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Entre le social et le national

Le « moment 68 » et la réinvention de l’Acadie

Joel Belliveau

La distance et les barrières linguistiques n’ont pu empêcher le mouvement étudiant nord-américain de former une incarnation locale en terre acadienne, culminant dans une participation enthousiasme au « moment 1968 » planétaire, avec une saveur originale toutefois, qui changera profondément la culture politique de cette minorité linguistique.
–Lionel Groulx, 1935

Quatre notables acadiens reçus tels des chefs d’État par Charles de Gaulle au Palais de l’Élysée. Plus de 2000 personnes qui manifestent dans les rues de Moncton scandant « on veut du français! ». Une confrontation très publique à l’hôtel de ville entre quatre jeunes résolus et un maire francophobe. Une tête de cochon déposée sur le seuil de sa maison en guise de protestation. L’occupation du plus grand bâtiment de l’Université de Moncton par des étudiants armés de boyaux d’arrosage. Voilà quelques images fortes héritées des « années ‘68 » en Acadie, des images qui se sont ancrées avec force dans l’imaginaire acadien.

Le présent ouvrage relate l’histoire du mouvement étudiant de Moncton, qui a été, toutes proportions gardées, l’un des plus importants au Canada durant les années 1960. La dimension nationaliste de ce mouvement était déjà relativement bien connue; aussi, la contribution la plus importante de cet ouvrage est qu’il ancre cette histoire dans celle de la Nouvelle Gauche nord-américaine, permettant une meilleure compréhension de sa genèse et de sa nature. Mettant en relation les actions et paroles de ces étudiants acadiens avec ceux du Québec, du Canada anglophone, des États-Unis et d’au-delà, il explore comment, dans la diffusion d’idées, le mondial et le local se rejoignent.

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Entre lieux et mémoire

L'inscription de la francophonie canadienne dans la durée

Sous la direction de Anne Gilbert, Michel Bock et Joseph Yvon Thériault

Dans Les lieux de mémoire, Pierre Nora affirme que « la mémoire s'enracine dans le concret, l'espace, le geste, l'image et l'objet » (1984, xix). Entre lieux et mémoire adopte une perspective semblable et jette un regard sur les expériences concrètes, géographiquement situées, par lesquelles les francophones du Canada construisent leur identité à partir des réminiscences de leur passé. Ce questionnement est essentiel, car la géographie de la francophonie canadienne évolue rapidement, consolidée au Québec au cours notamment des dernières cinquante années, mais fragilisée dans les milieux les plus dynamiques de la francophonie hors Québec, là où les francophones se confrontent quotidiennement à l'Autre : anglophone, immigrant et allophone. Dans ces lieux consolidés et fluides se tissent les appartenances et les identités de ceux qui les occupent. Les auteurs abordent les lieux de mémoire du Canada français selon trois approches : l'histoire, la géographie et les arts. Tous mettent en évidence que la fondation d'un lieu de mémoire est un acte politique. Enfin, ils montrent qu'une étude des lieux de mémoire, par l'entremise des individus et des groupes qui les instituent, constitue un préalable à la compréhension de l'identité francophone canadienne, dans son unité comme dans sa diversité.

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Ernest Buckler

Rediscovery and Reassessment

Margaret Atwood called Ernest Buckler “one of the pathbreakers for the modern Canadian novel,” yet he has slipped into relative obscurity. This new book by Marta Dvořák, Ernest Buckler: Rediscovery and Reassessment breaks new ground in Canadian literary studies by analyzing some of Buckler’s works that have remained unknown or unexplored by critics, and by addressing the formalistic innovations of these texts. It allows a general readership to discover — and an international specialized readership to reassess — the wide, even eclectic scope of an author best known for his first novel, The Mountain and the Valley.

