Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Leclerc has achieved in Vue du ciel (Québec) is a synthesis of the general
and the particular, the distant and the near, the outer and the inner,
which enables him to lay before us the entire (old) city of Quebec, orga-
nized geometrically into a single image. In a sense, with this final image
we have come full cycle back to the irst one in this topic - the Gastaldi
engraving of Hochelaga - similarly seen from an imaginary bird's-eye
perspective that allows the painter to seize in a single image the entire
'walled' Amerindian city, depicted geometrically. Needless to say,
Leclerc's cityscape exhibits the visual diversity and density that distin-
guish both modern art and the modern city, traits that also characterize
Monique Proulx's Les aurores montréales .
Les aurores montréales
Monique Proulx's Les aurores montréales is a collection of twenty-seven
stories published together as a single volume in 1996. Although the
pieces are short, ranging in length from a single page to twenty pages,
they are generally broad enough in scope and time frame to warrant
their designation by the author as novellas, rather than short stories.
Although most are set in Montreal, the variety of topics, places, themes,
characters, social classes, ethnic groups, and narrators matches the di-
versity of the urban setting, creating what Dominique Fisher terms a
'mosaïque transculturelle' (311; transcultural mosaic).
Despite the variety, the overall work, and thus the city itself, is struc-
tured rigorously, even geometrically, by six stories, placed at regular
intervals (in terms of numbers of pages, not numbers of stories), each
involving the colour white in its title, and each printed, title and text, in
italics to distinguish it from its immediate neighbours. As Anne de
Vaucher notes, 'Cette architecture si volontaire a une triple valence: la
charpente du receuil est donc chevillée par ces récits en couleur, comme
l'est la société de Montréal par toutes les ethnies qui la composent,
comme l'est la littérature québécoise par l'apport des écrivains d'origine
étrangère.' (117; This wilful architecture has triple meaning: the frame
of the collection is held together by these tales in colour, as is Montreal
society by all the ethnic groups that compose it, as is Quebecois litera-
ture by the contribution of writers of foreign origin.) 33 These are the
stories we'll highlight here in the order of their occurence.
In the first story, Gris et blanc , a young boy, recently immigrated with
his mother to Montreal from Costa Rica, writes to his dog reluctantly
left back home describing his adopted city. The narrational naivety
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