While the Miron biography is a considerable assessment of the one of the great figures of nationalist Quebec, the publication this month of a new novel by Catherine Mavrikakis is an event, too, and one of the surest signs of vitality among a younger generation of Quebec writers.
And then there's Perrine Leblanc, aged 31.
Nelly Arcan's Humilation on Tout le monde en parle13 September 2011
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.
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 2011