Marta Dvořák situates Buckler firmly within his cultural and intellectual environment. She argues the importance of his connections with Emerson and the American transcendental milieu, and demonstrates his links with Romantics such as Schopenhauer and Shelley and modernists like Joyce, Faulkner, and Mansfield, as well as intellectuals from Aristotle to Aquinas. She explores his philosophical vision and his complex, adventurous relationship with language. Extracts from Buckler’s published and unpublished material juxtaposed with those from a wide range of writers (from Henry James to Foucault) offer new illuminating perspectives.

The progressive structure of the book will draw readers in to discussions on shared concerns: the nostalgia for a vanished past, the relationship between family and community, the rural and the urban, or the questioning of, and coming to terms with, ethics and the social fabric of today’s rapidly changing technological horizon in which traditional values are eroding.

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The Faces of Reason

An Essay on Philosophy and Culture in English Canada1850-1950

The Faces of Reason traces the history of philosophy in English Canada from 1850 to 1950, examining the major English-Canadian philosophers in detail adn setting them in the context of the main currents of Canadian thought. The book concludes with a brief survey of the period after 1950.

What is distinctive in Canadian philosophy, say the authors, is the concept of reason and the uses to which it is put. Reason has interacted with experience in a new world and a cold climate to create a distinctive Canadian community. The diversity of political, geographic, social, and religious factors has fostered a particular kind of thinking, particular ways of reasoning and communicating. Rather than one grand, overarching Canadian way of thinking, there are “many faces of reason,” “a kind of philosophic federalism”.

The book has two dimensions: “it is a continuos story which makes a point about the development of philosophical reason in the Canadian context.... it is a reference work which may be consulted by readers interested in particular figures, ideas, movements, or periods.”

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Faith and Fiction

A Theological Critique of the Narrative Strategies of Hugh MacLennan and Morley Callaghan

Is it possible to write an artistically respectable and theoretically convincing religious novel in a non-religious age?

Up to now, there has been no substantial application of theological criticism to the works of Hugh MacLennan and Morley Callaghan, the two most important Canadian novelists before 1960. Yet both were religious writers during the period when Canada entered the modern, non-religious era, and both greatly influenced the development of our literature. MacLennan’s journey from Calvinism to Christian existentialism is documented in his essays and seven novels, most fully in The Watch that Ends the Night.

Callaghan’s fourteen novels are marked by tensions in his theology of Catholic humanism, with his later novels defining his theological themes in increasingly secular terms. This tension between narrative and metanarrative has produced both the artistic strengths and the moral ambiguities that characterize his work.

Faith and Fiction: A Theological Critique of the Narrative Strategies of Hugh MacLennan and Morley Callaghan is a significant contribution to the relatively new field studying the relation between religion and literature in Canada.

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Federalism in Canada and Australia

The Early Years

This book is a comparison of the history and politics of two sister societies, comparing Canada with Australia, rather than, as is traditional, with the United Kingdom or the United States. It is representative of a particular interest in promoting more contact and exchange among Canadian and Australian scholars who were investigating various features of the two societies. Because some of them were individually involved in aspects of federalist studies, an examination of the early evolution of federalism in what once were the two sister dominions seemed quite an appropriate area in which to begin comparisons.

The book discusses Canadian federalism from about 1864 to 1880 and Australian federalism from about 1897 to 1914. It examines the background and changes wrought on early Canadian federalism and early Australian federalism.

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Fierce Departures

The Poetry of Dionne Brand

The selections in Fierce Departures, drawn from Dionne Brand’s work since 1997, delineate with searing eloquence how history marks and dislocates peoples of the African diaspora, how nations, concretely and conceptually, fail to create safe haven, and how human desire persists nevertheless. Through a widening canvas, Brand unfolds the (im)possibilities of belonging for those whom history has dispossessed. Yet she also shows how Canada, and in particular Toronto, remade by those who alight on it, is a place of contingency. Known for her linguistic intensity and lyric brilliance, Brand consoles through the beauty of her work and disturbs with its uncompromising demand for ethical witness.

