Travel Reference
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colourations of the landscape, highlighted by the absence of articles
and joined by their very linguistic proximity in the second sentence; the
powerful, musical rhythm of the sentence engendered by the accumu-
lation of the nouns and the continuation of the sentence in a final move-
ment, perfectly balanced by the repetition of the three reflexive verbs,
occurring at regular intervals and displaying the same sounds ('se,'
'ait'), which adds to the musicality of the passage and the feeling of
'exaltation,' describing at once the viewer (Menaud), the countryside
(through personification), and the sentence itself, which rises, then falls
as it comes to an end. 27
Richard's encampment scene (figure 6.4), Campement , one of four
lithographs on this theme of the twenty in the portfolio of his illus-
trated edition of the novel, involves a similar melding of man and the
various components of nature.
Like Savard's passage, Richard's composition involves the amalga-
mation of several components of the landscape into a single image, com-
posed of horizontal bands receding towards the horizon - the shoreline,
the river, the mountains, and the sky - each characterized by its own
highly visible pattern of strokes, yet harmonized by an overall colouring
of violets and blues, along with the complementary yellows and joined
together by the vertical thrust of the ghostly white trees, which intersect
all four horizontal bands to form a highly structured grid, which then
sets off the warm place of the human camp set against the vast space of
nature. As the painter's close friend, the novelist Gabrielle Roy describes
one of the recurrent motifs of his work: 'C'est un petit campement isolé,
souvent clos et abandonné. Parfois, il est vrai, une lueur y brille, et on en
est tout réjoui. Si René Richard a exprimé en effet comme personne la
détresse de l'être humain réduit à hiverner seul au bout du monde, il est
aussi celui qui a traduit la joie d'un solitaire rencontrant un autre soli-
taire.' ('Préface,' 36-7; It's a small, isolated encampment, often closed up
and abandoned. Sometimes, in truth, a light is shining, and one rejoices
in it. If René Richard has in fact expressed like no one else the distress of
the human being forced to winter alone at world's end, it is also he who
has best translated the joy of one solitary figure meeting another.)
Savard's description of the log drivers at work ('la drave') displays
other linguistic forms that contribute to his 'wild lyricism':
Ohé! ohé! Tandis que les hommes agiles trimaient des jambes et des bras
sur les bords du chenal, et que le soleil, de sa cymbale d'or, frappait le pays
d'alentour pour l'éveiller à la vie, Menaud s'exaltait devant le spectacle
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