UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Anne Hebert's Le tombeau des rois 1989

You don't seem to have a PDF reader installed, try download the pdf

Item Metadata

Download

Media
UBC_1989_A8 M45.pdf
UBC_1989_A8 M45.pdf
UBC_1989_A8 M45.pdf [ 5.67MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 1.0097878.json
JSON-LD: 1.0097878+ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 1.0097878.xml
RDF/JSON: 1.0097878+rdf.json
Turtle: 1.0097878+rdf-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 1.0097878+rdf-ntriples.txt
Citation
1.0097878.ris

Full Text

ANNE HEBERT'S LE TOMBEAU DES ROIS: A FEMINIST READING By LAURA JEAN MCNAIRN B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1983 B.C. Teacher's C e r t i f i c a t e , The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1984 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of French) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1989 0 Laura Jean McNairn, 1989. In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this' thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) A B S T R A C T During the f o r t i e s , when Anne H6bert was w r i t i n g the poems of Le Tombeau des r o l s f Quebec w r i t e r s and c r i t i c s (most of whom were male) were consumed by the oppr e s s i o n of the Du p l e s s i s e r a . Hubert's c o u s i n , Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau f e l t so g r e a t l y the pressure to l i v e a l i f e d e f i n e d by the Other, t h a t h i s pain not on l y produced great anguish, but i n s p i r e d v e r y notable p o e t r y . His metaphor of the French Canadian as a caged b i r d r e s u r f a c e s i n Hubert's work. In f a c t , the motif of the b i r d appears throughout Le Tombeau des r o i s . The b i r d as a guide, although b l i n d e d , leads the heroine to the pla c e where she must c o n f r o n t death: the tomb. The tomb or cave i s , however, not on l y the pl a c e of death, but a l s o of r e b i r t h . The tomb becomes the "womb" of the Mother where s i s t e r s and br o t h e r s are reborn. Images of s a c r i f i c e , of r e b i r t h , reappear c o n s t a n t l y i n women's l i t e r a t u r e and mythology. The aim of t h i s t h e s i s i s to r e i n t e r p r e t these m o t i f s and others found i n Anne Hubert's poetr y . I t i s p a r t of the f e m i n i s t p r o j e c t to r e v i s e the mythology of P a t r i a r c h y so th a t women and women's w r i t i n g might be 'read' a u t h e n t i c a l l y . T h i s approach i s an attempt to break down the c r i t i c a l w a l l s which have d e f i n e d Anne H6bert i n a c l o s e d , p a t r i a r c h a l way. Anne Hubert was w r i t i n g while the oppressive f o r c e s of the C a t h o l i c Church s u f f o c a t e d women and men who were d e s p e r a t e l y i i s e a r c h i n g out t h e i r own i d e n t i t y . Women were d e f i n e d as e i t h e r "mothers" or " v i r g i n s " . Mothers had the r e s p o n s a b i l i t y to m a i n tain the French language and c u l t u r e , while unmarried women, were burdened with the g u i l t of t h e i r " e v i l sex"; women were m e t a p h o r i c a l l y s t r i p p e d of t h e i r f l e s h so as not to be "temptresses". In Le Tombeau des r o i s , the heroine i s t o r n between being the "good g i r l " and breaking f r e e from the "house" which has c o n f i n e d her. Other women w r i t e r s express the same s t r u g g l e i n t h e i r t e x t s . I have attempted t o search out some of the images and m o t i f s which connect Anne Hubert to modern women w r i t e r s , to pic k up an i n t e r t e x t u a l thread which weaves through these t e x t s and connects Hubert's own t e x t s . By making these connections, I have attempted t o h i g h l i g h t a hidden s u b t e x t , an " 6 c r i t u r e au f6 m i n i n " which has been concealed by the dominant c r i t i c i s m of of her work. T r a d i t i o n a l c r i t i c s of Anne Hubert's poems and prose have agreed t h a t t h i s woman has played an important r o l e i n the s t r u g g l e f o r n a t i o n a l i d e n t i t y . That i s one i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . I have emphasized t h a t women have been doubly e x p l o i t e d , and th a t Hubert's s t r u g g l e towards the "feminine" has been hidden beneath the s u r f a c e of t r a d i t i o n a l c r i t i c i s m . To crack the calm s u r f a c e of the s t a t u s quo, to d i v e down i n t o the deep, unmapped waters, to f o l l o w the thread back to the "womb", i s to accompany t h i s author on her quest i n Le Tombeau des r o i s . i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS A b s t r a c t l i Acknowledgement v Epigraph v i I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 Notes 18 Chapter 1 22 S h a t t e r i n g the M i r r o r s ; F o l l o w i n g the Thread back to the Mother i n "Le Tombeau des r o i s " i . The Father's House: Breaking down the Walls 22 i i . To Eve Reborn: a Journey back to the Mother 34 i i i . Women's W r i t i n g : T e l l i n g the Truth 41 i v . Beyond C u l t u r e : the Other s i d e where S i s t e r s Chatter 48 v. D i v i n g i n t o the Wreck: D i s c o v e r i n g the Womb 58 Notes 63 Chapter 2 Out of the Womb: a Process of R e b i r t h 69 i . L i g h t : from P e n e t r a t i o n to R e s u r r e c t i o n 69 i i . Towards the Mother: an Act of % R e - t e l l i n g ' 75 i i i . The B i r d : the L i b e r a t i n g Agent 80 Notes 102 Co n c l u s i o n And Our S t o r v i s One 107 Notes 120 B i b l i o g r a p h y 122 i v ACKNOWLEDGEMENT W r i t i n g a t h e s i s i s indeed a c h a l l e n g e . Without the constant support of my f a m i l y and f r i e n d s , I would have not s u r v i v e d as w e l l as I have these l a s t two y e a r s . I would l i k e to thank e s p e c i a l l y my mother, Beth, who was always t h e r e , always, i n every way imaginable. My s i s t e r Heather and her husband A l l a n , c o n s t a n t l y c u r i o u s about my "progress", g e n t l y nudged me towards my goal when I needed i t the most. My brother Ken, whose admirable p a t i e n c e and computer s k i l l s made t h i s t h e s i s p o s s i b l e , appeared, at a moment's n o t i c e , and l e d me out of the chaos I had e i t h e r c r e a t e d or, of which I was a v i c t i m . Ken's wife Susan always l i s t e n e d i n t e n t l y , asked earnest q u e s t i o n s , and showed genuine i n t e r e s t i n my t h e s i s . For a l l of these t h i n g s , I am t r u l y g r a t e f u l . I must a l s o thank my l a t e f a t h e r , Ian, i n whose memory I d e d i c a t e t h i s t h e s i s . The e x t r a o r d i n a r y support of my r e l a t i v e s and f r i e n d s never f a i l e d to buoy me up a t those c r u c i a l moments. I thank them a l l , and e s p e c i a l l y M a r i l y n and Pat T h o r s t e i n s s o n , without whose love and f r i e n d s h i p I would have indeed found these two years d i f f i c u l t . I would, of course, give great thanks to my a d v i s o r , V a l e r i e Raoul, who under gr e a t time p r e s s u r e , managed to read and r e - read, to suggest, i n very s p e c i f i c ways, what needed to be done. Her enthusiasm, never daunted by untimely v i s i t s , helped me to keep up my momentum and good s p i r i t s . Thank you a l l . v But there come times-perhaps t h i s i s one o£ them- when we have to take o u r s e l v e s more s e r i o u s l y or d i e ; when we have t o p u l l back from the i n c a n t a t i o n s , rhythms we've moved t o t h o u g h t l e s s l y , and d i s e n t h r a l l o u r s e l v e s , bestow o u r s e l v e s to s i l e n c e , or a severer l i s t e n i n g , cleansed of o r a t o r y , formulas, choruses, laments, s t a t i c crowding the wi r e s . . . But i n f a c t we were always l i k e t h i s , r o o t l e s s , dismemebered: knowing i t makes the d i f f e r e n c e . B i r t h s t r i p p e d our b i r t h r i g h t from us, t o r e us from a woman, from women, from o u r s e l v e s so e a r l y on and the whole chorus t h r o b b i n g at our ears l i k e midges, t o l d us not h i n g , nothing of o r i g i n s , nothing we needed to know, nothing t h a t c o u l d re-member us... Homesick f o r myself, f o r her... "Transcendental Etude" Adrienne R i c h I n t r o d u c t i o n During the 1940s, when Anne Hubert was writing the poems included in the volume Le Tombeau des r o i s r the epicentre of French Canada was what Denis Moniere terms a "nationalisme de survivance qui consistait a defendre des droits acquis, a preserver la religion catholique et la langue frangaise."l Until the Quiet Revolution, the family was not only the centre of this culture, but also the key to maintaining and developing the culture's identity. Marie Couillard notes that the father/husband of the family had been given an "autorit6 consacree par l'Eglise et 16gitim6e par le Code c i v i l " , 2 whereas the mother/wife was accorded a certain prestige by being "l'&me, le coeur, le noeud vital."3 As Paula Gilbert Lewis points out in T r a d i t i o n a l i s m , . N a t i o n a l i s m and Feminism,, the patriarchal society dominated by the Catholic Church had "traditionally imposed upon women the role of guardians of francophone culture, that i s , of religion and of the French language, i t s e l f guardian of the faith."4 As a result, women's reality became enclosed "within the literary archetype of the all-powerful mother, resigned to her destiny"(ibjjjj.) of being a faithful servant to man and God and the bearer of those children who would continue the search for a solid national 1 i d e n t i t y . P a t r i c i a smart reminds us that through t h i s "revanche des berceaux" the c l e r i c s b e l i e v e d t h a t French Canada could e s t a b l i s h a strong i d e n t i t y and autonomy.5 The c l e r i c s and h i s t o r i a n s of the past were aware of the gradual a s s i m i l a t i o n of the French Canadians by E n g l i s h Canada. The E a r l of Durham had claimed i n 1839 t h a t t h i s was "un peuple sans h i s t o i r e n i l i t t e r a t u r e " 6 , a remark which caused h i s t o r i a n Frangois-Xavier Garneau and many others to f i g h t f o r t h e i r s u r v i v a l through a p p r o p r i a t i n g t h e i r own language and v a l o r i z i n g t h e i r c u l t u r e . In 1867, the poet Octave Cremazie b e l i e v e d that i f French Canadians spoke a language that was t h e i r s o n l y , and not some poor r e p l i c a of another, then perhaps they might break free from t h e i r imprisonment: Ce qui manque au Canada, c'est d'avoir une langue a l u i . S i nous p a r l i o n s i r o q u o i s ou huron, notre l i t t e r a t u r e v i v r a i t . Malheureusement nous parlons et ecrivons d'une assez piteuse fagon, i l e s t v r a i , l a langue de Bossuet et de Racine. Nous avons beau d i r e et beau f a i r e , nous ne serons t o u j o u r s , au poi n t de vue l i t t e r a i r e , qu'une simple c o l o n i e . 7 L o r r a i n e Weir r e f e r s to Michele Lalonde's poem 'Speak white' as an example of the dilemma of the c o l o n i z e d w r i t e r who must l e a r n the language of another t o be " v i s i b l e w i t h i n the dominant paradigm".8 This i s the Quebecois experience, and Weir suggests that i t i s a l s o woman's; tha t she i s the underground w r i t e r "who l i v e s w i t h i n a c u l t u r e whose v o i c e and 2 language can never be authentic f o r her." To speak white, to speak man, i s "to be consumed by i t . N ( l M i L ) According to Weir, women have been "defined out" of the masculine paradigm and can only enter i n t o i t by "being compromised, perhaps destroyed" and instead of being l i b e r a t e d by t h i s compromise, they experience "an i n t r o j e c t i o n of v i o l e n c e i n t o the s e l f . " 9 In the mid 1800s, French Canadians, i n order not t o be "defined out", had to preserve the language of t h e i r ancestors as best they c o u l d , but were impeded by the E n g l i s h . The flow of c l e r g y was i n t e r r u p t e d and French t r a v e l l e r s were not allowed e n t r y to the colony.10 Gerard Tougas p o i n t s out that i t was not s u r p r i s i n g , as a r e s u l t , that French Canadian w r i t e r s , "dont l a langue e t a i t menacee, cherchassent refuge dans l a t r a d i t i o n l i t t e r a i r e frangaise."11 By emulating French masters, by remembering the past, " l e s poetes, l e s h i s t o r i e n s et l e s romanciers Canadians du XIXe s i e c l e auront f a i t p l u s gu'imiter des modeles f r a n ? a i s : i l s se seront trouves en eux."12 To be de f i n e d by another, to be other than o n e s e l f , became unacceptable to some w r i t e r s and academics l i k e the h i s t o r i a n and c l e r i c l'abbe Groulx. In the beginning of the 20th century, Groulx a n t i c i p a t e d the p o s s i b i l i t y of never f i n d i n g a s p e c i f i c i t y of the French Canadian i d e n t i t y l 3 ; t h i s a n x i e t y foreshadowed the rage which was to explode i n the 60s. Anne 3 Hebert screamed out i n 1963, i n " F i n du monde" from her poems inAdlfcg, " j e s u i s l e c r i et l a b l e s s u r e , j e s u i s l a femme a ton f l a n c qu'on outrage et qu'on v i o l e . " Along with others searching f o r t h e i r own v o i c e , Hebert b e l i e v e s i n " l a s o l i t u d e rompue comme du pain par l a poesie." (PoAmas p. 71)14 W r i t i n g i s the only way not only to f i n d one's i d e n t i t y , but a l s o t o r e j e c t the v i o l a t i o n of the t y r a n t , that mysterious %on' who could be one of many oppressors. Gerard Tougas reminds us of one of the main sources of oppression w e l l ensconced i n French Canadian w r i t i n g . The i m i t a t i o n of French models had become " l a source de l a mediocrite de l a l i t t e r a t u r e canadienne."15 To break that m i r r o r , which was r e f l e c t i n g a f a l s e and fragmented image back to the Quebec readers, became a goal of the French Canadian w r i t e r . To refuse to %speak white' or 'French', but to begin t o " d e c r i r e l e Canada t e l q u ' i l { l ' a u t e u r ] l e voyait"16, was to begin to speak as and f o r o n e s e l f . In 1931, Al b e r t P e l l e t i e r questioned how one can express oneself de f a j o n o r i g i n e l l e et viv a n t e dans une langue academique que nous ne parlons pas, que nous n'avons jamais pratiquee que dans l e s l i v r e s ? C'est imposer a nos e c r i v a i n s 1 ' o b l i g a t i o n ...de rendre ce q u ' i l s v o i e n t , eprouvent, ressentent de neuf et de s i n g u l i e r , par des souvenirs l i v r e s q u e s . . . E t s i notre p a t o i s devient t r o p d i f f i c i l e aux academiciens, eh bi e n , t a n t mieux; c'est que nous aurons une langue a nous...Si l e s Fran?ais veulent nous l i r e , l i s nous t r a d u i r o n t , comme l i s t r a d u i s e n t l a l i t t e r a t u r e provengalel7. L i k e P e l l e t i e r , other w r i t e r s began searching not f o r a l o s t 4 voice but f o r a voice that had never been t h e i r s , f o r t h e i r own tongue; f o r a language which would express t h e i r own r e a l i t y and not "des b a r i o l a g e s Cet] une l i t t e r a t u r e de pales r e f l e t s " . 1 8 A f t e r the Second World War p r i n c i p l e s , morals and r e l i g i o n a l l had t o undergo r e v i s i o n l 9 . Pernand Dumont remarks that French Canadians found themselves f r o z e n i n a n e u t r a l spot; un "point zero entre l e passe et l ' a v e n i r " 2 0 from which they could look back at the " v i e i l l e s n o s t a l g i e s muettes et [&] l ' u t o p i e de l ' a v e n i r . " 2 1 Dumont's emphasis on speaking, on breaking the s i l e n c e and r i d d i n g oneself of e a r l i e r *balbutiements•22 i s a common thread which has been weaving through Quebec l i t e r a t u r e s i n c e the War. In 1948, with the p u b l i c a t i o n of the manifesto Rafua g l o b a l f there was an e x p l o s i o n of r e b e l l i o n a g a i n s t the past, a r e f u s a l of a h i s t o r y which had s t e r i l i z e d , ordered and muted French Canadians. Under the l e a d e r s h i p of Paul-Emile Borduas, t h i s p u b l i c a t i o n was to be the c a t a l y s t to " e c l a t e r l e s cadres t r a d i t i o n n e l s de l a poesie canadienne."23 Guy Robert, notes that the i n d i v i d u a l , empowered by the c o l l e c t i v e , began to have the force to "se debarasser de tous l e s c o l o n i s a t e u r s qui l u i ptsent"24. Fernand O u e l l e t t e speaks of r e b i r t h , as w e l l as of "un r e f u s de l a v i e souterraine"25, of a n i g h t or darkness which had s u f f o c a t e d the French Canadian, and kept him from f i n d i n g h i s true voice and speaking h i s own experience. 5 women writers in Quebec shared this experience of oppression, and tentatively began to reveal the history of their own oppression whose roots are deeply embedded in the powerful forces of the Church. Catholic doctrines had imposed Nune religion qui dompte la chair N26 and demanded quiet, obedient submission to God and to man. And yet, in early writing, women writers were beginning to test the boundaries of their oppression. Patricia Smart remarks that women were relegated to the status of being "other"; bound by their patriarchally defined role of "mere mythique", and excluded from the patriarchal lineage of God the Father to God the Son27, they began to whisper their secrets to each other. This 'bavardage' between women is an exchange of words which does not necessarily lead to a final signification, to closure or even to sense. This burbling, a %balbutiement• amongst themselves, this "foule de riens feminins" surfaces in Laure Conan's Angellne de Montbrun (1884).28 It proved impossible, though, to escape totally from the powers which had defined women as muted, submissive creatures. As in the case of Hebert and Conan, women exhibited, in their writing and in their heroines, a tension between being the good, quiet, l i t t l e g i r l and a woman screaming her rage. The pull in two directions is evident in Conan's choice of wording in AngAline. in one instance, Conan's revision from the original edition reveals her awareness of the Church's power over her. The author yields to this power and changes an image of God's breaking her 6 to one of God's grace of silence. Laurent Mailhot notes the change: "'Puisque Dieu a commence qu'il acheve de me briser' (edition originale) sera remplace par...