Monday, June 25, 2012

Jacques Poulin - les sentiers de réconfort

On Sunday morning, I spent an extremely enjoyable 2 hours following the literary path of Jacques Poulin, a contemporary Québec author.  The library in Vieux Québec organizes les promenades littéraires during the weekends in the summer and early fall months and invites the public to walk the streets of the old city and visit the sites of characters, authors and story lines as the words on the page literally come to life.

The library concentrates on one or two authors per two month period, and I was delighted that Poulin is the featured author for the period I am here in Québec.  Last year, I began reading and studying his works, which were recommended to me.  He is one of the few French Canadian authors who sets his novels right in Vieux Québec.  Many others, instead, choose settings outside of the city, often small towns, or countrysides where they grew up, evoking memories of le grand nord.  Since Poulin is a contemporary author, many of the references (houses, shops, restaurants) are still standing as they were when he began writing his novels in the 70s and 80s.  It was wonderful  hearing his passages read aloud as we stood and experienced his vivid descriptions first hand.There were about 15 of us taking the tour, all fans of Poulin, led by a specialist in his literature.  Unfortunately I couldn't convince any of my students to take the tour.  They were taking advantage of the beautiful weather and their free time to explore the city on their own.

Voici la liseuse - often a real book is placed in the statue (an hommage to Poulin's La Traduction est une Histoire d'Amour)

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