Quebec Studies

Editor's Note

Quebec Studies (2001), 31, (1), 1–2.


1 Editor's Note Memory, as someone said about nostalgia, is not what it used to be. This has become just as true in Quebec as it has elsewhere, despite the continuing iconic value of the phrase "je me souviens." Memory's main meaning was commemoration; now it is exploration. It was brandished as a (usually defensive) weapon, a way of securing boundaries; now it is deployed as a tool for building a more inclusive understanding. The openness of the future is now seen to depend on keeping the past open as well by renewed efforts of critical retrieval. The special dossier planned and organized by Miléna Santoro, entitled "Voice in / o n Memory: Tracing the Past and Shaping the Future in Contemporary Women's Writing," is one such effort, and we are pleased to present it in Québec Studies. For this collection of essays, the writers used as inspiration and springboard en essay by Nicole Brossard, written some years ago but little known in its original French text. We are particularly pleased to give it wider circulation through our journal, since it has lost none of its importance as a stimulus to further thought. Notable in this dossier is the variety of genres through which the operation of memory is seen to be distilled. Katharine Conley focuses on fictional prose (albeit of a poetical kind) in her analysis of Brossard's Baroque d'aube, set here in dialogue with the French surrealist Robert Desnos's La Liberté ou l'amour! (let me recommend in passing the wonderful recent edition of Desnos's Œuvres by Marie-Claire Dumas in the Gallimard "Quarto" series). Louise Dupré explores the resonance of memory in the poetry of Louky Bersianik, Madeleine Gagnon, and Louise Warren. Barbara Havercroft's essay on France Théoret Journal pour mémoire discusses a genre that highlights memory in its very title, but in constant interplay with more public forms of historical reflection. Popular song may be a more evanescent form of art, although for most of us our memories of particular moments in the past are indelibly linked to the musical hits of the time. Indeed, the study of popular music can give us unparalleled insight into shifting cultural moods. Christopher Jones's essay on best-selling albums does this, but it also focuses on the commercial underpinnings of the industry. His investigation into the international profile of francophone Canadian music opens up a field of inquiry I would like to see pursued in future issues of the journal. Economic issues on a larger scale are the themes of the essay by Fredric C. Menz and Horst Feldmann. They outline the major options for economic alliances that would face Quebec should it secede from Canada. Written with the general reader in mind, this essay should prove to be a very helpful aidemémoire for years to come. Three essays on literary topics round out the issue. Sophie Marcotte and Tom Carr demonstrate the enduring interest and critical importance of Gabrielle Roy's writing career, although they approach it from different directions. Marcotte offers a penetrating analysis of Roy's newly published letters to her husband, Marcel Carbotte, while Carr revisits familiar texts in a new

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Author details

Coleman, Patrick