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520 LETTERS IN CANADA 1982 discursive than one might have wished for in a historical synthesis, Destin litter"ire du Quebec is indisputably one of the most original and most provocative essays devoted to Quebec literature in recent years. (DAVID M. HAYNE) Maurice Lemire, editor. Dictionnaire des Q!fIvres litteraires du Quebec, vol III Fides. lxiii, 1252. $60.00 P,G. Socken. Concordance de BOl1heur d'occasion University of Waterloo Press. 1136. $85.00 The third volume of the Lemire Dictiol11Iaire ... covers the period '940 to '959, one of the most important in the development of Quebec literature , as can be seen from the voluminously rich nature of its entries. (By comparison, the smaller first and second volumes traced the entire period before '900, and 1900 to '939, respectively.) The very useful introduction has an overview - 'presentation de la periode' - followed by sections on the novel and the short story, poetry, non-fiction, drama, painting, radio-television-cinema, and 'Ia condition de I'ecrivain: the last two, particularly, giving new insights. A thorough analysis of this highly concentrated text, which juxtaposes emerging literary trends with the fundamental socia-cultural evolution of a people, would take much space. Let us note in passing several key points. The 'equipe' responsible for the introduction writes: 'Nous pouvons ... affirmer que Ie phenomene Iitteraire prend une envergure sans precedent tant par les tirages que par Ie nombre de publications, et la Iitterature quebecoise trouve enfin un public pour elle-meme .. . ' At the same time, their gaze looks beyond the simply textual to grasp a turning point of the widest magnitude: 'La mise en route d'un reseau de television d'Etat en 1952 amorce Ie virage culturel et Iinguistique Ie plus important du siecle pour les Quebecois.' One could argue with the insufficient attention given to the unprecedented pace of urbanization in the Second World War period, resulting from hastened industrialization, and its concomitant labour strife. Thus, the category of the novel of industrial conflict could have been added to those of the urban milieu and the psychological and traditional novels. One could also contest this or that judgment, or the occasional lack of clarity. Turning now to the individual title entries, one finds a wealth of scholarship and the resurrection of many little-known authors, especially of the 'poetes maudits' who were the much censored/censured harbingers of modernism in at least some of its aspects (Claude Gauvreau, Andre Pouliot, Andre Beland, Suzanne Meloche, etc.). In fact, the poetry entries seem to be the richest harvest of the book, probably because of HUMANITIES 521 the high degree of experimentation and the intrinsic quality of the works produced in this genre in comparison with the others. Andre Brochu's piece on Roland Giguere's Adorable femme des neiges and especially his illuminating text on Poesies completes of Saint-Denys Garneau, Pierre Nepveu 's article on Fernand Ouellette's Ces anges de sang, Suzanne Paradis on Rina Lasnier's Le Chant de la Montee, Roger Chamberland on Gauvreau 's Etal mixte and Brochuges, Pierre L'HerauIt on Grandbois's Rivages de ['homme, and Pierre-Herve Lemieux on Le Tombeau des rois by Anne Hebert are particularly memorable. There is also food for thought in Andre Gaulin's proposed rereading of Emile Nelligan in the light of the socio-cultural ambience of his time. His citing of the following lines seems to be a promising track: Tai grandi dans Ie gout bizarre du tombeau / Plein du dedain de l'homme et des bruits de la terre.' These gleanings, of necessity, are only a sampling, as are those that follow. In the novel category, jean-Charles Falardeau presents an excellent piece on Andre Langevin's Poussiere sur la ville (he and Andre Gaulin both treat Langevin's first three novels as a trilogy), jacques Allard gives a fine analysis of Gerard Bessette's La Bagarre from the point of view of its treatment of language, writing, and identity, and Maurice Emond and Max Roy treat, respectively, Les Chambres de bois and Le Torrent by Anne Hebert, with considerable sensitivity, while Antoine Sirois gives a thorough overview of BonheuJ' d'accasion. Other Gabrielle Roy works, however, are less well...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 520-522
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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