*Dieu m'a f a i t cette grace de ne jamais murmurer.'"29 Woman has been silenced since her beginnings. This silence had been imposed long before the silencing of the French Canadians. According to Frances Beer, woman has been morally crippled and made mute by the dominant powers since Eve's disobedience to God. Woman has been perceived as temptress, as "janua diaboli" or devil's gateway, since the days of Jerome, Anthony and Augustine30. Her identity has been defined by men. Temptress and witch or virgin and princess have been women's alternative roles, isolated or burned i f the one, and stripped of flesh and passion i f the other. Woman was defined in the Middle Ages by clerics like Andreas Capellanus, as "a l i a r , a drundar, a babbler, no keeper of secrets, too much given to wantonness, prone to every evil"31. And having believed this, woman has become silent, has entered, Madeleine Gagnon remarks, "dans les regies du jeu de nos conquerants; nous les avons mime aimes, ces regies et ces conquerants et nous les aimons encore"32. Gilles Marcotte interprets Conan's "style de couventine" as having 'played the game'. The muted voice, however, reveals "l'abime du desespoir" and "la grande clarte du desabusementN33. Marcotte explains that this "neant", this "dereliction" in which Angeline is confined is the result of 7 " 1 ' i n t e r d i c t i o n p a r f a i t e et absolue" of the f a t h e r s who "forment ecran devant l a v i e a v i v r e , devant l e present [...et] t i r e n t a eux toute l ' e x i s t e n c e d i s p o n i b l e " 3 4 . The f a t h e r creates t h i s "abtme" i n t o which the daughter s l i d e s and where she remains mute, absent. Metaphorical cages - the c i t y , an apartment, a subway, a cave, the e a r t h , her body, a house - heroines, present and past, have been caught i n these p a t r i a r c h a l c o n s t r u c t s . To break free from them has been an on-going, f r u s t r a t i n g s t r u g g l e , that f o r each woman alone has been a seemingly impossible task. i n her r e c e n t l y published book B e r t i e dans l a malaon du pAre, P a t r i c i a Smart suggests that i n women's w r i t i n g there begins "une tran s f o r m a t i o n dans l a s t r u c t u r e de l a Maison du Pare [...] apportee par une anergic". This energy perhaps f i n d s i t s source i n the "rapprochement [qu i ] s'est e f f e c t u e entre l e s personnages feminina - f i l l e s et mere, soeurs, amies ou amantes"35. The phenomenon of women speaking w i t h women, breaking the s i l e n c e , and thus s h a t t e r i n g the Father's house, was but a weak tremor when Conan was w r i t i n g . Madeleine Oagnon notes t h a t women caught i n t h i s p r i s o n , "n'avaient pas bien des choi x : meres ou put a i n s ; ou vi e r g e s ou f o l l e s " 3 6 . The Church and p a t r i a r c h y had defined t h i s r e a l i t y f o r Conan, as f o r French w r i t e r s such as C o l e t t e , Sand and other s . But even so def i n e d , they wrote. "Nonnes ou f o l l e s . Lueurs en tous cas. Quelques v o i x se sont i n s c r i t e s malgre tout - hors t r a d i t i o n - 8 dans l ' h i s t o i r e [...June h i s t o i r e a d t t e r r e r , a d e c h i f f r e r . " 3 7 To reread, to b r i n g back these "a!eules e c r i v a i n e s " i s , f o r Oagnon, to be part of them, to expose a "tra c e de v i e " ( l b l d . ) which connects us with our foremothers, a *£il' which weaves woman's h i s t o r y , woman's s t o r y , together i n t o a new p a t t e r n of the l i g h t and dark which women have experienced then and now. This her i t a g e has to be brought to the centre of the t a p e s t r y from the margins, s h a t t e r i n g the o l d s t o r i e s and t e l l i n g new ones. The goal i s to break free from what Marcotte d e f i n e s as " l a femme-ideale et l a femme-peche, l ' o r g i e et l e c i e l bleu"38, to r e j e c t " l a Sagesse", the image of a "terre-mere" who "dispense en abondance...la n o u r r i t u r e " , but whom men must possess and conquer39. Anne Hebert i s among the heritage of women's vo i c e s to be evaluated, and was h e r s e l f expressing a r e - e v a l u a t i o n of the feminine. A women speaking to women, yet caught i n Quebec's s t r u g g l e to f i n d i t s own v o i c e , she wrote the poems of Le. Tombeau des r o l s during the decade which precedes i t s p u b l i c a t i o n i n 1953. The 40s were years of change. Mailhot notes t h a t male w r i t e r s , l i k e Hubert's cousin Saint-Denys Garneau, A l a i n Grandbois, Gaston Miron, Roland Giguere, and Gatien Lapointe, were breaking syntax, u p s e t t i n g the l i n e a r and the c h r o n o l o g i c a l , searching out c o n t r a s t s and oxymorons which would "Derouter, dtpayser, d e f i g u r e r , puis r e t a b l i r l ' h o r i z o n , retrouver l e centre"40. Or, suggests Miron, they would 9 "reprendre quelque chose de deteriore; ramasser la paille qui a servi a proteger les champs de la gelee, mais qui peut encore servlr"41. in L ' H Q I B M rapaine, Miron see writers (most of whom were men) caught between "la volonte d'ecrire et la necessity de parler, entre la celebration et le combat". It was in this era that poets were beginning to create a poetry which was "asymetrique, d*chire"42. Needing to shout out their oppression, which the Church had imposed, these men f i n a l l y began to exhibit, in their writing, their fragmented souls. In the 60s Paul Chamberland, in Terre Quebec ('64), produced a poetry which Mailhot describes as "raturee, brisee, pi*tin*e"43. The c r i t i c remarks that Yves Therlault, in Cul- de-sac ( f61), wrote "en lignes bristes et en spirale ...construit sur le vertige - la composition (discours delirant, fragment*...) est elle-mftme une crevasse, comme celle oft agonise le heros-victime w44. Chamber land interpreted lojiai as a "sous-langue" which symbolised "la langue en partie defaite d'un peuple defait". The use of 1oual r shared by this fragmented people, symbolically attempted to "tuer en soi le colonise."45 And yet, Anne Hebert has always written in impeccable French. How can her poetry be situated in relation ot the emergence of iconoclastic, nationalist texts? Clement Moisan describes Hubert's poetry as the expression of an interieur solitude which recounts this "drame collectif"46 of French Canadians. He claimed that Hebert is 10 caught in a dream, subjected to a magical force to which "comme le faucon aveugle du 'Tombeau des Rois', elie se soumet, elie accepte dans cette descente au tombeau d'aller a la rencontre du rtel"47. Moisan reminds his readers that Hebert and others at that time had been trapped in what Giguere called "La Grande ttoirceur", during the Duplessis regime (1936-60)48. Poets and artists trying to find expression for their oppression in new art forms were pushed underground, situated in the margins. Paul-Emile Borduas and others involved with the 1948 publication of Refus global found themselves searching desperately for a light, while cloaked in darkness. Giguere explains that for the poets of the 50s, for this collective "nous", " i l y avalt quelque chose de clandestin...Nous etions un peu comme des taupes qui creusions un tunnel vers la lumiere...Sans public, sans galerie, sans editeur, sans rien d'autre qu'une belle et jeune revolte, nous avions tout a faire et nous faisions tout"49. The resemblance of this metaphor of the poet to Hebert's "faucon aveugle" (P_, 61) making i t s way through the darkness of the tomb, glimpsing that "reflet d'aube" (R,63), is hard to ignore. Madeleine Gagnon notes that women have also been pushed underground, that woman's speech, her language "est a. reperer dans un hors-texte encore in-defini, dans les marges de la page...hors du discours repere et connu {...) Une non tradition."50 She claims that there is "une histoire a 11 d e t e r r e r , & d e c h i f f r e r " 5 1 ; t h i s i m p l i e s a " r e h a b i l i t a t i o n " , a "re-centrement" as women must deconstruct man's p r o j e c t i o n s of woman as w e l l as e f f e c t i n g a " r e s u r r e c t i o n de nos mortes mal lues"52. The p a r a l l e l i s obvious between the French Canadian and the woman, both having been jammed i n t o the margins, or underground, both searching f o r t h e i r own v o i c e , t h e i r own language, both f i g h t i n g the oppression of the Church. Hebert, speaking i n the feminine through her female heroine, t o both the female and male reader, has been i n t e r p r e t e d , f o r the most p a r t , from the male p e r s p e c t i v e , from the pe r s p e c t i v e of the oppressed French Canadian. But male French Canadian s c h o l a r s are part of the p a t r i a r c h a l t r a d i t i o n which has de f i n e d woman and her w r i t i n g from o u t s i d e , maintaining a myth which ignores woman's r e a l i t y as she might have experienced i t , l e a v i n g i t out or misrepresenting i t . Perhaps the confusion i s because men speak a d i f f e r e n t language. Barbara Godard suggests t h a t to men, women's speech i s "non-sense" because i t i s outside the language of p a t r i a r c h y , the language of l o g i c and of male experience. The f l u x , the s h i f t i n g connections, a r t i c u l a t e d , not i n f u l l sentences, but i n s h o r t , e l l i p t i c suspended fragments, are women's experiences53. In reference to Daphne M a r l a t t ' s w r i t i n g , Godard expresses the w r i t e r ' s attempt t o r e s i s t c l o s u r e , and any one a u t h e n t i c a t i n g signature54. Hebert's male c r i t i c s not only i n t e r p r e t her language as t h e i r own, but analyse with great s c r u t i n y and f i n a l i t y the images and motifs the poet presents. The language, the experiences 12 and the myths belonging to patriarchy, until after the Quiet Revolution, drowned the struggle of women in the national struggle; men and women together were a colonized people who have together been oppressed by religious and p o l i t i c a l authority. It is a myth which, Christl Verduyn suggests, has been challenged since the 1950s55. Woman has been presented as Eve, the temptress, but is expected to act like the Virgin, a male mandate which is contradictory and "generates a schizophrenic state of aff a i r s , to be explored (and rejected) by women writers"56. This self-doubling, representing s e l f - estrangement, is widespread in the works of Quebec and English- Canadian women writers57. According to Verduyn, "The motif of the Double dominates the novels and poetry of Anne Hebert"58. Where the narrator is pushed to the extreme, "the double borders on dislncarnation, the negation not only of the inner self but especially of the outer, physical self . This [is a] typically Hebertian theme"(ibM.). The physical self, the body, becomes fragmented and must be repossessed59. Nicole Brossard explains that for man, writing is a means to "retrouver son corps", whereas for women, "ecrire consists a decoller de son corps, a liberer de son propre corps...tout l'appareil de caracterlstiques physiques et psychiques que l'hornme l u i impose pour s'assurer un meilleur 13 usage d'elle H60. Women must, then, shatter this male construct that they see in the mirror, as Margaret Atwood suggests. Woman as a Subject cannot be a reflection of the role she has played in society, in the famlly61. Verduyn claims that woman's alienation from her body, from herself, is the reflection of woman as Object in the eyes of the Other,62 echoing Simone de Beauvoir's famous definition of the feminine as essentially Other, non-Subject. Jennifer Waelti-Walters describes the typical heroine as playing the princess. She is passive, long-suffering and patient because someday she will be saved by a prince63. The heroine lives outside her desires, since she has been taught that good women have no right to self-generated desire. The image she reflects is one of woman as virginal, absent, dependent, silent64. What li e s boiling beneath the surface of this image, behind the fl a t mirror reflection, is another story, what Weir call s a "subtext", which " l i e s submerged, the camouflage effective"65: i t is woman's story, woman's rage. Hebert stated in an interview with Marci McDonald that her "violence is authentic. I don't invent i t . It must exist within me. I'm very conscious of i t now - and surprised too. Of course I could write gently [...] Instead, i t comes out rarely in l i f e , only in my writing. But I must have accumulated such rage."66 Hebert does not seem to be aware of her rage until after i t has been pointed out to her, but Weir suggests 14 that authors are not always fu l l y aware of the hidden message, the subtext, sealed to a l l who have not yet learned to read; to a l l but a particular "interpretive community", the term Weir borrows from Stanley Fish67. Anne Hubert might or might not be part of a particular feminist interpretive community. While writing Le Tombeau des ro l s f the poet was engulfed in a cultural context which not only demanded that the great writers of the time *write 1/ 'speak' their oppression, but that they do so in a new way that shattered the coherent, linear text which had constituted writing for their foremothers and fathers. To break the code of the hierarchy, to speak 'his' own language, was the intent of the French Canadian searching for that new identity later to be called 'Quebtcois'. Htbert was the female counterpart in this struggle, and the subtext lying below the surface of her text of national identity is a watermark, what Malr Verthuy calls a "filigrane"68, whose faint design marks and identifies woman. There is no doubt that Anne Hubert played an integral role in the rebellion against the Catholic Church. The stranglehold of the Jansenists had indeed been choking the l i f e from a l l French Canadians. Le Toabeau des rols was written in the context of paternalistic and hierarchical oppression and Hebert's c r i t i c s were quick to interpret her poetic images and 15 motifs within that context. The search for a voice, a language, a name that was one's own, was the goal of the French Canadian. Hebert cracked open the walls which enclosed, she shattered the silence which denied, and she entered on a quest, not just for herself, but for the collective "nous", for a l l Quebecois. And yet, Anne Hebert is not just a Quebecker, but as well, a woman. Women in Quebec were becoming more and more aware of their oppression; the distinction between their oppression as Quebecois and as women was beginning to surface in very apparent ways. The v o i c i n g of t h i s double e x p l o i t a t i o n i n prose and p o e t r y began t o ch a l l e n g e i n new ways the powers of t r a d i t i o n , of the Church, of P a t r i a r c h y . Hebert, a woman speaking through the v o i c e of a female n a r r a t o r t o 'mankind' and to 'womankind', to Quebecois and to Quebecoises, uses images and m o t i f s i n Le Tombeau fleg r o j g which c a r r y m u l t i p l e meanings and c o n n o t a t i o n s . In my re a d i n g , I w i l l be drawing together some of these m u l t i p l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of male and female c r i t i c s , of f e m i n i s t s and no n - f e m i n i s t s and i n t e g r a t i n g them with my own f e m i n i s t e x p l o r a t i o n s . Rather than o b j e c t i v e l y a n a l y s i n g these images i n a s y s t e m a t i c , poem by poem examination, I w i l l be f o l l o w i n g the n a r r a t o r on her quest to f i n d her o r i g i n a l i d e n t i t y ; t h i s feminine " I " makes the journey back to the "womb" f o r a l l women, i n c l u d i n g the female reader. I w i l l attempt to show i n t e r t e x t u a l a s s o c i a t i o n s of 16 the o b s t a c l e s and t o o l s t h a t she comes a c r o s s d u r i n g t h i s journey with those found i n Hubert's l a t e r p o e t r y ("Mystere de l a p a r o l e " ) and prose (Kamouraska. Les Enfants du Sabbat and H61oise). Le Tombeau des r o l s seems to s e t the mould f o r a l l of Hebert's l a t e r work. Other i n t e r t e x t u a l l i n k s I w i l l e s t a b l i s h are with the images and mo t i f s found i n the t e x t s of other women. I n t e r e s t i n g l y , most of these women w r i t e r s are c r e a t i n g t e x t s many years a f t e r Le Tombeau i s p u b l i s h e d . The i n t e r t e x t u a l " t h r e a d " weaves backwards and forwards i n time, between Qu6b6coises and anglophone w r i t e r s . Adrienne R i c h c l a i m s t h a t " B i r t h s t r i p p e d our b i r t h r i g h t from u s , / t o r e us from a woman, from women, from o u r s e l v e s " , and that we know "nothing/of o r i g i n s , nothing we needed/to know, nothing t h a t c o u l d re-member us". "Homesick f o r myself, f o r her"69, bemoans R i c h , women must f i n d comfort with t h e i r s i s t e r s ; they must share t h i s e x p e r i e n c e , " h e r s t o r y " . The female reader of Anne Hubert, and the female c r i t i c of t h i s woman poet, are a l s o "consoeurs" i n t h i s " h e r s t o r y " . F o l l o w i n g the meandering i n t e r t e x t u a l "thread" of women's w r i t i n g , t h i s r e a d i n g of Le Tombeau des r o i s rubs a g a i n s t the g r a i n of l o g i c a l , o b j e c t i v e , academic, l i t e r a r y a n a l y s i s . Yet, to read and to i n t e r p r e t l i t e r a t u r e i n new, t r a n s f o r m i n g ways, i s to accept the "unwritten" i n v i t a t i o n t h a t perhaps, even u n w i t t i n g l y , the w r i t e r o f f e r s to h e r / h i s r e a d e r s . I have accepted such an i n v i t a t i o n to f o l l o w the heroine through the 17 depths of the cave, on the search which, as C h r i s t i n e Downing suggests, w i l l l e a d us to Her, the Goddess, and thus back to ou r s e l v e s and to other women70. And perhaps i t i s then t h a t reader, c r i t i c , women and men can emerge transformed. Notes 1. Marie C o u i l l a r d , "La Femme-ecrivain c a n a d i e n n e - f r a n $ a i s e et quebecoise face aux i d e o l o g i e s de son temps," Canadian E t h n i c S t u d i e s / E t u d e s e t h n l q u e s a u C a n a d a 13.1 (1981): 46. 2. C o u i l l a r d 48. 3. C o u i l l a r d 47. 4. Paula G i l b e r t Lewis, T r a d i t i o n a l i s m , N a t i o n a l i s m a n d Feminism,, ed. Paula G i l b e r t Lewis (Wesport: Greenwood P r e s s , 1985) 9. 5. P a t r i c i a smart, E c r l r e d a n s l a roalspn d u p e r e ; 1 ' e m e r g e n c e d u f e m l n l n d a n s l a t r a d i t i o n U t t S r a l r e d u Q u e b e c (Montreal: Quebec/Amerique, 1988) 30. 6. Guy Robert, L i t t e r a t u r e du Quebec: poesie a c t u e l l e (Montreal: Deom, 1970) 18. 7. Laurent M a i l h o t , Que s a i s - 1 e : l a l i t t e r a t u r e quebecoise ( P a r i s : Presses u n i v e r s i t a i r e s de France, 1974) 8. 8. L o r r a i n e Weir, "Toward a F e m i n i s t Hermeneutics: Jay Macpherson's W e l c o m i n g D i s a s t e r / ' S y n o c r 1 t l e s / g y n o c r 1 t q u e s , ed. Barbara Godard (Toronto: ECW Pre s s , 1987) 63. 