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d'années? Nous n'en savons rien.' ( Les grands thèmes , 121; When Amédée
Papineau wrote Caroline in 1836, he was merely transcribing an oral leg-
end that had been circulating among the people for how many years?
We have no idea.) But, as the rabid nationalist and French Canada's first
literary critic, Abbé Henri-Raymond Casgrain, suggested in the late
nineteenth century, maybe such transcription was itself a step towards
patriotism: 'Ne serait-ce pas une œuvre patriotique que de réunir toutes
ces diverses anecdotes, et de conserver ainsi cette noble part de notre
héritage historique?' (2; Wouldn't it be a patriotic deed to collect all
those diverse anecdotes and thus conserve this noble part of our histori-
cal heritage?) Papineau seems less intent on recalling or rewriting past
history than on shoring up the then fragile French-Canadian identity
and constructing a new monument, the tale itself, in order to promote a
union between the French and Amerindian that, in being true to the
past, represents his vision of the future. For Papineau, and for the French
Canadian of the mid-nineteenth century in search of sources of national
identity, freedom-loving 'others' from the past (like the Amerindian and
the voyageur) become significant 'subjects,' as we also see in the tale of
Jean Cadieux .
Jean Cadieux
According to legend, Jean Cadieux, born in Boucherville (near Montreal)
in 1671, founded a family with an Algonquin woman and lived in a na-
tive settlement while serving as a guide for traders before meeting his
end in 1709 in a manner that has spawned several retrospective tales,
including the widely known version of Joseph-Charles Taché, 'Cadieux'
(1863), included in his celebrated Forestiers et Voyageurs: M œ urs et légen-
des canadiennes . Unlike the two previous short-story authors, Taché was
a conservative, who was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1847
and later served as deputy minister of agriculture and statistics. As a
journalist, he was, like the previous writers, committed to the survival
of French culture, and even more than his earlier counterparts to a
movement of rayonnement , which Jack Warwick describes as follows:
'Out of the notion that the civilizing role was an historic truth vested in
the French Canadians as a people they made an influential literature
which may well have been instrumental in their effective resistance to
the assimilation recommended by Durham' ( The Long Journey , 49).
Taché's tale begins, like 'L'Iroquoise,' with a chain of narrators, running
back into the past, from a stand-in for the author, to the spellbinding story-
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