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Canada and Beyond : A Journal of Canadian Literary and Cultural Studies
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
     ISSN (Print) 2254-1179
     Published by University of Huelva Homepage  [8 journals]
  • Figuring an Ethical Reading Practice: Anne Carson’s
           ‘Whaching’

    • Authors: Keegan Cook Finberg
      Abstract: This essay seeks to define a twenty-first-century ethical reading practice. The term “ethical reading practice” suggests a way of reading and responding to literature responsibly and carefully, ultimately producing a generative encounter with the text, which has implications far outside the text. To consider what literature can teach us about ethics, and how it teaches us, this essay focuses on the figure of the reader. By examining the ways readers are figured within poetry, we can gain insight into reading and ethics on multiple scales. Anne Carson’s “The Glass Essay” is an example of her larger body of work, which often stages conversations between a lyric I—a speaker who is not only the speaking subject in the poem but also a reader of other poems—and a body of past literature. Carson’s poetry tells us that our affective relationships to texts have consequences outside the texts; her work suggests that loving texts, and knowing how to read them, honoring that love, is an ethical encounter. “The Glass Essay” coins the word “whaching,” a contingent practice—sometimes meaning one open question, sometimes another. Similar to Jacques Derrida’s notion of téléiopoièse, and Gayatri Spivak’s “teleopoiesis,” this passive ethics of reading emphasizes being made rather than making. The article discusses the process of reading this new singular orthography, while also revealing how an ethical reading practice has consequences for the way we encounter borders, read transnational literatures, and formulate ourselves.
      PubDate: 2013-12-20
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Introduction

    • Authors: Marie Carrière, Libe García Zarranz
      Abstract: Introduction
      PubDate: 2013-12-20
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Written in “Women’s Ink”: French Translation and Female
           Power in Carol Shields’s Unless

    • Authors: Nora Foster Stovel
      Abstract: Carol Shields’s last novel, Unless (2002), was a finalist for the Canada Reads contest for the best Canadian novel of the first decade of the 20th century. It would have been an ideal winner, not only because it is a brilliant novel, but also because it is distinctively Canadian in combining English and French. Protagonist-narrator Reta Winters, née Summers, daughter of a Francophone mother and Anglophone father, combines Canada’s official languages. Reta, like Shields, is bilingue and a translator and fiction writer. The opening segment of Unless focuses on the politics and poetics of her translations from French to English. She makes particular use of French: whenever Reta, or Shields, wants to emphasize a point, such as women’s powerlessness, she employs French translation.Shields employs three levels of translation in Unless. First, Reta’s literal translations of the texts of Danielle Westerman, French “feminist pioneer,” introduce the narrative. Second, Shields translates her breast cancer narrative into a novel about her daughter’s disappearance: Norah sits on a street corner with a sign reading “GOODNESS.” To discover her daughter, Reta embarks on an ethical quest. Third, Reta transfers her realization about women’s powerlessness, which she suspects instigated Norah’s disappearance, to her theory of fiction in this metafictional text. Finally, Reta's reflection on fiction is transformed into a feminist manifesto. Her awakening inspires a new understanding of the moral responsibility of fiction to reflect reality, especially the relationship between gender and power in this millennial novel. Reta practices “bean-counting,” noting the all-male lists of the world’s greatest thinkers and writers—“testicular hit-list[s] of literary big cats.” Reta writes six letters of protest, but doesn’t send them. If Reta is afraid to publish her views on inequality, Shields is not: she believes in “blurt[ing] bravely.”“Unless” is the pivotal concept of the novel, offering alternative narratives. Reta emphasizes the concept by noting, “Ironically, unless, the lever that finally shifts reality into a new perspective, cannot be expressed in French.”Unless women’s voices, including the silent voice of “a Muslim woman” who self-immolated on the street corner where Norah appeals for goodness, our society cannot become ethical.This essay explores Shields’s use of French language and translation to challenge the inextricable connection between gender and power in our society generally and literary culture particularly, to examine the ethics of egalitarianism regarding women and cultural “others,” and to explore the interrelationships between existence and fiction.
      PubDate: 2013-12-19
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Les trahisons montréalaises dans Le manteau de la femme de
           l’Est

