Quebec Studies

Editor's Note

Quebec Studies (2004), 38, (1), 1–2.


1 Editor's Note From its founding nearly a quarter of a century ago, Québec Studies has sought to provide a forum for high quality scholarship on all aspects of Québec and Franco-Canadian culture. As the sixth editor of Québec Studies, I hope to maintain this tradition of disciplinary inclusiveness, which is reflected in the essays on literature, the arts, intellectual history, and economic history that constitute this issue. Associate Editor Kevin Christiano and I have already begun efforts to increase the social science content of the journal. Future issues will reflect that commitment. We are pleased to open the volume with a lavishly illustrated essay (a first for the journal) by Véronique Plesch on Lucie Lambert, a publisher and artist of great creative originality whose images invite the creation of texts by others, fabricating iconotexts — works that conjoin the verbal and the visual. The linguistic hybridity of Lambert's work (a number of the volumes she has published are bilingual) raises issues of cultural identity that are addressed in another context by Jane Moss in her insightful exploration of the delicate situation of Muslim immigrants in Montreal in Denis Chouinard's film, L'Ange de goudron, and Bachir Bensaddek's documentary play, Montréal, la blanche. Moss's commentary provides for a reflection on the experience of cultural hybridization in very specific human terms. Readers attentive to the novelistic production of Québec are aware of the substantial number of narrators who are themselves writers. This feature was explored magisterially by Roseline Tremblay in her recent L'Écrivain imaginaire: Essais sur le roman québécois 1960-1995 (2004). Here, Tremblay focuses on a specific novel by Jacques Poulin, Le Vieux Chagrin, in which a writer deals with incapacity, self-questioning, guilt, and identity, issues which Tremblay examines within the contexts of modernity and postmodernity. Such concerns also preoccupy Paul Raymond Côté and Constantina Mitchell who treat two novels by Louis Gauthier in which the anonymous narrator identifies himself as a writer. Their essay draws attention to issues of topography, specularity, and alterity while probing the writer's textual narcissism. In virtually all of our issues, we have sought to include essays that provide fresh interpretations of Québec cultural history. In this issue we are pleased to offer Michel Lacroix's original perspective on Simone Routier's poetry through an exploration of its social space. Lacroix is able to show the link between this verse and mondanité as it was understood in the nineteenthirties, leading us as well to reflect on the signifying role of the paratexts that accompany this verse. Maxime Blanchard, in his essay on a more recent history, focuses on Récit d'une immigration, the posthumous memoirs of a major twentieth-century Québec intellectual, Fernand Dumont. Linking his discussion to the concepts of primary and secondary cultures that Dumont had developed in Le Lieu de l'homme, Blanchard assesses Dumont's own path from his working-class origins (primary culture) to his becoming a member of the intellectual class (secondary culture). Since Dumont's itinerary is shared by a number of Québec intellectuals, this essay opens the discussion of the relationship of the classes savantes to the broader society.

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