chapter  3
22 Pages

Simon Harel’s Les passages obligés de l’écriture migrante and the Question of Migrant Literature as Intercultural Mediator in Quebec

WithSvante Lindberg

In Quebec, the link between national identity and literature has been a central question for long time. This was particularly the case between the emergence of the idea of a national text in French at the beginning of the nineteenth century and the nationalist project of the so called Quiet Revolution at the beginning of 1960s. Simon Harel claims that contemporary Quebec culture is caught between two needs: to value its own special characteristics and to emphasize its universality. The literature of cultural minorities could be looked upon as something naturally topographic, or in other words as texts dealing with relationship with a determined geographical place. From a topological perspective, the essence of the new migrant literature of Quebec is its character of movement and mobility: this is a literature which can be said to be mobile interpretation of place. Quebec has far too long been lingering between a rigid national discourse and a triumphalist cosmopolitan euphoria.