A Certain Difficulty of Being: Essays on the Quebec Novel
By: Anthony Purdy (author)Hardback
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In the Preface to A Certain Difficulty of Being Purdy examines the kinds of discourse that deal with the novel in some nineteenth-century Quebec novel prefaces, thereby revealing a theme of generic denegation in the sense of "This is not a novel." Purdy goes on to explore the transition from epic to novel in Felix-Antoine Savard's Menaud, maitre-draveur; the contradictions stemming from the use of a first-person, present-tense narrative in Andre Langevin's Poussiere sur la ville; the problem of narrativity and history as it is raised in Hubert Aquin's Prochain episode; and the way in which narrative voice functions in Anne Hebert's Kamouraska. He also touches on the current debate concerning the boundaries between modernism and post-modernism. Purdy does not offer an all-embracing system to explain the development of narrative in the Quebec novel, but leads us to an understanding of how these particular novels function, each in its own socio-historical context, and how they achieve or fail to achieve what they set out to do.
The thread that runs through the different chapters is a pragmatic concern with Quebec's historical "difficulty of being" as it informs in varying ways the narrative projects of the novels in question.
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- ID: 9780773507708
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