- Parti Pris: Idéologies et littérature by Robert Major, and: Structure, idéologie et réception du roman québécois de 1940 à 1960 ed. by Jacques Michon, and: Langue, littérature, culture au Canada français ed. by Robert Vigneault, and: Instantanées de la condition québécoise by Jean-Pierre Boucher, and: Mythe et images du Juif au Québec by Victor Teboul, and: La Quête de l'identité chez André Langevin by Gabrielle Pascal, and: Le Défi d'Albert Laberge by Gabrielle Pascal (review)
- University of Toronto Quarterly
- University of Toronto Press
- Volume 49, Number 4, Summer 1980
- pp. 465-473
- View Citation
- Additional Information
HUMANITIES 4b5 Not surprisingly, narrative structure recurs as a critical concern, particularly in relation to The New Age. (In the interview Hood comments on the influence of the Coleridgean model of conversation, 'the very wide range of references without apparent connection on the surface which nonetheless will yield connections and networks and links and unities if you wait and allow them to appear.') Dennis Duffy discusses time and space as structural elements in several works, and Robert Lecker comments on forms of communion as the unifying prinCiple in The Swing in the Garden, the first volume of The New Age. Lawrence Mathews argues that Hood moves towards Christian allegory and persuaSively suggests a biblical structure for A New Athens, the second volume of The New Age. We have really just begun the task of analysing and evaluting Hood's achievement, a task only complicated by Hood's own complacent proclamations of his literary genius. Before the Flood provides an uneven and discontinuous series of individual contributions to the process of analysis. Despite some apparent agreement among the contributors about the distinctiveness of Hood's confidently serene Christian vision and about his rejection both ofconventional psychological realism and of modem experimental discontinuity, the readeris left ultimately to form a coherent interpretation of Hood's fiction from the inSights scattered through this collection. Before the Flood is, nevertheless, a level-headed beginning, pointing us in the right direction. (HELEN HOY) Robert Major. Parti pris: ideologies et litterature Hurtubise HMH. 34 Jacques Michon, editor Structure, ideologie et reception du roman quebecois de '940 il1960 Departement d'etudes franc;aises, Universite de Sherbrooke. 107 Robert Vigneault, editor Langue, litterature, culture au Canada franrais Les Editions de l'Universite d'Ottawa, '977· "7 Jean-Pierre Boucher. lnslantanees de Ia condition quebecoise Hurtubise HMH 1977. 198 Victor Teboul. Mythe et images du Juif au Quebec Editions de Lagrave 1977· 235 Gabrielle Pascal. La Quete de l'identite chez Andre Langevin Editions Aquila 1976.93 Gabrielle Pascal. Le Deft d'Albert Laberge Editions Aquila 1976. 93 The last few years have seen a growing interest in the analYSis of the ideological discourse of works of the imagination in Quebec, in the wake 466 LETTERS IN CANADA 1979 of the current of socia-critique in France, the United States, and elsewhere. The task of discerning the world-view of an author through careful study of the structure, dialogue, presentation of action, and characterization of a novel, for example, is not an easy one, nor does th~ complex relationship between a creative work in general and the social and historical milieu in which it was conceived lend itself to facile interpretations. Yet the challenge is there for some exciting new critical work, and those who have taken it up in Quebec have met with varying degrees of success. In "979 two important studies appeared in the general domain of ideological criticism: Parti prise ideologies et litterature, Robert Major's book on the radical political and cultural journal of the 19605; and Structure , ideologie et reception du roman quebecois de '940 tl '960, a group of essays edited by Jacques Michon, dealing mainly with 'Ie roman du cas de conscience' and the interaction between this type of novel and the critical discourse that was dominant in the period 1940-60. Several other publications have appeared which also touch on ideological criticism to a certain extent, and these, too, will be examined, although more briefly. Robert Major's book is the most detailed analysis to date of the ideological orientation of the writers grouped around Parti pris and its publishing house. In its four parts the work examines the ideological sources of the review; the conception of literature within the journal; literary criticism per se in Parti pris; and the creative writing of those associated with it. The author establishes the constant conflict within Parti pris between the opposite pulls of creative writing and criticism, on the one hand, and the political imperatives of the moment as perceived by the left wing of the independence movement. In the first part Major brings more light to bear than in previous studies (Lise Gauvin's Parti pris litteraire, Malcolm Reid's The Shouting...