Bilinguefact Your Air: Literary Representations of French Canada, 1945-48

Type of resource
Bilinguefact Your Air: Literary Representations of French Canada, 1945-48
The author points out that at the end of the Second World War, relations between Quebec's English- and French-speaking communities were in severe disrepair. She maintains that this was largely the product of their opposition over the issue of conscription in both World Wars, which had worsened the pre-existing tension between the two groups due to their economic and political inequalities. In the context of this estrangement of Quebec's major linguistic communities, two important Anglophone Montreal writers produced literary depictions of Quebec's French-Canadian communities: Hugh MacLennan (1907-1990) published Two Solitudes in 1945, while A.M. Klein (1909-1972) published The Rocking Chair and Other Poems in 1948. The author argues that both volumes seek to render French Canada attractive to English-Canadians and thereby counter the negative stereotype that English-Canadians typically held of French-Canadians as pro-fascist, anti-semitic protestors against conscription. The author undertakes an in-depth synchronic literary-historical study of 1945 to 1948, the four years after the publication of Two Solitudes, which coincides with the end of the war, to the year of the publication of The Rocking Chair, in order to situate MacLennan's and Klein's portrayals of French Canada in their rich historical context. The author compares Two Solitudes and The Rocking Chair alongside the works of their French-Canadian contemporaries such as Gabrielle Roy, Alphonse Piché, Alain Grandbois, and Paul-Emile Borduas to show that their depictions of French Canada are remarkably similar and that these Anglophone authors were working carefully and conscientiously to improve French Canada's image with their English-Canadian audiences.
Master's thesis
McGill University
# of Pages
Isler, Julia. “Bilinguefact Your Air: Literary Representations of French Canada, 1945-48.” Master’s thesis, McGill University, 2016. http://digitool.Library.McGill.CA:80/R/-?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=145471&silo_library=GEN01.
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