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Straight and strong despite his sixty years. A hard life had made his face
exceedingly gaunt, cutting furrows and wrinkles of hardship into it, and
colouring it in the same ochres and greys as the houses, the rocks, and
the fields of Mainsal) - in which the man and his land are linked by co-
lour ('ocres,' 'gris'), texture ('dure,' 'décharné'), and hardship ('misère').
The 'landscape' is then completed and its significance defined by a
memory reported by the narrator: 'Sa femme avait tout fait pour enra-
ciner au sol ce fier coureur de bois. Et lui, par amour pour elle, il avait
défriché cette âpre terre de Mainsal, toujours prêt, cependant, à s'évader
du regard vers le bleu des monts dès que le vent du Nord venait lui
verser au coeur les paroles magiques et les philtres embaumés.' (26; His
wife had done her utmost to root this proud coureur de bois into the
soil. And he, by love for her, had cleared this harsh land of Mainsal, al-
ways ready, however, to escape with a gaze towards the blue of the
mountains whenever the wind came from the north to pour into his
heart its magic words and fragrant potions.) Here the contrast between
the farmer and the coureur, the field and the mountain, is formulated
clearly, and the meaning of the latter as escape and ideal (suggested by
the colour blue, brought out by the nominal rather than the more usual
adjectival form) is revealed and reinforced. 24
In a lithograph titled Territoire de Menaud , which appears as an en-
graving before chapters two-ten of the 1979 edition of the novel, the
last one somewhat larger than the others, Savard's fellow Charlevoix
resident and close friend René Richard similarly reduces the colours of
the land to ochre and grey, while setting them in opposition to the blue
of the river (plate 7). 25 The isolation of the three farm buildings further
adds to the sense of hardship of this rugged land and dilapidated farm
perched on a cliff overlooking the river. Richard heightens the striking
difference between the agricultural setting in the foreground and the
natural space in the far ground, not only by the contrasting blue colour
of the river, but also by the free flowing and highly visible strokes used
to render it, in direct contrast with the intricate, repetitive patchwork of
crosshatching used to capture the regularity and monotony of the fur-
rowed farmland. Indeed, a hint of Menaud's restlessness can also be
detected in Richard's work, as Guy Robert describes it: 'Sa nature est
fruste comme son dessein et son coup de pinceau.' ( Peinture , 126-7; His
nature is raw like his drawing and brushwork.) 26
Richard's highly overt technique suits Savard's salient prose style,
which is based on analogies constructed from the dominant elements of
the setting, such as his comparison of Menaud's growing patriotism to
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