Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Hurbur reappears, holding aloft the inert, bloodied body of Corvelle,
which he then brings back to stage level and deposits, next to the su-
pine Frédéric. As dawn breaks, Hurbur sniffs the fresh air and pro-
claims: 'La nuit prend fin' (22; The night is ending [23]), as is the play.
Clearly the psychodrama being staged by Gauvreau is that of creativ-
ity itself, the releasing and realization of the creative impulse in the
work of art: first, in the general sense that new feelings require new ap-
proaches and thus new artists; second, in the individual sense of the
struggle inherent in that approach to liberate the natural forces within
and exteriorize (express) them on the canvas, page, or stage. 11 Less ap-
parent is the role of death in the creative process and product, a subject
treated in depth by Jean-Pierre Denis, who notes that 'la mort traverse
en effet l'œuvre gauvrienne de part en part. Elle est ce qui organise
récits comme fantasmes, ce qui donne force au désir, ce qui institue,
déclenche la quête.' (487; in fact, death runs through Gauvreau's work
from one end to the other. It's what organizes tales as phantasms, what
gives force to desire, what institutes, activates the quest.) 12 Death, which
defines the state of women (486), especially in a repressive society like
Quebec forced, in effect, to perpetually confront its own death (490),
defines the very condition of the poet: 'Tout poète est confronté à la
mort dès qu'il se livre au langage et mesure sa disparition dans le tracé
des mots qui avancent, comme malgré lui.' (486; Every poet is con-
fronted by death as soon as he surrenders to language and measures his
disappearance in the line of words that advance, as if despite him.)
Furthermore, Gauvreau's treatment of the theme of trees in the night,
with the addition of human figures, gestures, and words, affords us yet
another perspective from which to explore the possible meanings in
Borduas's cryptic canvas, Les arbres dans la nuit : the metacritical. 13 The
trees, for example, might be seen as psychic portals through which the
creative energy of the unconscious can pass before exploding into lumi-
nous spots, which then assume rudimentary forms - however amor-
phous, biomorphic, or geomorphic - on the canvas. Darkness itself is not
only threatening but also nourishing, since it must be confronted like the
unconscious itself, despite the restrictions of previous art or the taboos of
the church and society. 14 Finally, the hand, perhaps the most identifiably
human form on the canvas, may be read less as an indicator of interdic-
tion than as a synecdoche for the artist (part for the whole) and a meton-
ymy of the artistic process (cause for effect). This interpretative avenue
then takes its place alongside, or better superimposed onto, the other
readings that lend the canvas its complex layers of latent meaning.
Search WWH ::

Custom Search