The Mountain, the Main, and the Monuments: Representations of Montreal in the Anglo-Quebec Novel, 1945-2014

Type of resource
Author/collaborator
Title
The Mountain, the Main, and the Monuments: Representations of Montreal in the Anglo-Quebec Novel, 1945-2014
Abstract
The social and political changes in Quebec since the end of the Second World War have gone hand in hand with the minoritization of English in the province. The author explores the way in which Anglo-Quebec novelists' growing awareness of their marginality has impacted their representation of Montreal, especially in reconfiguring the myth of two solitudes both thematically and spatially. Drawing on postcolonial theory as well as on key approaches to space, she argues that Anglo-Quebec novelists' treatment of space, both urban and textual, is directly related to their cultural ideology, that is, to their conception of what English-French relations are or should be. The author engages in a close reading of six novels: Hugh MacLennan's Two Solitudes (1945), Scott Symons's Place d'Armes (1967), Keith Henderson's The Restoration: The Referendum Years (1987), Gail Scott's Heroine (1987), Marianne Ackerman's Jump (2000), and Heather O'Neill's The Girl Who Was Saturday Night (2014). In these novels, the city's specific landmarks might be read as physical representations of social, racial, and religious divides, but they might also emerge as sites of encounter, dispute, and exchange. The author argues that the way in which novelists and their characters negotiate these divides or take part in these encounters mirrors the way in which they perceive, experience, or replicate marginality in establishing and questioning their own identity as part of an ever-shifting minority. She believes that Anglo-Quebec novelists are inclined to highlight interdependence and interaction between French and English, which underscores the dynamic and dialectical nature of both urban and textual space.
Type
PhD dissertation
University
McGill University
Place
Montreal
Date
2015
Language
en
URL
Citation
Gélinas-Faucher, Claudine. “The Mountain, the Main, and the Monuments: Representations of Montreal in the Anglo-Quebec Novel, 1945-2014.” PhD dissertation, McGill University, 2015. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/thesescanada/vol2/QMM/TC-QMM-135456.pdf.
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