Québec Studies in Translation
- Daniel Chartier (Author)
Methodology, Problems and Perspectives in Québec Studies. Nota Bene (purchase at Amazon.ca)
Reviewed by Jane Moss
This slim volume is the first in the collection “New Perspectives in Québec Studies” launched in 2002 by Éditions Nota Bene to provide English translations of articles published originally in French in the Québec journal Globe, Revue internationale d’études québécoises. Canadianists and Québécists (a neologism coined by the Association internationale des études québécoises [AIÉQ]) have long argued that, outside the literary domain, scholarship on Québec and francophone Canada is limited by the natural propensity of Québec schol- ars to write in French. Non-Francophone historians, sociologists, political scientists, economists, geographers, urbanists, and public policy experts who would like to do research on and teach about Québec are hampered by the lack of available scholarly and pedagogical materials in English. This is true not only for Anglophones but for many non-Canadians who are more fluent in English. The new series by Nota Bene responds to the need reiterated by many of the twenty-five articles in the special issue of Globe (4, 2 ) on the topic of “Québec Studies in the World.”
In fact, Chartier’s essay is the English version of his introduction to the volume on the development and status of Québec Studies in universities around the world. Recounting the history of the institutionalisation of Québec Studies, Chartier describes how the new field found footholds primarily in Canadian/North American or French/Francophone studies programmes. In addition to the language issue, he deals directly with the problems posed by interdisciplinarity and area stud- ies, and with the precarious state of a field dependent on individual national leaders and government subventions. Chartier does a brilliant job of synthesizing the Globe articles and previously published studies on Canadian and Québec Studies in Canada, the United States, Germany, Italy, France, and Brazil.
While it was wonderful that Nota Bene is making new scholarship on Québec available to non-Francophones, it is regrettable that the translation of this first in the new series is marred by numerous Gallicisms and some sloppy editing. To give just a few examples of the translation problems, “scientifique” is translated directly as “scientific,” thus confusing the sense of “scholarly”; “animé” and “attribué” are translated as “animated” (37) in referring to the organizers of a week-long seminar and “attributed” (100) when naming the holder of a research chair, etc. The translators’ choices of English prepositions also lead to some awkward sentences. In addition, there are some factual errors: the Northeast Council for Québec Studies was not founded in Radford, Virginia (90), and the Trier Centre for Québec Studies is men- tioned as having been created in 1976 (71) and 1978 (89). With apologies for nitpicking, I urge Nota Bene to pay more attention to detail and at the same time I applaud the translation initiative.
- Portraits de la littérature québécoise by Frédéric Emmanuel Rondeau
Books reviewed: L'ecole du regard by Antoine Boisclair and La fatigue d'etre by Jacques Beaudry
- Insights from Memory's Sites by Paul Dubé
Books reviewed: Entre lieux et mémoire: L'inscription de la francophonie canadienne dans la durée by Michel Bock, Anne Gilbert, and Joseph-Yvon Thériault
- « LIBARTÉ, STIE! » by Kinga Zawada
Books reviewed: Quelques sujets de Sa Majesté by Yves Boisvert
- Deux textes formalistes et poétiques by Virginie Doucet
Books reviewed: Le facteur émotif by Denis Thériault and Parents et amis sont invités à y assister: Drame en quatre tableaux avec six récits au centre by Hervé Bouchard
- Inventorier ou créer un lieu de mémoire? by Michel Ducharme
Books reviewed: La Capricieuse (1855): poupe et proue. Les relations France-Québec (1760-1914) by Yvan Lamonde and Didier Poton
MLA: Moss, Jane. Québec Studies in Translation. canlit.ca. Canadian Literature, 8 Dec. 2011. Web. 19 May 2013.
This review originally appeared in Canadian Literature #183 (Winter 2004), Writers Talking. (pg. 108 - 108)
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