9. Weir 63. 10. Gerard Tougas, H i s t o i r e de l a l i t t e r a t u r e c a n a d l e n n e - f r a n y a i s e , 4ierne ed. ( P a r i s : Presses u n i v e r s i t a i r e s de France, 1967) 3. 11. Tougas 7. 12. Tougas 11. 13. Tougas 103. 18 14. Anne Hebert, Po6mes ( P a r i s : S e u i l , 1960) 71. A l l f u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s to Anne Hebert's p o e t r y w i l l be taken from Po6mes and w i l l be noted a f t e r the q u o t a t i o n by R, and the page number, or by the page number alone when the r e f e r e n c e i s obvious. Poemes i s comprised of two s e t s of poems: "Le Tombeau des r o i s " and "Mystere de l a p a r o l e " (which c o n t a i n s a b r i e f work of prose, "Poesie, s o l i t u d e rompue"). References to the p o e t r y or prose i n "Mystere" w i l l be i n d i c a t e d w i t h i n i n the t e x t by t i t l e and then i n brackets by R, and the page number. Since Le Tombeau des r o i s i s the primary work c i t e d , i t should be assumed t h a t , unless i n d i c a t e d i n the t e x t , the q u o t a t i o n r e f e r s t o t h i s work i n Roj&m£s_. Le Tombeau des r o i s c o n t a i n s the t i t l e poem, "Le Tombeau des r o i s " . The s e t of poems w i l l always be u n d e r l i n e d , whereas the poem w i l l be i n q u o t a t i o n marks. Other works by Anne Hebert to be c i t e d a r e : Kamouraska ( P a r i s : S e u i l , 1970), a b b r e v i a t e d as K., w i t h i n the t e x t ; Leg Enfants du Sabbat ( P a r i s : S e u i l , 1975), E_S_; Leg FQVlg de Bassan ( P a r i s : S e u i l , 1982), Efi; Le T o r r e n t (Montreal: Beauchemin, 1950), I ; H61oise ( P a r i s : S e u i l , 1980), H_. 15. Tougas 116. 16. Tougas 133. 17. A l b e r t P e l l e t i e r , Carquois (Montreal: L i b r a i r i e d ' A c t i o n c a n a d i e n n e - f r a n g a i s e , 1931) 23. 18. P i e r r e de Grandpre, H i s t o i r e de l a l i t t e r a t u r e fcangalge 3U Quebec H I (Montreal: Beauchemin, 1969) 8. 19. Grandpre 17. 20. Grandpre 20. 21. Grandpre 22. 22. Grandpre 22. 23. Tougas 152. 24. Robert 26. 25. Robert 224. 26. Tougas 160. 27. Smart, ESLLLLSL 30. 28. Smart, E c t I r e 26. 29. M a i l h o t 36. 19 30. from Frances Beer, "the C o n t i n u i t y of Recluse to Bunny f" Canadian Women's Female S t e r e o t y p e s : S t u d i e s 1.1 F a l l 1978: 40. 31. Beer 40. 32. Women Monique Roy, "Femmage: Madeleine •s S t u d i e s 1.1 F a l l 1978: 51. Gaqnon," Canadian 33. G i l l e s Marcotte. Une L i t t e r a t u r e qui se f a i t 2 (Montreal: HMH, 1962) 16. 34. Marcotte 17-18. 35. Smart,. E c r i r e 334. 36. Roy 51. 37. Roy 52. 38. Marcotte 25. 39. Marcotte 30. 40. M a i l h o t 74. 41. M a i l h o t 77. 42. Ma i l h o t 77. 43. Ma i l h o t 81. 44. Ma i l h o t 89. 45. Ma i l h o t 96. 46. element Moisan, "Le Phenomene de l a p oesie dans l e Quebec contemporain (1945-1970)," C u l t u r e p o p u l a i r e et l i t t e r a t u r e au Quebec, d i r . Rene Bouchard (Saratoga: Anma L i b r i , 1980) 128. 47. Moisan 128. 48. Moisan 131. 49. Moisan 131. 50. Madeleine Gagnon, "Une T r a d i t i o n f 6 m i n i s t e en l i t t e r a t u r e ? , " i n Conference des Femmes-ecrivains en Ameriaue. Revue de 1 ' U n i v e r s i t y d'Ottawa 50.1 janvier-mars 1980: 27. 51. Gagnon 28. 20 52. Gagnon 29. 53. Barbara Godard, "'Body I ' : Daphne M a r l a t t ' s F e m i n i s t P o e t i c s , " American Review of Canadian S t u d i e s 15.4 (1985): 483. 54. Godard, "Body" 489. 55. C h r i s t l Verduyn, "From the 'Word on F l e s h 1 to the 'Flesh made Word': Women's F i c t i o n i n Canada," American Review of Canadian Studies 15.4 (1985): 449. 56. Verduyn 450. 57. Verduyn 452. 58. Verduyn 453. 59. Verduyn 456. 60. Verduyn 4 58. 61. Verduyn 460. 62. Verduyn 454. 63. J e n n i f e r W a e l t i - W a l t e r s , F a i r y T a l e s and the Female Imagination (Montreal: Eden Press, 1982) 11. 64. Wa e l t l - W a l t e r s 85. 65. Weir 66. 66. Marcl McDonald, "Anne Hebert: P a r i s Is the Pl a c e to Chart Woman's Rage," C i t y Woman Sp r i n g 1981: 61. 67. Weir 66. 68. Mair Verthuy, "Y a - t - i l une s p e c i f i c i t y de l ' e c r i t u r e f e minine?," Canadian Women's Stu d i e s 1.1 F a l l 1978: 76. 69. Adrienne R i c h , The Cream <?f a Common Language (New York: W.W. Norton, 1978) 75. 70. C h r i s t i n e Downing The Goddess: M y t h o l o g i c a l Images of the Feminine (New York: Crossroad, 1981) 5. 21 Chapter 1 S h a t t e r i n g t h e M i r r o r s : F o l l o w i n g t h e T h r e a d b a c k t o t h e M o t h e r i n "Le Tombeau d,eg K Q I S " i . The F a t h e r ' s House: Breaking down the W a l l s . According to Jean LeMoyne, Saint-Denys Garneau d i e d i n 1943, not from a heart a t t a c k , but from a "contagion" which had been running rampant i n French Canada f o r a century.1 France had l e f t her new c o l o n y to fend f o r h e r s e l f , f o r the most p a r t . What she d i d leave behind was the s t i f l i n g i d e o l o g y of the Roman C a t h o l i c Church; by 1830, the p o p u l a t i o n was d e s c r i b e d as "une masse r u r a l e dominee par l e c l e r g 6 " 2 . One of these c l e r i c s , abb* C a s g r a i n , preached a m o r a l i t y t h a t , not o n l y had the people f o l l o w i n g " l e s s e n t i e r s qui menent a 1'immortalite"3, but a l s o c r e a t i n g a l i t e r a t u r e whose m i s s i o n was to " f a v o r i s e r de s a i n e s d o c t r i n e s " 4 . S e i z i n g the t r e a s u r e s of the past - the r e l i g i o u s dogma, the l i t e r a t u r e of France - o n l y augmented the oppression by d e f i n i n g the people from 'without', by denying them any s e l f - e s t a b l i s h e d i d e n t i t y . In a d d i t i o n to t h i s e f f a c i n g of autonomous s e l f h o o d , the c l e r g y encouraged a l i f e s t y l e which would assure the s a l v a t i o n of the 22 soul. Both the glorifying of a history (which was not theirs) and the striving for an a f t e r - l i f e (which was only a Utopian promise), led the French Canadian to a l i f e threatened by assimilation and based on refusal of l i f e . As Albert Le Grand puts i t s , "Ce refus du present toujours 116 a une mefiance de la vie et du reel s'explique (...) par ces pressions soutenuesM5. Saint-Denys Garneau had been well indoctrinated: H % A i n s i , dans mon adolescence, une sorte de desir que mon corps finisse A l a ceinture.' H6 This denial of desire, of the body, this absence, led to a frustration which i n i t i a l l y enlivened Garneau's poetic genius, but led ultimately to his death. Jean LeMoyne had a heated response to his friend's murder: Je ne peux parler de Saint-Denys Garneau sans colere, car on l'a tu6. Sa mort a 6t6 un assassinat longuement pr6par6 [par les religieux catholiques...] Des morts-vivants, des victimes d'eux-mftmes, des malades reduits a leur pauvre peur, mais a une peur malheureuseraent douee du g6nie de la contagion.7 This illness, which was to i n s t i l in the people a sense of weakness and incompetence, was set in motion by the Jansenist ideology (ibid.). In reference to Anne Hubert's writing, Samuel de Sacy notes a sense of self-condemnation and se l f - effacement, in her language which is "dure, d6charn£e, depouillee, celle justement de la condamnation du poete, celle du jansenisme."8 And yet these two cousins were among the 23 f i r s t to throw open the doors of the cage which imprisoned t h e i r people, t o break t h e i r s o l i t u d e by w r i t i n g , t o d i s c o v e r and name t h e i r o p p r e s s i o n . Emerging i n t h e i r w r i t i n g , Hebert saw a r a y of hope i n the darkness, i n "ce v i s a g e obscur [...1 ce coeur s i l e n c l e u x [...] c e t t e p a r o l e confuse q u i s'ebauche dans l a n u i t , t o u t c e l a a p p e l l e l e jour e t l a l u m i e r e . " (P_. 71) Anne Hebert found h e r s e l f caught i n the c o l l e c t i v e "rude aventure de s u r v i v a n c e H 9 ; she had taken " c h i l d h o o d t e a i n the c l o i s t e r e d small-town p a r l o r s [...], r e c i t e d her l e s s o n s behind convent w a l l s [...,] smiled the sweet s m i l e of the g u i l e l e s s " 1 0 , but a l l t h i s concealed the rage which was t o explode i n her w r i t i n g . As Marci McDonald r e v e a l s , women i n Quebec had the c h o i c e e i t h e r "to be a nun or be a mother", the choie of "the p a t e r n a l s h e l t e r of the v e i l over a b l e a k e r f a t e - p l a y i n g obedient womb to ten or f i f t e e n c h i l d r e n i n g r i n d i n g poverty."11 For women to r e j e c t these c h o i c e s was more than d i f f i c u l t ; they d i d not o b t a i n the r i g h t t o vote u n t i l 1940 and even s t i l l , women's i s s u e s were not p a r t of the g e n e r a l conciousness u n t i l the 60s. Hebert's Quebec was s t i l l "stunted i n the s t e e l y g r i p of the Church when Angel and D e v i l s t i l l s t a l k e d the prewar land of Maurice D u p l e s s i s with a l l the impact they once had over France i n the Middle Ages."12 Below the calm s u r f a c e , rage b o i l e d f o r a l l French Canadians. But fo r the p a t r i a r c h a l Church to d e f i n e women as the submissive mother or obedient nun, e i t h e r p a t i e n t l y sewing or being 24 s t r i p p e d of a l l her d e s i r e s , was to r e i n f o r c e the a l r e a d y popular myths of Eve the Temptress and Mother Mary the V i r g i n . Women who d e f i e d the Church's p r e s c r i b e d r o l e s , these "femmes q u i se sont r e f u s e e s A ce r o l e de mater d o l o r o s a ou de femme-objet, e t q u i [...] ont contest© c e t t e t r a d i t i o n de s a c r i f i c e " 1 3 , were e x p e l l e d from what P a t r i c i a Smart has named, "La Maison du Pere". These witches, a d u l t e r e s s e s , h y s t e r i c s , murderers, these 'Eves' t h a t Denise Boucher c a l l s " l e s f 6 e s " , broke through the w a l l s which had enclosed them. They thus exposed the words which had been d e f i n i n g them, the powers which had been c o n t r o l l i n g them, the m i r r o r s which had been r e f l e c t i n g the image of a p r i n c e s s , of a v i r g i n , of Mother Mary h o l d i n g her dead Son. Hebert r e v e a l s the s t i f l i n g darkness t h a t had been l u r k i n g behind the w a l l s of the "chambre de b o i s " , the "ch&teau", the "tombeau" and beneath the calm s u r f a c e of the water. " I I f a i t s i calme/Sur c e t t e eau." (R,19) Accor d i n g t o C o r a l Ann Howelis, underground spaces, the tomb of the kings or the M6tro i n Hebert's H e l o i s e r r e p r e s e n t "the world of the past which d i s r u p t s and d e s t r o y s the world of the l i v i n g . " 1 4 The convent i n Les Enfants du Sabbat i s abandonned f o r the 'cabane' where d e s i r e s f i n a l l y f l o w f r e e l y , where the dead come back t o l i f e , where Mary becomes the Eve who had been b u r i e d by the Church. T h i s Eve comes back from the dead near the end of Kamouraska; an u n i d e n t i f i e d woman who had been b u r l e d a l i v e s u r f a c e s as symbol of power, notes Smart, but s t i l l as a victim of the culturelS: Dans un champ aride, sous les pierres, on a dtiterre une femme noire, vivante, datant d'une epoque reculee et sauvage. Etrangement conserved. On l'a l&chee dans la petite v i l l e . Puis on s'est barricade, chacun chez soi. Tant la peur qu'on a de cette femme est grande et profonde. Chacun se dit que la faim de vivre de cette femme, enterree vive, i l y a s i longtemps, doit §tre s i f£roce et entiere, accumulee sous la terre, depuis des siecles! On n'en a sans doute jamais connu de semblable. Lorsque la femme se presente dans la v i l l e , courant et implorant, le tocsin se met a. sonner. Elle ne trouve que des portes fermees et le desert de terre battue dont sont faites les rues. II ne l u i reste plus qu'a mourir de faim et de solitude. (&, 250) Women like Hubert, writing "Men avant les feministes de nos jours, [...et] inscrivant les traces de leur propre subjectivity dans le langage l l t t y r a i r e " , have exposed "l'icho d'une m6moire ancienne" which finds its source in "l'origine maternelle N16. Smart suggests, in re-reading familiar texts, women's texts like Hebert's, that we use what Nicole Brossard has called a new angle of vision. Brossard wants readers and c r i t i c s to position themselves so that "le corps opaque du patriarcat" does not block this new visionl7. This new perspective reveals potential, multiple new readings of familiar texts. It also reveals the 'origine maternelle' which can be traced through women's history and literature. Sisters see each other for the f i r s t time, "les femmes tu6es" are unearthed and brought back to l i f e . Generations of "meres 26 mortes", no longer silenced by patriarchal culture, f i n a l l y release "le c r i delirant profere par 1'spouse parfaite"18 whose womb has been incessantly f i l l e d for centuries, or by " l a f i l l e maigre" whose sensuous flesh has been carved away from her sterile bones. This absence, remarks Albert Le Grand, finds "sa plus essentielle nudite dans les poemes du Tombeau des rjiia.."19 Denis Bouchard, in his study, Une Lecture d'Anne Hubertr interprets the bastard son of Le Torrent as "le symbole de tous les Quebecois."20 As the child of "la mere terrifiante", Francois has l i t t l e power to throw down the chains which have now grown roots, which have entangled him from within. (X,36) The male child, isolated, emptied, absent, is the metaphor for a Quebec which had been "abandonne par les Frangais [...et] abatardi par les Anglais"21. In Le Tombeau des rois. the heroine is a child who has not only been chiselled into the barest, purest model by Church doctrine, but also must fight with a l l her force "la menace d'Eve". Having been defined as both Virgin and Eve, women in French Canada have carried with them, according to Bouchard, "la conscience de l'echec du m&le"22. Being f e r t i l e mother, virgin daughter and erotic temptress, the heroine in Hebert's work exists in a schizoid state. Compileit at times, she retreats into the safe convent or room, into "la plus etanche ma1son" (R, 45) of the Father. To hide her head under a rock or squeeze herself under the 27 protective shell of a pebble (£,45), not to move for fear of disturbing the wall of silence which surrounds her (E,44), to polish her bones as i f they were precious metals (E,33), is to be an accomplice to the oppression which controls her. In Kamouraskaf the heroine's awareness, not only of her complicity, but as well, of this s p l i t of self, is more astute Elizabeth says, "Je dis % je' et je suis une autre." (K.,115). Bouchard notes that this 'Autre', this other side of the Doubl frightens, and yet fascinates her23. At a given moment, the Hebertian heroine becomes aware of her two histories; one of patriarchy which has defined her as "Sans nom ni visage. Detruite. N16e." (K.,215) Her existence is that of "une poupe mecanique, appuyee au bras du mari" where she must "penser a sol a la troisieme personne" (K., 71). Madeleine Gagnon suggests that women must deconstruct the patriarchy's alienating projections of women and delve into the concealed history of our mothers, a "travail de resurrection de nos mortes mal lues, de nos mortes non muettes."24 These women have been fighting their oppression. Gagnon includes Louise L ' A b b e , Flora Tristan, Colette, Sand, Conan in the l i s t of those who have not remained silent. These "aleules ecrivaines"25, and more recent ones, like Guevremont, Roy, Hebert, must come back to l i f e , must be re-read from new angles, as Brossard has proposed. Women's history has been masked by patriarchal indoctrination and women have had no 28 c h o i c e but to be c o m p l i c i t y p a s s i v e , submissive v i c t i m s . G a b r i e l l e P a s c a l e x p l a i n s t h a t the Hebertian heroine w i l l p l a y two r o l e s ; a p a s s i v e , s t i f f l e d v i c t i m f i n a l l y w i l l explode i n t o v i o l e n t r e v o l t i n order to get back her autonomy26. The l a c k of c o n t r o l , t h i s c o n f u s i o n i n i d e n t i t y , t h e i r d u p l i c i t y , a l l f o r c e women t o escape to c h i l d h o o d to f i n d t h e i r l i b e r a t i o n . In Le Tombeau des r o i s the " p e t i t e morte", " c e t t e soeur que nous avons", i s "une e n f a n t " (R,47,48) who has entered i n t o "La Maison du Pare". L y i n g dead "en t r a v e r s de l a p o r t e " , t h i s s i s t e r emits l i f e i n the form of "une etrange n u i t l a i t e u s e " , and "son odeur c a p t i e u s e . " P a t r i c i a Smart i n E c r l r e dans l a maison du p e r e r suggests t h a t t h i s " p e t i t e morte" emits t h i s "odeur c a p i t e u s e " as a v e r y much a l i v e t r a c e of " l a v o i x feminine". T h i s v i b r a n t thread l i n k s together women no longer d e f i n e d as "Autre", but as "Meme". And t h i s i s the t u r n i n g p o i n t f o r the "femme-enfant", " l a p r i s e de conscience f e m i n l s t e " 2 7 which p u l l s her and her s i s t e r s out of t h e i r p a s s i v e , domestic l i f e : Nous menons une v i e s i minuscule e t t r a n q u i l l e Que pas un de nos mouvements l e n t s Ne depasse l ' e n v e r s de ce m i r o i r l i m p i d e Ou c e t t e soeur que nous avons Se baigne bleue sous l a lune Tandis que c r o i t son odeur c a p i t e u s e . (R,48) Women share each o t h e r s ' s t o r i e s . Defined f i n a l l y w i t h i n a homogeneous group, female i d e n t i f i e d , they are "Meme" t o each 29 o t h e r . They have been other, f o r c e d t o ....de v i v r e a l ' i n t e r i e u r Sans f a i r e de b r u i t Balayer l a chambre Et ranger 1'ennui L a i s s e r l e s gestes se balancer t o u t s e u l s Au bout d'un f i l i n v i s i b l e A mSme nos vein e s ouvertes (E, 47). Now, the heroine and those unnamed m u l t i t u d e s of 'other' women, the c o l l e c t i v e 'nous', can begin t o r e i n t e r p r e t the f a t a l s a c r i f i c e t h a t " l a p e t i t e morte" has s u f f e r e d . T h i s f a t e i s shared among a l l women, but a l s o has to be co n f r o n t e d i n d i v i d u a l l y , as i s evi d e n t i n "Le Tombeau des r o i s " . Women's c o m p l i c i t y i n an a f f a i r with the 'Pere', which Smart d e f i n e s as an ' E l e c t r a ' r e l a t i o n s h i p , perpetuates P a t r i a r c h y ' s s t o r y . The impotent son i s a l s o c o m p l i c i t w i t h i n an Oedipal r e l a t i o n s h i p and yet t h i s son s t i l l has a p l a c e i n ' H i s . . . s t o r y ' w i t h i n the w a l l s of the " l a Maison du pere"28. Women's s t o r y has been masked over so w e l l t h a t the 'nous* i s a f r a i d of t h i s s i g n of death, of t h i s u n i n v i t e d "soeur". "Nous n'osons p l u s s o r t i r depuis q u ' e l l e e s t l a " . And y e t , the "nous" becomes aware of a c u r i o u s bonding, and of a " f i l i n v i s i b l e " which, though not v i s i b l e , i s a t r a c e , a thread l i n k i n g the female c o l l e c t i v e of domestics with the s a c r i f i c i a l lamb, the dead g i r l . Smart i n t e r p r e t s t h i s new awareness, t h i s l i n k i n g as "un rapprochement", "une i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t e nouvelle"29 t o be shared amongst a l l women i n r e c o n s t r u c t e d s i s t e r h o o d . 