Travel Reference
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colour, and space - or, rather, the overall impression they produce in
the viewer. As Marie-Victorin scans the landscape in the following
paragraphs ('mes yeux les quittent,' 'tire mes yeux'), however, he finds
a focal point in the island's church:
Cette église de l'île aux Coudres n'a rien de très remarquable en elle-
même, mais, vue de loin et encadrée dans le paysage, elle prend un rôle,
une signification qui émeut. Elle est menue, proprette, compacte, taillée
dans le caillou des champs, et ses deux clochers carrés regardent, par-
dessus l'eau noire, les Câpes Raides et le hérissement sans fin de la forêt.
Entre les deux tours, le bon roi Loys, patron de la paroisse, règne sur cette
terre incroyablement française malgré les invasions, la défaite, l'allé-
geance, et le drapeau d'Angleterre. [91-2; This church on the île aux
Coudres has nothing remarkable in itself, but, seen from afar, framed by
the landscape, it acquires a role, a significance that is moving. It is slight,
neat, compact, sculpted into the stone-like fields, and its two square stee-
ples look out, over the black water, at the Câpes Raides and the endless
bristling of the forest. Between its twin towers, good king Louis, patron of
the parish, reigns over this land that remains incredibly French, despite
the invasions, the defeat, the allegiance, and the British flag.]
The first sentence mirrors the previous description of the cross and,
moreover, captures the very essence of Quebec landscape art: the inser-
tion of a specific cultural place ('cette église') at a central point ('encadrée)
in a vast natural space ('dans le paysage') seen from a relative distance
('vue de loin'). It is the combination of the contrasting elements, or rather
the double perspective entertained by the viewer, that lends the scene
its meaning ('elle prend un rôle, une signification') and thus impact
('qui émeut'). And that meaning is one of order ('elle est menue, pro-
prette, compacte'), which culture wrests from nature ('taillée dans le
caillou des champs') as the church continues to stand solid and erect
('ses deux clochers carrés') before the threats of both nature ('par-
dessus l'eau noire, les Câpes Raides et le hérissement sans fin de la
forêt') and other cultures ('malgré les invasions, la défaite, l'allégeance,
et le drapeau d'Angleterre'), a symbol of French heritage inherent in the
surrounding land itself ('cette terre incroyablement française').
Throughout the Croquis Marie-Victorin's overt patriotism manifests
itself in adverse feelings about the English, especially in their treatment
of the Acadians from the time of the 'grand dérangement' (see chapter
four, note nine) to the present, as in the following passage: 'Oui! petites
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