Travel Reference
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avait trouvé un charme aussi grand à ce spectacle. C'était le dernier soir
des dernières vacances qu'il avait passées à la maison paternelle, et le ma-
tin du premier jour de mai où il avait vu Clorinde pour la première fois.
Ces deux jours lui revinrent naturellement à la mémoire. Les émotions qui
laissent une trace profonde dans notre âme y gravent de vivaces souvenirs
du monde extérieur pris sur le fait. De même que le soleil dans sa plus
grande ardeur frappe plus nettement sur la plaque daguerrienne les objets
dont on veut conserver l'image, de même il y a une lumière intérieure qui
brille plus vivement en nous aux jours mémorables de notre vie, pour y
buriner plus fortement le grand tableau de la nature. [272-3; Two days in
his life, and only those two days, had the young man found such charm in
this spectacle. This was the last evening of the last vacation he had spent
in the paternal home, and the morning of the first day in May when he had
seen Clorinde for the first time. These two days came back naturally to his
memory. The emotions that leave a profound trace in our soul engrave
within it vivid memories of the outside world as it was. Just as the sun at
its strongest strikes most clearly the objects on a daguerrian plate those
images we want to conserve, so too does an interior light shine most
brightly inside us on the memorable days of our lives to etch more stron-
gly within us the great image of nature.]
Again the constant elements of the landscape, bathed in sunlight,
serve to anchor its composition and to remind the reader of its earlier
appearances, although the narrator further does so overtly by activat-
ing Charles's memory in explicit detail, followed by a lengthy disqui-
sition on the mechanism of memory, one of the many such passages
involving the process of remembering in French-Canadian literature.
The narrator's discussion of memory is all the more striking as it is
rendered in the present tense and contains a sustained visual meta-
phor, in which memory is likened to a photographic plate inscribed
by the force of sunlight, just as the emotions of the past events have
burned an image of the landscape into memory. What is remarkable
here is that it is not the events and emotions that are burned into
memory, but the landscape itself: 'y gravent de vivaces souvenirs du
monde extérieur … y buriner plus fortement le grand tableau de la
nature.' Unlike the typical French Romantic reaction, which uses na-
ture to evoke the emotion and the event in order to draw consolation,
here Charles uses the memories to draw consolation from nature it-
self, which explains why, despite the disappointments of losing
his property and his love, he is able to again find 'un charme aussi
grand à ce spectacle.' We are clearly in the realm of French-Canadian
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