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gloires, ces grandeurs qui sont maintenant poussière.' (113; I hold es-
pecially to topics of religion and history. I need to elevate my heart on
high, and I love to see reliving before my eyes those glories and gran-
deurs that are now dust.) Indeed, great works not only elevate the soul
('élever mon cœur') but enable the reader to relive the past ('voir re-
vivre, sous mes yeux, ces gloires'), on a higher order ('ces grandeurs')
than the personal ('maintenant poussière'). Certainly Angéline's diary
quotes heavily from religious works, such as those of Lacordaire (117)
and la mère Marie de l'Incarnation (121), but she also continues to cite
the personal poetry of Eugénie de Guérin (133) and acknowledges the
truth of Charles Sainte-Foi's notion that a good book should always
form a true bond between writer and reader (171). Such is the number
of references and citations in the novel that Nicole Bourbonnais char-
acterizes it as a 'palimpsest' (84), and by inserting the text within a
chain of literary ancestors, Conan comes curiously close to mirroring
the process of memorialization, which will make of the novel a monu-
ment in its own right. 24
Angéline pays special homage to the historian François-Xavier
Garneau (chapter one), precisely because of his ability to rescue the past
from the flow of time: 'L'histoire me distrait plus efficacement que
toutes les autres lectures. Je m'oublie devant ce rapide fleuve des âges.'
(185; History distracts me more efficiently than all other types of read-
ing. I forget myself before this swift river of the ages.) Garneau's writ-
ings not only resurrect Angéline's own ancestors, like de Lévis, but
raise an entire people from defeat and loss to a newfound identity.
Angéline praises Garneau's courage in forming himself as a writer
(187) and weeps when she visits his monument, which lies not far from
the resting ground of the heroes he has rescued from oblivion (188).
Moreover, Angéline expresses regret that she herself had not written
more in earlier days, in order to preserve the beauty of what is now
past: 'Je regrette de n'avoir rien écrit alors que ma vie ressemblait à ces
délicieuses journées de printemps, où l'air est si frais, la verdure si ten-
dre, la lumière si pure. J'aurais du plaisir à revoir ces pages. J'y trou-
verais un parfum du passé.' (150; I regret having written nothing at the
time my life resembled one of those delicious spring days when the air
is so fresh, the greenery so tender, the light so pure. I would take plea-
sure in seeing such pages again. I would find therein the scent of the
past.) Writing might have preserved the air of the sea, the greenery of
the garden, and the light of the sky for Angéline, but is this not, in fact,
precisely what Laure Conan has done: write about and thus preserve
Angéline's past? And in so doing has Laure Conan not secured her own
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