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cultivation), and Stadaconé (Quebec) is seen as 'aussi bonne terre qu'il
soit possible de voir, et bien fructifiante, pleine de très beaux arbres de
la même nature et sorte qu'en France' (181; as beautiful a land as it is
possible to see, and highly fertile, covered with very beautiful trees of
the same nature and type as in France). In assessing Cartier's penchant
for describing the New World landscape through analogies to France,
Paul Perron concludes, in terms most relevant to our study, that 'nature
is transformed into culture through metaphor and simile' (54) . 4
In his third voyage of 1541, which replicates the route of the second,
Cartier's rapt descriptions of the natural landscape continue to qualify
beauty as 'uniform' and ready for cultivation. At Hochelaga (Montreal),
for example, Cartier wrote: 'Nous commençâmes à trouver les terres
labourées et belles' (197; We began to find land that was cultivated and
beautiful), and he noted that the view from Mount Royal revealed 'la
terre labourable la plus belle qu'il soit possible de voir, unie et plate'
(204; the most beautiful arable land that it is possible to see, uniform
and level). This latter example is followed by a rare description of the
vastness of North American space - 'et nous voyions ce fleuve [the
Saint Lawrence River] aussi loin que l'on pouvait regarder, grand, large
et spacieux, qui allait au sud-ouest et passait auprès de trois belles mon-
tagnes rondes' (204-5; and we could follow this river as far as one could
see, large, wide, and spacious, going towards the southwest and pass-
ing three beautiful round mountains), although the adjective 'beautiful'
is reserved for those particular mountains that have the good grace to
appear sculpted in familiar, regular geometric shapes ('rondes'). In
commenting on the rarity of such a panoramic view accompanied by
what seems an aesthetic appreciation, Réal Ouellet also notes that it
reveals Cartier's domination of space and his hopes of finding a pas-
sage to the Far East, via the West (95).
A 1556 engraving, 'La Terra de Hochelaga nella Nova Francia,' by
Jacopo (aka Giacomo) Gastaldi in Ramusio's Italian edition of Cartier's
travels, Delle Navigationi et viaggi , depicts Cartier's account of his visit to
the village of Hochelaga, as seen in the human figures to the lower left
(marked S in figure 1.1). The engraving also emphasizes the fertility of the
landscape , 5 while its flatness is enhanced by the elevated perspective,
suggestive perhaps of Cartier's view from Mount Royal (featured in a
reduced manner at the middle left). The geometrical forms of the land-
scape match those of the village in the centre, depicted as a perfect circle.
In an enlightening analysis of this famous engraving, François-
Marc Gagnon and Denise Petel demonstrate that, in fact, the circular
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