    • Authors: Simon Harel
      Abstract: Les expressions de la ville créative et mondialisée sont à la mode. De Richard Florida à Saskia Sassen, sans oublier à Montréal même un Simon Brault, les intellectuels, commentateurs de l’actualité et nouveaux propagandistes de l’universalisme des villes sont légion. De Francfort à Shanghai, de Barcelone à Montréal, ce sont pratiquement les mêmes discours qui prévalent. La culture dite locale se doit d’être « branchée », « connectée » aux flux du mondialisme que représente une marche forcée, de plus en plus rapide, comme si le sujet post-identitaire se devait en quelque sorte de vivre dans un archipel, une métaspora (selon l’expression du poète Joël Desrosiers). Nous souhaitons interroger dans cet article les expressions têtues, parfois répétitives d’une pauvreté qui échappe à toute forme d’embourgeoisement et qui tient lieu de foyer de résistance (ce qu’est l’Est montréalais), alors que l’on promeut le principe salvateur de cette créativité mondialisée dans les nouvelles villes post-identitaires. Dans ce contexte, la gentrification culturelle, au nom de la mobilité et de l’hybridité du sujet, ressemble assez à une injonction autoritaire. Or, les écrits de Danielle Roger sont de véritables récits de résistance à l’égard de ce qu’il faut bien appeler un universalisme des villes mondialisées. À ce sujet, les récits de Danielle Roger décrivent avec une concision et une ironie douce-amère ce repli du sujet dans l’univers d’un quartier qui ne paie pas de mine, qui n’est pas, comme le Plateau Mont-Royal ou le Mile-End, un haut lieu de l’attraction touristique montréalaise. Certes, la date de publication du Manteau de la femme de l’Est n’est pas à négliger. À la fin des années quatre-vingt-dix, l’éloge des transhumances et des nomadismes, s’il faisait partie des expressions consacrées de l’écriture migrante, n’était pas encore devenu un fonds de commerce, un assemblage de lieux communs.  Le manteau de la femme de l’Est est l’expression de vies minuscules, la description de la saleté des « faits divers» de la Cité, la narration des multiples trahisons qui voient le jour dans les quartiers déshérités de la ville de Montréal. Dans ce récit peu connu de Danielle Roger, il est question, comme chez Pauline Harvey et Josée Yvon, d’une littérature qui prend la forme d’un récit dans lequel la dignité et l’indignité s’opposent, par le biais des diverses figures de l’exploitation de la violence, ce que l’on appellera à défaut d’un autre terme la misère.
      PubDate: 2013-12-19
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Parole de femme en Ontario français : subjectivité,
           agentivité et transgression dans les Carnets de déraison de
           Guylaine Tousignant

    • Authors: Johanne Melançon
      Abstract: Peu de femmes, et surtout peu de poètes, ont pris la parole en Ontario français dans les années 1970, 1980 et même 1990. Au tournant du siècle, de nouvelles voix ont émergé. Parmi elles, Guylaine Tousignant dont le premier recueil de prose poétique, Carnets de déraison (Prise de parole, 2005), met en scène une narratrice qui, malgré sa difficulté à dire « je », dans une parole que l’auteure qualifie de « pluri auto bio graphique », arrive à exprimer son agentivité non pas surtout dans le propos, mais bien dans l’écriture même par la différenciation et l’hybridation génériques, le dédoublement rhétorique du sujet, le recours à différentes stratégies discursives comme le dialogue intérieur et le micro-récit, ainsi que par l’intertextualité. L’écriture s’inscrit d’abord dans l’écrit intime, déjà suggéré par le paratexte. Le texte se déploie en fragments qui permettent l’expression du mouvement de la pensée qui hésite et doute; au point de vue du genre, cette écriture s’avère une hybridation de la poésie, des carnets, du livre de raison, du journal intime et de la confession. Tout au long du récit poétique, le sujet, qui se dédouble, porte un regard critique sur soi, ce qui l’oblige à affirmer son agentivité. Les stratégies discursives permettant cette affirmation de soi vont du dialogue intérieur, avec une mise en scène de l’autre, au micro-récit qui permet de s’inventer des histoires, en passant par un choix de verbes d’action. Quant à la subversion, elle s’inscrit surtout dans l’intertextualité et est donnée d’entrée de jeu par l’exergue de Descartes, puis par l’allusion à Camus. Dans ce recueil, l’écriture constitue le moyen et le lieu d’une quête de soi. Elle permet d’assumer toutes les voix qui obligent le «je» à se remettre en question, à se juger, mais qui construisent pourtant aussi ce «je» comme sujet. En ayant recours à ces stratégies, le texte finit par assumer pleinement le doute comme constitutif de soi mais parvient aussi à affirmer le droit à la déraison. Au bout du compte, c’est le travail de l’écriture qui aura permis au «je» d’affirmer son agentivité. 
      PubDate: 2013-12-18
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Transgressive Textualities: Translating References to Gender, Sexuality
           and Corporeality in Nelly Arcan’s Putain and Paradis, clef en main

