Equivocal City: French and English Novels of Postwar Montreal

Type of resource
Equivocal City: French and English Novels of Postwar Montreal
The author maintains that the study of Montreal as a specific location in French and English writings has long been subordinated to the demands of linguistically divided and politically contentious narratives about national development. Tracing a sequence of moments in the emergence of the Montreal novel from the Second World War to the 1960s, the author offers close readings of fourteen key works of fiction, focusing on the inner dynamic of their construction as well as the unexpected convergences and contrasts in the narrative structures they adopt and the aesthetic perspective they seek to achieve. He explains how writers in both languages struggled to give integrated artistic expression to their experience of a city that was still linguistically compartmentalized and culturally insecure. By analyzing the interplay between story and narrative form, the author explores what French and English novelists could - and could not - imagine about the Montreal they sought to portray. As the publisher explains, "From the responsible realism of Hugh MacLennan and Gabrielle Roy to the fractious phantasmagorias of Jacques Ferron and Leonard Cohen, Equivocal City traces the evolution of the Montreal novel with the aim of retrieving a shareable literary past." Among the author's chapters in this book are: "Politics and Promiscuity in Hugh MacLennan's Two Solitudes;" "Gendered mediations : Gwethalyn Graham's Earth and High Heaven and Françoise Loranger's Mathieu;" "A Precarious Maturity: Anglophone Satire at the End of the 1950s;" and "Twilight of the Idols, Dawn of a New Day : Jacques Ferron's La nuit (The night) and Leonard Cohen's Beautiful Losers."
Montreal and Kingston
McGill-Queen's University Press
# of Pages
Coleman, Patrick. Equivocal City: French and English Novels of Postwar Montreal. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018.
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