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516 LETTERS IN CANADA 1982 according to Warren). Major plays down elements of social protest and social satire in films like Rejeanne Padovani (or La Vraie Naturede Bernadette, Les Smattes, Gina, which she does not mention at all) and the powerful emotional thrust of Les Bans Debarras, with its tender sister-brother relationship , fantasy and psychological violence (all of which she overlooks , because these elements do not fit into her too rigid analytical scheme). Her discussion of several films of the eighties, too, leaves aside a work such as Louise Carre's (:a ne peut pas are l'hiver ... , with its positive values and treatment of the older widow (an age supposedly ignored by Quebec filmmakers, yet interestingly present together with bi- and tri-generational conflicts and more varied geographical settings in Jean-Pierre Lefebvre's Les Fleurs sauvages and Dansereau's Les Doux Aveux, both made last year) . While one can agree in part with Major'S deploring of the rare appearance in recent Quebec films of collective action for social change, as well as with her statement that 'L'Univers vehicule par ces films nous est apparu plus individualiste que jamais: a properly ideological analysis would have to ask questions which she omits. One should gauge the importance of political censorship in the National Film Board, or the relevance of commercial-financial pressures on the filmmaker in the private sector, under the aegis of its overseer, the Canadian Film Development Corporation (again, see Fran, ois Brault in Possibles), as well as call on the individual creator to make amends. (B.-Z. SHEK) James Huston. Repertoire national. Edite par Robert Melan~on VLB editeur. 4 vols. $go.oo Gerard Tougas. Destin lifteraire du Quebec QuebedAmerique. 208 The past and the future of Quebec writing, its alpha and omega, are strikingly presented in two outstanding 1982 publications. The earliest examples of Quebec literature are reproduced in an elegant reprint of James Huston's Le Repertoire national (1848--5°), and its future direction is outlined in Destin litteraire du Quebec, an important essay by Gerard Tougas. Determined to disprove the Earl of Durham's statement that French Canadians were a people 'without history or literature: Fran,ois-Xavier Garneau wrote his monumental Histoire du Canada (1845-8), and James Huston, a self-educated Montreal printer, set about collecting the scattered texts of his country's French-language literature. His anthology, Le Repertoire national, au Recueil de litterature canadienne, appeared in four substantial volumes issued by subSCription from 1848 to 1850. Its 1,600 pages contained poems, essays, fiction, and drama culled from the fifty or more newspapers and magazines published in Lower Canada during the eight decades following the introduction of printing in "764. The Repertoire, a priceless compendium of the literary past of Quebec, was republished in 1893 with a new introduction by Judge Adolphe-Basile Routhier, but both editions have long since gone out of print. The 1982 facsimile reprint by the Montreal publishing house VLB editeur, with a modern introduction by Robert Melan,on, a chronology of the period 1759-1851, and more than fifty illustrations, is thus a most welcome literary event. In his introduction Professor Melan,on, while admitting that some of the early texts salvaged by Huston are hardly acceptable as literature today, pleads for a new reading of the whole collection, 'comme on regarde les peintres naIfs, pour cette fraicheur que Ie manque de maitrise laisse passer malgre l'appareil des conventions' (p 12). In addition, he argues, there are surprising discoveries to be made, one of which is the remarkable public lectures of the nineteenth-century journalist and political economist Etienne Parent, an essayist of uncommon vigour. Turning to historical and bibliographical questions, Melan,on convincingly defends his decision to reproduce the sober first edition of 1848-50 rather than the more ornate but modified edition of 1893, and reproduces the first and second prospectuses of the Repertoire published in Montreal and Quebec City newspapers in 1847 and 1848. He also provides a useful explanation of the practice of publishing book-length works by subscription and in sections which the subscriber subsequently had to have bound up together. It might be added that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 516-520
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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