Nelly Arcan's Humilation on Tout le monde en parle

Nelly Arcan, the talented and beautiful Quebec writer who committed suicide in September 2009 (see my Globe Books post here) has published a controversial posthumous story called Shame (La Honte).

In the story she alludes -- without naming names -- to her appearance on the hugely popular Sunday-night Quebec television show Tout le monde en parle in September 2007, when star Guy A. Lepage and his associate Dany Turcotte teased her on her décolleté.

Now Lepage complains on the show's blog that Arcan “demonizes him” in the story, attributing to him nefarious intentions that had a disastrous effect on her. He claims to be deeply troubled by Arcan’s story, since he had always enjoyed her books. Not wanting to create a media storm around a writer who died two years ago, he just suggests we all read the story, take a look at the 2007 television interview in question, and decide for ourselves.

He adds that it is impossible to judge the extent to which Arcan’s performance on the show provoked audience reactions that may have caused her distress.

La Honte appears in Arcan’s most recent book, Burqa de chair (Burka of Flesh) published posthumously just yesterday by Éditions du Seuil.

The book is introduced by novelist and essayist Nancy Huston, who told La Presse literary editor Chantal Guy that she found Lepage's treatment of Arcan “unpardonable.”

You would never see a man sexually humiliated like that in front of millions of viewers. I'm sure he doesn’t feel guilty, but he is, whether or not he knows it, as are others incapable of recognizing this woman’s intelligence.

Viewing the video this evening, I would say Arcan looks increasingly uncomfortable as the interview proceeds.

A Nelly Arcan website has recently been unveiled.


Linda Leith

© Linda Leith 2011

.ll.

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

More articles

From Margaret O'Brien: John Vaillant's The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

The Tiger is a Poe-like thriller, an analysis of post-perestroika economic disintegration (with plenty of black humour included), a treatise on biodiversity, an overview of paleoanthropology, and a completely absorbing read. But its essence is an intricate and measured plea for humans to understand and value our co-existence with the natural world.

Women, Words, and Leadership

On 11 April, 2016, Linda Leith participated in TD Blue Met Talks: Femmes & leadership | Women & Leadership during the Opening Cocktail of the 18th Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival.

Blue Met had invited several women of influence to speak about the power of words, women in leadership and how books have inspired and changed them and their careers. The other participants were Louise-Ann MaziakMarie-Josée BédardSuzanne Fortier, and Marie Giguère

8-Logos-bottom