Yves Navarre’s diary, written between 1971 and 1990, provides an insight into the work
of both the diarist and the writer. In addition to its aesthetic and documentary interest,
it also has an undeniable literary value that has been neglected to date. The 43 notebooks
that make up this abundantly illustrated personal diary contain, in fact, a large number of
personal thoughts, letters, articles, typescripts and notes on works both in progress and
published, which makes it a fascinating object as well as a valuable resource for literary
and genetic critics alike. This article concentrates on the dialectic links that are
established between the writer’s diary and his published works, in particular Biographie (1981), an autobiographical work with an original
structure and paradoxical reading contract. This line of investigation is pursued further to
define the practice and issues of writing in the case of an author whose entire corpus,
despite generic differences, is marked by self-expression.
Inspired by genetic criticism, this study partially lifts the veil from the origins of
“La batèche”, one of the most important poetic suites in L’homme rapaillé (translated into English as The
March to Love) by Gaston Miron. The visible transformations in the genesis of
this cycle were strongly influenced by the poet’s first sojourn in France, a decisive moment
during which he took full measure of his French-Canadian roots and condition. The “La
batèche” cycle, which was never completed, includes only two poems, but provides an
impressive number of genetic markers as a result of all the modifications made to the texts.
The analysis of these transformations focuses on the various published versions of the
poems, as well as on all of the genetic markers associated with this incomplete suite: the
author’s personal notes, his correspondence, his discussions, fragments of poems or drafts
held by BAnQ. The movement in this cycle is based on a relationship between shadow and
light. These two poles, which form “La batèche” and are illustrated in the poems by means of
alienation and its transcendency through protest, are developed through self-affirmation
that results in a project of collective liberation.
Anne-Marie Palardy and her husband, Saguenay industrialist J.-É.-A. Dubuc, traveled to Europe seven times between 1907 and 1923. The diary letters written by Anne-Marie and sent back to Chicoutimi to be read out loud in the family circle illustrate the diversity of the symbolical functions of what is both a diary and correspondence. Serving to maintain the link between mother and children, correspondence is a means for symbolically constructing the family, by assigning specific places to each of its members. Moreover, these texts also assume one of the functions of the diary, namely self-reflection: Anne-Marie Palardy debates the representation of the “good” mother, torn between the autonomy of the couple in love, which belongs to modernity, and maintaining a traditional view of the extended family, which continued to be a resource in terms of psychological or material assistance. These texts also have an educational function. They show the children various customs of the world and the rules for interacting in a cosmopolitan society. We see how the French-speaking industrial upper middle class found a place at the fringes of the colonial society of the dominions while maintaining characteristics that they considered worthy of defense.
If one work still stands as the emblem of the starting point for the Quiet Revolution in Québec, it is the book published by Jean-Paul Desbiens in 1960 under the title Les insolences du frère Untel. Its genesis, its content and the resounding impact it has had on Québec society are well-known, but we know less about the eventful life of its author, who was exiled to Rome and later Fribourg (Switzerland) by his superiors before returning to Québec in the summer of 1964, to take up a position with the Ministère de l’Éducation. This article focuses on the time Jean-Paul Desbiens spent in Fribourg, from September 1962 to July 1964, during which he concentrated on writing a thesis on the work of Jean Piaget. What impact did this time in Switzerland have on Jean-Paul Desbiens’ intellectual journey? How did he experience this exile on a daily basis? Did he fit into his living environment? What networks and personnel friendships did he develop? Did he relate his observations of Swiss life with the political and social changes in Québec, which he followed from a distance? This article attempts to answer these questions, primarily based on the abundant correspondence exchanged between Martin Blais and Jean-Paul Desbiens during this Fribourg period.
This article explores the manner in which physicians, the provincial and federal governments, and the food processing companies combined traditional and modern values to disseminate certain concepts of feminine roles, the individual and the body, between 1914 and 1945. We describe the relationships between tradition and modernity in two types of argumentative and normative discourse on diet and nutrition published in Québec, namely government publications and the advertisements that appeared in La Revue moderne. We believe that technology, science and rationality modernized certain dietary practices as well as the perceptions of the body and the individual, but that continuity was ensured by the use of traditional images of women, family, and nation. By preserving traditional notions of femininity and adopting the nationalistic discourse, texts and images concerning diet facilitated the dissemination of rationalistic, materialistic and productivistic ideas. This contributed to the social construct of the modern body and individual, and played a role in the dissemination of individualistic and liberal values, without threatening the foundations of the patriarchal family and the French-Canadian nation.
Msg de Saint-Vallier, the second bishop of Québec, published a Rituel for the priests and missionaries of his diocese; two successive editions were published, a few years apart, although they were both dated 1703. This bilingual Rituel provides instructions for the clergy in French with respect to administering the sacraments and celebrating mass, while also specifying the expressions, prayers and blessings that the priests had to utter in Latin. The two editions printed in Paris by Simon Langlois contain significant variations. Although the formats of the two editions are identical (8vo), they contain 604 and 671 pages, respectively. The first edition was in all likelihood destroyed at the request of the bishop of Québec, since it clearly revealed that not only rigorism but also Jansenism had had a marked influence on Msg de Saint-Vallier, as evidenced by the resumption of the ritual of Alet which had been condemned by Pope Clement IX. The second edition, no doubt published circa 1713 although it was dated 1703, was intended to replace the first as if it had never existed, at a time when the papal authority condemned Jansenism.
This article addresses the presence of discourse concerning art objects (primarily
painted and sculpted church décor) in parish monographs published between 1854 and 1926.
First of all, it explores the manner in which the authors link the sources that form parish
history, namely how the authors – for the most part clerical historians – reconcile the
archive document, the memories of elders, and their own observations when writing historical
accounts. This study then explains how the particular approach of the authors with respect
to these sources creates a statement with several time-frames in which the art object
crystallizes the community’s connection with its history. This report, which highlights the
discourse about the painting for the high altar or the advent of new architectural forms may
possibly be part of a project in which discourse concerning works of art would be essential:
the transmission, by means of written documents, of a cultural heritage.
The author provides a detailed inventory of the works of art registered with lay
owners in New France. Using a research method based not on the tangible object held, but
rather the written record provided in the notarized documents that provide evidence of the
presence of works during this period, he proposes an overall portrait that is both
quantitative and statistical of the works of art located in the homes of civil servants and
merchants, who were the principal owners. This study brings to light a corpus of 2180 works
of art listed in 273 notarized documents drafted between 1642 and 1759, namely an overall
average of 7.99 works per inventory. The specific features of the objects are examined in
terms of the terminology used by the notaries of the French régime: the paintings, the
frames, the images, the engravings, the Christs, the crucifixes and, based on the
descriptions, the sculptures. It is then possible to highlight the characteristics of these
works, their materials, their estimated value, and the frequency with which they are listed
in notarized documents per decade.