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HUMANITIES 193 Faire de Napoleon )'analogue de Jean Rivard comporte des implications ideologiques que Robert Major analyse minutieusement. Intitule 1ntertextualite II,' le chapitre qui suit traite de l'utopie. Dans un premier temps, Major fait un survol des utopies au dix-neuvieme siede, pour ensuite examiner le roman de Gerin-Lajoie sous cette optique. D'apres lui, Jean Rivard ne peut pas etre qualifie d'utopique simplement parce qu'il decrit un paradis en terre quebecoise, ni parce qu'il s'agit d'un roman athese. ll n'accepte pas non plus }'explication qu'il yest question d'un utopiste qui cherche une compensation asa faiblesse. Selan Major, le romancier se sert des procedes associes au genre utopique (narrateur etranger, forme epistolaire, structure symetrique) pour faire le portrait de la societe ideale, ce qui sous-entend une critique de l'ordre existant. C'est cette critique, de meme que la structure particuliere de l'reuvre, qui incitent Major aconclure que Jean Rivard propose une utopie 'profondement americaine.' A l'instar des romans americains du dix-neuvieme siecle, l'reuvre de Gerin-Lajoie presente 'un mouvement de separation d'.avec la societe etablie et la r~cherche d'une communaute ideale.' Le sixieme chapitre, 'Republicanisme ou feodalite en Laurentie,' evoque la dimension politique du roman. L'interpretation de Robert Major va a l'encontre de la perception de certains critiques qui estiment que la paroisse modele decrite dans le roman est une societe feodale et theocratique, ou bien un chateau-fort. 'Rivardville reste une republique et sa societe democratique,' declare Robert Major. Le rang social est determine par le merite et la richesse, non pas par la naissance. Dans la conclusion, }'auteur reitere l'objectif de son etude: 'contribuer acette relecture qui s'impose ... faire entrevoir la riche ambiguite de ce roman pretendument univoque ... aiguiller sur une relecture analogue d'autres reuvres de l'epoque.' Jean Rivard ou l'art de reussir propose une interpretation tout a fait originale d'un roman canadien-franc;ais du dix-neuvieme siede. La documentation solide, la clarte de la presentation et la perspicacite des arguments contribuent ala reussite de cette etude. (ROSANNA FURGIUELE) Sylvia Soderlind. Margin/Alias: l.anguage and Colonization in Canadian and Qulbecois Fiction University of Toronto Press. 264. $45.00; $17.95 paper This recent contribution to comparative Canadian literature engages a timely topic, the purported convergence of postmodernism and postcolonialism in Canadian and Quebec literatures, as these constitute marginal writing. Aesthetics of marginality they may be, Soderlind concludes, but the analogy between literary and political radicalism is dubious. To address adequately the nuances of her dense argumentation is impossible 194 LETTERS IN CANADA 1991 in a short review, though it is necessary to account for my response to the book, a highly ambiguous one. The questions addressed are provocative, the editor's synopsis claims. Provoked I most certainly was, my reaction manifesting itself in copious marginalia, questioning, substituting, supplementing , correcting. What these rewritings trace is a rapid oscillation between my admiration for the detailed pinning down of allusions in the readings of specific novels that constitute the body of the text and my consternation at the contradictions staged by the theoretical frame(s), contradictions both between the Deleuzian theory of 'minor literature' (asignifying fluxes or desiring-machines of experimentation and indefinite postponement) that serves as framing discourse and the 'heuristic,' 'lack of methodological rigour' of the textual analysis that is, in fact, formalist fixing of meaning. Within the theoretical frame itself, there are further clashes between presuppositions where a Deleuzian poetics of radical heterogeneity is transmuted into a logic of textual identity or signification , deconstruction c(s)ited as hermeneutics. Let me unfold this paradox. The book consists of five chapters of readings of individual novels, the canon of Canadian postmodemism Cohen 's Beautiful Losers presented as the model of a methodology whose elements are highlighted in the succeeding paired chapters on anamorphosis and metamorphosis in Aquin's Trou de memoire and Godfrey's New Ancestors; on naming and unnaming in Langevin's L'Elan d'Amerique and Kroetsch's Gone Indian - and theoretical framing chapters on 'Mapping the Territory' and 'Retracing the Map,' themselves neatly framed by introductory and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 193-198
Launched on MUSE
2017-05-25
Open Access
No
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