Des nouvelles de l'ennemi : la réception des romans de Mordecai Richler au Québec francophone

Type of resource
Des nouvelles de l'ennemi : la réception des romans de Mordecai Richler au Québec francophone
Polemics have played an important role in the reception of Mordecai Richler's novels in French Quebec. The author claims that contrary to the common idea that this opposition has prevented Quebec's critics from reading the novelist's work, Richler's articles and essays on nationalism are the starting point of its reception. Whether it has been published before or just after the polemics, Richler's writing is evaluated for the accuracy of his depiction of communities. Thus, the author maintains, the progressive rejection of a strictly French conception of Quebec's identity opens the way to contemporary readings of the writer's production. Still, these new readings are mostly attached to a conception of the collective, opposing an inclusive portrayal of Quebec's identity, ready to let in the old enemy, to a uniquely French perspective on the imaginary. The mechanisms of this repatriation can be read in parallel with conflicting identities in Richler's novels. In Son Of A Smaller Hero (1955), Noah Adler tries to define himself as a human being and to find his own moral standards by rejecting his origins. However, this escape path can only lead to failure and the main character learns that his ideal of freedom can only happen by a reinterpretation of his heritage rather than by its denial. Barney’s Version (1997) is, in part, the story of the education of a late writer. If Barney Panofsky attacks every collective imposture in the novel, his incapacity to be completely honest with himself and to accept a sincere creative activity and defence of his beliefs leads him to be alienated from those he truly loves. This situation leaves the narrator with an unfinished story, which can only be told by his successors. In both novels, the author maintains, the self definition of the character's identity can only happen by a hermeneutical re-appropriation of his heritage that is similar to Francophone readings of Richler's work by its relation to the trace, the collective and illegitimacy.
Master's Thesis
Université de Montréal
# of Pages
v-90-xii p.
Mercier-Tremblay, Samuel. “Des nouvelles de l’ennemi : la réception des romans de Mordecai Richler au Québec francophone.” Master’s Thesis, Université de Montréal, 2011.
Find in a library