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volonté de s'autonomiser et le refus d'être excentré. Dans le cadre de cette
ambivalence ouverte sur le passé et l'avenir, sur le soi et l'autre, et sur l'ici et
l'ailleurs, les Canadiens se fabriquent une identité qui forme la base d'une
autoreprésentation qui n'a pas disparu chez une majorité de Québécois
aujourd'hui. [12-13; On the question of identity, French Canadians stand in
a sort of interlacing area formed of identitary references and figures that
could be considered contradictory but are seen by them in a complemen-
tary mode: entrenchment and mobility, agriculture and roaming the
woods, the Saint Lawrence valley and the call of vast spaces, the parish
and the wilderness, France and Canada, the motherland and the new
world, Frenchness and Americanness, withdrawal and initiative, tradition
and difference, faithfulness to heritage and the desire for revision, the will
to become autonomous and the refusal to be excluded. In the framework
of this ambivalence open to the past and the future, the self and the other,
and the here and the elsewhere, French Canadians construct an identity
that forms the basis for a self-representation that has not disappeared to-
day for a majority of Quebecois.]
Of the eleven sets of contradictory pairings proposed by Létourneau,
the first six share a common denominator - the landscape - and can,
with some nudging, be reduced to an overall opposition between cul-
ture and nature, as in 'la paroisse et la sauvagerie.' The remaining five
can also be approached using the notion of cultural doubling proposed
by Dumont. 9 Thus, the dichotomy of nature and culture and the di-
chotomy of culture itself (issues at the core of this topic) may provide
much more than convenient ways of looking at landscape; these seem-
ing contradictions may well constitute fundamental traits of the French-
Canadian identity. Furthermore, the impulse for the 'self-representation'
of this conflicted identity referred to by Létourneau may explain the
significance of 'self-reference' in Quebec literature and painting, an-
other key component of our study.
Literature and Painting
Each chapter of this topic explores a set of texts from a given period in
tandem with related paintings, in the hope that by seeing them together
we may better visualize the literary description and better understand
the ideological import of the visual imagery. Moreover, a comparative,
interdisciplinary approach fosters an overall perspective that goes be-
yond the concerns of a given work, artist, or genre to bring into focus
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