    • Authors: Pauline Henry-Tierney
      Abstract: In this paper I examine how transgressive references to gender, sexuality and the body are translated in two texts by the Québécoise writer Nelly Arcan, her debut autofictional narrative Putain (2001) and her final (retroactively auto)fictional title Paradis, clef en main (2009). Throughout her oeuvre, Arcan seeks to liberate women from stereotypical frameworks of reference by asserting women’s gendered, sexual and corporeal subjectivities in previously taboo discourses on prostitution, incest, sexuality, anorexia, matrophobia and suicide. Through her candid and explicit writing style, Arcan elaborates her own specific écriture au féminin which incorporates a linguistic, thematic and physical visualization of women within her texts.These two novels have been translated into English as Whore (2005) by Bruce Benderson and Exit (2011) by David Scott Hamilton respectively. However, analysis of the target texts suggests that neither translator adopts a gender-conscious approach which compromises the specificity of Arcan's idiolect in the Anglophone context. Through a comparative analysis of examples from the source texts and translations under the categories of gender, sexuality and the body, I discuss how the translation practices work counterproductively to obfuscate Arcan’s textual visualisations of women. In terms of references to gendered identity, by removing or neutralising Arcan's grammatically feminised language in Putain, the translator obfuscates Arcan's idea of the importance gender plays in shaping maternal relationships. Similarly, in Exit, Arcan's subversive feminist wordplay is distorted resulting in women being reinserted into patriarchal frameworks of reference. My analysis on Arcan's portrayal of sexuality underlines how sexual euphemisms in the translation downplay the narrator's potential for sexual agency in Whore, while misleading translation choices for feminist neologisms relating to women's sexuality in Exit eschew Arcan's efforts to verbalise women's lived sexual realities. Lastly, inconsistency in the translation of female corporeal vocabulary distorts the neutral tone Arcan employs in Putain to ensure women's bodies are not eroticised and the translator's decision to condense references to the female body in Exit undermines the significance Arcan places on corporeal connections between women. Thereafter, I move on to consider the wider implications of the translative process such as how paratextual elements also have an impact upon Arcan's reception in the target culture. I argue that in both Whore and Exit, the paratranslators intentionally sensationalise the autofictional elements of Arcan's texts. In short, my analysis contends that through a non-gender conscious translation practice, the celebrity of Arcan is promoted in the Anglophone context but to the detriment of Arcan’s écriture au féminin.
      PubDate: 2013-12-18
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Dystopie au féminin chez Nelly Arcan : lecture
           métaféministe

