Quebec Studies

Editor's Note

Quebec Studies (1990), 11, (1), 0


EDITOR'S NOTE Quebec 1970: a year of intense political passions, nationalist activism, violence and for many, detention without due process. With the kidnapping of James Cross and the murder of Pierre Laporte, the terrorist acts of a few swiftly led to the armed intervention of the State and to mass arrests in Quebec. The War Measures Act authorized by the Trudeau government in October 1970 resulted in an "occupied" Quebec. During this dark and sobering moment in Quebec history, community activism and strong nationalist sentiments were suspect, dissent was grieviously curtailed, and human rights were arbitrarily suspended. The essays presented in our special section on "Québec 1970 and its Aftermath" return to this turbulent period not to commemorate or romanticize it twenty years later, but to réexamine it in light of the crucial roles the events of October 1970 have played in redefining the political, social, and economic aspirations of a people, and in shaping the various forms of creative expression which have ensued. Guy Lachapelle's essay follows the daily unfolding of the October Crisis at Le Devoir, while Louise Forsyth reconsiders the repercussions of the October Crisis among the young formalist writers and admirers of the imprisoned nationalist poet, Gaston Miron. From their respective disciplines, Pierre Véronneau and Jane Koustas analyze the function and significance of Quebec 1970 in films (Véronneau) and in the theatrical satire of Jean-Claude Germain (Koustas). Jacques Pelletier offers a useful political, cultural, and historical context for viewing the development of political themes in Quebec literature. Reconsidering this period from the position of 1990, Pauline Julien, JeanMarc Piotte, and Gail Scott share their recollections and analyses of the meanings— both personal and collective—of the October Crisis. And finally, in an essay that places the events of 1970 in the context of contemporary economic and political factors, Henry Milner offers cautionary words about the dangers of political nostalgia over Quebec nationalisms of the 1960s and 1970s, while underscoring some of the lessons to be learned from the new generation of Quebec managers and entrepreneurs. In the literature and art theory sections of this issue, Monique Crochet, Roseanna Dufault, and Jean Cleo Godin provide new textual analyses of wellknown works by Gabrielle Roy, Louise Maheux-Forcier, and Michel Tremblay. Emile Talbot's discussion of Nelligan's relationship to the thematic concerns of the decadence movement in France considerably widens the context for discussing Nelligan's literary innovations. Lise Gauvin develops a provocative analysis of women essayists in Quebec, examining their place in the literary essay and their public reception. Francine Couture concludes with a discussion of Québécois artistic experimentation during the 1960s and the art theory that supported it. Finally, a word of appreciation is in order for the long hours Kathleen Attwood has worked during the past two years as our editorial assistant. She is now in the doctoral program at the University of Michigan and we all wish her well. Karen Gould

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Gould, Karen