H-France List Archives

  • Message-Id: <199604041002.LAA04320@listserv.rl.ac.uk>
  • Date: Tue, 4 Mar 1997 13:23:00 -0800
  • From: "Bertram M. Gordon" <bmgordon@mills.edu>
  • Subject: Re: Vichy and Quebec (fwd)

Date: Mon, 3 Mar 1997 20:47:57 -0500
From: Jacques Dagneau <Jacques.Dagneau@hst.ulaval.ca>

>Date: Sun, 2 Mar 1997 16:44:06 -0500
>From: Donald G Wileman <dwileman@knet.flemingc.on.ca>
>On PATRICE GROULX's comment that
>" la chasse aux separatistes est devenu un veritable
>>sport, et toutes les munitions sont bonnes"
>it might be well to bear in mind that this is a living controversy in
>Canada, and that ALL claims should be viewed with scepticism and verified,
>so far as possible, directly. The Quebec intelligentsia tends towards
>language-based nationalism (after all, what class keeps that particular
>fame?), and people trying to argue against the grain have been themselves
>"hunted" and subjected to something rather like Orwell's "groupthink".
>People new to the subject but interested might try a seminal work by one o=
>the revered figures of modern Quebec nationalism, the abbe Lionel Groulx'
>_La Naissance d'une Race._ I will refrain from telling you what to expect,
>since I think this is one of the rare texts which DOES "speak for itself"
>pretty unambiguously.

I was afraid of this!  One seems unable to discuss Vichy and the undoubted
sympathy it did evoke in some of Quebec's elites without raising the
(somewhat different) question of the character of the independance movement
in present day Quebec.

Of course, the question of nationalism is alive and well in Quebec and, of
course, so is the matter of its character (=ABlanguage-based=BB is a clear
codeword:  we know what is meant or suggested, don't we?  Like exclusion or
persecution of allophones).

One can debate every which way the claim that Groulx was an antisemite, as
Esther Delisle argues;  he certainly was adamantly opposed to any foreign
cultural influence and viewed Jews and freemasons as dangerous potential
sources of contamination...  He believed in a French and Catholic mission
in America (is anyone smiling?), but this seems to me to have been mostly a
cultural and religious mystique.  Racism, as we all (should) know, is
something else again.

The main point, exasperating to a lot of people here, is the tendancy to
ascribe Groulx's seventy years old ideas (=ABseminal=BB?) to present day Qu=
intellectuals.  As if no other kind of nationalism were possible (would
patriotism go over easier?)

Ah well...

Jacques Dagneau

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