La Vile Au Coeur De la Nation: L'utilisation Du Passe Dans L'elaboration De L'identite Urbaine. (1)

By Berube, Harold | Urban History Review, March 2002 | Go to article overview

La Vile Au Coeur De la Nation: L'utilisation Du Passe Dans L'elaboration De L'identite Urbaine. (1)


Berube, Harold, Urban History Review


Resume

Les ceremonies commemoratives entourant le centenaire de l'incorporation de Toronto (1934) et le tricentenaire de la fondation de Montreal (1942) sont l'occasion d'elaborer des discours qui temoignent de l'importance de l'experience urbaine dans l'elaboration et la transformation des identites nationales au [20.sup.e] siecle. Le rabbin Maurice N. Eisendrath et l'abbe Lionel Groulx prononcent, a quelques annees d'intervalle, des communications qui mettent le passe au service du present et de l'avenir, dans le but de faire la promotion d'une identite urbaine, garante de l'epanouissement de leur nation respective. Au dela des divergences entre les hommes et leurs ideologies, des points de convergence fondamentaux apparaissent. Ainsi, tous deux utilisent des strategies discursives analogues, dans le but ultime de lier un present incertain a un passe [much less than] fort [much greater than], pour forger et renforcer l'identite collective, tant urbaine que nationale.

Summary

The commemorative ceremonies surrounding the 100th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation in 1934 and the tercentenary of Montreal's foundation in 1942 were opportune moments to produce discourses which underline the importance of the urban experience in the creation and the transformation of national identities during the 20th century. A rabbi, Maurice N. Eisendrath, and an abbe, Lionel Groulx, broadcast, within a few years, speeches which put the past at the service of the present and of the future, with the goal of promoting an urban identity as guarantee of the flourishing of their respective nations. Beyond important differences between the two men and their ideologies, fundamental similarities appear upon analyzing them: both use similar discursive strategies, with the ultimate goal of linking an uncertain present to a stronger past, to create and reinforce the collective identity, as much urban as national.

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Milieu de vie de la majorite des habitants du monde occidental, la ville n'a pas, au cours du 20e siecle, occupe dans l'imaginaire collectif la meme importance identitaire que l'Etat-nation. Elle a toutefois genere, travers les discours, les ceremonies, les fetes et las autres moments forts qui ponctuent la vie en milieu urbain une structure ideologique et identitaire complexe dont il ne faudrait pas sous-estimer la vigueur, d'autant plus que dans le contexte actuel ce milieu pourrait bien devenir un des successeurs de l'Etat-nation au titre de vecteur identitaire principal du monde occidental.

Par l'intermediaire d'une analyse comparative de deux sources, rattachees respectivement aux celebrations commemoratives du centenaire de l'incorporation de la ville de Toronto on 1934 et a celles du tricentenaire de la fondation heroique de Montreal par Maisonneuve en 1942, et du contexte dans lequel elles ont ete produites, nous souhaitons mettre en lumiere les mecanismes de cette utilisation du passe dans la transformation et la promotion de l'identite urbaine. Nous verrons comment, au-dela des differences nationales, culturelles ou ideologiques, le modele narratif utilise par les auteurs de ces discours est, a quelques nuances pres, le meme. La singularite de chacun des discours est surtout le resultat du contexte dans equal ils ont ete produits et du passe a partir duquel on a constitue un recit utilisable.

Nous aborderons tout d'abord quelquas-uns des postulats theoriques qui sous-tendent notre analyse, puis le contexte de production et de distribution des deux sources: [much less than]Toronto's Centennial Looking Backward[much greater than], la retranscription d'un discours du rabbin Maurice N. Eisendrath (2) et [much less than]Ville-Marie: Joyau de'l Histoire coloniale [much greater than], retranscription d'une allocution de l'abbe Lionel Groulx (3). Cette mise en contexte nous eclairera tant sur le contenu que sur la portee da ces sources, le discours identitaire davant etre representatif et diffuse pour etre efficace et pertinent. …

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