The province of Quebec and the nation of Canada stand at the crossroads
of their respective political histories. As Quebec moves closer to a fall 1992
referendum on sovereignty or, failing that, on some federal compromise proposal
that Premier Bourassa believes he can sell in Quebec, the conflicting visions of
Canadian and QuÃ©bÃ©cois nationalism have become ever more apparent. At the
base of this current clash of nationalisms is, Kenneth McRoberts, Louis M. Imbeau
and Guy Laforest argue, a fundamental disagreement over the meaning and purpose
of Quebec's desired "distinct society" status within Canada.
This issue of QuÃ©bec Studies highlights the on-going political discussions,
negotiations, and stances taken with regard to the "distinct society" concept.
Surveying a thirty-year history of developing nationalisms, Kenneth McRoberts
insists on the different positions of Canadian and QuÃ©bÃ©cois nationalists vis-Ã -vis
the decentralization of power in Canada and the request for special status accorded
to Quebec. In their complementary essay, Louis M. Imbeau and Guy Laforest
examine the incompatibility of political dualism and recognition of Quebec as a
"distinct society" with the "prevailing visions of nationhood and national security
in Canada outside Quebec."
In the literary and linguistic section of volume 13, contributors deal with
the diverse issues of intextuality, political discourse and social conscience, polysÃ©mie
word play, orality, and translation.
Mark Bell discusses the significance of the proustian intertext in Gabrielle
Roy's works and in her reflections on writing. AndrÃ© Marquis addresses the
relationship of writing and politics in the poetry and fiction of Gerald Godin, while
Roseanna Lewis Dufault discusses L'Ange de la solitude and places Blais's view of
female creativity in the context of late twentieth-century social and political
oppressions. Moving from the political to the textual, Henri Servin offers a
distinctly poetic reading of Nicole Brossard's contemporary feminist classic, Le
DÃ©sert mauve. Greg Lessard draws upon recent sociolinguistic models to examine
the implications of orality in GÃ©rard Bessette's La Bagarre and Michel Tremblay's
La Grosse Femme d'Ã cÃ´tÃ© est enceinte. The section concludes with Michael Cronin's
analysis of the role of translation as game in the works of RÃ©jean Ducharme and
In the final section on film and music, Mary Jean Green reviews filmmaker
Claude Jutra's documentary realism in light of French nouvelle vague aesthetics.
And FranÃ§oise TÃªtu de Labsade comments on various aspects of amÃ©neanitÃ© in
contemporary songs and songwriting from Quebec.
Volume 14 of QuÃ©bec Studies will feature a special section on "Cultural
Pluralism in Quebec." Volume 15 will focus on "Writing Today: The New
Generation." In addition to the announced dossiers, the editors invite submissions
from all fields.