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novels culminating in Ringuet's Trente arpents (1938). Lemieux skilfully illustrates the ambivalence of symbolic references in the fiction, relating ironic allusions in the novels of Marie-Claire Blais, for example, to the popular belief that death transforms baptized infants into angels. Parental relations and the socialization of children are treated in the third chapter. Drawing on the previous work of Jean-Charles Falardeau, SisterSainte-Marie Eleuthere, Jack Warwick, and AntoineSirois, Lemieux stresses the importance of rural or urban settings and of social class in the family power structure. In the fiction, rural and middle-class urban families tend to be patriarchal, working-class families matriarchal. Male and female roles are sharply distinguished, the man's existence being symbolized by the farm and the forest, the woman's by the kitchen and the horne. The patterns of shared authority are complex and constantly evolving, often including an imperious widowed grandmother. The socialization of children thus becomes a paradoxical mixture of discipline and indulgence. In her fmal chapter the author outlines the development of affection and sentiment in children, qualities inhibited or repressed in traditional Quebec society by a preoccupation with family needs over individual ones. Thus themes ofsolitude and lack of communication dominate in the absence of depictions of romantic or passionate love. Suppressed affection appears only obliquely, perhaps in the form of food preparation by the mother or story-telling by the father. In concluding her lengthy and detailed analysis, Lemieux refrains from making sweeping generalizations or imposing reductionist patterns, emphasizing instead the complexity, variety, and ambivalence of the presentation of child figures in the novels. Her study is thus suggestive and stimulating rather than dogmatic and definitive. Although somewhat diffuse and not easily read, it will reward both sociologists and students of literature; the former will find in it a previously unfamiliar corpus, the later will discover an unaccustomed methodology. All readers will, however, be disappointed by the lack of any index to assist in locating references to particular novels or novelists. A generous bibliography (pp 221-42) completes the book and provides guidance to those uninformed about either sociology of literary history. (DAVID M. HAYNE) Franc;ois Ricard. LA Litttrature contre elle-meme. Collection Papiers Calles, Boreal Express. 196. $12.95 Ce livre rassemble une vingtaine d'articles et d'essais, la plupart parus dans la revue Liberti! iilaquelle Fran~ois Ricard collabore depuis plusieurs annees. A premiere vue, ces textes se caracterisent surtout par leur diversite: I'auteur y examine les ecrits des Tcheques Kundera et ~kvorecky, HUMANITIES 221 des Italiens Calvino, Savinio, Camon, Brelich, Fruttero et Lucentini, des Latino-Americains Fuentes et Wilcock, des Americains Kerouac, Roth et James, des Quebecois Archambault, Major et Gabrielle Roy, et il traite egalement des questions de culture et d'histoire. Tout disparate que semble ce recueil, il produit un touthomogene grace a ce que l'on pourrait appeler Ia projection systematique du point de vue de l'auteur sur l'ensemble des textes. En realite, ce livre presente une lecture personnelle, quelquefois polemique, mais toujours fidele a une certaine vision de Ia litterature. Car meme si Ia plupart des textes sont brefs et varies, ils finissent par se faire echo, se completant Ies uns Ies autres. Tout en admirant Ies traits d'ouverture d'esprit et de curiosite intellectuelle, Fran~ois Ricard apprecie surtout- on dirait meme, plusque toute autre qualite litteraire - I'ironie. D'oil Ie sens du titre: Ia litterature valorisee par Ricard est celIe qui joue contre elle-meme. Ne cedant ni au Iyrisme (trait qui est plusieurs fois attaque dans ce volume), ni aux pieges de I'ecriture dite nouvelle (ecriture denoncee comme representant des 'defiagrations textuelles') et ne basculant jamais dans Ies domaines du sublime ou de Ia transcendance, cette litterature se caraeterise par Ia Iegerete, Ia raillerie et par une certaine depoetisation. 'Points de vue ironiques: 'tradition ironique': voila des termes qui reviennent souvent dans ces essais. Lorsque Ricard prone, par exemple, dans Ia litterature tcheque Ia 'mefiance envers Ies seductions de Ia transcendance' et Ia 'conception de Ia vie comme piege: il met en evidence son propre point de vue critique: 'Mais au fond, n'est-ce pas la, tout simplement...


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