In her introduction, editor Leslie C. Sanders traces the evolution of Brand’s poetic concerns and changing vision. In particular, she observes Brand’s complex use of landscape and language to delineate the ethical and emotional issues around the desire for place. She argues that Brand reformulates Northrop Frye’s question “Where is here?,” disturbing and expanding the national imaginary.

As afterword, Brand has selected passages from her evocative collection of essays A Map to the Door of No Return. Read as an ars poetica, the passages summon the presences of those whose lives are circumscribed by the histories the poet narrates as her own.

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Finding Kluskap

A Journey into Mi'kmaw Myth

By Jennifer Reid

The Mi’kmaq of eastern Canada were among the first indigenous North Americans to encounter colonial Europeans. As early as the mid-sixteenth century, they were trading with French fishers, and by the mid-seventeenth century, large numbers of Mi’kmaq had converted to Catholicism. Mi’kmaw Catholicism is perhaps best exemplified by the community’s regard for the figure of Saint Anne, the grandmother of Jesus. Every year for a week, coinciding with the saint’s feast day of July 26, Mi’kmaw peoples from communities throughout Quebec and eastern Canada gather on the small island, Potlotek, off the coast of Nova Scotia. It is, however, far from a conventional Catholic celebration. In fact, it expresses a complex relationship between the Mi’kmaq, a cultural hero named Kluskap, a series of eighteenth-century treaties, and Saint Anne. Finding Kluskap brings together years of historical research and learning among Mi’kmaw peoples on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The author’s long-term relationship with Mi’kmaw friends and colleagues provides a unique vantage point for scholarship, one shaped by not only personal relationships, but by the cultural, intellectual, and historical situations that inform postcolonial peoples. The picture that emerges when Kluskap, Saint Anne, and the mission are considered in concert with one another is one of the sacred life as a site of adjudication for both the meaning and efficacy of religion, and the impact of modern history on contemporary indigenous religion.

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First Nations, Identity, and Reserve Life

The Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia

Simone Poliandri

Issues of identity figure prominently in Native North American communities, mediating their histories, traditions, culture, and status. This is certainly true of the Mi’kmaw people of Nova Scotia, whose lives on reserves create highly complex economic, social, political, and spiritual realities. This ethnography investigates identity construction and negotiations among the Mi’kmaq, as well as the role of identity dynamics in Mi’kmaw social relationships on and off the reserve. Featuring direct testimonies from over sixty individuals, this work offers a vivid firsthand perspective on contemporary Mi’kmaw reserve life.

Simone Poliandri begins First Nations, Identity, and Reserve Life with a search for the criteria used by the Mi’kmaq to construct their identities, which are traced within the context of their different perceptions of community, tradition, spirituality, relationship with the Catholic Church, and the recent reevaluation of the iconic figure of late activist Annie Mae Aquash. Building on the notions of self-identification and ascribed identity as the primary components of identity, Poliandri argues that placing others at specific locations within the social landscape of their communities allows the Mi’kmaq to define and reinforce their own spaces by way of association, contrast, or both. This identification of others highlights Mi’kmaw people’s agency in shaping and monitoring the representations of their identities. With its theoretical insights, this richly textured ethnography will enhance understanding of identity dynamics among Indigenous communities even as it illuminates the unique nature of the Mi’kmaw people.

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Flora Lyndsay; or, Passages in an Eventful Life

A Novel by Susanna Moodie

Susanna Moodie

Flora Lyndsay is Susanna Moodie’s prequel to Roughing it in the Bush and Life in the Clearings. It completes her trilogy on her emigration from Suffolk to Upper Canada that began in 1832. Though Moodie chose to fictionalize herself in the context of this novel, this work remains a close personalized record of her family’s experiences in planning their emigration and crossing the Atlantic.
Although surprisingly little critical attention has been paid to it, this novel offers its readers the opportunity to appreciate Moodie’s style, her sense of form and her distinctive approach to writing female autobiography. This edition, complete with a wide corpus of endnotes, an extensive list of emendations and a critical introduction, should help address this absence and give readers a closer look at the iconic phenomenon that is Susanna Moodie.

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