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than customs. Indeed, to see Quebec as a closed, fixed, monolithic, and
regressive society is to limit one's perspective to geographic setting and
historic necessity, mingled with a large dose of cultural misunderstand-
ing or outright prejudice, and ignore the evidence of its literature and
painting, where imagination has, from the outset, privileged openness,
nomadism, hybridity, and progress. Among the many manifestations of
this second culture that round out an understanding of national iden-
tity, beginning with Létourneau's notion of contradiction and the yen
for nomadism identified by Warwick and Morissonneau, our discus-
sion has further highlighted, especially, a certain diversity and open-
ness, along with a tendency towards self-determination and its artistic
counterpart: self-representation.
The very landscape of the North American continent promotes a cer-
tain perception of variety and diversity, anathema to the 'utopian'
unity, simplicity, and symmetry of Cartier and Champlain, but em-
braced by French Canadians themselves, beginning with Garneau's
opening words in book two of his Histoire du Canada , arguably the
most influential work we have examined: 'Ces contrées si variées, si
étendues, si riches en beautés naturelles, et qui portent, pour nous ser-
vir des termes d'un auteur célèbre, l'empreinte du grand et du sublime,
étaient habitées par de nombreuses tribus nomades qui vivaient de
chasse et de pêche.' (195; These regions, which are so varied, so exten-
sive, so rich in natural beauties, and which, to use the terms of a famous
author, bear the imprint of grandeur and the sublime, were inhabited
by numerous nomadic tribes, who lived by hunting and fishing.)
Garneau's emphasis on diversity, not only in nature but also in cultures,
carries through nearly all of the texts and paintings we have explored.
Moreover, this diversity reveals itself through a plurality of 'voices'
ranging from the multiple narrators in L'Iroquoise and Les aurores
montréales to the numerous roles, representing many languages and
cultures, played by Flora in Le premier jardin . Flora's identity must thus
be seen as a composite of multiple, even contradictory factors, as is the
'secret' of Pierre's multifaceted mountain, a mirror of its painter; in
both cases the reader is invited to extrapolate from the personal to the
national level. Similarly, the shifts in perspective and accompanying
relativism that characterize landmarks of French-Canadian literature,
like Charles Guérin and Angéline de Montbrun , often involve other cul-
tures, including the Iroquois in Louise , the Algonquin in Cadieux , the
Eskimo in La montagne secrète , and the Mohawk in Proulx's 'Rouge et
blanc.' This same mixture of cultures also applies to paintings as differ-
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