    • Authors: Marine Gheno
      Abstract: Nelly Arcan, écrivaine québécoise provocatrice du « je », médiatique et polémique même posthume, exprime dans ses textes une désillusion vis à vis de la société, de la dictature de la beauté (qu’elle critique autant qu’elle incarne) et d’une possible libération des femmes qui suscite de nombreuses interrogations sur le féminisme contemporain et la façon dont il est évoqué dans l’écriture au féminin actuelle. Le métaféminisme proposé par Lori Saint-Martin (1994) se retrouve chez Arcan dans ses écrits au féminin critiques de la société contemporaine, intimes, accessibles au grand public, osés, moins théoriques et moins engagés que les textes au féminin des années 1970-80. Mais quel renouveau féministe peuvent apporter les cris et écrits noirs et lancinants de Nelly Arcan ? Cet article examine l’aspect dystopique de l’écriture d’Arcan—à la fois en tant que démarche critique au féminin et témoignage d’une déception profonde dans ses thèmes et son style d’écriture—et l’impact de cette absence d'espoir pour la pensée féministe contemporaine. La dystopie ou pulsion morbide chez Arcan se poserait-elle en réponse aux idéaux, revendications (et échecs ?) féministes et féminins ? 
      PubDate: 2013-12-18
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Mobilité des féminins dans quelques récits dystopiques
           franco-québécois et anglo-canadiens: indice
           d’agentivité ?

    • Authors: Nicole Côté
      Abstract: Je comparerai ici les espaces tels qu’ils sont représentés dans divers récits dystopiques (ou comportant des noyaux dystopiques) franco-québécois et  anglo-canadiens en me concentrant sur la mobilité des personnages féminins comme indice d’agentivité. Dans le corpus comparatif que j’étudie se dessinent certaines tendances : réticents à imaginer un avenir même immédiat, divers personnages féminins recourent le plus souvent aux déplacements dans l’espace pour ouvrir l’horizon du présent (Tarmac (Nicolas Dickner), Les larmes de Saint Laurent (Dominique Fortier), Il pleuvait des oiseaux (Jocelyne Saucier), Le sablier des solitudes (Jean-Simon Desrochers). Le parcours remarquable de l’espace  par des personnages féminins, que l’auteur du récit soit masculin ou féminin, semble représenter un changement récent de paradigme. Mais peut-on pour autant dire de ces parcours qu’ils permettent une certaine agentivité? Les œuvres anglo-canadiennes étudiées (Oryx and Crake, Year of the Flood (Margaret Atwood), Brown Girl in the Ring (Nalo Hopkinson), Ossuaries (Dionne Brand) présentent des parcours féminins très contrastés dans chacun des cas : le passage de la quasi-immobilité à la mobilité est forcé par un événement perturbateur. Souvent, ce sont de petites collectivités mixtes, représentant les plus grandes, qui sont mises en scène. On peut penser qu’en raison des diverses crises que traverse l’extrême contemporain, de nouveaux paradigmes émergent, dont celui d’un parcours effréné de l’espace du côté féminin afin d’esquisser des repères qu’un avenir bloqué empêche de se créer du côté de la temporalité. Néanmoins, on peut conclure qu’il s’agit pour ces deux littératures d’une tentative de cartographier ces temps troubles afin d’offrir des repères à la collectivité. Cependant cette cartographie est particulièrement genrée ou sexuée, car si les personnages de femmes ont acquis une grande mobilité dans l’espace, la garantie de leur agentivité dans cet espace semble résider dans un dévouement auprès de collectivités, qui restreint leur liberté individuelle.
      PubDate: 2013-12-18
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • A Web of Words: Forging Writer-Researcher Alliances in the Canadian
           Writing Research Collaboratory

