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language and customs' (in Newlands, 117). A similar set of perceptions
and motivations drove their fellow Charlevoix painter René Richard to
illustrate his friend and compatriot Félix-Antoine Savard's Menaud,
maître-draveur , to which we now turn.
Menaud, maître-draveur
First published in 1937, Monseigneur Félix-Antoine Savard's Menaud,
maître-draveur has been designated as a major literary milestone by nu-
merous critics. 19 This multifaceted novel, with its epic flavour,20 20 re-
counts the tale of an aging log driver, Menaud, a would-be coureur de
bois bound reluctantly to the rugged farmland in northwest Charlevoix
by his now deceased wife and his daughter Marie. Menaud displaces
his overwhelming desire for freedom onto his son, Joson, only to lose
him in a fatal accident during an always dangerous log drive (chapter
four), which ends the first part of the novel, set in the spring and domi-
nated by a particular aspect of the landscape: the river. The second part
of the novel (chapters five-seven) is set in summer on the farmland at
Mainsal, as the restless Menaud becomes increasingly embittered by
the invasion of his territory by foreign (i.e., English-speaking) inves-
tors. He enlists his surrogate son Alexis (called Le Lucon), his daugh-
ter's suitor and rival of Le Délié (who has sold out to the invaders), to
join him in resisting the invasion. In the final part of the novel, span-
ning autumn, winter, and the following spring, the two renegades de-
cide to continue to hunt and trap in the nearby mountains, now under
the economic and legal control of the foreigners, but an ongoing symbol
of freedom. 21
The lure of emigration, rejected in Maria Chapdelaine two decades ear-
lier, has been supplanted in Menaud, maître-draveur by a threatening in-
flux of foreign industrialism no longer possible to circumvent for
Savard, who seeks to bring this economic development of the 1930s to
the consciousness of his compatriots. Although the topography and
toponyms of Charlevoix are meticulously charted, the novel is devoid
of dates and historical references, yet nonetheless clearly situated dur-
ing the bleak economic times of the Great Depression, as Aurélien
Boivin explains in his 'présentation' of the novel before concluding that
'Savard a voulu défendre le salut de la race canadienne-française par la
prise de possession du territoire et de la terre' (9; Savard wanted to de-
fend the salvation of the French-Canadian race through taking posses-
sion of the territory and the land). Thomas Vauterin, however, sees in
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