Herbert Aquin's Prochain épisode and Marie-Claire Blais's Une Saison dans la vie d'Emmanuel are similar in their emphasis on death and writing. Through Aquin's text explicitly posits its inconclusive end as revolution, the revolution remains embedded within the text. In Blais's novel, the reading of Jean le Maigre's texts double the reading of the text and solicits the reader's involvement: the reader is asked to take up an oppositional stance against 'the laws of the Father' and to mediate a future. Although some critics have dismissed Blais's work through their elevation of political fiction over the folkloric, Blais's novel is more revolutionary than Aquin's.
In Don McKay's BIRDING, or desire, the motif of flight and migration serves as an elaborate metaphor for the poetic process. The text discusses its own making: through the metaphor of birding, McKay addresses the nature of poets, the poetic process, and the poet-reader dynamic. Although McKay's poetics critique his own ability to transcribe life's realities into language, the poet must use words (translations of things) to reconstruct a way of responding to the natural world; the artist perpetually (re)creates the world for the reader.
The illustrations commissioned for Catherine Parr Traill's The Backwoods of Canada are derived from a number of sources and, although some are poorly integrated with or unconnected to the text, they comment on and illustrate Traill's cultural assumptions and points of view. Both Traill and the illustrators, the London firm of Sly and Wilson, use the picturesque as a shaping device; when this convention fails to capture the surroundings, Traill turns to scientific reporting and the illustrators use standard botanical, ornithological, and zoological drawings. However, the many disjunctions between illustration and text graphically point out the difficulties faced by the Old World in its attempts to see and understand the New World.
Our stories and the way in which we tell them are not only "self"-constitutive, but also constitutive of our relations with others. Alice Munro's women in The Moons of Jupiter and The Lives of Girls and Women use narrative to seek relief from or understanding of their object position within the microcosmic political system of family and friends. Few succeed. Those who manage to recreate experiences through language (Munro's version of truth) do so through a new configuration of narrative which combines voices and points of view but has no dominant perspective: a communal narrative.
Bien que la littérature acadienne d'aujourd'hui soit contemporaine, non-historique et tournée vers l'universel, elle n'échappe pas toujours à cette tendance sombre et sublime de conditions d'aliénation et d'étrangeté. L'être aliéné souffre de la dichotomie du même et de l'autre et est sujet à la perte d'identité et d'autonomie, à la révolte et à l'assimilation à la société oppressive. En s'inspirant des théories d'aliénation de Fromm et de Seeman, Levasseur maintient que l'oeuvre de Jacques Savoie créé un monde où les personnages n'ont aucune perception d'une délimitation de l'imaginaire et du réel. Ils ont de la difficulté à s'intégrer ou à s'adapter à une société qui se veut normative. C'est finalement par la re-définition de ces normes que l'individu pourra établir des relations avec les autres et s'établir des racines fixes.
History, myth, the process of writing and using language, and other works of fiction come together in Timothy Findley's work. The author sees parallels between fiction and history writers: he says that fiction writers are trying to articulate all the versions of reality, all the different points of view. While discussing two of his novels, Famous Last Words and The Wars, he elaborates on the difficulties of ever getting the complete story. The author attempts to land on just the right image, to say: "This is what was in that moment."