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Modern Literature Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2011

Kansas State University Libraries

Gérard Bessette

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Full-Text Articles in Modern Literature

Gérard Bessette (1920-2005): A Monstre Sacré In French Canadian Literature, Steven Urquhart Jun 2011

Gérard Bessette (1920-2005): A Monstre Sacré In French Canadian Literature, Steven Urquhart

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

This article examines Gérard Bessette’s relative marginalization in French Canadian literature by means of rereading his first novel, La Bagarre (1958) in terms of its monstrous aesthetic and its rapport with subsequent novels, notably Le Semestre (1979). Bessette’s first novel allows us not only to understand the deviant nature of his aesthetic and its evolution, but also how it relates to his individualistic and transgressive position with the French Canadian literary institution in which he embodies a monstre sacré, an author and a character of sorts, who is at once revered and cursed.