In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

ouvrage eclaire incontestablement cette grande ceuvre en y montrant toute la part des jeux de la lumiere et de l'ombre. (JANET M. PATERSON) Maurice Emond. La Femme ala fen2tre Les Presses de I'Universite Laval 1984. 391. $20.00 paper While the symbolic nature of Anne Hebert's writings has been the subject of numerous critical studies, La Femme ala fenetre is the first to explore systematically Hebert's symbolic universe in a group of related prose writings which, though not neglected, have been overshadowed by the many studies of her early poetry. Emond has successfully undertaken the major task of charting this symbolic world in three novels - Les Chambres de bois, Kamouraslca and Les Enfants du sabbat - novels seemingly very different in theme and design. Although Emond's critical approach leans heavily on the writings of G. Bachelard, G. Durand, and J.-P. Richard, and although that approach seems somewhat conservative, it nevertheless throws a great deal oflight on his subject. The book is divided into three major sections: 'Une symbolique du noir et du blanc: 'une dialectique de l'eau et du feu: and 'une poetique du regard: each in tum being subdivided into a number of . chapters tightly linked to the main sections. The result is a fine in-depth study not only of the major symbols in the three novels, but of the way in which Hebert rings changes on these symbols, even reversing their meanings from novel to novel. Thus, 'une dialectique de l'eau et du feu: perhaps the most interesting section, first explores the evil aspects attributed by Hebert to water and fire - 'Ies Eaux funestes: 'les Feux nefastes' - and then addresses their positive sides - 'Ies Eaux lustrales: 'Ies Feux purificateurs' - finally showing how Hebert attempts to reconcile both. Emond does not limit himself merely to examining the symbolic meaning of water and fire; he explores also attendant symbolic meanings attached to words like wine, blood, lightning, sun while consistently grounding his speculations in illustrations from the novels. For example, after having demonstrated that blood in Kamouraslca is symbolically seen as 'une eau noire liee ilia mort: he convincingly argues that Hebert turns the same element into a symbol of regeneration in Les Enfants du sabbat, where the blood flowing during the birth of Julie's son transforms her from a 'Vierge noire' into 'Ia Vierge mere': 'Julie, comme Philomene, comme tant de femmes dans l'ceuvre d'Anne Hebert, est la Grande Deesse, La Grande Mere, la materia primordiale' (p 243). In 'L'androgynat primitif: one of the most complex, yet lucid, sub-chapters in this book, Emond describes Hebert's basic thematic concern, which is her dualistic and Manichaean vision of the world, and her attempt to bring together extremes in a primordial stage where the human couple is depicted as being united in an original androgynism. This particular HUMANITIES 209 chapter invites a re-evaluation of Les Enfants du sabbat, which is still seen by many critics as merely an example of Hebert's Gothicism. Some of Emond's statements, especially those which argue that Lia in Les Chambres de bois is a representative of the nocturnal side in Catherine, or that Elisabeth in Kamouraska is a 'fille du diable' and 'epouse du diable,' are debatable. However, La Femme ala fenetre is a very valuable study for students and critics of Hebert's work; it introduces the former to her writing in an intelligent and intelligible way, while it invites the latter to test Emond's insightful speculation on these three novels against Anne Hebert's complete reuYre. (RENATE BENSON) Sylvianne Savard-Boulanger. La Correspondanee etrangere de Jean-Charles Harvey: edition critique Editions Naaman 1984· ,64. $'5.00 Oepuis quelques annees, I'ceuvre litteraire et journalistique de JeanCharles Harvey (,89'- '967) interesse de plus en plus de chercheurs quebecois et canadiens. La recente parution aux Editions Naaman de i'edition critique de la Correspondanee etrangere de Jean-Charles Harvey (1932-1966) s'ajoute d'emblee it cette serie d'etudes qui cherchent it la fois a redecouvrir Ie vrai visage de Jean-Charles Harvey et it resituer i'importance de ses ecrits dans la production intellectuelle quebecoise. Preface par...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 208-209
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.