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Le Canada et les représentations du Nord dans l'œuvre de Xavier Marmier (1808-1892): substitutions et parallèles
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of French, Italian and Classical Languages.
2009 (French)In: Canada: images of a post/national society = images d'une société post/nationale / [ed] Gunilla Florby, Mark Shackleton, Katri Suhonen, New York: P.I.E. Peter Lang , 2009, 245-255 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article proposes a reading of the work of Xavier Marmier, a 19th-century French traveller and writer who visited Canada and the Nordic Countries and wrote anthropological, cultural and historical books, travel stories as well as a lengthy novel on the basis of his experience. He was one of the first French intellectuals to encourage French Canadian nationalism by his enchanting writings that boosted French Canadian self-esteem and gave to the French public more accurate and contemporary information.

Maria Walecka-Garbalinska argues that there is, however, a slight contradiction between Marmier’s nationalistic objectives concerning French Canada and his literary description of it. The texts that are supposed to describe the people, values, traditions, landscape and harsh conditions in French Canada are inspired, she argues, by Marmier’s earlier visits to the North of Europe. Consequently, the enchanting description is not motivated so much by the object of the supposed portrait than it is by the author’s former experiences and, even more, by an ideal produced by a Southern and foreign imagination and imposed upon Northern cultures, no matter their geographical situation.

Hence, what Marmier presents as the “national” characteristics of French Canada have in fact less to do with its local reality than with its resemblance to other Northern cultures. This parallel enhances the understanding of the North as a “transnational” territory, being described and defined by “others” in various social discourses (literature, tourism).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: P.I.E. Peter Lang , 2009. 245-255 p.
, Canadian studies, ISSN 1781-3867 ; 19
Keyword [fr]
Canada, Nord, récit de voyage
Keyword [sv]
Marmier, Kanada, reseberättelser
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
History of Ideas; Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-26014ISBN: 978-90-5201-485-2OAI: diva2:201883
Available from: 2009-03-05 Created: 2009-03-05 Last updated: 2011-11-08Bibliographically approved

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