Quebec Studies, No. 16, 1993
Beaudet, Marie-Andree. Charles ab der Halden. Portrait dâ€™un inconnu.
Montreal: Lâ€™Hexagone, 1992. Pp. 234.
This is the first biography of Charles ab der Halden who, in the first decade of this century, was the primary promoter of French Canadian literature in France. The author of numerous
articles and two serious books on the literature of French Canada, ab der Halden was responsible
for having Albert Lozeauâ€™s Lâ€™Ame solitaire published in France and recognized Nelligan as a
â€œgenius.â€ His influence in Quebec was also considerable and, in 1906-1907, he engaged in a series
of published polemical letters with Jules Foumier who had insisted that French Canadian literature did not exist. Beaudetâ€™s book, which contains the letters involved in the exchange with
Foumier as well as a selection of ab der Haldenâ€™s essays, is a significant contribution to our understanding of a little-known period of French Canadian literary history. (E.J.T.)
Bourassa, Andre-G. and Jean-Marc Larue. Les nuits de la <>:
Cent ans de spectacles sur le boulevard Saint-Laurent (1891-1991). Montreal:
VLB, 1993. Pp. 361.
Andre Bourassa and Jean-Marc Larue provide a historical overview of a century of live
performance on Boulevard Saint-Laurent in Montreal, commonly known as â€œla Main.â€ Their survey includes not only serious main-line theater in French and English, but also Yiddish theater,
Chinese opera, variety shows, operettas, burlesque, nightclub acts, and strip shows. The authors
have identified over 100 establishments providing performances of some kind during this period
in this multicultural street which, since the 1970s, has also become a home to experimental cinema, contemporary theater, and dance. The book includes a repertory of each significant building
on the street, a generous bibliography, and an exhaustive index. A mine of information. (E.J.T.)
Robert Hebert. Le ProcPs Guibord, ou lâ€™interprktation des testes.
Montreal: Triptyque, 1992. Pp. 196.
H6bertâ€™s book is not, as one might have hoped, a serious, historical analysis of â€œIâ€™affaire
Guibordâ€ (1869-79, one of the less glorious moments in the history of the Church in Quebec,
but rather a highly personalized commentary on the affair. After Joseph Guibord, a member of the
lnstitut Canadien, was denied a Catholic burial by Bishop Bourget, his widow took the matter to
civil court where Guibordâ€™s case was argued by Joseph Doutre, a leading liberal of the period.
While Hebert does not have much new light to shed on the affair, he does reproduce most of
Doutreâ€™s plaidoirie, a document of considerable interest. About half of the book consists of a â€œcarnet du chercheur in which Hebert chronicles his own interest in the Guibord case and his indig
nation at the treatment he received. The bibliography is excellent. (E.J.T.)
Denis Vaugeois. Quebec 1792. Les acteurs, les institutions et les
fiontieres. Montreal: Fides, 1992. Pp. 175.
This volume commemorates the 200th anniversary of parliamentary institutions in
Quebec. After a general history of Quebec since the conquest, Vaugeois narrates the events leading to the Constitutional Act of 1791. These include the movement towards parliamentarianism
in the province and the debate in the British H o w of Commons. The election of 1792 is closely
analyzed as is the work of the first assembly. The book is lavishly illustrated. (E.J.T.)