural conceptions. Alena Prochazka discusses the extent to which major new buildings in Montreal conform to the established character of the city's built environment. Iain Stevenson studies the Canadian Pacific service of passenger liners that linked the two cities for much of the twentieth century, illustrating the chapter with several stunning poster images. The Scottish presence in Montreal is explored in two chapters by Gillian Leitch and Paul-André Linteau, and Harold Bérubé compares major commemorations of their history, during the crises of depression or war, by the two cities as well as by Toronto. The fine arts are represented by Alexandria Pierce's study of Lord Strathcona's art collection in nineteenth-century Montreal. Sébastien Socqué highlights the importance of the writer and politican, André Laurendeau, in integrating Montreal's cosmopolitan and exceptional character into a coherent notion of French Canada. As for literature, Maureen E. Waters explores the Gothic in the urban landscape of the two cities, although her text reads like the synopsis of a much longer work. Jacques Cardinal provides a dense interpretation of Jacques Ferron's novel, Les Confitures de coings, highlighting the political dimension of the work. Jean-François Chassay compares Gaétan Soucy's L'Immaculée Conception (1994) and Andrew O'Hagan's Our Fathers (1999), but the two novels seem too distant, in every sense, to lead to significant insights. Bill Findlay demonstrates how Glasgow audiences were particularly receptive to translations into vernacular Scots, by Martin Bowman and Findlay himself, of plays by Michel Tremblay, because of the continuing tradition of variety theatre in the city. David Hutchison studies the manner in which television drama with a Glasgow context portrays working-class, but rarely middle-class, experience and hence in some sense betrays the complexity of modern Scottish, especially Glaswegian, life. Pierre Véronneau, in a notably well-written text, contrasts the approaches to Montreal of two of French Canada's most significant film directors, Denys Arcand and Charles Binamé, and Bill Marshall's contribution is a well-realized comparison of the work for the cinema of Marc-André Forcier and Peter Mullan. The book concludes with Mark Rowbotham's study of Prestwick's Freeport and Montreal-Mirabel's foreign trade zone, a feature of the two cities likely to be little known outside business circles, and Michel Sarra-Bournet's overview of Montreal's cultural institutions, their history and probable future directions. This is, all in all, a varied and stimulating volume.

Michael Cardy
University of Wales Swanesa

Additional Information

ISSN
1468-2931
Print ISSN
0016-1128
Launched on MUSE
2007-01-10
Open Access
No
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