    • Authors: Susan Brown, Aritha Van Herk
      Abstract: The history of collaboration in relation to writing is rich and varied; all writing performs as collaboration. The digital context in particular offers opportunities for collaboration in new modes, although digital connotations engender curiosity, resistance and reformulation.The Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory (www.cwrc.ca) builds on that potential in the creation of an online space for research into writing in and about Canada, drawing on the extent to which collaboration and exchange between writers and researchers are built into the fabric of Canadian cultural life. Notwithstanding that symbiosis, certain kinds of exchange are anathema to writers and critics alike. We are torn between the impulse to keep our words our own and a recognition that they emerge from the kind of surfing and sifting endemic to web research, a process and praxis of using. Being inspired by and responding to other people’s words and ideas is the basis for all literature—and literary scholarship. Women’s writing is particularly collaborative, whether we attribute that to gendered permeability of boundaries or to the embattled position of women within a masculinist literary establishment. The CWRC-enabled group of projects on Canada’s women writers aims to produce a rich, multi-faceted, and bilingual trove of insights into that ongoing process of dialogue, response, and repudiation. CWRC offers, then, a precise moment of opportunity, but also the challenge of how to benefit writers as well as scholars, so that collaboration between scholars and writers is supported. Most of all, its goal is to enable a feminist aesthetic and a space for women to speak that at this point competes in the pressure cooker of a digital world still very much a male domain.Moving through Lorraine York, Margaret Atwood, Daphne Marlatt, Betsy Warland and Nicole Brossard via Susanne de Lotbinière-Harwood, this essay explores the dimensions of connection at a time when the digital has opened a wonderfully generative space that nevertheless does not privilege women’s voices or discoveries. It outlines some early CWRC projects, its mentoring potential, and the need to keep more women’s writing and writing about that writing in circulation and preserved for our cultural record. CWRC can enhance readerships, offer a place to sample new Canadian writing, and provide a larger context in which to explore its many alliances, transgressions and betrayals.
      PubDate: 2013-12-18
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Ted Kramolc in Slovenian Diasporic Literature in Canada

    • Authors: Igor Maver
      Abstract: Ted Kramolc showed with his short stories and novels that he was a very good writer (as well as painter) and very much part of the unified Slovenian cultural space that includes the Slovenian diaspora throughout the world and the Slovenian minorities in the neighbouring countries. As the foremost representative of the Slovenian-Candian literature his works will continue to live on both in Canada as well as Slovenia: he passed away in Toronto on Tuesday, 3 September 2013.
      PubDate: 2013-12-13
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Sentenced Poetics

    • Authors: Nicole Markotić
      Abstract: Selected poems by Susan Holbrook, Meredith Quartermain, Weyman Chan and Kate Hargreaves, with an Introduction by Nicole Markotić.
      PubDate: 2013-12-13
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Run On

    • Authors: Susan Halbrook
      Abstract: Poem
      PubDate: 2013-12-13
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Two Reclaimed Territories

    • Authors: Sonnet L'Abbé
      Abstract: From Sonnet’s Shakespeare: 154 Ecolonizations
      PubDate: 2013-12-13
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Manifesto

    • Authors: Meredith Quartermain
      Abstract: Poem
      PubDate: 2013-12-13
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Forecast unwrit

    • Authors: Weyman Chan
      Abstract: Poem
      PubDate: 2013-12-13
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Extinctathon: Margaret Atwood’s Urge for an Immanent Episteme in
           Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood

    • Authors: Margrit Talpalaru
      Abstract: The first two novels from Margaret Atwood’s projected MaddAddam eco-trilogy, Oryx and Crake (2003) and The Year of the Flood (2009) depict a corporate capitalism, or corporatism, constantly pushing its limits by privileging unregulated techno-scientific endeavours with palpable results and high financial yield. This lack of regulation—legal, ethical, moral—emerges as the main problem highlighted by the two companion dystopias. This article argues that Atwood critiques the privileging of the techno-scientific epistemology to the detriment of the humanistic one, and emphasizes the need for an integrated episteme in an immanent system. Methodologically, the comparative analysis focuses on close readings of illustrative excerpts from the novels, side by side with Michel Foucault’s theorization of the episteme and Félix Guattari’s concept of the three ecologies, while Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s description of the plane of immanence of capitalism informs the conceptualization of corporatism.
      PubDate: 2013-12-12
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Postcolonial Betrayal? Mysticism and the Past in Nicole
           Brossard’s Hier and Diane Schoemperlen’s Our Lady of the Lost
           and Found

