It is my pleasure to present this issue of QuÃ©bec 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
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 exÂ
ample of European travel literature. Vincent GrÃ©goire expands our underÂ
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 QuÃ©bec literature, inÂ
viting us to reflect on the changes that have occurred in the province's reliÂ
gious and ideological mindset. We begin with Lisa Gasbarrone's analysis
of the pre-modern religious sensibility of Louis HÃ©mon'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 GÃ©rard Bessette's Les PÃ©dagogues
explores the novel's scathing critique of the Catholic school system and its
carnivalesque presentation of mid-century QuÃ©bec religious practice. In
their reading of Monique Proulx's recent novel, Champagne, Juliette Rogers
and Roseanna Dufault assert that it is representative of ecofeminist literaÂ
ture, a new trend in QuÃ©bec 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 conÂ
temporary QuÃ©bec 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 ForÃªts, 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 preÂ
served in spite of the violence of civil war.
In their article, Denyse CÃ´tÃ© 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.