Quebec Studies

Translatability and Queer Desire in Nègres blancs d’Amérique: Three Theses + a Hypothesis

Quebec Studies (2016), 61, (1), 137–164.

Abstract

Translatability and Queer Desire in Nègres blancs d’Amérique: Three Theses + a Hypothesis William M. Burton Columbia University Translatability … in Nègres blancs d’Amérique CHANGE THIS This article puts forward three theses and a hypothesis about Pierre Vallières’s Nègres blancs d’Amérique (1968): (1) Vallières believes that the solution to the psychosocial domination of French-Canadian men is a homosocial revolutionary fraternity; (2) he recommends that this fraternity emulate the strategy of violent revolution honed by U.S. Black nationalists and forge an alliance with them; (3) from the beginning, Vallières planned an English translation of his autobiography intended for a Black nationalist readership. The hypothesis holds that this desire for an alliance is queer and, at its heart, it relies on the racist trope that Black men are essentially violent. Cet article avance trois thèses et une hypothèse sur les Nègres blancs d’Amérique de Pierre Vallières (1968): (1) Vallières croit que la solution à la domination psychosociale des Canadiens français est une fraternité homosociale et révolutionnaire; (2) selon lui, celle-ci devrait émuler la stratégie de révolution violente perfectionnée par les nationalistes noirs américains et forger une alliance avec ceux-ci; (3) dès le début, Vallières projette une traduction anglaise de son autobiographie à l’intention de ces mêmes nationalistes noirs. L’hypothèse propose que ce désir de conclure une alliance est queer et il dépend fondamentalement du trope raciste selon lequel les hommes noirs sont essentiellement violents. Introduction It is always tricky, the question whether to read an author’s work in light of his life or not. (Carson) The subject of this essay is an autobiography, Nègres blancs d’Amérique (1968), by Pierre Vallières, so one might ask: how can we not read Québec Studies, 61 doi:10.3828/qs.2016.9

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Burton, William M.