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agréablement avec l'aspect sauvage de la chute.' (350; He lives in a cot-
tage that is not without pretensions. It's a white house suspended half-
way up a hill, overlooking a cove formed by the river; it is surrounded
by trees and luxurious vegetation that contrasts pleasantly with the wild
aspect of the waterfall.) In short, he has not returned to the terre pater-
nelle , he has replicated it in his own right, including its view looking
over a cove and its most essential features, the complementary contrast
of culture ('une maison blanche') and nature ('l'aspect sauvage de la
chute'). Moreover, Chauveau clearly makes a broader statement about
French-Canadian identity by detaching it from the family, la terre pater-
nelle , and displacing it onto la patrie , a mixture of land ('le sol'), to be
sure, necessarily invested with culture, as he states in another footnote:
'Les Canadiens français se sont attachés à leur religion, à leur langue, à
leurs institutions, à proportion des efforts que l'on a faits pour leur ar-
racher toutes ces choses qui beaucoup plus que le sol forment la patrie .'
(359; French Canadians became attached to their religion, their lan-
guage, their institutions in proportion to the efforts made to rip from
them all those things that, much more than the land , form the fatherland .)
But, in the final paragraphs, it appears that Charles, rather than remain
a simple farmer, will, like Chauveau, run for parliament, a fate the nar-
rator pretends to bemoan (352).
Charles Guérin is, then, a complex, even ambivalent, and thus emi-
nently modern novel. The landscape, like the plot, brings forth a nexus
of elements seen from a variety of perspectives, without clear cause or
solution. If, as Pierre contends, English commerce has excluded French
Canadians, he adds that the latter have shut the only remaining door:
industry (70). Charles opens such a door in the final pages of the novel,
with an industry based on moral values rather than exclusively on mar-
ket values, unlike the commercial interests of the foreigner Wagnaër,
now 'gone to the dogs' (343), and his French-Canadian accomplice,
ironically named Voisin (neighbour). 12 But if the merciless mercantilism
imputed primarily to the English is condemned, it is not confined to the
city, which stands along with the countryside as an amalgam of nature
and culture and thus an emblem of French-Canadian identity.
In his conclusion to an enlightening article on Charles Guérin and
nineteenth-century fiction, Jean-Pierre Duquette provides an overview
both of the novel and of its historical context:
Au milieu du XIX e siècle, un jeune écrivain disait enfin, par le biais d'une
fiction romanesque transparente, quelques-unes des conséquences les
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