30 A l b e r t Le Grand s t a t e s t h a t "l'odeur c a p i t e u s e " "engage l a jeune f i l l e dans ce s e n t i e r s o u t e r r a i n " 3 0 . A voyage i s necessary, perhaps one s i m i l a r t o the one " l a p e t i t e morte" has undertaken, one which might end i n death, but w i l l b r i n g new l i f e . Hebert ends Po&mes i n with "Des Dleux C a p t l f s " i n which the penultimate stanza i n t i m a t e s a more p o s i t i v e c o n c l u s i o n than t h a t of "Le Tombeau des r o i s " , where the heroine i s alone, as i s " l a p e t i t e morte", and, as a b l i n d e d b i r d , can b a r e l y s q u i n t out a glimmer of l i g h t , of hope. In "Des Dieux C a p t i f s " , death has been a r e a l i t y , but l i f e has conquered i t , and i s i n motion, j o i n i n g s i s t e r s and br o t h e r s i n b r i g h t l i g h t , the new l i g h t of a new e r a : La v i e e s t remise en marche, l'eau se rompt comme du p a i n , r o u l e n t l e s f l o t s , s'enluminent l e s morts et l e s augures, l a maree se fend e. 1*horizon, se b r i s e l a d i s t a n c e entre nos soeurs e t l ' a u r o r e debout sur son g l a i v e . I n c a r n a t i o n , nos dieux tremblent avec nous! (P_, 105 The dead and the prophets are a l i v e ; the past of those who are 'Meme' j o i n s with the pre s e n t , and the past of "1'Autre" i s broken. S i s t e r s r e j o i c e i n a new dawn and gods tremble. The time i s new f o r both, but the b a r r i e r s are t o r n down and mena and women face together a long awaited "image h a b i t a b l e " (E,105). In " V l e l l l e Image" (P_,31), man and woman, ("nous") are f o l l o w e d ominously by the Oppression which has s t i f l e d a l l growth: 31 Et nous marchons Dans c e t ab£me Se c r e u s a n t . Les pas des morts Les pas des morts Nous accompagnent Doux muets. Nous a f f i c h o n s Notre profonde d i f f e r e n c e En s i l e n c e (v.10-19). Together, these " T r i s t e s 6poux tranches et perdus" (P_, 39), these two co r p s e s , undertake the long journey t o wholeness. Fernand Dumont r e i t e r a t e d the journey of women and men as a new v i s i o n f o r Quebec, i n which Quebecois(es) would be "engage(e)s" and c o n s t r u c t t h e i r own "n o u v e l l e s s t r u c t u r e s " f o r a new f u t u r e 3 1 . Rene Garneau saw i n Hebert's p o e t r y , not o n l y a " r e t a b l i s s e m e n t . . . d e l a communication humaine"32 between women and men, but a l s o a break with the past, with " l a Sagesse"33. C r i t i c s have used " l a Sagesse" i n the sense of "good behaviour", as a symbol f o r the opp r e s s i v e t r a d i t i o n s t h a t s t i f l e d Quebeckers. Indeed, d u r i n g the w r i t i n g of "Mystere de l a p a r o l e " , t h e r e i s no reason f o r Hebert, i n p r e - f e m i n i s t Quebec, t o be t h i n k i n g i n "La Sagesse m'a rompu l e s br a s " (E,92,93) of anything e l s e . The speaker c l a i m s t h a t Church "Longtemps ...m'empoisonna des pieds a l a t e t e " (v.11) and f i n a l l y r e b e l s i n v i o l e n c e a f t e r having been the t y p i c a l , p a s s i v e , well-behaved "good g i r l " . She erupts i n a rage t h a t Hebert admitted d i d e x i s t w i t h i n her (see note i n I n t r o d u c t i o n , p.7): J ' a i a r r a c h e l a sagesse de ma p o i t r i n e , Je l ' a i mangee par l e s r a c i n e s , Trouv6e amere e t crachee comme un noyau p o u r r i (v.14-16) I t might be s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t the poem "Sagesse" i s p a r t of "Mystere de l a p a r o l e " , a work p u b l i s h e d seven years a f t e r Le Tombeau r seven years more of p a s s i v e l y t h i n k i n g , w a i t i n g and p a t i e n t l y l i v i n g out the o p p r e s s i o n , before rage e r u p t s i n the a c t i v e r e v o l t of r i p p i n g t h i s o p p r e s s i o n out of her ch e s t , e a t i n g then s p i t t i n g out i t s b i t t e r r o o t s . The n a r r a t o r not on l y has taken charge of her d e s t i n y , but has done i t i n a seemingly masculine way; f i g h t i n g o p p r e s s i o n with t h a t which has maintained t h a t v e r y o p p r e s s i o n : the power of the Word. Women who have had power, although a d i s t o r t e d v e r s i o n of i t s masculine c o u n t e r p a r t , have been the witches, the Eves who have had t o denounce a l l who have been c o m p l i c i t i n t h e i r o p p r e s s i o n : a l l components of the p a t r i a r c h a l system, i n c l u d i n g the female componants. In "Sagesse", the n a r r a t o r becomes Eve reborn. She has j e t t i s o n e d the t r a i t s which d e f i n e d her and c o n f i n e d her and has a p p r o p r i a t e d those which have l i b e r a t e d her. Power t o a c t , t o speak, t o s h a t t e r her a l t e r - e g o , " l a Sagesse", t h i s " t r e s v i e i l l e femme e n v i e u s e / P l e l n e d ' o n c t i o n , de f i e l e t d'eau v e r t e " ( E , 9 2 ) . Gone 33 i s Mary, " l a femme douloureuse". As P a u l i n e J u l i e n s i n g s i n "Les Femmes": vous l e s ex i g e z 6toiles du matin Vases s p i r i t u e l s , meres sans tache V i e r g e s v£n£rables, tous d ' i v o i r e Vous REVEZ MESSIEURS BEAUCOUP34. i i . To Eve Reborn; a Journey back t o the Mother. To s h a t t e r these dreams which have d e f i n e d , these vases which have c o n f i n e d and to f o l l o w the thread back t o her r o o t s , i s woman's new t a s k . The n a r r a t o r p roclaims t h i s i n s t a t i n g b o l d l y , " j ' a i r6clam£ l e f e r e t l e feu de mon h e r i t a g e . " (E,92). The o b s t i n a n c y of the n a r r a t o r i n "Mystere de l a p a r o l e " , and the desperate need t o f i n d her r o o t s were not l a c k i n g i n the heroine of Le Tombeau. And y e t , i n t h i s work, the young g i r l i s wondering why she p o l i s h e s her bones, i s s t i l l q u e s t i o n i n g who t h a t dead g i r l i s on the steps of the house, s t i l l a s k i n g , "Quel f i l d'Ariane me mene/Au long des d£dales sourds?" (E,59). In the l a s t poem she begins t o ask qu e s t i o n s about t h i s thread which w i l l l ead her, not j u s t back out of the cave t o s a f e t y , but t o her foremothers, t o her h e r i t a g e . In h i s a r t i c l e on "Le Tombeau des r o l s " , P i e r r e Kuntsmann suggests t h a t "Je" i s t i e d t o t h i s " f i l d ' A r i a n e " as a baby i s to i t s u m b i l i c a l cord which, i n t h i s case, i s 34 attached to the past, to %un jardln des ancetres'35. Memory comes alive through this % f i l ' 3 6 , memory of voices once whispered. And yet the heroine has ignored this thread. Caught in acts which are "coutumlers et sans surprises/Premiers reflets en l'eau vlerge du matin" (P_,13), she Is not at a l l aware of this memory. "La nult a tout efface mes anciennes traces" (v.12) and what lies below "La surface plane" (v.15) of this "eau egale" (v.13) is "une eau inconnue" (v.17). Turbulent water ready to churn up desires, memories, "dont j'ignore encore/L'enchantement profond" (v.25) bubbles away under the f l a t , calm surface of tradition, of the Law of patriarchy. Nicole Brossard states that this " f i l " must be recognized by women "comme trace du passe", that i t open relationships between women, so that "chaque femme m'est famlliere, que nous sommes familieres les unes aux autres"37. The narrator is aware of this undercurrent, even i f the heroine is not. Whether or not the two are one and the same, their points of view can differ due to the different time element; the narrator is t e l l i n g the story about herself, the "je", at a different time than that of the actual experience- hence a certain acquired knowledge is Intimated to the reader that the heroine does not yet have. Gerard Genette comments on the German terms "Erz&hlzeit", or narrative time, which can coexist with "erz&hlte Zeit", or story time. This temporal duality can cause distortions and confusion in the narrative 35 because the time of the story is a different time than that of the narratlon.lft. This confusion manifests i t s e l f in the narrator in "Nuit"(E,24). Again water is the motif, the agent, which sets in motion the inner turbulence between nLe silence de la nuit"(v.2) which surrounds her and which provides a quiet resting place where "je sombre"(v.16), and the "grands courants sous-marins"(v.4) which reveal a "Rythme sourd/Code secret w(v.9,10). There is safety and peace In "la continuity de la nuit/La perpetuity du silence"(v.l4,15) and yet she is disturbed by what lies below the surface "de l'eau muette et glauque."(v.5) These undercurrents interrupt the calm, the complacency with a thumping of her heart "Qui s'illumine et s'yteint/Comme un phare"(v.7,8), but from which she can decode no message, "ne d6chiffre aucun mystere."(v.11) Not wanting to be jostled out of the suffocating, but reassuring comfort of this "night" which l u l l s her to sleep, the speaker reveals her awareness of this " f i l " which tugs at her heart. Below the surface l i e s the women's secret code to the the past, to their heritage, to freedom. But the heroine is not yet ready to leave her l i f e of complacency, of complicity in the system. She is not yet ready to s t i r up the amniotic waters of the womb which, over so many years have prepared for yet another birth of another "Son". And yet, beginning to s t i r below the surface are those same waters, preparing f i n a l l y for the rebirth of a 'daughter•. 36 To r e d e f i n e what l i e s below the s u r f a c e , t o g i v e these waters new f u n c t i o n s , t o enter the cave, not as a tomb which c o n f i n e s , but as channel, a uterus which p r o v i d e s a passage f o r r e b i r t h , d e f i e s a l l t r a d i t i o n , a l l myth which has d e f i n e d women. To enter i n t o r e v i s i o n i s not an easy task f o r any woman, l e a s t of a l l the Hebe r t i a n h e r o i n e . G a b r l e l l e P a s c a l suggests t h a t t h i s moral and p h y s i c a l s t r u g g l e o f t e n leads the heroine t o p s y c h i c or p h y s i c a l i l l n e s s or sacrl£ice39. The s t r e s s w i t h i n the women i n Le Tombeau des r o i s has no doubt been the r e s u l t not o n l y of t h e i r J e k e l l and Hyde p s y c h i c s t a t e , but a l s o of the c o n f u s i o n which i s so b l a t a n t l y manifested i n "Nuit".(£,24) C h r i s t l Verduyn suggests t h a t once women have adopted t h e i r r o l e of V i r g i n i n t o t h e i r own v a l u e s , then they become t h e i r own j a i l k e e p e r s . So w e l l t r a i n e d not to break the Law of the Fath e r , of the Church, of P a t r i a r c h y , and y e t ready t o bu r s t with d e s i r e and p a s s i o n , women have become s c h i z o p h r e n i c s . T h i s s t a t e being a metaphor f o r the mind/body dichotomy, the Double has l e d the heroine t o a d i s s o c i a t i o n from h e r s e l f 4 0 . Hebert r e v e a l s t h i s a l i e n a t i o n of the body i n two m o t i f s throughout Le Tombeau des r o i s . The f i r s t i s the fragmentation of the body i n t o p a r t s which seem f o r e i g n t o her, which she o b j e c t i f i e s , which she does not rec o g n i z e as her own. The second i s the r e f l e c t i o n of these fragments of her body, i n water or i n m i r r o r s . Verduyn i n d i c a t e s the importance f o r women to reposess t h e i r bodies as whole s t r u c t u r e s , t o reposess t h e i r female c o r p o r e a l i t y which f o r so long has been posessed and c o n s t r u c t e d by p a t r i a r c h y 4 1 . To b u i l d a new i d e n t i t y , or to r e e s t a b l i s h one t h a t has been b u r i e d s i n c e women have been d e f i n e d by men, women must s h a t t e r the r e f l e c t i o n t h a t p a t r i a r c h y has constructed42. Women have looked i n m i r r o r s , i n water, i n windows and have never seen t h e i r own bod i e s . They have spoken, but have not heard t h e i r own v o i c e s . They have looked a t t h e i r hands, t h e i r h e a r t s , t h e i r eyes and have seen fragments of bodies which do not belong, which take on f o r e i g n , b i z a r r e r o l e s , which f i n d themselves i n unaccustomed p l a c e s : a heart i s a " f r u i t c r e v e " (E ,29), a "visage ronge" i s pl a c e d on a " t a b l e sans p i e d s " (Ef30), eyes i n a hand are "Comme des p l e r r e s d'eau" (E, 36), hands become p l a n t e d "au jard i n / B r a n c h e s de d i x d o i g t s / P e t i t s a r b r e s d'ossements/...Et l e s f e u i l l e s f r a i c h e s / A nos ongles p o l l s " (E/49), " d o i g t s de s a b l e " e t "paumes to u t e s f l e u r i e s " are separated by an "immobile d i s t a n c e " (E/58) and f i n a l l y , the heroine's h e a r t i s "au po i n g " t r y i n g t o escape " l a main seche qui cherche l e coeur pour l e rompre" (E, 59, 61). In f a c t , the heroine's whole body i s s a c r i f i c i a l l y consumed by being raped by the kings of the dead: " l i s me couchent e t me boivent;/Sept f o i s , j e connais l ' e t a u des os" (E,61). Yolande V i l l e m a i r e and other women w r i t e r s have been r e f u s i n g t h i s "ordre s o c i a l ou ' l e masculin l'emporte t o u j o u r s 38 sur l e f 6 m i n i n , n , e x p l a i n s L o u i s e Dupre. The " d e n o c i a t i o n du v i o l , de 1'oppression, de 1 ' e x p o i t a t i o n [et l e d e s i r ] de se prendre en charge, de se c o n s t i t u e r une autonomie"43 have erupted from the depths of women who have taken on the task of " R e-vision". Adrlenne R i c h , i n "When We Dead Awaken: W r i t i n g as R e - V i s i o n " , proclaims t h a t women must begin " l o o k i n g back" and " s e e i n g with f r e s h eyes" t h a t which has pushed us underground. " U n t i l we can understand the assumptions i n which we are drenched, we cannot know ourselves."44 T h i s new angle of v i s i o n a l l o w s women to break f r e e from the kings who consume the l i v i n g - d e a d , p a s s i v e , immobile and complacent. In re f e r e n c e t o J u l i e i n Les Enfants du Sabbat r Mary Jean Green s t a t e s t h a t the heroine i s " l e c e n t r e de l a v i e e t e x i s t e s i fortement parmi l e s m o r t e s - v i v a n t e s , que c e l a d e v i e n t i n t o l e r a b l e " (ES_, 175): i n t o l e r a b l e f o r the Church, the convent. But there i s a t r u e feminine f o r c e which surges up i n J u l i e which f o r c e s her t o r e v o l t , t o f l e e to the "cabane"45. There, the dead i n J u l i e comes a l i v e ; the p r i n c e s s d r i e s l i k e , as S y l v i e Gagne d e s c r i b e s i t i n La S o u r c i e r e r " l a d e d i c a c e f l e u r sechee e n t r e l e s pages" and begins to move, " i n s i s t e a j o u i r , se remembrer, renouer avec l ' i n o u i e . " 4 6 The heroine of "Le Tombeau des r o i s " c o n f r o n t s the f a n t a s t i c , the k i n g s , even consents t o the rape. P a t r i c i a Smart, i n "La Poesie d'Anne Hebert: une p e r s p e c t i v e feminine", s t a t e s t h a t i t i s i n " l e consentement au v i o l " t h a t " l a p a s s i v i t e feminine e s t amenee a son ultime e t p l u s t e r r i b l e consequence" and th a t t h i s 39 "rencontre de l a mort e s t vecue comme une noce strange"47. P h i l i p p e Haeck, whom, i n the above a r t i c l e , Smart c a l l s an 'homme f e m i n i s t e ' , exposes h i s v u l n e r a b i l i t y , by t r a n s g r e s s i n g the r u l e s of p a t r i a r c h a l c r i t i c i s m and of "masculine" w r i t i n g . Men and women who commit t h i s t r a n s g r e s s i o n , " p r a t i g u e n t une breche dans l a f o r t e r e s s e des e c r i t u r e s masculines."48 Haeck's w r i t i n g s t y l e i s an i n t e r e s t i n g mix of the l i n e a r , l o g i c a l , s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d , masculine s t e r e o t y p e with the s u b j e c t i v e , fragmented, p o e t i c , feminine one. Haeck's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the rape i s ve r y b l u n t . "Les 'sept grands pharaons d'ebene' q u i 'me couchent et me b o i v e n t ' , q ui creve n t mon hymen, q u i me s e r r e n t A me rompre l e s os, ne sont p l u s que l e s morts d'un 'songe h o r r i b l e ' " 4 9 . Haeck r i p s open the p r o t e c t i v e s u r f a c e of the crime by r e v e a l i n g the m u l t i p l e rape. New i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s by i t s e l f a r i s k , but one which condemns h i s own sex of such a heinous crime, i s indeed p o t e n t i a l l y an a l i e n a t i n g one. Fe m i n i s t c r i t i c s might f e e l much more comfortable with Haeck than some of h i s more p a t r i a r c h a l c o u n t e r p a r t s . T h i s c r i t i c has not o n l y dared t o name the o f f e n s e i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r case, but he has a l s o bared h i s most v u l n e r a b l e masculine s e l f t o ask qu e s t i o n s , t o i n c l u d e h i m s e l f as a " j e " or "me" with other v i c t i m s : j e n ' a i r i e n d i t , quand l i s ont eu f i n i de moi, j e l e s a i a s s a s s i n e s : c ' e s t ce crime q ui me f a i t f r e m i r , v i v r e A nouveau, j e peux tour n e r mon corps-fiume rompu vers l e matin, peu a. peu je 40 r e t r o u v e r a i l 1 u s a g e de mes membres. S i j ' a i £r6mi d'horreur, aujourd'hui j ' e n t r e v o i s f r e m i r de p l a i s i r . 