Quebec Studies

Editor's Note

Quebec Studies (1985), 3, (1), 0–2.

Abstract

EDITOR'S NOTE For many Americans, even those within the academic community, Québec first appeared on the horizon as a culture caught up in a tumultuous political and social revolution, a French-speaking people in the process of discovering the power of their own language. If the events of the 1960s and 70s were crucial in forming the American perception of Québec and in inspiring American scholarship, we may well wonder about the direction which Québec studies are taking in the 1980s, now that, as Lise Bissonnette has put it, "the romance is out of the political world." Various commentators, inside and outside of Québec, have taken this anniversary of the Quiet Revolution as an op­ portunity to look back on the reality of the past twenty-five years from a perspective which, while making no pretension to objectivity, has moved beyond the intense partisan involvement of the events themselves. Their voices create a fascinating interplay. Lise Bissonnette, from her vantage point as editor of Le Devoir, evaluates the extent to which Québec has attained a form of sovereignty even as the vision of an independent as state has been set aside, at least temporarily, by the political party that most forcefully proclaimed it. Where Bissonnette would see the political and cultural activity of the 1960s and 70s as a response to a deep sense of economic discrimination, political scientist Daniel Latouche suggests the real revolution may have taken place, first and foremost, on the level of literary discourse. Turning the usual political interpretations on their head, Latouche speculates that the Québec state may not have been merely an important influence on the theater and other arts, but itself a creation of a certain type of theater. Latouche's contentions find amplification in Robert Schwartzwald's analysis of the realignments of Quebec's intel­ lectual strata and the changing conception of the literary avantgarde which followed the 1976 elections. While much analysis

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Author details

Green, Mary