Contemporary French Civilization

From romantic drama to materialist pageant: sex, abuse, and the Church in Michel Marc Bouchard’s Les Feluettes and La Divine illusion

Contemporary French Civilization (2018), 43, (3-4), 391–402.

Abstract

This article examines a shift in the critique of the Roman Catholic Church in Quebec on matters of sex by focusing on two plays by Michel Marc Bouchard. In Les Feluettes (1987), a hypocritical Church replete with homoerotic imagery is held morally responsible for the monstrous consequences of instilling sexual shame and denial among the adolescent boys in its charge. Lives are ruined and even obliterated in the service of social conformism and the perpetuation of clerical authority. In La Divine illusion (2015), the critique of the Church shifts to the abuse of adolescent boys by clergy and the institutional protection afforded the offenders. The Church does not stand alone in its abusive practices, however; its malfeasance is shown to intersect with, and reinforce, the power dynamics of social class in an economy of scarcity.

Cet article examine l’évolution de la critique de l’Église catholique au Québec autour des questions de sexe à travers deux pièces du dramaturge Michel Marc Bouchard. Dans Les Feluettes (1987), une Église hypocrite qui étale des représentations homoérotiques sans pudeur est tenue moralement responsable des conséquences monstrueuses d’inculquer la honte et le déni sexuels chez les adolescents sous sa charge. Des vies sont ruinées et même oblitérées au service du conformisme social et du maintien de l’autorité cléricale. Dans La Divine illusion (2015), la critique se déplace pour focaliser sur l’abus sexuel d’adolescents par le clergé et la protection institutionnelle dont ces derniers bénéficient. Cependant, l’Église n’y est pas seule dans sa malfaisance: les abus commis par le clergé sont en intersection avec les dynamiques de pouvoir entre classes sociales dans une économie de pénurie.

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Nestruck, J. Kelly. “The Divine: a deftly crafted rebuttal to its own criticisms about theatre.” The Globe and Mail (Toronto), 28 Jul. 2015. The Divine: a deftly crafted rebuttal to its own criticisms about theatre. The Globe and Mail Google Scholar

Bouchard, Michel Marc. Les Feluettes, ou, La répétition d’un drame romantique. Leméac, 1987. Les Feluettes, ou, La répétition d’un drame romantique Google Scholar

Bouchard, Michel Marc. La Divine illusion. Leméac, 2015. La Divine illusion Google Scholar

David, Gilbert. “Le Théâtre du Nouveau monde, l’illusion et les barbares.” Spirale, vol. 265, Printemps 2016, pp. 82–85. Le Théâtre du Nouveau monde, l’illusion et les barbares. Spirale 265 82 85 Google Scholar

Hémon, Louis. Maria Chapdelaine. 1913. Bibliothèque québécoise, c. 1990. Maria Chapdelaine Google Scholar

Nestruck, J. Kelly. “Another career peak for Michel Marc Bouchard with Tom at the Farm.” The Globe and Mail (Toronto), 10 Apr. 2015. Another career peak for Michel Marc Bouchard with Tom at the Farm. The Globe and Mail Google Scholar

Nestruck, J. Kelly. “The Divine: a deftly crafted rebuttal to its own criticisms about theatre.” The Globe and Mail (Toronto), 28 Jul. 2015. The Divine: a deftly crafted rebuttal to its own criticisms about theatre. The Globe and Mail Google Scholar

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Author details

Schwartzwald, Robert

Schwartzwald, Robert