5 0 Haeck i s not being too presumptuous by i n c l u d i n g h i m s e l f as a v i c t i m i n s t e a d of as the r a p i s t . He r e a l i z e s t h a t men and women have d i f f e r e n t d i s c o u r s e s , speak d i f f e r e n t languages, but sees the importance, as Hubert d i d i n "Des Dieux c a p t i f s " , of men and women, s i s t e r s and b r o t h e r s , j o i n i n g hands t o f i g h t o p p r e s s i o n . Each i n d i v i d u a l must " f a i r e j a l l l i r du d e s e r t son eau, [...] partager c e t t e eau avec l ' a u t r e " 5 1 so t h a t both might break the s i l e n c e t h a t " l a grande n o i r c e u r " , the domination of the Church, had imposed on the i n t e l l e c t u a l community from 1850 to 1950. Speaking "sans s u j e t " was both men's and women's r e a l i t y 5 2 . And y e t women's r e a l i t y , Haeck admits, has been much worse. i i i . Women's W r i t i n g : T e l l i n g the T r u t h . Haeck e x p l a i n s t h a t men have l e a r n e d t o read women's t e x t s prepared t o " s u b i r des choses s e n t i m e n t a l e s , des r e v e r i e s de jeunes f i l l e s q u i ne savent r i e n du monde, de l a r£alit£, de jeunes f i l l e s q ui n'ont que berc£ des poupees". They have lear n e d "a ne pas se p l a i n d r e , a e t r e sourds aux p l a i n t e s , a e t r e durs d ' o r e i l l e , a ne pas entendre c e r t a l n e s voix"53. 41 Margaret Atwood notes t h a t "The Q u i l l e r - C o u c h Syndrome", a t h e s i s proposed a t the t u r n of the c e n t u r y which has d e f i n e d masculine and feminine w r i t i n g i n terms of o p p o s i t e s , has helped to r e i n f o r c e the way men read women's w r i t i n g . The t h e s i s proposed t h a t men's w r i t i n g was c l e a r , f o r c e f u l and b o l d , while women's was vague, weak and u n a s s e r t i v e 5 4 . T h i s p r o p o s a l i s p a r t of the p a t r i a r c h a l c o n s t r u c t i o n which Haeck and others have been beginning to d e c o n s t r u c t . Marie C o u i l l a r d and F r a n c i n e Dumouchel maintain t h a t i n the '70s Hubert, B l a i s , B r ossard and B e r s i a n i k began s h a t t e r i n g the m i r r o r which had been r e f l e c t i n g back to a l l women t h e i r p a t r i a r c h a l l y d e f i n e d form55. They deconstructed t h i s model by u s i n g f a n t a s t i c , Utopian imagery. They c r e a t e d a l i t e r a t u r e which was s u b v e r s i v e by t u r n i n g away from "mimesis" and moving toward " p o i e s i s " , a w r i t i n g of a n t i c i p a t i o n "proposant de nouveaux modeles a l ' i n t e r i e u r desguels l e s femmes pourront s ' i n s c r i r e . " 5 6 Barbara Godard suggests t h a t Hubert has f i t i n t o the male canon of Quebec w r i t i n g because, u n t i l r e c e n t l y , she has been c a t e g o r i z e d as the v o i c e of the 'Quebecois'. Any new, f e m i n i s t r e a d i n g would i n c l u d e her i n a non-canonical genre57. Perhaps l o o k i n g f o r the s u b v e r s i v e t e x t , the " p o i e s i s " , i n Hebert's w r i t i n g p u b l i s h e d o n l y a f t e r 1970 would deny any m u l t i p l e or f e m i n i s t r e a d i n g of her e a r l i e r work l i k e Le Tombeau des r o i s . But, a f t e r a l l , what c r i t i c would be l o o k i n g f o r a subtext i n the 60's or e a r l i e r , asks Malr Verthuy? None 158 At t h a t time " c r i t i c s were not ready. There were no pigeonholes f o r easy f i l i n g , no c a t e g o r i e s f o r easy numbering, no mental frameworks, no terms of reference...What d i d they know of feminism?"59 Why indeed would any of the c r i t i c s even mention the gang rape i n "Le Tombeau des r o i s " ? The Imagery i n p o e t r y c o u l d connote anything t h a t was a b l e to be i n t e r p r e t e d by the reader. And a l l r e a d e r s , a l l c r i t i c s were a b l e t o i n t e r p r e t the language, the imagery i n f r o n t of them as o p p r e s s i o n by the Church and by the c o l o n i z e r s . Every other i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was s t u f f e d behind the g l a s s of the m i r r o r , or i n the dark, ominous depths below, w a i t i n g to e r u p t . Frances J a f f e r takes a humourous y e t s e r i o u s approach to the s i t u a t i o n : The language of c r i t i c i s m : ' l e a n , dry, t e r s e , powerful, s t r o n g , spare, l i n e a r , focused, e x p l o s i v e ' - god f o r b i d i t should be 'limp'!! I...] That limp d i c k - an e n t i r e c i v i l i z a t i o n based on i t , h e l p the sun r i s e , watch out f o r the dark underground, focus focus f o c u s , keep i t h i g h , l e t i t soar, l e t i t transcend, l e t i t a s p i r e to Godhead60. Marie Couillard-Goodenough e x p l a i n s t h a t t h a t type of c r i t i c i s m produces "une l e c t u r e inapte a. e x p l l c i t e r une i d e n t i t e feminine cherchant & se d e c o u v r i r A p a r t i r d ' e l l e - meme", a d i s c o v e r y which i s manifested i n the body, and i n the new myths, new images which belong to t h i s i d e n t l t y 6 1 . Since the p u b l i c a t i o n of Le Tombeau des r o l s f the male c r i t i c s have 43 gained s t r e n g t h from one another, have p r o t e c t e d themselves from f a l l i n g i n t o the dark, watery depths, by r e i t e r a t i n g i n a monotonous, l i n e a r , unimaginative f a s h i o n what the r e s t have s a i d . But they too, caught behind the w a l l s of "La Maison du Pore", have had nowhere to go but around and around the same rooms of the house. P h i l i p p e Haeck has courageously broken down some of those w a l l s . Madeleine O u e l l e t t e - M i c h a l s k a r e f e r s t o Claude L 6 v i - S t r a u s s , who, i n h i s Mythologies,, notes many d i s t i n c t i o n s between male and female r o l e s . "'Les p e t i t e s f i l l e s modeles'" are surrounded by "* 1'omnipresence du S o l e i l e t son aveuglante l u m i n o s i t y . Dans ce r 6 d u i t oA s'£coule un temps fige dans l a c i r c u l a r i t y , 11 n'y a d ' i s s u que l a f u i t e . ' " 6 2 For the male c r i t i c s of Le Tombeau des r o l s t o i n t e r p r e t the "Sun" as a n y t h i n g but the o p p r e s s i v e f o r c e s of the c o l o n i z e r s , or of the Church, would have indeed been r i s k y . They themselves were caught i n t h i s "chambre fermde". T h i s t i g h t space which cornered them, which f r o z e them i n c i r c u l a r r e p e t i t i o n , i n h i b i t e d any new i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . T h i s "mur a peine.../Posy en couronne" (E.37 v.1,3) would never be seen as a metaphor f o r a "chambre" i n "La Maison du E&Efi.", but o n l y as a room i n the House of t h e i r J a n s e n l s t f a t h e r s . Women were i n c l u d e d as "men", t h e i r sex a p p a r e n t l y not making any d i f f e r e n c e i n t h i s s t r u g g l e . In "Poysie, S o l i t u d e Rompue" (E.67-71), there i s no h i n t of f e m i n i s t churnings. H6bert i n c l u d e d h e r s e l f i n t h i s world of "l'hornme"; women's op p r e s s i o n by the Church was a subcategory of "man's" o p p r e s s i o n . And, even i f there were some rumblings of " i n s e c t e s p r i s o n n i e r s " (E^53, v. 29) below the s u r f a c e , the quest f o r a n a t i o n a l i d e n t i t y , f o r a s e l f i d e n t i t y ( f o r w r i t e r s , p o t e n t i a l l y found i n the ' p h a l l i c ' power of the pen), loomed v e r y l a r g e indeed. I t was the quest of a people who, gorged with the blood of past c e n t u r i e s of v i c t i m i z a t i o n , was f i n a l l y t o stand e r e c t and meet i t s oppressors head-on, to crack open the hardened, t h i c k w a l l s of the C a t h o l i c Church. With t h i s r a i s e d c o n s c i o u s n e s s , with t h i s new t h r u s t of power s u r g i n g f o r t h , what woman, f e e b l y h o l d i n g the 'pen', uncomfortably swooped up i n the b a t t l e of the p h a l l u s e s , would ever dare to openly mumble "femme"? Not Anne Hebert! In "Un Mur A P e i n e " (E,37-38), the heroine i s caught w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s of " l a hale de r o s i e r s " (v.6) which i s low enough t h a t she can jump i t , and loose enough to "L'enlever comme une bague" ( v . 7 ) . And y e t she remains behind the w a l l s ; "Seule ma f l d e l i t e me l i e . " (v.12) She blames h e r s e l f f o r having made some kind of emotional d e a l with the past, with those who have c o n s t r u c t e d the w a l l s . In her g u i l t and anguish she c r i e s , "0 l i e n s durs/Que j ' a i noues/En je ne s a i s q u e l l e n u i t secrete/Avec l a mort!" (v.13-16) Wearing t h i s "bague/Pressant mon coeur" (v7,8), now married to her male oppressor, she i s o b l i g e d t o consummate the marriage, to t i e those hard knots i n 45 the darkness of the n i g h t . Penetrated by t h i s "arbre c r i s p e " (v.23), she l i e s p a t i e n t l y w a i t i n g , " f e u i l l a g e s / D e s v e i n e s / B t des membres soumis" (v.24-26) with her " d o i g t s sans aucun d6sir/Etendus" (v.31,32). For t h i s woman, c o n f i n e d , p e n e t r a t e d , v o i d of d e s i r e or w i l l , but s t i l l r e a c h i n g out to o f f e r h e r s e l f , t o be the p a t i e n t , submissive woman, th e r e i s no reward. She w i l l take His seed, her womb f u l l of His Son, and she w i l l be sucked d r y l i k e an orange: "Mon coeur s e r a bu comme un f r u i t . " (v.33) And then a g a i n , she w i l l s i t p a t i e n t l y w a i t i n g a t "La source du sang/Plantee d r o i t " (v. 21,22) extending her hands once more. " E l i e ne l e s referme jamais./Et l e s tend t o u j o u r s . " (Ef21 v .7 ,8) . Weighted down with "Tant de c h i f f r e s profonds" and "de bagues massives e t t r a v a i l l e e s " (v.11,12), her hands mesmerize her, "L'occupent e t l a cap t i v e n t . " ( v . 6 ) She has been caught i n the t r a n c e . The heroine h e r s e l f i s unaware of her entrapment. The n a r r a t o r r e f e r s to her as " E l i e " . The n a r r a t o r h e r s e l f , perhaps t h i s "Je", not y e t aware of her own emprisonment, d i s t a n c e s h e r s e l f from the h e r o i n e . I t i s "she" who i s undergoing t h i s s u f f e r i n g , not " I " . And y e t i t i s t h i s d i s t a n t " e l i e " , t h i s u n i d e n t i f i e d female who q u i e t l y s u f f e r s f o r the "nous", f o r her s i s t e r s : D ' e l l e pour nous Nul l i e u d ' a c c u e i l e t d'amour Sans c e t t e o f f r a n d e impitoyable Des mains de douleurs parees 46 Ouvertes au solell. (v.13-17) In the preceding poem, "Les Pecheurs d'Eau" (E, 19), "Cette femme assise" is this "elle". The reader does not have access to know if each "elle" is the same or a different woman/child. "Elle" might represent a l l women, suffering for the collective "nous", or each one may be an individual, each suffering, in a slightly different way, from the stifling heat of the Su(o)n, "Sous le coup de mldl." What is interesting, is the developing relationship between the "elle" and the "je", when the "I" finally accepts her own suffering as that which she has observed from afar in the "elle". In "Pecheurs", the narrator (the "Je") watches a woman "qui coud/Au pied de 1'arbre" (v.18,19). Again, woman is placed in direct, subserviant relationship to the Tree. This "arbre droit" (v.13) which looms above her is the same tree under which she sits stripped of a l l dignity in "La Chambre de Bois", "Je suis nue et toute noire sous un arbre amer." (E,42) It is the same "arbre crisp6" which sucks her dry "comme un fruit." (E,37) And a l l she and her sisters can do to gain some power in order to survive, is to imitate this tree, to "planter nos mains au jardin" (E,49) with the hope that their roots will take hold. The other choice is to wait patiently at the bottom of the tree, like the woman in "Pecheurs", who "Refait, point a point,/L'humility du monde,/Rien qu'avec la douce patience/De ses deux mains bruiyes." (v. 22-25), This dichotomy represents 47 the p u l l i n g between the i n t r o v e r t e d , submissive Mary who w i l l h o l d f o r e v e r the weight of her dead Son, and the e x t r o v e r t e d Eve who dares t o cut o f f her own hands a t the s l i g h t chance of empowerment i n copying the Tree. But i t does not work i n "Nos Mains au J a r d i n " (E,49). T h e i r f i n g e r s , b r i t t l e " P e t i t s a r b r e s d'ossements" (v.4) l a y s t i l l , w a i t i n g f o r some s m a l l v i s i t o r to lan d , t o g i v e these "Branches de d i x d o i g t s " (v.3) a reason f o r e x i s t i n g . But, none comes. None i s " p r i s au piege de nos mains coupees." (v.12) These s e l f - m u t i l a t e d women have agai n s a c r i f i c e d themselves o n l y t o have t h e i r "mains fondues comme l ' e a u . " (v.19) But, where i s the anger? The " j e " f a l l s i n t o d e s p a i r ; "Les c l e f s du s i l e n c e sont perdues", her "coeur rompu" (E/23). The Tree s t i l l stands f i r m . As the male c r i t i c s might say, the Church has won again over "man". And y e t , t h i s man i s not a man, but a woman who now must muster a l l the s t r e n g t h she can, gather her body together t o walk toward the pl a c e which goes below the r o o t s of the Tree, the pl a c e which j u s t might o f f e r the wholeness and nourishment of the o r i g i n a l Womb of the Mother. i v . Beyond Culture; the 'Other' Side where s i s t e r s chatter. P i e r r e Kuntsmann, i n h i s study on "Le Tombeau des r o i s " , does break from the norm by o f f e r i n g a Jungian i n t e r p r e t a t i o n 48 i n which the c h i l d must descend i n t o h e r s e l f i n order t o r e t u r n "au s e i n maternel". Jung c a l l s t h i s " l a r e g r e s s i o n de l a l i b i d o " which i s an e s s e n t i a l " r e t o u r a 1 ' o r i g i n e " , "au p o i n t mort", "au degre zero", but from which one must regenerate, emerge t o "une seconde n a i s s a n c e " . Kuntsmann c a l l s t h i s process " l e passage a l'&ge d'homme"63. C o n s i d e r i n g i t i s a female c h i l d who i s about t o descend i n t o the tomb of the ki n g s , a t t a c h e d by the u m b i l i c a l cord t o her ance s t r e s s e s 6 4 , the image of a passage t o manhood does not f i t . Kuntsmann proposes the E g y p t i a n myth t h a t the pharaoh i s the d i v i n e form of man and t h a t t h i s "pere d i v i n i s e [...,] p h a l l u s perdu (ou jamais obtenu), represente l e t r e s o r s e c r e t " of the masculine earth65. L i k e Hades a s s a u l t of Persephone, the kings c o n t r o l the e a r t h , and commit a rape t o r e g a i n t h e i r power; what b e t t e r way t o l o c a t e t h e i r " p h a l l u s perdu"! For the limp t o bounce back t o l i f e , f o r the dead kings t o impose t h e i r power i s seen as an e s s e n t i a l s t e p i n " l a formation de l a p e r s o n n a l i t e " 6 6 . These kings w a i t i n g f o r t h e i r prey i n t h e i r "chambres s e c r e t e s e t rondes,/L& ou sont d r e s s e s l e s l i t s c l o s " (v.23,24), i n a n t i c i p a t i o n , r e l e a s e "l'odeur [ q u i ] bouge en des orages g o n f l e s " (v.21). Kuntsmann d e s c r i b e s the storm as a male organ; l i g h t e n i n g i s "dieu et pere par e x c e l l e n c e , f l e c h e p h a l l i q u e , symbole ambivalent d'amour et de haine"67. And i t i s by s e x u a l union, by t h i s s a c r e d rape, t h a t " l e processus d ' i n d i v i d u a t i o n " can occur and t h a t " l e s longues heures que 1'heroine passe devant l e m i r o i r " become worthwhile. The g i r l 49 must pass through t h i s m i r r o r stage ( a c c o r d i n g to Jacques Lacan), go beyong primary n a r c i s s i s m , i n order to develop her i d e n t i t y 6 8 . In The Subject of Semiotics,. Kaja Silverman looks more c l o s e l y a t Lacan*s n o t i o n of the Subjet. A c c o r d i n g t o the Jungian concept, s e x u a l union w i l l a i d the process of dev e l o p i n g one's s e l f i d e n t i t y . Lacan s t a t e d t h a t the human s u b j e c t was o r i g i n a l l y an androgenous whole, but l o s t one h a l f of i t s b e i n g . The l o s s occured w i t h i n the womb and wholeness can best be r e s t o r e d through h e t e r o s e x u a l unlon69. With t h a t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the rape scene i n "Tombeau", both the dead kings and the young g i r l are w e l l on t h e i r way t o wholeness. Kuntsmann g i v e s the impression t h a t the heroine has been l o o k i n g f o r t h i s wholeness i n m i r r o r s , i n r e f l e c t i o n s of h e r s e l f . Silverman remarks t h a t when the c h i l d looks i n the m i r r o r , the s e l f Is being d e f i n e d through t h a t r e f l e c t i o n , an e x t e r n a l image. T h i s s e l f - r e c o g n i t i o n i s m i s - r e c o g n i t i o n ; "to know o n e s e l f through an e x t e r n a l image i s t o be d e f i n e d through s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n . " D e f i n i n g o n e s e l f t o t a l l y i n r e l a t i o n t o t h i s image, i s t o d e f i n e o n e s e l f , not as Subject, but as Object70. "Vie de Ch&teau"(E,54) c o n t a i n s both the motif of the m i r r o r and t h a t of sex u a l union. I t i s "un chateau d ' a n c S t r e s " ( v . l ) , of the past , of the dead. There i s no " t a b l e n i feu/Ni p o u s s i e r e n i t a p i s " (v.2,3), nothing but " m i r o i r s p o l l s " (v.5) 50 which emit an "enchantement p e r v e r s " (v.4). There i s nothing to do but "se mirer jour e t n u l t " ( v . 7 ) . The f i r s t h a l f of the poem i s an impersonal d e s c r i p t i o n of t h i s more than empty c a s t l e ; a s h e l l with m i r r o r e d w a l l s , f l o o r s and c e i l i n g s r e f l e c t i n g n o t h i n g but i t s e l f , u n l e s s something, someone, i n t e r r u p t s the r e f l e c t i o n . Barbara Godard suggests t h a t men l i v e i n a world of n a r c i s s i s m , where the o n l y r e f l e c t i o n i s of themselves, of the Law-of-the-Father. Women can o n l y f i n d freedom from t h i s gaze by going beyond, below the s u r f a c e of the m i r r o r s where there i s oxymoronic or m u l t l p l i s t i c v i s i o n , or ....parody which subvers l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e s i n the name of wholeness and m u l t i p l i c i t y . " 7 1 No sexual union, no rape i s needed t o f i n d wholeness. Instead, s h a t t e r i n g the m i r r o r s of the c a s t l e , of the F a t h e r ' s house and going behind the broken g l a s s t o present woman's a u t h e n t i c s e l f , i s the way t o a f u l l i d e n t i t y . T h i s i s where " l a p e t i t e morte" r e s i d e s , " c e t t e soeur" who, not without s a c r i f i c e , has passed through t o " l ' e n v e r s de ce m i r o i r l i m p i d e " (E/47,48). T h i s "envers du monde", i s o u t s i d e the House. Helene Cixous suggests i t i s the p l a c e where "women r e t u r n from a f a r , from always: from 'without', from beneath where witches are kept a l i v e ; from below from beyond ' c u l t u r e ' ; from t h e i r c h i l d h o o d " . I t i s the p l a c e t o which women must r e t u r n t o escape being f r o z e n by man's gaze. L i t t l e " g i r l s and t h e i r ' i l l - m a n n e r e d ' bodies imured, w e l l - p r e s e r v e d , i n t a c t unto themselves, i n the m i r r o r . F r i g i d i f i e d . But are they ever s e e t h i n g underneath!"72 51 "La p e t i t e morte", at f i r s t "comme un arbre de fougere p l e i n de g e l " ( v . 