Quebec Studies

Editor's Note

Quebec Studies (2007), 43, (1), 1–2.


1 Editor's Note For this forty-third issue of Québec Studies, we are pleased to offer a special dossier on contemporary Acadian literature, coordinated by editorial board member, Raoul Boudreau. It has been the editorial policy of the journal since its inception to welcome discussions on all aspects of North-American francophone culture. Accordingly, the journal has published fifteen articles dealing wholly or in part with Acadie, including ten essays that formed part of a special dossier on Antonine Maillet in 1986. However, there have been no such articles for more than a decade and none on recent Acadian literature. We remedy this lack with four critical analyses, beginning with Raoul Boudreau's essay, which underscores Herménégilde Chiasson's strong reaction against what he considers Quebec's cultural hegemony, a control that is accompanied by the projection of a folkloric image of Acadians that suits, to his mind, Quebec's own cultural and political project. Chiasson's critiques emerge, then, as a plea for a valorization of autonomous Acadian cultural institutions. Lise Gauvin, in reading France Daigle's novels, focuses on her thematization of language and cultural precarity as a context for her inquiry into the writer's relations with her public, while Clint Bruce provides a reading of novelist Jean Babineau that emphasizes the need for him as a writer to negotiate among standardized French (a distant idiom), chiac (the local francophone vernacular), and English (the vehicular language). Babineau's triglossic characters raise issues of plurilinguisticity and elicit a reflection on the role of language. For her part, Catherine Leclerc demonstrates the role that poetry has played in Acadian literature's entry into modernity, emphasizing its urban and counter-cultural dimensions through an analysis of "écriture sauvage" and its role in contemporary poets such as Marc Poirier, Paul Bossé, and Georgette LeBlanc. The Acadian literature dossier is complemented by an essay by AnneAndrée Denault and Linda Cardinal on Québec-Acadian relations that challenges the thesis of a rupture of that association in the aftermath of the Révolution tranquille. In their review of this relationship since 1880 and the scholarship that has reflected on the variations in that rapport, they stress its complexity and even its paradoxes. Finally, we are pleased to publish two articles that serve as fresh readings of canonical texts. Lee Brotherson uses the prism of the myth of the androgyne to analyze the transformation of Gabrielle Roy's character, Alexandre Chenevert, from his initially strongly masculinized role to his eventual sensitization to the feminine. Scott Lyngaas reads Les fous de Bassan from the vantage of the difficulties of representation of traumatic experiences, emphasizing the communal nature of the trauma and the community's struggle to come to terms with it. At issue, in Lyngaas's judgment is the survival of the story itself. Bonne lecture!

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