    • Authors: Marie Vautier
      Abstract: Nicole Brossard’s Hier and Diane Schoemperlen’s Our Lady of the Lost and Found were published in 2001. Both novels explore contemporary “turns” in the humanities—turns that can be seen as a betrayal of the secular worldview and the focus on the New World that dominated our literary concerns of the late twentieth century. Brossard’s text “betrays” contemporary literary and cultural considerations in its foregrounding of accumulated Old World knowledge and religious art. In Hier, Brossard makes multiple references to two religious figures of Catholicism: Marie Guyart—Marie de l’Incarnation, the founder of the Ursuline order in Québec—and the Virgin Mary. In this novel, Brossard is beginning to explore the idea of looking to those women associated with the mystical world, knowledge of whom is buried in our collective memories, in order to turn to mysticism as a way of accessing that “high” provided by metaphysical experiences. Diane Schoemperlen’s novel, Our Lady of the Lost and Found (Our Lady), reveals a number of similar preoccupations to those found in Brossard’s Hier. In Our Lady, a narrator/writer, is “visited” by the Virgin Mary near the beginning of the novel, and the text then alternates between credible domestic scenes and stories of other Marian apparitions, most of which, as Schoemperlen assures us in an afterword, are “based on actual documented accounts” (Our Lady 339). Our Lady contains many reflective passages: comments on historiography; philosophy; and reflections on the nature of story, truth, science and history. The didactic impulse is very strong in both novels, and the urge to teach is centered on works of religious art from Old World civilizations. Faced with the turmoil of the contemporary world, the narrator of Our Lady explores that other world: the world of miracles, Marian apparitions and the thin place to which the act of writing takes one. In this article, Marie Vautier explores how these two 2001 novels highlight mystical women of the religious past, in their discussion of art, culture, the Old World versus the New World, and the limits of the contemporary worldview in a (re)turn to mysticism and summa plus ultra experiences. 
      PubDate: 2013-12-12
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Giving the 21st Century a Try: Canadian and Québécois Women
           Writers as Essayists

    • Authors: Christl Verduyn
      Abstract: This article looks at the use of the essay genre by Canadian and Québécois women writers since 2000, in particular essay writing by authors known primarily for their works of fiction and poetry. For many, the essay form has served as an ideal venue for combining new, innovative, experimental and “alternative” forms of writing with concerns of personal and political struggle for social, cultural, economic, and even psychological recognition and justice. The article begins with a brief overview of aspects of essay writing by Canadian and Québécois women writers at the end of the 20th century before turning to some comparative observations that suggest convergences and differences, as well as continuity and departures in essay writing by Canadian and Québécois women writers since the beginning of the 21st century. Convergences are seen in the combination of personal commentary on topics of social, political, national and global relevance with experimental use of the essay genre. They are seen as well in the continuum of these explorations and practices from the last two decades of the 20th century into the first decade of the 21st century, even as the latter brings about new forms of essay writing in the use of the internet and the blog-essay. Differences between Canadian and Québécois women writers’ practice of the essay may be seen as well, notably in what one literary and critical community reads and knows of the other. This stems in large part from language barriers and limited resources for translation, though these have been overcome in some cases such as the collection of essays by Nicole Brossard in English translation, Fluid Arguments (2005). Whether writing in French or in English, Canadian and Québécois women writers as essayists have produced and continue to produce important work that calls for ongoing critical attention. 
      PubDate: 2013-12-12
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Transversal Alliances: White Fantasies of Indigeneity in Suzanne
           Desrochers’s Bride of New France

    • Authors: Eva C. Karpinski
      Abstract: Suzanne Desrochers' novel Bride of New France (2011) constructs interesting historical transnationalities linking the French biopolitics of population implemented by Louis XIV, with the story of filles du roi and encounters with indegeneity in colonial New France. Although her narrative explores the possibility of illicit transversal alliances between the oppressed, in this case involving a poor white French woman and an indigenous man, I argue that its potential to reconfigure gendered and racialized spaces of the Empire is thwarted by its generic indebtedness to the genre of the colonial gothic, preoccupied with the "hauntings" of colonialism and imperialism. Moreover, Desrochers' hybrid text, a product of "miscegenation" between history and literature, relies on Eurocentric stereotypes of the Noble Savage and the bad Indian, which suggests that perhaps even her ostensibly feminist attempt to re-read the imperial moment through the stock repertoire of gothic images, no matter how well intentioned, cannot be free from the risk of re-enacting the discursive violence that was constitutive of colonial representation of the Natives and assertions of cultural hegemony. Ultimately, despite its focus on the subjugation of the reproductive female body as a reluctant site of the production of the nation-state, the effect of Bride may well be considered as reterritorializing the nation albeit from a minoritized French perspective.