4 ) , begins t o d e f r o s t ; b i t by b i t she looses her r i g i d i t y , "ses jupes mousseuses/D'oft rayonne une strange n u i t l a i t e u s e " (v.6,7) o f f e r suppleness, s o f t n e s s , mouvement t o the c u r i o u s "nous" "a l ' i n t e r i e u r " (v.8) of the House. What was f r o z e n , now "Se baigne bleue sous l a lune" (v.19). The c o l o u r and rhythmic motion of t h i s now l i v i n g c r e a t u r e r e p l a c e the s t a t i c deadness of the f r o z e n p a s t . As i f she had been b u r i e d a l i v e l i k e the unnamed women i n Kamouraska r l i f e overcomes death as she emits "son odeur c a p t i e u s e " (v.20). Mouvement, odours, the senses come a l i v e . 'Seething underneath', the dead awaken; l i t t l e g i r l s encapsulated i n a f r o z e n s h e l l writhe l i k e b u t t e r f l i e s about t o break f r e e , c r a c k i n g t h e i r encasement. And, what they leave behind are dead corpses, not o n l y t h e i r own, but those of the Kings. In "L'Envers du Monde" (E,52,53), the "nous", these " f i l l e s b leues de l ' e t e " are t i r e d , "Desertees de £orce"(v .4 ) , "Devorees de s o l e i l / E t de s o u r i r e s a f l e u r de peau." (v.6,7) T h e i r l i v e s have been slow "pas/De pa t i e n c e et d'habitude" (v.16,17) which have f i n a l l y taken t h e i r t o l l . T h e i r l o v e r s , or the past , no longer i n t e r e s t them; having c a r r i e d the burden of the pa s t , they f e e l the weight of t h e i r o p p r e s s i o n i n male human form: Nous tenons d'6tranges lourdes t e t e s d'amants Qui ne sont p l u s a nous 52 Pesent et meurent en t r e nos d o i g t s i n n o c e n t s . (v.20-22) The weight of the low vowels i n "pesent" and "meurent", of the repeated n a s a l s i n "tenons", "etranges", "amants", "sont", " e n t r e " and " i n n o c e n t s " , and of the l i q u i d / r / and / l / , i s overwhelming. And y e t , La v o i x de l ' o i s e a u Hors de son coeur et de ses a i l e s rangees a i l l e u r s Cherche eperdument l a porte de l a memoire Pour v i v r e encore un p e t i t s o u f f l e de temps. (v.23-26) The b i r d has been the companion of the heroine throughout her wanderings, s u f f e r i n g her p a i n , s e a r c h i n g out her new d e s t i n a t i o n s , c r y i n g out, v o i c i n g i t s complaint when she was not a b l e . Here a g a i n , the b i r d comes not o n l y to the heroine's rescue, but to a l l women. Muted, t i r e d , t h i s "nous", though f i n d i n g comfort i n t h e i r numbers, are unable to look f o r the door of memory which w i l l b r i n g them to t h e i r a n c e s t r e s s e s . The v o i c e of the b i r d , the o n l y p a r t of i t s body which has not been wounded, fragmented, searches out t h i s door. The l a s t hope to f i n d r e b i r t h , new s i g h t , t r u e Maternal nourishment from the o r i g i n a l womb, comes from t h i s i s o l a t e d , s m a l l v o i c e . And with t h i s hope comes a c t i o n from one of the "nous". The f i r s t s t e p out of h a b i t , away from the now "etranges l o u r d e s t e t e s d'amant", i s to decide to a c t : 53 L'une de nous se decide Et doucement approche l a t e r r e de son o r e i l l e Comme une b o i t e s c e l l e e toute sonore d ' i n s e c t e s p r i s o n n l e r s E l l e d i t : "La p r a i r i e e s t envahie de b r u i t Aucun arbre de p a r o l e n'y pousse ses r a c i n e s s i l e n c i e u s e s Au coeur n o i r de l a n u i t . C'est i c i l ' e n v e r s du monde Qui done nous a chassees de ce c o t e ? " (v.27-34) In t h i s s t a n z a , the l i n e s f low s y n t a c t i c a l l y smoothly which emphasizes a r e l a t i v e calmness; the g i r l s are not ye t aware of what they have d i s c o v e r e d . There are two s e c t i o n s , the f i r s t of which i s not d e f i n e d by any pun c t u a t i o n ( a f t e r " p r i s o n n l e r s " ) . The f i r s t t h ree l i n e s i n t r o d u c e the i n d i v i d u a l , as opposed t o the "nous", who takes the st e p t o sear c h i n t o the e a r t h , c a u t i o u s l y approaches her ear to the e a r t h , as one would t o a b e l l y f u l l of c h i l d . She l i s t e n s t o the b u r b l i n g s , the r u s t l i n g s below the s u r f a c e , n o i s e s of l i f e i n the womb, of perhaps some "femme n o i r e , v i v a n t e " (K.,250). These f i r s t t h r e e l i n e s present a paradox: l i f e below the f l a t s u r f a c e of the e a r t h i s teeming with l i f e , new l i f e , which comes from the " o r i g i n e m a t e r n e l l e " , from "une epoque r e c u l e e et sauvage" (K.,250). But, t h i s newly d e f i n e d womb i s no longer the womb where "sons" of the "Fath e r " have been reproduced; N i c o l e Brossard demands t h a t we k i l l t h a t "womb" so t h a t h e n c e f o r t h p r o d u c t i o n , not r e p r o d u c t i o n , becomes women's 54 role . " 7 3 Has the door of memory opened t o the past which has d e f i n e d women as p r i s o n e r s w i t h i n i t s m i r r o r e d rooms? Or, has the door opened t o a past, long ago b u r i e d , and y e t f a m i l i a r , to a h e r i t a g e where the f i r s t Mother, the o r i g i n a l Eve, r e i g n s ? T h i s o r i g i n a l Mother, has been b u r i e d a l i v e l i k e the u n i d e n t i f i e d woman i n Kamouraska. T h i s woman, perhaps t h i s Mother, f o r g o t t e n over time, yearns f o r d i s c o v e r y , f o r unea r t h i n g . Her hunger f o r l i f e " d o i t e t r e s i f6roce e t e n t i e r e , accumulee sous l a t e r r e , depuis des s i e c l e s " (K.,250). Is t h i s p l a c e , the hidden, dark p l a c e where s i s t e r s c a c k l e together? Madeleine O u e l l e t t e - M i c h a l s k a suggests t h a t women s ' e f f o r c e n t de renouer avec une memoire archaique qui l e s r e m e t t r a i t en c o n t a c t avec l e fe m i n i n t u ( e ) en l a Mere. E l l e s t e n t e n t d ' i n v e n t o r i e r des p i s t e s , de re p e r e r des t r a c e s , de p r e t e r a t t e n t i o n aux v o i x , memoire e t p a r o l e s perdues. La s u r - i m p r e s s i o n de codes sur l a realite-femme rend d i f f i c i l e ce frayage des espaces souterrains " 7 4 . T h i s s t r u g g l e between the masculine codes which have d e f i n e d women and the innate d e s i r e t o f o l l o w the " f i l d ' A r i a n e " back to the Mother, i s u n d e r l i n e d by a c e r t a i n s y n t a c t i c and semantic c o n f u s i o n . In "Et doucement approche l a t e r r e de son o r e i l l e / Comme une b o i t e s c e l l e e toute sonore d ' i n s e c t e s p r i s o n n l e r s " , there i s c o n f u s i o n as t o what the " b o i t e " i s being compared with. Is the " b o i t e " buzzing with i n s e c t s s i m i l a r t o " l a t e r r e " , or t o "son o r e i l l e " ? Both are c o n t a i n e r s of one s o r t of another, both c o u l d be l i k e a box 55 teeming with i n s e c t s . The l o g i c a l a s s o c i a t i o n would be with " l a t e r r e " , but, the reader Is not sure, and perhaps n e i t h e r i s the g i r l l i s t e n i n g . In f a c t , the comparison might be between the a c t i o n "doucement approche" and the subordinate a d v e r b i a l c l a u s e , "Comme ....". In t h i s case, the s i m i l e i s l i n k e d to the verb and i t s adverb. The grammatical and semantic c o n f u s i o n of these two l i n e s can o n l y emphasize the uncl e a r message of t h i s " b o i t e . . . s o n o r e " . The n a r r a t o r i s j u s t watching and can o n l y guess what the g i r l i s h e a r i n g . Perhaps the b u z z i n g / b a b b l i n g , of the " i n s e c t e s p r i s o n n l e r s " can o n l y be i n t e r p r e t e d as speech i f the i n d i v i d u a l e n t e r s Into the e a r t h and takes p a r t i n the c o n v e r s a t i o n . The n a r r a t o r and the r e s t of the observers stand back and observe. Only one approaches t h i s p l a c e of d i f f e r e n t speech and can decipher t h r e e t h i n g s : there i s n o i s e and l i f e , t h ere i s no evidence of those s i l e n t , s u f f o c a t i n g , v i n e - l i k e r o o t s of the Tree of Speech of P a t r i a r c h y , and t h i s p l a c e i s a d i f f e r e n t p l a c e from the world of Law and Order and Speech. The g i r l who has approached the s u r f a c e of the e a r t h , who has taken the f i r s t s t e p t o d i g below the f l a t , immobile, c o n t r o l l e d l a y e r of P a t r i a r c h y , does not use her s i g h t , but her he a r i n g . S i g h t , the gaze, l o s e s i t s power o u t s i d e the House. On the other hand, h e a r i n g and other senses take back t h e i r power when ste p s are taken t o s h a t t e r the mi r r o r e d w a l l s of the Fath e r ' s abode. Here the g i r l hears and then speaks. What she 56 hears and then communicates to the others i s , i r o n i c a l l y , t h a t "Aucun arbre de p a r o l e n'y pousse ses r a c i n e s s i l e n c i e u s e s " . Here, under the s u r f a c e , i n the land of the Mother, the Tree of p a t r i a r c h y has l o s t i t s power. S i l e n c e d i n " l ' e n v e r s du monde", these "arbres longs e t chantants", these "grandes fontaines" ( E/17) are now impotent. T h e i r "ecoulement de source"(v.13) i s blocked and no longer a b l e to p u r i f y "L'eau de ces b o i s sombres" (v.15). The f l a t s u r f a c e needed f o r p e r f e c t r e f l e c t i o n i s r i p p l e d . Edson Rosa da S i l v a notes, t h a t the movement of water c r e a t e s chaos and f o l l y , d i s t u r b s the dead and perpetuates new l i f e 7 5 . Chaos, n o i s e , movement i n t h i s "element obscur e t aguatigue (...) s'oppose & l a s t a b i l i t y lumineuse et a d u l t e de 1 ' e s p r i t " 7 6 . The once s t a b l e support f o r l o g i c , f o r the Sun, f o r " l e s d r o i t s p i l i e r s " (v.17) i s s e t i n t o tremors by the buzzing below the e a r t h . T h i s nonsense, t h i s chaos, t h i s f o l l y f i n d s s i s t e r h o o d i n i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p with water. M i c h e l F o u c a u l t makes a t i e between the images of water and the f o o l . He s t a t e s t h a t the l a t t e r i s " l e Passager par e x c e l l e n c e , c ' e s t - A - d i r e l e p r l s o n n l e r du passage."77 P r i s o n e r s caught below the calm s u r f a c e of the water, these " i n s e c t e s p r i s o n n i e r s " i n "L'envers du monde", make t h e i r way through a land of f o l l y where nothin g i s "immobile" or'flge' ( E , 4 4 ) , where there i s no longer any f e a r t h a t one w i l l "heurter l a p a r o l du s i l e n c e " ( v . 8 ) . S i l e n c e has been broken 57 and the passage t o the Maternal o r i g i n has been cracked open. To f o l l o w the " f i l d'Ariane", t h i s thread of memory, back to the waters of the o r i g i n a l womb, w i l l be the next s t e p f o r these " f i l l e s bleues de l ' e t e " . And y e t , i n "L'Envers du monde", as the young g i r l reaches out f o r the th r e a d , a l l she f i n d s i s "ce doux r a v i n de g e l en guise de memoire." (v.37) Frozen, m o t i o n l e s s , made up memory, i t leads nowhere but back to womb of " l a femme douleureuse", back t o a past which has d e f i n e d a l l women as Mary or as Eve. v. D i v i n g i n t o the Wreck: D i s c o v e r i n g the Womb. To escape t h i s p a s t , the g i r l must look forward, and not "en v a i n d e r r i e r e e l i e " (v.35). she must head toward the underworld, the cave, to wetness, to mud where, s t a t e s Jean- P i e r r e R i c h a r d , "dans l a sedimen t a t i o n de ses boues ou dans l a paix de ses eaux i n t e r n e s e l i e [ l a g r o t t e ] couve l e s germes du fu t u r " 7 8 . I t i s a womb, notes G a y a t r i Spivak, where "pain e x i s t s w i t h i n the concepts of n o r m a l i t y and p r o d u c t l v i t y " 7 9 . For male Quebecois poets i n the '60s and '70s, the e a r t h was a l s o the symbol of a f e r t i l e p l a c e , a pl a c e i n t o which they c o u l d p l a n t t h e i r r o o t s , t h e i r seed. A c c o r d i n g t o P i e r r e Maheu, i t becomes t h e i r task t o r e t u r n to the mother, t o "nous enfoncer jusqu'au bout dans nos r e g i o n s obscures, de r i s g u e r 58 l ' i r r a i s o n pour r e t r o u v e r nos r a c i n e s , pour renouer l e l i e n avec l a t e r r e mere."80 The e a r t h becomes the p l a c e of s e c u r i t y , s o l i d base on which t o b u i l d . As Jack Warwick e x p l a i n s , "Nommer une t e r r e e s t une fagon de l a posseder"81. Again, women are s l o t t e d to f i l l male d e f i n e d r o l e s , r o l e s which ' o f f e r * something t o men, to the system. Woman must again l i e on her back and take the weight of the male. She i s to be penetrated so t h a t His r o o t s might f i n d nourishment and support. For Paul-Marie L a p o i n t e , the t r e e i s a brother whose r o o t s must be p l a n t e d i n t h i s earth82. Even Hebert s t a t e d t h a t t h i s t r e e , "1'Arbre de l a Connaissance" must be "Debout" and "avoue a l a lumiere", t h a t "La t e r r e [ e s t ] a s a i s i r e t a nommer."83 To stand t a l l and s t r o n g on t h i s e a r t h which i s "une femme qu'on possede et un l i e u d'enracinement"84, i s the f i r s t s t e p f o r w r i t e r s t o f i g h t t h e i r f e a r s , to "'cas s e r l e s barreaux a coups de marteau e t en hu r l a n t ' " 8 5 , d e c l a r e s Yves P r e f o n t a i n e . Perhaps f o r the Quebecois w r i t e r s of the 60's, woman was the metaphor f o r " l e pays" and the Tree i n a l l i t s r i g i d , unshakable s t r e n g t h , the meta p h o r i c a l symbol f o r the w r i t e r . And what went unnoticed t o women w r i t e r s l i k e Hebert were the other p o s s i b l e c o n n o t a t i o n s of these symbols: the Tree as P h a l l u s (or Lacan's Symbolic Order) and the E a r t h , i n a double r o l e as t h a t which i s penetrated by the r o o t s of t h i s T ree- the p l a c e of masculine v i o l a t i o n - and as t h a t female p l a c e , the 59 womb, from which l i f e of both men and women Is nurtured and which o f f e r s her maternal source to women. Th i s source of women's h e r i t a g e i s the p l a c e where the c o n n e c t i n g t h r e a d , the " f i l d 'Ariane", the l i f e - l i n e t h a t j o i n s s i s t e r h o o d t o g e t h e r , r e c e i v e s i t s nourishment. But the p a t r i a r c h a l c u l t u r e , remarks Annis P r a t t , has been w e l l "enclosed w i t h i n our c o n s c i o u s n e s s . In order to reach the world of c o l l e c t i v e imagery u n d e r l y i n g the p a t r i a r c h a l o v e r l a y e r we must t r a v e l along f o r g o t t e n paths of memory."86 We must I n s t i n c t i v e l y f i n d our way back the p l a c e from which we come, 'dive i n t o the wreck', proposes Adrienne R i c h . Our names are not i n the h i s t o r y books, our myths have been adapted to make men the winners, but we must, suggests R i c h i n " D i v i n g i n t o the Wreck", plunge beneath the s u r f a c e : by cowardice or courage the one who f i n d s our way back to t h i s scene c a r r y i n g a k n i f e , a camera a book of myths i n which our names do not appear.87 P r a t t suggests t h a t we r e t r i e v e those s t o r i e s , those myths, those images and p a t t e r n s which make up women's " c o l l e c t i v e p s y c h i c r e p o s i t o r y " 8 8 i n order t o d e c o n s t r u c t P a t r i a r c h y ' s ' r e v i s i o n ' of women's o r i g i n a l s t o r i e s . These p a t t e r n s , now fragmented, chopped, d i s t o r t e d , c a r r y a d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e mark, an u n d e r l y i n g p a t t e r n , b a r e l y v i s i b l e , a " f i l i g r a n e " . Even a f t e r d i s t o r t i o n , a f t e r death, the o r i g i n a l p a t t e r n remains. C h a r l e s E l l i o t t , an economist and t h e o l o g i a n , recounts the s t o r y of a man who had " d i e d " , but was r e v i v e d . T h i s man, V i c t o r Solow, d e s c r i b e s the wholeness he re t u r n e d t o , the sense of " I " which brought him a new s u b j e c t i v i t y , a r e t u r n t o a f a m i l i a r p l a c e long f o r g o t t e n : T h i s new " I " was not the I t h a t I knew, but r a t h e r a d i s t i l l e d essence of i t , y e t something vaguely f a m i l i a r , something I had always known b u r i e d under a s u p e r - s t r u c t u r e of p e r s o n a l f e a r s , hopes, wants and needs. T h i s " I " was f i n a l , unchangeable, i n d i v i s i b l e , i n d e s t r u c t i b l e . . . while unique and i n d i v i d u a l as a f i n g e r p r i n t . " I " was, a t the same time, p a r t of some i n f i n i t e , harmonious and ordered whole. I had been there before.89 We have been there b e f o r e , the pl a c e of o r i g i n , the p l a c e of wholeness - the womb. Once immersed i n t h i s "eau inconnue" ( E , 1 3 ) , i n t h i s a m n i o t i c f l u i d , we s t i l l rock g e n t l y i n the "grands courants sous-marins" which r e v e a l t h e i r "Code s e c r e t " (EL,24). T h i s code, t h i s " f i l i g r a n e " , Is t o be uncovered i n the feminine subtext which u n d e r l i e s a l l masculine r e a d i n g of women's l i t e r a t u r e . Annette Kolodny has observed t h a t the male reader f i n d s t h i s world f u l l of strange and u n f a m i l i a r symbols. N e l l y Furness f u r t h e r s t h i s n o t i o n i n s t a t i n g t h a t the male reader w i l l thus "dismiss those systems as undecipherable, meaningless, or t r i v i a l . " 9 0 Meaningless, suggests L o r r a i n e Weir, because the male reader has to see the whole p i c t u r e , not the fragment, not the " h a l f - s a i d " 9 1 . Women's t e x t s are w r i t t e n 61 with t h i s s t y l i s t i c s t r a t e g y , "a s t r a t e g y of camouflage which s t r i v e s p a r a d o x i c a l l y f o r both concealment and r e v e l a t i o n " , a s t r a t e g y of the "underground"92. The w r i t e r may or may not be aware of t h i s s t r a t e g y , and y e t she has w r i t t e n I t i n t o her s u b t e x t . Miriam Waddlngton emphasizes t h a t t h i s u n d e r l y i n g c o l l e c t i v e experience i s a f e m i n i s t e xperience. Even before the s u r g i n g f o r t h of the f e m i n i s t movement i n the 70s, every woman w r i t i n g "was a f e m i n i s t whether she knew i t or not"93. Weir c a l l s t h i s s t r a t e g y " p r i v a t e p a r a l l a x " which, u n l i k e " p u b l i c p a r a l l a x " -a masculine s t r a g e g y of b r i n g i n g e v e r y t h i n g t o c l o s u r e , t o f u l l - m e a n i n g - , i s open-ended and y e t demands a s k i l l of r e a d i n g . Weir borrows S t a n l e y F i s h ' s term, an " i n t e r p r e t i v e community" t o d e s c r i b e those readers who can d e t e c t the camouflage of t h i s s u b t e x t , and r e v e a l new meanings to those symbols, to those " h a l f - s a y i n g s " 9 4 . C r a c k i n g open the "armoire s e c r e t e " (E,42) of the heroine of Le Tombeau des r o l s f l i f t i n g the v e i l of r a i n which covers " c e l l e q u i d o r t " , r e v e a l s a "Sejour & demi cache/...Cour i n t e r i e u r e derobee" (E,15). Her p a i n , her s e c r e t s l i e hidden i n these s e c r e t p l a c e s which r e v e a l o n l y h a l f of the s t o r y . To b r i n g the embroidered margins to the c e n t r e , the wreck to the s u r f a c e , the r e v i s i o n s of symbols and myths to P a t r i a r c h y , i s to s h a t t e r m i r r o r s , churn up the calm waters, break out of the "etanche maison", the "chambre fermee". K i l l i n g the womb of Mary, s o i l i n g "cet espace p o l l " (E,43), making her descent 62 below the r o o t s which have sucked her dry, the heroine weaves her way back t o her Mother. And s e a r c h i n g f o r t h a t "manque s e c r e t " , what Ren6 Juery c a l l s t h a t " s t r u c t u r e absente q u i e x l s t e hors de l a structure " 9 5 , the her o i n e , with "Le t a c i t u r n e o i s e a u p r i s a Isles d o l g t s " , e n t e r s the " l e s tombeaux des r o i s " (E,59). A c c o r d i n g t o G l o r i a Feman O r e n s t e i n , i t i s the i n d i v i d u a l who, by making t h i s voyage, by t a k i n g a r i s k , i s doing so " i n the name of a l l women."96 1. Georges Amyot, "Anne Hebert e t l a r e n a i s s a n c e , " Les E c r l t s du Canada f r a n 9 a l s 20 (1965): 238. 