Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Dictionnaire Des Oeuvres Littéraires Du Québec: 1986-1990

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Dictionnaire Des Oeuvres Littéraires Du Québec: 1986-1990

Article excerpt

Aurélien Boivin (ed.), Dictionnaire des oeuvres littéraires du Québec: 1986-1990, vol. 8 (Montréal: Éditions Fides, 2011), 1151 pp. Cased. $89.95. ISBN 978-2-7621-2891-8.

The eighth volume of the famous Dictionnaire des oeuvres littéraires du Québec covers the years 1986-90 in all genres: novels, poetry, plays, tales, essays, short stories, published scripts, children books and theoretical books. Presenting most of the literary works published in Quebec or by Québécois authors living outside Canada (like Anne Hébert and Jacques Poulin), the Dictionnaire des oeuvres littéraires du Québec is much more than just an A-Z collection of abstracts or book reviews. In fact, this hefty reference book provides hundreds of entries (usually of two or three pages each) for all the Québécois literary works, including an almost exhaustive bibliography of articles and theses written about each of the selected works, plus an analysis of the critical reception given to each of them. The attention given to the reception is perhaps the most important dimension of this dictionary and its raison d'être.

Among the hundreds of books presented here, there are a variety of classics: Le Coup de poing (a novel by Louis Caron, pp. 191-2), L'Écran du bonheur (a wonderful collection of short essays by novelist Jacques Godbout, pp. 275-6), Le Vieux chagrin (a novel by Jacques Poulin, pp. 949-53), Moments postmodernes dans le roman québécois (by Professor Janet Paterson, pp. 562-5), and former Premier René Lévesque's memoirs, Attendez que je me rappelle (pp. 47-50), which was then a bestseller in both French and English. But these well-known titles do not give an adequate picture of the amount of information brought by this enormous research tool: many lesser-known authors included here had captured as well the Zeitgeist and the ideologies of the Québécois culture during the decade which followed the first Referendum from 1980 and the new Canadian Constitution from 1982 (adopted against Quebec's wishes). …

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