(From the publisher):
These nine short stories and a novella take us deeply into the fictional world of Marie-Claire Blais. The settings vary enormously, as do the characters. Blais is equally at home depicting a naïve but enthusiastic school teacher struggling against the “Grande Noirceur” of old Québec as she is with a sophisticated civil rights protester working in urban centres and communes against the Vietnam war. Superbly flexible, Blais’ narrative style allows her to blend the naïve and the gothic to recreate the rural ambiance of Depression Québec as well as the subtle turns of stream of consciousness in sophisticated artists in world capitals. Most remarkable of all is Blais’ ability to summon up the sense of the tragic so missing from much contemporary fiction. Time and again Blais’ characters struggle to find or impose meaning on their lives in the face of a material and social universe which appears massively indifferent to their aims. Once also becomes aware in these stories that the very concepts, even the words that her people employ are insufficient to create meaningful form in their lives. And yet there are also moments of wonderful tenderness and beauty, made all the more so because the characters recognze that these moments cannot endure. For Blais, the creation of art is difficult but possible; the real challenge is the creation of art in life.
- The New School Mistress
- Act of Pity
- Revolutionary and Friend
- The Exile
- An Intimate Death
- The Sacred Travellers
Original title: L’exilé: nouvelles; suivi de, Les voyageurs sacrés
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction
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