Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
refusal to listen to her son, even with tears in his eyes, or to understand
the symbolism behind the sweater; his friends' refusal to recognize
their former comrade, to look beyond what he is wearing (it is here that
the mother's misapplied maxim works) or to accept 'difference'; the
vicar's refusal to understand the boy's frustration and shame, followed
by edict and punishment. In short, despite the active aggressive nature
of the Maurice Richard myth, the values would seem to reflect those of
the conservative Duplessis era in which they are set rather than those of
the liberal Quiet Revolution era in which the story was written . 17
This series of refusals and rejections, dramatized by conflicts and of-
ten highlighted by dialogue (in the negative form of argument and
edict), lead the reader to the work's supplemental themes: misunder-
standing and rejection, which, if left to stand, would produce a negative
view of the notion of change and the inevitable process of aging, which
the humorous, nostalgic tone of the story belies. Indeed, it is not the
problems that lead us to the ideology embedded in a work, but the po-
tential solutions , which represent the values of the community as trans-
lated by the writer and which invariably lead us to a deeper level of
meaning. As Carrier states, unequivocally and unforgettably, in 'Ceci
n'est pas un conte' (This is not a story):
Un conte, qu'il soit folklorique ou écrit de la veille, qu'il soit comique,
fantastique ou poétique, loin d'être un véhicule d'évasion est plutôt un
instrument qui donne un regard plus profond. Le conte est une forme de
perspicace conscience. C'est un éclair de grâce pendant lequel le lecteur et
l'auteur ont le pouvoir de traverser les murs, d'apercevoir en même temps
l'envers et l'endroit, hier et demain. Le conte a conscience de tous les pos-
sibles. [85; A short story, whether folklore or written yesterday, whether
comic, fanciful, or poetic, far from a vehicle for escape, is, rather, an instru-
ment that produces a deeper perception. The short story is a form of astute
consciousness. It's a state of grace during which the reader and author
have the power to pass through walls, to perceive at once the front and
back sides, yesterday and tomorrow. The short story raises all possibilities
to mind.]
In the early short story, like the fairy tale, such possibilities or solu-
tions were often made explicit through the narrator's direct commen-
tary, sometimes accompanied by a 'moral' tacked on the end, itself
often misleading depending on the subversive or repressed nature of
the implicit message. In the modern short story, of which Carrier is an
Search WWH ::

Custom Search