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HUMANITIES 229 important car par cet ouvrage I'auteur de Proehain Episode, Ie separatiste, Ie recipiendaire de nombreux prix litteraires, I" un des plus brillants ecrivains du Quebec' selon les propres mots de Rene Levesque, par cet ouvrage Hubert Aquin acquiert une dimension essentiellement humaine. nse trouve demythifie. (PIERRE-YVES MOCQUAIS) Gail Scott, Barbara Godard, Daphne Marlatt, and Kathy Mezei, editors. Tessera: L'Ecriture comme lecture Spedal issue published as NBf (IA Nouvelle Barre du jour), no. '57. 100. $6.00 paper Tessera is the name of an itinerant editorial team (two writers and two critic-translators from Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver) who produce one special issue each year under the auspices of a regular journal. Last year A Room of One's Own took them in, for next year they have an invitation from the Canadian Fiction Magazine, this year they have createda volume for La Nouvelle Barre du jour in which all texts written originally in English appear in both languages and those written in French are published in French only. The journal is devoted to making known the work of feminists across the country. The editors encourage innovative feminist criticism and present feminist theory and various forms of experimental writing. They are very aware of the differences in cultural tradition, thought processes, and educational biases between the linguistic communities, and are making a much-needed effort to reconcile the anglophones' dislike of theory with the francophones' distrust of any writing that has no dear theoretical base. In time they hope to provide a locus of discussion and controversy for texts of all kinds. It is unfortunate that for the moment they can publish only once a year. This issue contains twelve meditations on the theme 'Writing as Reading' by francophone writers Louky Bersianik, Nicole Brossard, Danielle Fournier, Claire Gagnon, Carole La Grenade, Suzanne de Lotbiniere-Harwood, and France Theoret, and by anglophone writers Lola Lemire Tostevin, Daphne Marlatt, Kathy Mezei, Sharon Thesen, and Betsy Warland. As one would expect, given the variety of writers from poets like Marlatt to theoreticians like Brossard and critics like Mezei, there is a fascinating range of approaches to the subject: from complex word games (Warland) to an exploration of the psychological and cultural space occupied by the signature (Bersianik). No longer is the question whether and how women may take a place in the networks of language that ultimately define our lives. These texts all take for granted the existence of a female culture in which their writing, their assumptions, and their ideas take legitimate root. From that shared ground they consider the action and interaction of writing, reading, rewriting, rereading weaving an intriguing web of relationships at all levels between writers and readers: one's own work; responses to others; writing as re-created reading; reading as rewriting. We are drawn into the reflections, which travel back and forth challenging everything from current reader theories of criticism to a bilingual writer's place in a duo-lingual world. The journal offers a curious experience of the act of writing through reading in a fragmented society. The women who make up the Tessera team have aspecificaim and playa particular and important role within Canada because theirs is one of the all-too-rare journals, certainlyin the field of modern literature and letters, that deliberately serve as bridges between anglophone and francophone writers. Canada should have more of such ventures in all fields; they are crucial to our cultural health. (J. WAELTI-WALTERS) Paula Gilbert Lewis, editor. TradiHonalism, Nationalism, and Feminism: Women Wn'ters of Quebec Greenwood Press, xii, 280. $35.00 'I am unable to explain why so much writing of such impressive quality should come from so few' (p xi). Elaine Marks's comment in her foreword to this collection of essays in English on Quebec women writers inadvertently reveals both its strengths and weaknesses. The book's strength is first that it introduces these writers to a general audience, probably American, and second that it provides a needed addition to the relatively few books of Quebec criticism available to the English reader, either in translation or in English. Larry Shouldice's Contemporary Quebec Criticism, Andre Bourassa's Surrealism in...


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