Jacques Godbout and the Quebec Writer: Engendering the National Text. - Quebec Studies

Jacques Godbout and the Quebec Writer: Engendering the National Text.

By Quebec Studies

  • Release Date: 2000-09-22
  • Genre: History
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Jacques Godbout and the Quebec Writer: Engendering the National Text. Quebec Studies Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Although the 1960s saw an explosion of women's writing, the Quebec intellectual circles that most actively defined a new Quebecois identity in the era of the Revolution tranquille were strangely impervious to the participation of women as gendered subjects. The two women writers whose work was praised for its contributions to the Quebec identitary problematic, Anne Hebert and Marie-Claire Blais, were by then geographically distanced from Quebec itself and did not feel moved to return during this period. The one woman writer who consistently took an active role in the nationalist publications and manifestations of the era was Michele Lalonde, in the process seeming to shed the feminine persona that had marked her earlier poems to blend her voice in Speak White with a larger, gender-neutral "nous." The 1960s witnessed a rapid expansion in the publication of women's writing, but surprisingly few of their texts were admitted to the new Quebec identitary canon. Even texts by the recognized writers like Blais and Hebert were subject to marginalization or, as in the case of Blais's Manuscrits de Pauline Archange, praised for their attacks on outmoded institutions without being recognized as important autobiographical statements about Quebec identity.(1) Given the canonical status of Gabrielle Roy and Germaine Guevremont in the last decades of la grande noirceur, it is somewhat surprising that in the new, supposedly liberal era of the Revolution tranquille women writers continue to be insidiously excluded from the dominant literary discourse.

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