2. M a i l h o t 25. 3. M a i l h o t 25. 4. A l b e r t Le Grand, Anne Hubert: de l ' e x l l au royaume (Montreal: Presses de 1 ' U n i v e r s i t e de Montreal, 1967) 26. 5. Le Grand 25. 6. Le Grand 26. 7. Amyot 237-8. 8. Amyot 238. 9. Amyot 239. 10. MCDonald 56. 11. McDonald 60. 12. McDonald 55. 13. Smart, E c r i r e 332. 63 14. C o r a l Ann Howells, P r i v a t e and F i c t i o n a l Words: Canadian Women N o v e l i s t s of the 1970'A and 1980's (London: Methuen, 1987) 17. 15. Smart, E c r i r e 20. 16. Smart, E d Ire. 332. 17. Smart, E c r i r e 20. 18. Smart, E c r i r e 21. 19. Le Grand 30. 20. Denis Bouchard, Une Le c t u r e d'Anne Hebert (Montreal: H u r t u b i s e , 1977) 136. 21. Bouchard 136. 22. Bouchard 43. 23. Bouchard 14. 24. Madeleine Gagnon, "Une t r a d i t i o n feminine en l i t t e r a t u r e ? , " Conference i n t e r a m e r l c a l n e des femmes-ecrivalns Canadian Women's Stu d i e s 1.1 F a l l 1978: 52. 25. Gagnon 52. 26. G a b r l e l l e P a s c a l , "Soumission e t r e v o l t e dans l e s romans d'Anne Hebert," Incidences 1.2-3 mai-dec. 1980: 5. 27. Smart, E c r i r e 21. 28. Smart, E c r i r e 34. 29. Smart, E c r i r e 334. 30. Le Grand 32. 31. Grandpre 20. 32. Grandpre 48. 33. Grandpre 49. 34. L u c i e S6quin, " N i c o l e B r o s s a r d : l e s m o t s - 6 t r e i n t s , " Canadian Women's Studie s 1.3 S p r i n g 1979: 59. 35. P i e r r e Kuntsmann, "'Le Tombeau des r o i s ' : ou l a p r o g r e s s i o n r e g r e s s i v e , " v o l x e t Images 2.2 decembre 1976: 256. 64 36. Kuntsmann 258. 37. N i c o l e Brossard, "Sceance i n a u g u r a l e , " Conference des femmes Revue de 1 ' U n i v e r s i t e d'Ottawa 50.1 jan-mars 1980: 8. 38. Gerard Genette, N a r r a t i v e D i s c o u r s e : an Essav i n Method Trans. Jonathan C u l l e r (New York: C o r n e l l U.P., 1980) 33. 39. P a s c a l 60. 40. Verduyn 452. 41. Verduyn 456. 42. Verduyn 454. 43. L o u i s e Dupr6, " L ' e c r i t u r e feminine dans Les herbes £OJig£s_," Revue de 1 ' U n i v e r s i t y d'Ottawa 50.1 1980: 91. 44. Adrienne R i c h , "When We Dead Awaken: W r i t i n g as Re- V i s i o n , " On L i e s r S e c r e t s and S i l e n c e s (New York: W.W. Norton, 1979) 35. 45. Mary Jean Green, "The Witch and the P r i n c e s s : the Feminine F a n t a s t i c i n the F i c t i o n of Anne Hubert," The American Review of Canadian Stud i e s 15.2 summer 1985: 141. 46. S y l v i e Gagne, "La S o u r c i e r e , " Les herbes rouges no. 58 dycembre 1977: 8. 47. P a t r i c i a Smart, "La Poesle d'Anne Hebert: une p e r s p e c t i v e feminine," Revue de 1 ' U n i v e r s i t y d'Ottawa 50.1 j a n - mars 1980: 66. 48. Smart, E c r l r e 331. 49. P h i l i p p e Haeck, La Table d ' y c r l t u r e (Montreal: VLB e d i t e u r , 1984) 148. 50. Haeck 148. 51. Haeck 127. 52. Haeck 138. 53. Haeck 146. 54. Margaret Atwood, "Paradoxes and Dilemmas, the Woman as W r i t e r , " F e m i n i s t L i t e r a r y Theory: a Reader ed. Mary Ea g l e t o n (Oxford: B a s i l B l a c k w e l l , 1986) 75. 65 55. Marie C o u i l l a r d et F r a n c i n e Dumouchel, "Symphonie f e m i n i s t e , " nynncr111cs/Gynocri11quea ed. Barbara Godard (Toronto: ECW P r e s s , 1987) 78. 56. C o u i l l a r d e t Duchoumel 77. 57. Barbara Godard, "Mapmaking: A Survey of F e m i n i s t C r i t i c i s m , " G y n o c r l t l c s / G y n o c r l t l g u e s ed. Barbara Godard (Toronto: ECW P r e s s , 1987) 6. 58. Mair Verthuy, "Michele M a i l h o t : A C a u t i o n a r y T a l e , " G v n o c r l t l c s / G v n o c r l t l q u e s ed. Barbara Godard (Toronto: ECW P r e s s , 1987) 137. 59. Verthuy, " T a l e " 135. 60. Rachel BlaO D u P l e s s i s , "For the E t r u s c a n s : Sexual D i f f e r e n c e and A r t i s t i c P r o d u c t i o n -the Debate over a Female A e s t h e t i c , " F e m i n i s t L i t e r a r y Theory: a Reader ed. Mary Ea g l e t o n (Oxford: B a s i l B l a c k w e l l , 1986) 228. 61. Marie Couillard-Goodenough, "La Femme et l e s a c r e dans quelques romans quebecois contemporains," Revue de l ' U n l v e r s l t e d'Ottawa 50.1 1980: 77. 62. Madeleine O u e l l e t t e - M i c h a l s k a , "Mythe et i d e o l o g i c : de l ' S t r e de c h a i r * l ' e t r e de p a r o l e , " Derives 27 (1981) 4. 63. Kuntsmann 255. 64. Kunstmann 259. 65. Kuntsmann 258. 66. Kuntsmann 259. 67. Kuntsmann 260. 68. Kuntsmann 261. 69. Kaja Silverman, The Subject of Semiotics (New York: Oxford U.P., 1983) 153. 70. Silverman 158. 71. Godard, "Mapmaking" 17. 72. Helene Cixous, "The Laugh of the Medusa," F e m i n i s t L i t e r a r y Theory: a Reader ed. Mary E a g l e t o n (Oxford: B a s i l B l a c k w e l l , 1986) 227. 73. Godard, "Mapmaking" 21-22. 66 74. Madeleine O u e l l e t t e - M l c h a l s k a , "La C r i t i q u e l i t t e r a i r e ou l i t t e r a t u r e de l a tra n s p a r e n c e , " G y n o c r I t l c s / G y n o c r l t i a u e s ed. Barbara Godard (Toronto: ECW P r e s s , 1987) 43. 75. Edson Rosa da S i l v a , "La Regeneration du cosmos dans un poeme d'Anne Hebert," Presence francophone no. 23 automne 1981: 166. 76. da S i l v a 169. 77. da S i l v a 169. 78. da S i l v a 170. 79. G a y a t r i Spivak, "Feminism and C r i t i c a l Theory," Women's Stu d i e s I n t e r n a t i o n a l J o u r n a l 1-2 1978-79: 244. 80. Jack Warwick, "Un Retour aux mythes de l a t e r r e , " Etudes f r a n y a l s e s 9.1 f e v r i e r 1973: 290. 81. Warwick 296. 82. M a i l h o t 76. 83. Le Grand 35. 84. Moisan 134. 85. Moisan 136. 86. Annis P r a t t , "Aunt J e n n i f e r ' s T i g e r s : Notes Toward a P r e l l t e r a r y H i s t o r y of Women's Archetypes," F e m i n i s t S t u d i e s 4.1 February 1978: 171. 87. P r a t t , " T i g e r s " 171. 88. P r a t t , " T i g e r s " 164. 89. C h a r l e s E l l i o t t , P r a y i n g Through Paradox (London: Fount Paperbacks, 1987) 72. 90. Weir 60. 91. Weir 60. 92. Weir 61. 93. Miriam Waddington, "Women and W r i t i n g : Keynote speech i n Honour of Margaret Laurence," Canadian Women's St u d i e s 8.3 F a l l 1987: 28. 94. Weir 66. 67 95. Ren© Juery, Initiation A 1'analyse textuelle (Hull: Asticou, 1981) 179. 96. Gloria Feman Orenstein, "Jovette Marchessault: the Ecstatic Vision-Quest of the New Feminist Shaman," G y n o c r i t l C S / g y n o c r l t l q u e g ed. Barbara Godard (Toronto: ECW Press, 1987) 182. 68 Chapter Two Out of the Womb: a Process of R e b i r t h i . L i g h t : from P e n e t r a t i o n to R e s u r r e c t i o n . A c c o r d i n g t o Northrop F r y e , f o r man to enter i n t o the " b e l l y and bowels of the e a r t h " , t o descend " i n t o the l a b y r i n t h i n e and anatomical depths of a monster, where he encounters a female or dragon (or female dragon) and 'masters' i t [ h e r ] " , i s the t r u e s t t e s t of manhood. To p e n e t r a t e t h i s "lower, c h t h o n i c , and dreaded" space, t h i s "cunning female"1, i s both a source of p l e a s u r e and of r e p u l s i o n f o r the hero. He rapes and then r e j e c t s , and she shudders i n s i l e n c e . In "Vie de Chateau" (P_,54), the n a r r a t o r e n t e r s i n t o the l i f e of the h e r o i n e . No longer a b l e to stand back and watch, she abandons the impersonal, d i s t a n t d e s c r i p t i o n : "C'est un chateau d ' a n c e t r e s " i n which "La s e u l e occupation . . . / C o n s i s t e a se m l r e r " (v. 1,6,7). To h e l p her f r i e n d escape, she commands t h i s s i s t e r t o throw her own r e f l e c t i o n back at the m i r r o r s which have been d e f i n i n g her. But, i t i s to no a v a i l ; the dead which have c o n s t r u c t e d these " m i r o l r s p o l l s " ( v . 5 ) , which l u r k "sous l e t a i n " (v.12), wrap around the h e r o i n e , enter her. Even a t the thought of r e b e l l i o n , of c o n f r o n t a t i o n , death, the p a s t , t h i s masculine power consumes her a t h i s w i l l : 69 J e t t e ton image aux f o n t a l n e s dures Ta plus dure image sans ombre ni couleur . V o l s , ces g l a c e s sont profondes Comme des armoires Toujours quelque mort y h a b i t e sous l e t a i n E t couvre a u s s i t d t ton r e f l e t Se c o l l e A t o i comme une algue S'ajuste A t o i , mince et nu, Et simule 1'amour en un l e n t f r i s s o n amer. (v.8-16) P i e r r e - H e r v e Lemieux suggests t h a t the repeated / c / i n "couvre", " c o l l e " and "comme" and the combination of /g/,/1/ and mid-vowel / a / i n "algue" emphasize the i n s i d i o u s crime committed; these sounds make one " s e n t i r toute l a repugnance 6prouvee comme s i c ' e t a i t un v i o l f r a n c e t net"2. The repeated / s / , / r / and the n a s a l s i n l i n e s 15 and 16 seem t o emphasize the a c t of the rape; the crime i s prolonged and committed with an a p p a r e n t l y non-chalant a t t i t u d e . Lemieux does not f r e e l y admit t h a t these l i n e s are d e s c r i b i n g a rape. His "comme s i c ' e t a i t un v i o l " , a c o n d i t i o n a l c l a u s e , adds j u s t enough c o l o u r to h i s a n a l y s i s to r a i s e the eyebrow of the reader. But on the other hand, i t leaves enough room f o r him not to make a d e f i n i t i v e , r i s k y statement which would accuse the dead, masculine e n t i t y of h i s crime. For D e l b e r t R u s s e l l , however, the dead image o n l y possesses the s u b j e c t as h i s o b j e c t 3 . No rape i s mentionned. L u c i l l e Roy i s more bo l d than her male c o u n t e r p a r t s ; she i n t e r p r e t s the L i g h t as an instrument which p e n e t r a t e s , which "perce l a c h a i r " . In the poem f o l l o w i n g "Vie de chateau", L i g h t i s the source of power which d e s t r o y s the body of the h e r o i n e . In the second stanza of "Rouler dans des Ravins de F a t i g u e " (E ,55), " l a p e n e t a t i o n de l a v i e i n t e r i e u r e par l a lumiere prend l a forme d'un v i o l oft l a p o i t r i n e du s u j e t e s t 'crevee', son corps ( c e t t e 'cage de bouleau blanc',) rompu et l e s s e c r e t s de son passe '^ventres'" 4 : Vieux caveau de f a m i l l e Eventre Cage de bouleau b l a n c Rompue Jeu de domino Interrompu Douce p o i t r i n e crevee [ . . . ] Grand c r i de l a lumiere au-dessus de nous. (v.9-15, 19) For Lemieux, the "caveau" r e p r e s e n t s a p r i s o n which i s "rompu", a brokeness i n d i c a t i n g " l e terme de t o u t un genre de v i e desoeuvree, c e l l e de chateau". For him, the h e r o i n e ' s " p o i t r i n e " has been "crev6e", not by v i o l e n t p e n e t r a t i o n , but by "des d e v a s t a t i o n s a n t e r i e u r e s [...,] l a rangon intime de toute c e t t e r e v o l t e d e c h i r a n t e . " 5 The "caveau", an a n c i e n t , empty space surrounded by a f r a g i l e s h e l l , and her " p o i t r i n e crev6e", a t a t t e r e d body p i e r c e d by some l o n g - f o r g o t t e n , unnamed f o r c e s , both deserve t h e i r f a t e , t h i s payment f o r a f i g h t they have l o s t . The g r e a t orgasmic c r y from above 71 r e v e a l s the v i c t o r y of the sun. Lemleux I n t e r p r e t s " l e caveau", l i k e " l e chateau", as the p l a c e which holds the p a s t , the laws, the powers which have denied French Canadians t h e i r own i d e n t i t y . Roy, on the other hand, has taken "caveau" and " p o i t r i n e " t o be "body", woman's body which i s crushed under the heavy weight of the L i g h t "causant un ©tat de f a i b l e s e ou de f a t i g u e . Toujours s i t u e e au-dessus de l ' e t r e e l l e [ l a Lumiere] semble tomber de t r e s haut, t e l l e une matiere lourde qui s'abat sur l a v i e pour e n t r a i n e r l a mort"6. In " I n v e n t a i r e " (E, 29), L i g h t ' s p e n e t r a t i n g f o r c e e n t e r s i n t o the hands of the heroine and empowers them to a c t . "Dans un r e d u i t / Tres c l a i r e t nu" (v. 1,2) these hands, t h e i r "Lame v i v e et c i s e l e e " (v.7) break smoothly Into the h e a r t of a unknown t h i r d p a r t y and s e i z e h e r / h i s h e a r t , t h i s " F r u i t c r e v e " ( v . 5 ) . Roy's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s t h a t these hands, empowered by the L i g h t , s ' i n s e r e n t dans l a c h a i r nue, p i l l a n t l e s s e c r e t s du coeur. Plongees a l ' i n t e r i e u r du c o r p s , l e *crevent' comme un f r u i t , l a lumiere e t l e s mains du s u j e t v i o l e n t conjointement l e mystere de l a v i e , l'exposant impitoyablement au monde.7 The heroine's c o m p l i c i t y with the Sun i s somewhat out of her c o n t r o l . She has been seduced by the powers of t h i s L i g h t . C a r l Jung s t a t e s t h a t c e l e s t i a l f i r e , " l e pere v i s i b l e du monde, c' e s t l e s o l e i l " 8 . I t i s a Sun which has entered woman so t h a t she too c a r r i e s her own " s o l e i l i n t e r i e u r " which i s "1'image du d l e u " . Jung c l a i m s t h a t t h i s p e n e t r a t i o n i n t o the female 72 b r i n g s " l a t o t a l l t e transcendante, l e s o l . " 9 As f o r Lacan, wholeness of s e l f comes o n l y through union of the male and female, a union i n which the masculine e n t i t y e n t e r s , a t h i s whim, p l a n t i n g h i s seed i n t o the feminine. The Sun "e s t f o r c e g e n e r a t r i c e , puissance de renouvellement e t de v i e " 1 0 , a c c o r d i n g t o Maurice Emond. And y e t t h i s p h a l l i c power i s d e s t r u c t i v e ; i t burns the e a r t h "comme une forge" ( E ,43), and chars the hands of a woman (E, 20). In "Un B r u i t de S o l e " (E,57), the sun i s the " e c l a t de mldi"(v.3) qui "empeche de v o l r " ( v . 7 ) . I t e r a d i c a t e s a l l i n the path of i t s r a y s , of i t s gaze: L ' e c l a t de midi e f f a c e t a forme devant moi Tu trembles e t l u i s comme un m i r o i r Tu m'offres l e s o l e i l A b o i r e A meme ton vi s a g e absent. Trop de lumiere empeche de v o i r ; l'un e t l 1 a u t r e torche blanche, grand v i d e de midi Se chercher A t r a v e r s l e feu et l'eau fumee. Les especes du monde sont r e d u i t e s A deux (v.3-12) Roy notes t h a t the absent face e s t metonymique i c l de l a perte t o t a l e de l ' e t r e . L'amant d i s p a r a i t integralement sous 1 ' e c l a t du j o u r , car l e ' m i r o i r ' q u i l e d e f i n i t aux yeux du s u j e t n ' e x i s t e qu'en f o n c t i o n de ce q u ' i l r e f l e t e : l a lumiere e l l e - m e m e . l l 73 Here man and woman, " l ' u n et 1'autre torche blanche", r e f l e c t i n g o n l y the L i g h t of the su(o)n, devoid of i d e n t i t y , make t h e i r way, t h e i r "bras etendus" (v.15). The image of these " S e r v l t e u r s a v i d e s e t etonnes"(v.16), b l i n d e d by God's wrath, i s not d i s s i m i l a r t o t h a t of M i l t o n ' s Eve and Adam, who ashamed, "hand i n hand, with wandering steps and slow,/Through Eden took t h e i r s o l i t a r y way." ( M i l t o n ' s P a r a d i s e L o s t r Book 12) And y e t , i t i s the woman, a t the end of t h i s penultimate poem i n Tombeau, who leads the way towards l i b e r t y . Taking r e s p o n s i b i t i t y f o r her l o v e r , her s i s t e r s , those " f i l l e s bleues de l ' e t e " "Desertees de f o r c e " and "Devorees de s o l e i l " (E,52), the speaker f i n d s h e r s e l f "Roulee dans ma rage" (E, 56). She i s no longer w i l l i n g to p l a n t her hands "au j a r d i n " (E,49), to take "mes yeux/Dans mes mains/Comme des p i e r r e s d'eau/Et...