Quebec Studies

Editor's Note

Quebec Studies (2012), 54, (1), 1–2.


1 Editor's Note It is my pleasure to present this issue of Québec Studies with its variety of articles touching upon historical, religious, literary, ecological, theatrical, cinematic, and socio-political topics, as well as a substantial number of book reviews. The first section pairs two essays that focus on important documents from the early period of exploration and colonization. Micah True writes about the 1535 scurvy incident described in Jacques Cartier's account of his second voyage to Canada and argues that it should be read as an early ex­ ample of European travel literature. Vincent Grégoire expands our under­ standing of relations between early French colonists and the Iroquois by analyzing a number of key passages from the seventeenth-century Jesuit Relations. The second group of articles covers a century of Québec literature, in­ viting us to reflect on the changes that have occurred in the province's reli­ gious and ideological mindset. We begin with Lisa Gasbarrone's analysis of the pre-modern religious sensibility of Louis Hémon's classic novel, Maria Chapdelaine, in which she argues that we need to pay attention to the main protagonist's agency and how she is able to transcend the loss of loved ones. Steven Urquhart's essay on Gérard Bessette's Les Pédagogues explores the novel's scathing critique of the Catholic school system and its carnivalesque presentation of mid-century Québec religious practice. In their reading of Monique Proulx's recent novel, Champagne, Juliette Rogers and Roseanna Dufault assert that it is representative of ecofeminist litera­ ture, a new trend in Québec nature writing. The mini-dossier on Wajdi Mouawad's plays and Denis Villeneuve's film, Incendies, is an excellent introduction to two important figures in con­ temporary Québec culture, who have become international stars. Olivia Choplin compiled the mini-dossier and her essay introduces the work of the Lebanese-born Mouawad. She argues that Forêts, the fourth play in his tetralogy, Le sang des promesses, turns away from the optimism of the first three plays, which express hope that art and communal artistic endeavors can help overcome the trauma caused by political violence. Dominique Fisher looks at how Villeneuve's film adaptation of Incendies differs from Mouawad's play in its representation of violence and cruelty. In her article, Mary Jean Green focuses on how Villeneuve's Incendies transforms Mouawad's dialogue into cinematic images that move audiences and she argues that the film offers hope that family and cultural memory can be pre­ served in spite of the violence of civil war. In their article, Denyse Côté and Etienne Simard offer an analysis of reforms inspired by the Quiet Revolution and how regional governments should operate in concert with community and social movement groups. They argue that social movements representing the rights and interests of marginalized groups need to be institutionalized and professionalized to insure that the gap between rich and poor does not widen. This issue concludes with book reviews compiled and edited by Patrice Proulx, which we hope our readers will find informative.

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Author details

Moss, Jane