10 Nov 2005


Pélagie-la-Charette, Antonine Maillet

This is my second reading, this time in French to see what the big deal was. They do use a lot of funny expressions and grammar like "J'allons au noroît" ("Nous allons au nord-ouest.").

It made me want to cry again, so epic it gets at some points. Twice, I think, there's things that are very touching, because you realise they're true and they're enormous.

It also made me think how my education confounded the Acadians with the Quebecois; how all I was told came from maybe a single page of a textbook.

Oh, and it also struck me structurally: especially when the author's own ancestor appears in one of the characters' tales. I can't stop thinking of the people as characters, but on a parallel plane they were real people. I still can't get my head around it: usually books either talk about historical figures, or about fictional characters, and the situation is clear. Here, no; they're both.