October 25, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Quebec Novels | Worship of lists

Durie is paying for the daft punk

Counting the lists of the best books I had asked to participate in had long since ceased. It is a fun and informative exercise, and the results are always nicely divided among the enthusiasts who never accept it.


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Recently, I got angry about the lack of my colleague Mark Kasivi (laughs) Next episode, By Hubert Aquin, on the list of the best Quebec books of all time, established at the exhibition Critical mind, Unfortunately this Friday, on ARTV, we are withdrawing when we have already given too little space for books on TV.

With the idea of ​​establishing a series of important writings that every student in Quebec must read as they leave high school, can the list become a national educational program, as proposed by young coquists? I want to believe that the Association des Libraries du Quebec has not stopped giving them away every day since the epidemic began on Facebook – including the controversial Franకోois Legalt – but we need to calm down.

> (Back) Read the text “Young Coquists All Want the Same Books”

Uncorrectable facts are already circulating around this proposition: Is the school ‘s goal to learn French or our literary history, to make people like to read, or to know the classics?

We have forgotten that literary history in Quebec is not clear or easy, where Lord Durham saw people “without history and without literature”. The first reaction to this idea in my literary entourage was the orgasm of bad memories, which did not surprise me, because, frankly, the two or three Quebec books I had to read in high school kept me almost away from Quebec Literature forever.

Photo by Catherine Lefebvre, Special Combination

Leaving the school path from elementary school to high school without ever reading a Quebec book is also a violation for me. Will the solution go through a list of mandatory classics? Who decides, and by what criteria? Asks our columnist.

When you are a teenager, you have a passion for Stephen King or Saga Lord of the Rings ; You got off to a good start, because reading makes you the least interested, and now school is falling on you Maria Chapdeline Or Menod, log driver. You want action, gorgeous, drama, passion – I don’t know why, I’m thinking here for the Matthias Enard, Gon‌court Prize Tell them about wars, kings and elephants – And you should read the story of a man who suddenly gets stuck in his hot dog stand Hi Gallarney!, One of my high school aches and pains was caused by Jacques Godmbout Little Morhen, By Gabriel Roy, I was able to pack with a cool teacher as part of an appointment for Edgar Allan Poe.

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Leaving the school path from elementary school to high school without ever reading a Quebec book is also a violation for me. Will the solution go through a list of mandatory classics? Who decides, and by what criteria?

Why now, above all? Asks David Belanger, a literary lecturer in the Department of Literary Studies at the University of Quebec (UQAM) in Montreal. “It simply came to our notice then. It was good in 1970, but in 2021, I think it will be impossible to establish, ”he told me in an interview.

Pantheon of great works, as soon as the Ministry of Education appeared it would have worked if it had been told. In the 1970s, it was not controversial to say that we were going to have a general scientific corpus in Quebec literature. If that happened then we would all be in big trouble today.

David Belanger, Literary Lecturer at UQAM

“I think it’s a funny timing, when we are on the borders of postmodernity, individual rights and subjective expression, coming up with the idea of ​​teaching canons and classics in 2021, rather than any collective project. I want to get back to the idea of ​​literature and very old teaching,” the lecturer said. To be continued.

This young teacher who impressed me when I reported on the Quebec literature of the new millennium is publishing these days Remove from jar, Four-Handed Essay on Contemporary Quebec Literature with Professor Mitchell Byron, who contributed to the reference book History of Quebec Literature, I look forward to the sequel.

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Belanger also offers a Quebec Corpus course at UQAM for future French teachers. “I’m a priori, and when I saw this news, I said it was not a bad idea. As long as we make a decision about any corpus, the decision will be made differently.”

David Belanger surveyed his students in his class on Thursday. “A lot of people are against the idea of ​​a list and it’s impossible for kids to like reading with it. The argument that comes up a lot is:“ We are not technicians, we [futurs] As secondary school teachers, we have freedom and we need to develop the skills of them. ”My experience of teaching students who don’t really like literature is that they like to read, but don’t like the idea of ​​literature. ”

They tell me they read it Maria Chapdeline When they were younger and hated him. But now they can see its v picture. At the age of 16 or 17, they do not understand what they are doing there, a good woman waiting to cook her bread and watching life slip away from her. I totally understand.

David Belanger, Lecturer in Literary Studies at UQAM

Yet he is the savior Maria Chapdeline, By Louis Hemon, he dedicated an article in 2019, He walked away – investigating the death of Franకోois Paradis, At Nota Bene. For him, it was a very Quebecois novel, which had previously compromised with regionalists and exoticists, whose author, a Frenchman named Louis Hemon, “accidentally came to die here, while traveling”.

“Roland Barthes’ great sentence is that we must ask ourselves: Literature teaches. Quebec literature is common to us. Do we want to invite this literature? Do we want to keep in the minds of young people that Quebec literature is interesting or do we want to be faithful to the Quebec literature summary we can imagine? For us, if we want to go back to our classics, we have to go back to the breadbox, and it’s hard to make that sexy. These are not bad works, we have trouble continuing with this world, especially after the Silent Revolution. If there is an argument to make people like literature, I think we have to sacrifice a good chunk of local literature. ”

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When he says so, he speaks more specifically about the books he read in high school, because according to David Belanger, we already have the Quebec Corpus taught in the CEGEPs, whose credentials should be further appreciated for their contribution to a common culture.

Like David Belanger, I also found timing Strange. But I have a small idea. I think young coquettes are probably excited by the current popularity of Quebec literature (I understand them), whose power can only be explained because it changes the present and looks to the future, wanting to escape the cannons and lists. She was probably never close to the soul New world Its origins.

Instead of wasting time on the classic list that everyone disputes (this is a list of young people), teachers, young coquettes should put their power on the working conditions of stock school libraries, protect bookstores from neighbors, give authors a place, and support the reform of laws on the status of the artist sought by Quebec’s Writers ‘and Writers’ Union By the way they deserve a salary – in short, these are sites and no ideas. These are the people who keep Quebec literature alive, more than a must-read list.