Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Museum of Bone and Water

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Museum of Bone and Water

Article excerpt

Nicole Brossard, Museum of Bone and Water, trans. by Robert Majzels and Erin Mouré (Toronto: House of Anansi, 2003), 120pp. Paper. $17.95. ISBN 0-8878-4686-6.

Nicole Brossard's Museum of Bone and Water, translated by Robert Majzels and Erin Mouré, confirms, once again, that Brossard is a poet's poet. Brossard has been an important figure in Québécois culture and feminist avant-garde networks throughout North America and Europe for over twenty years, but one does not have to be a French feminist to get lost in the seductive sensual shifts, spatial wanderings, and linguistic repetitions that propel this collection of poetry - and the reader - elsewhere. The collection moves effortlessly through multiplicities of time and space, forming a dreamscape in which sense and nonsense converge in the horizon between sleep and waking, in the 'baroque yes' of a 'slow morning's procession' (p. 5). The word 'morning' arises repeatedly in this collection and appears to refer to both the dawn of day and a process of mourning that brings forward a historicity of loss.

The collection is divided into seven sections, with four subsections in the fifth section. These partial objects are connected, in a shifting assemblage, as the speaker moves like a flâneur through the museums and monuments of civilisations that house the skeletons of humanity. However, it is the buried, rather than the displayed bones, the unspoken heterogeneity of historical events, that come back to life in the fluidity of Brossard's living language, 'the pulse of our veins' under the watch of time (p. …

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