      PubDate: 2013-12-12
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Bodies at Risk: Urban Danger in Zsuzsi Gartner’s “City of my
           Dreams” and Maggie Helwig’s Girls Fall Down

    • Authors: Domenic A Beneventi
      Abstract: This article discusses the representation of Toronto and Vancouver as urban landscapes of danger, toxicity, and as sources of corporeal pollution, especially for the poor, the homeless, prostitutes, and women. Maggie Helwig’s Girls Fall Down and Zsusi Gartner’s “City of my Dreams” imagine the city as a verticale space of “fallenness,” both literal and figurative, and show that contemporary Canadian cities are not always the well-ordered places we imagine them to be, but are rather complex, multilayered spaces of risk, bodily danger, economic dispossession, and social alienation.
      PubDate: 2013-12-12
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
  • Translation on Edge: The Wager of Multilingual Poetics in Tessera’s
           Last Volumes (2002-2005)

    • Authors: Elena Basile
      Abstract: As a feminist bilingual journal dedicated to experimental writing, Tessera’s fostering of a concerted dialogue between Francophone and Anglophone women writers played a pioneer role between the 1980s and 1990s in inscribing the question of translation at the heart of feminist discourse. Critical attention has been steadily directed at the work of the journal’s mostly Anglophone first collective (1984-1993), which promoted a hopeful erotics of translation, driven by ‘sextual’ pleasure in the polysemic variances of languages and a deep seated trust in translation’s capacity to modify different languages’ topographies of sexual difference in profound ways. Tessera, however, published regularly for over twenty years and had three different collectives working at its helm. This paper seeks to address the critical imbalance by focusing on the poetics of translation promoted in the last years of Tessera’s life (2002-2005), when operations shifted from Toronto to Montreal and a mostly Francophone Editorial and Advisory Board took over. Indeed, against the optimism of the early bilingual experiments that emphasized common cross-cultural understandings of writing in the feminine, the texts published in the early 2000s consistently draw attention to the constitutively exilic relation to linguistic diversity held by diasporic queer bodies that live in the interstices of overlapping cross-cultural norms. Nathalie Stephens (now Nathanaël), a poet featured prominently in Tessera’s last volumes, is possibly the most significant writer to perform the un-decidable dimensions of such interstitial dwelling.  In particular, I analyze a multilingual text by Stephens published in Tessera in 2002, whose overt intertextual allusions to Nicole Brossard and Suzanne de Lotbinière-Harwood’s bilingual text Sous la langue/Under Tongue provide an interesting terrain of comparison with previous translation poetics. Contrary to the utopic ‘dream of a common language’ of Sous la langue/Under Tongue bilingual cross-contaminations, Stephens’ jagged multilingualism weaves lesbian desire with questions of bodily and cultural/linguistic exile, which provoke a radical queering (and querying) of such dream. At the crossroads of erotic and genealogic affinities Stephens gestures towards a space of collapsed translation, where the ideal “fusion” of tongues evoked by Brossard and de Lotbinière morphs into a painful and yet necessary con-fusion of languages marked by transversal alliances that anchor the text’s ‘je’ to the provisional rootedness of a diasporic memory. Despite the marked shift in tone, at the end of the essay I argue that both Stephens and her predecessors participate in Tessera’s consistent commitment to inscribing translation as a creative practice of heterotopic displacement and semiotic proliferation. A commitment, I would argue, which remains to date singularly feminist and singularly productive.
      PubDate: 2013-12-12
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2013)
       
 
 
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