[danser]/Les gestes des fous/Autour de mes larmes/En guise de f e t e . " (E,36); no more p r e t e n d i n g , no more o f f e r i n g "Les d o i g t s sans aucun d e s i r " (E, 38), or " l a c r o i x tremblante de mes bras etendus" (E,39). No longer she " f a i t m i r o i t e r ses mains comme des rayons", no longer "Les j o u r s sur ses mains/L'occupent e t l a c a p t i v e n t . " (E,21) Instead her hands ac t as s u b j e c t s i n "Un B r u i t de S o l e " . As i f they have a w i l l of t h e i r own, the speaker's hands f o r c e f u l l y c ut through the L i g h t t o r e v e a l the remaining s p l i n t e r of s o o t h i n g shade, of Night, of the Womb: Mes mains e c a r t e n t l e jour comme un r i d e a u L'ombre d'un s e u l a r b r e e t a l e l a n u i t a nos pieds 7 4 E t decouvre c e t t e calme immobile d i s t a n c e E n t r e t e s d o i g t s de s a b l e et mes paumes toutes f l e u r i e s . (v.24-27) Behind t h i s f o i l of L i g h t , " l ' e n v e r s de ce m i r o i r limplde /oft c e t t e soeur que nous avons/Se baigne bleue sous l a l u n e " (E,48), e x i s t s a shadow. I r o n i c a l l y , i t i s i n the darkened l i g h t of t h i s "ombre" t h a t the speaker becomes aware, not o n l y of the d i s t a n c e between h i s d i s l o c a t e d body and hers, but a l s o of her newly blossomed power. His " d o i g t s de s a b l e " c o u l d e a s i l y crumble i n t o a u s e l e s s p i l e of dust, whereas her "paumes tou t e s f l e u r i e s " , no longer s t e r i l e , abound with l i f e and p o t e n t i a l l i f e - g i v i n g . She i s f i n a l l y the source of p r o d u c t i o n of new seeds and not of r e p r o d u c t i o n or r e f l e c t i o n of the Sun's l i g h t . These hands were once d i s l o c a t e d and u s e l e s s , as Gerard B e s s e t t e suggests, "comme un mecanisme mal monte, mal j o i n t , e n c l i n a l a d£sagr£gation: dont l e s d i f f e r e n t s organes n'obeissent pas a une v o l o n t e , a une impulsion c e n t r a l e " 1 2 . Now h i s f i n g e r s of sand s t i l l are d i s l o c a t e d and dependant on her r e g e n e r a t i v e powers f o r r e s u r r e c t i o n . i i . Towards the Mother: an Act of ' R e - t e l l l n g ' . The powerful rays of the Sun have f o r c e d the speaker f i n a l l y to f i g h t back. Overcome, she s l i c e s open the c u r t a i n which separates her from " l ' O r i g i n e m a t e r n e l l e " , Eve. In "Eve" i n Myat&re de l a p a r o l e f (E,101-102), the n a r r a t o r c a l l s d e s p e r a t e l y t o her, t h i s "ventre premier"(v.14) a s k i n g her remember her daughters over the ages, these " f i l l e s d e r n i e r e - nees, ... c e l l e s q ui sont sans nom n i h i s t o i r e , ... f r a c a s s e e s entre deux t r e s grandes p i e r r e s " . (v.19-21) T h i s search f o r t h a t l o s t v o i c e , the need t o f i n d her own v o i c e , to speak the t r u t h , and her f r u s t r a t i o n i n the ever loud s i l e n c e which emanates from the depths, are r e i t e r a t e d i n the prelude of Joy Kogawa's Qbasan: The speech t h a t f r e e s comes f o r t h from the amn i o t i c deep. To at t e n d i t s v o i c e , [...] i s to embrace i t s absence. [...] The word i s stone. [...J Unless the stone b u r s t s with t e l l i n g , u nless the seed flowers with speech, there i s i n my l i f e no l i v i n g word... I f I c o u l d f o l l o w the stream down and down to the hidden v o i c e , would I come a t l a s t t o the f r e e i n g word? I ask the n i g h t sky but the s i l e n c e i s s t e a d f a s t . There i s no rep l y . 1 3 The heroine i n "Chambre de b o i s " (E, 42-43), "cern6e de b o i s a n c i e n " (v.36) where there i s " n i s e r r u r e n i c l e f " (v. 35), attempts t o search out t h i s hidden v o i c e . Her s t r o n g statement, "Je v a i s coudre ma robe avec ce f i l perdu." (v.22), r e v e a l s a d e c i s i o n she has made d e s p i t e her emprisonment. The high vowels, / i / , /e/, the repeated s t o p s , /k/, /d/, /b/, /p/, the use of the f u t u r e tense, a l l i n d i c a t e an imminent a c t i o n , or a t l e a s t , Intent t o search out the "hidden v o i c e " . Eve, f i r s t Mother, i s the source of t h i s " f i l d'Ariane". I t i s Her 76 "regard sans p r u n e l l e " (E,100-102), not H i s , the F a t h e r ' s , which w i l l c a t c h the a t t e n t i o n of her wandering community and i t i s t h i s " l a i n e rude" which w i l l draw them back t o her br e a s t . And i t i s d u r i n g the coming home, d u r i n g the t r a n s g r e s s i o n which can o n l y take p l a c e , as Maroussia Ahmed suggests, "Hors du c e r c l e " (as i n the "cabane" i n E n f a n t s , or i n the "tombeau"), t h a t the ' t e l l i n g ' begins to happen!4. Jan Montefiore speaks of the n e c e s s i t y t o break the s i l e n c e by t e l l i n g s t o r i e s from one's own experie n c e , a u t h e n t i c s t o r i e s . M ontefiore quotes L i z Lochhead's "The S t o r y t e l l e r " 1 5 No one c o u l d say the s t o r i e s were u s e l e s s f o r as the tongues c l a c k e d f i v e or f o r t y f i n g e r s s t i t c h e d c o r n was gra t e d from the husk patchwork was pi e c e d or the dar n i n g done. To t e l l the s t o r i e s was her work. I t was l i k e s p i n n i n g g a t h e r i n g t h i n a i r t o the s i n g l e s t s t r o n g e s t t h r e a d . Night i n she'd have us w a i t i n g h e l d / b r e a t h , f o r the ending we knew by h e a r t . To gather, i n "the s i n g l e s t s t r o n g e s t t h r e a d " , t h i s " l a i n e rude", " f i l perdu" (E,43), s t o r i e s whose ending women know by he a r t , i s a r i s k . Women have been f o r c e n t u r i e s t e l l i n g t h e i r s t o r i e s i n s e c r e t ways so t h a t o n l y women cou l d read, c o u l d understand. T h e i r "tongues c l a c k e d " i n nonsense, i n a "code s e c r e t " (E ,24), t h e i r f i n g e r s embroidered i n obscure p a t t e r n s . These images r e c u r i n the p o e t r y of Anne Hebert as they do i n other women poets. Margaret Atwood supposes t h a t women w r i t e r s , throughout the c e n t u r i e s , have been r e w r i t i n g the s t o r i e s of t h e i r a n c e s t r e s s e s , of Eve, Mary, the O r a c l e s , the Witches, the Medusas, the Goddesses, and r e t e l l i n g the episodes of t h e i r burnings and rapes, of t h e i r sequestered and indecent l i f e s t y l e s . T h e i r m u l t i p l e d e p i c t i o n s of women, other than of the S o l i t a r y Weeper, r e v e a l the hidden s t o r i e s l 6 . Male w r i t e r s have been r e p r e s e n t i n g women as e i t h e r t h i s p a s s i v e V i r g i n Weeper, f r u i t f u l Mother, or d e v i l i s h Whore, who might have been raped and then s l a i n as a monster, or a t l e a s t muted so as not to t e l l the T r u t h . Annis P r a t t r e t e l l s the s t o r y of the rape of P h i l o m ela by her b r o t h e r - i n - l a w Tereus who, a f t e r the crime, c u t s out her tongue t o s i l e n c e her. And day a f t e r day Philomela s i t s q u i e t l y , p a t i e n t l y embroidering her s t o r y , the Tr u t h . I t i s o n l y her s i s t e r Procne who i s able t o decip h e r t h a t t r u t h , and i n revenge, she k i l l s t h e i r i n f a n t son and feeds him to her husbandl7. A woman i s raped, s i l e n c e d and be. would be blameless, were i t not f o r the v i c t i m ' s " t e l l i n g " of her s t o r y , p a t i e n t l y w a i t i n g i n her p a i n , and f o r another woman, a s i s t e r , being a b l e t o i n t e r p r e t the Tru t h concealed i n the p r e t t y embroidery. I t has been a T r u t h , which has been masked over, m u t i l a t e d , by women who have been t e l l i n g a 78 ' s l a n t e d ' v e r s i o n , and by men, who have p a i n t e d masks of go l d over absent faces " a p e t l t s t r a i t s p r e c i s " (P_, 59). In "Le Tombeau des r o i s " (E,59-61), the her o i n e , t h i s " f i l l e maigre", so v i r g i n a l , Is raped seven times. The kings of the past f i n d i n her some "source f r a t e r n e l l e du mal" which a t t r a c t s them to her and g i v e s them an excuse to rape her. Th i s "mal" i s the im p u r i t y , the Whore which hides even below the s h i n y bones, s c r a t c h e d c l e a n of any impure f l e s h . Every woman i s born of Eve, and i s a temptress. J e n n i f e r W a e l t i - Walters makes the analogy of the p r i n c e s s whose double, the witc h , l u r k s i n her shadowl8. The a l t e r n a t i v e , s t a t e s W a e l t i - Walters, i s "Cette femme qui coud/Au p i e d de l ' a r b r e " (E,20), s i l e n c e d by P a t r l a r c h y l 9 , but beginning t o sew s t o r i e s , t o c h a t t e r , t o ask quest i o n s t h a t witches might ask - to speak what has been forbidden20. And f o r t h a t , the kings have found an excuse t o rape her seven times. Because the heroine has r e d e f i n e d the cave, the tomb, as her womb, not as a v o i d , a ho l e , a zero, a p l a c e of r e p r o d u c t i o n of more Sons, but as a source of woman's power, of p r o d u c t i o n , of s i s t e r h o o d , she can enter t h i s tomb of the kings with i n c r e a s i n g sureness21. By s h a t t e r i n g t h i s p l a c e c o n s t r u c t e d by P a t r i a r c h y , by the Law-of- th e - F a t h e r , by the Kings, the heroine can enter i n t o a new p l a c e , women's p l a c e , a p l a c e of t r a n s g r e s s i o n , the Womb. And her guide i s the b i r d . "Cette espece de r o i / M i n u s c u l e e t n a i f " (E/19) having accompanied the he r o i n e , has been "pris.../Dans 79 l e u r s f i l e t s m o u l l l e s " (v.2,3). T h i s f r a i l , C h r i s t - l i k e , s i l e n t f i g u r e , the l i t t l e b i r d , appears here and there throughout Le Tombeau des r o i s i n many r o l e s : as a guide, a support, a v o i c e , a companion f o r the heroine on, what Annis P r a t t r e f e r s t o as, a " b l i n d , mapless quest down i n t o the f o r g o t t e n 'wreck'"22. i i i . The Bird; the Liberating Agent Standing a t the entrance of the cave, the heroine can begin her journey, her b i r d on her f i s t : Le t a c i t u r n e o i s e a u p r i s a mes d o i g t s Lampe go n f l e e de v i n e t de sang, Je descends Vers l e s tombeaux des r o i s Btonnee A peine nee. (E#59 v.3-8) P r a t t maintains t h a t f o r women poets, the journey i s a h i g h l y s i g n i f i c a n t event i n the search f o r i d e n t i t y . They are " s e t t i n g f o r t h on quests down i n t o the p r e v i o u s l y 'dark' and ' h o r r i f i c ' c e n t r e s of t h e i r psyches toward something t h a t they quest of s o l i t a r y s e l f - a f f i r m a t i o n . " 2 3 I t i s a journey t h a t " l a p e t i t e morte" had to t r a v e l alone so t h a t she c o u l d break through t o " l ' e n v e r s de ce m i r o i r l i m p i d e " ( E / 4 8 ) . G i l l e s want f o r themselves r a t h e r than 80 Marcotte s t a t e s t h a t t h i s other s i d e , deep i n the depths of the tomb, i s the " r e e l " t h a t the heroine must face "au r i s q u e de mort" which i s "1'aboutissement de son experience de l a s o l i t u d e . [ — ] Le poete se l i v r e au r e e l , se l i v r e a l a mort comme une femme se l i v r e a son amant, s a c r i f i a n t sa c h a i r au jeu t e r r i b l e de 1'absence"24. And i t i s t h i s b i r d , " l e coeur meme de 1'e x i s t e n c e " which leads the heroine, the poet to l i b e r a t i o n . Marcotte's p a t r i a r c h a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the poet g i v i n g h e r s e l f t o the dead as she would t o her l o v e r , i s the on l y i n t i m a t i o n he o f f e r s of a sex u a l encounter i n the poem. In c o n t r a s t , Denis Bouchard notes t h a t the journey w i l l h e lp t h i s "enfant c u r i e u s e t . . . ] a depasser a l a f o i s l e sentiment de c u l p a b i l i t y e t c e l u i d'une v i r g i n i t e indecente. [...] La femme comme o b j e t se perd dans l a femme i n s a i s i s s a b l e . Au l i e u de se donner, e l l e tue."25 G a b r i e l l e P a s c a l admits the Heber t l a n heroine's need t o succumb "a l a t e n t a t i o n du meurtre"26. In order t o s u r v i v e , she must commit a crime. And y e t , "Le Tombeau des r o i s " seems t o be not j u s t about a journey taken by a woman i n order t o f i n d her l i b e r a t i o n , her i d e n t i t y . I t Is a l s o about t h a t minuscule, modest, s u f f e r i n g b i r d who has accompanied her throughout her journey thus f a r . F i n a l l y named as "un faucon", he becomes her beacon. I r o n i c a l l y , i t i s "un faucon aveugle" (v.2), who i s to show her the way i n t o the darkness; i r o n i c because the b l i n d r a r e l y do the l e a d i n g of the s i g h t e d , and i r o n i c because s i g h t i n the darkness i s u s e l e s s . 81 In " E u r y d i c e " , Rachel Blafi D u P l e s s l s asks, "Where Is the b i r d ? " However, " f a l l e n from f l y i n g " 2 7 , caught In a fisherman's net, or dead "Dans un bocage inconnu" (R,25, v . 2 ) , t h i s b i r d s t i l l c r i e s out t r y i n g to lead the heroine towards him i n h i s s e c r e t p l a c e (v.12-16). T h i s " c r i raugue/D'oiseaux i m a g i n a i r e s " (R, 56,v.11,12) haunts her c h i l d h o o d memory, the memory of a time before "L'amour [ e t a i t ] change en s e l " ( v . 7 ) , a time when her a n c e s t r e s s e s , those " b e l l e s mortes" (v.6) were not yet b u r i e d and f o r g o t t e n . A c c o r d i n g to Jean-Louis Major, the b i r d ' s " c r i raugue" i s emitted from some "monde i n t e r i e u r " ; i t i s a c r y perhaps from these a n c e s t r e s s e s b u r i e d deep below the s u r f a c e . And i t i s perhaps t h i s "coeur-oiseau [ q u i ] e s t c e l u i du l o c u t e u r feminln"28, who has taken the form of the l o s t mothers. I t i s a c r y which a i d s " l e s f i l l e s bleues de l ' e t e " (R,52,53) to f i n d " l a porte de l a memoire", the door to t h i s "envers du monde" where murmer those a n c i e n t v o i c e s : La v o i x de l ' o i s e a u Hors de son coeur e t de ses a i l e s rangees a i l l e u r s Cherche eperdument l a porte de l a memoire Pour v i v r e encore un p e t i t s o u f f l e de temps. (v.23,26) As the b i r d i s fragmented, i t s v o i c e becomes the whole e n t i t y i n i t s e l f . T h i s body p a r t becomes the c r u c i a l f a c t o r i n s e t t i n g i n motion a c t i o n s which w i l l l ead t o new wholeness. One of the g i r l s i n "L'Envers du monde", f o l l o w s the c l u e l a i d by the b i r d ' s v o i c e . "L'une de nous se d e c i d e / E t doucement 82 approche l a t e r r e de son o r e i l l e " (v.27,28). The young g i r l takes a c t i o n t o seek out f o r h e r s e l f and f o r her s i s t e r s , the door which w i l l l e a d them t o t h e i r a n c e s t r e s s e s , t o t h e i r Mother. In "Le Tombeau des r o i s " , the whole b i r d becomes a "Lampe gon f l e e de v i n et de sang" ( v . 4 ) . Lemieux a s s e r t s t h a t the b i r d , s w o l l e n with l i g h t and d e s i r e , leads the heroine "aux r a c i n e s memes de son psychisme, oA l e mal o r i g i n e l loge"29. To Lemieux, the hero i n e ' s s t r u g g l e i s t o c o n f r o n t t h i s "mal o r i g i n e l " , an e v i l which, p e r s o n n i f l e d , might be named Eve. Defined as e v i l , t h i s o r i g i n a l Mother who l u r k s deep i n the h e a r t s , minds and h i s t o r i e s of women and men, c a l l s out from a deep, s e c r e t p l a c e . T h i s monster of the ni g h t holds t i g h t t o a cor d , a " f i l d'Ariane", which l i n k s her t o her daughters and great grand-daughters. A c c o r d i n g t o Emond, "1'image de l a s o r c i e r e e s t puissance feminine, puissance magique, puissance du mal e t a n t i - p o u v o i r . " 3 0 Women have taken on the darkness of t h i s Mother. The young g i r l has been s t a i n e d b l a c k ; she i s "une f l e u r veneneuse absolue de l a n u l t " ( E S , p.107), l i k e her mother, her grand-mother and even "son arriere-grand-mere. Et son a r r i e r e - a r r i e r e - g r a n d - m e r e " (ES., 180). And perhaps e n t e r i n g deeply i n t o her psyche, the womb which has been d i s g u i s e d as a h o l y tomb, a temple of Kings, the heroine w i l l be a b l e t o shed the "algue" of P a t r i a r c h y . J o v e t t e Marchessault r e d e f i n e s t h i s "caverne", t h i s " g r o t t e " , t h i s " g o u f f r e " as "un uterus inonde 83 d'eau lacrymale."31 I t i s the pl a c e where women f i n d speech, where, i n "Eve" of "Mystere de l a p a r o l e " , " f i l s e t ... epoux p o u r r i s s e n t pele-imtle entre [ l e u r s ] c u i s s e s " (R, 101). T h i s i s the power of Eve, the "Mere aveugle", the "Source de larmes et du c r i " who, h o l d i n g the T r u t h , i s the o n l y one to share with her daughters Her s t o r y , t h e i r s t o r y . She i s the o n l y one able to e x p l a i n " l a naissance et l a mort e t to u t l e voyage h a r d i e n t r e deux barbares tenebres, p o l e s du monde" (R, 101). And her " f r e r e " , t h i s "amant", with h i s " d o i g t s de s a b l e " (E.,58) which are s t e r i l e and dry, and h i s heart a " F r u i t c r e v e " , h i s face "ronge" and " j e t e " (R,30), accompanies her back "au s e i n m aternel." P i e r r e Kuntsmann o f f e r s a Jungian i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the descent i n t o i n t e r i o r space. I t i s "une r e g r e s s i o n de l a l i b i d o " t o the Mother, a t which p o i n t there i s a "seconde naissance"32. The l i b i d o , d e s i r e , leads both men and women below the s u r f a c e , where the masculine meets the feminine. For the heroine, the masculine e n t i t y , appears as a s t r a n g e r who seems to accompany her, to le a d her. She quest i o n s i n "La Chambre fermee" (R, 39-41) who t h i s person c o u l d be. An u n i d e n t i f i e d masculine being has l e d her to t h i s p r i s o n and the same one or another has been f o l l o w i n g behind, and the same or another has been c o m p l i c i t i n t h i s adventure. The heroine f i n d s no answers to her q u e s t i o n s . She has been b l i n d e d by some mysterious f o r c e which obscures the i d e n t i t y of these men. 84 Perhaps he or they are t h i s f o r c e . Perhaps he or they are not c a p t o r s , but f r i e n d s . Her c o n f u s i o n i s obvious, conveyed by the repeated i n t e r r o g a t i o n s , and by the u n s p e c i f i c pronouns and verb phrases "quelqu'un", " I I y a", "quel ami", " q u e l l e n u l t " : Qui done m'a conduite i c i ? I I y a certainement quelqu'un Qui a s o u f f l e sur mes pas. Quand e s t - c e que c e l a s ' e s t f a i t ? Avec l a c o m p l i c i t y de quel ami t r a n q u i l l e ? Le consentement profond de q u e l l e n u i t longue? (v. 1-6) Kuntsmann's a s s e r t s t h a t t h i s u n i d e n t i f i e d male " p e r s o n n i f i e 1'animus, l ' e n v e r s de l a p e r s o n n a l i t e feminine, l e s t r a i t s masculins q u ' e l l e p o r t a i t en s o i dans son etat de b i s e x u a l i t e p r i m i t i f , q u ' e l l e a bannis ou p l u t d t e n f o u i s en son tr e f o n d s " 3 3 . In order f o r women to f i n d a u t h e n t i c i t y , they must c o n f r o n t t h i s animus, the male r e a l i t y , whether he i s p a r t of t h e i r psyche or of the o u t s i d e world. In her a r t i c l e on the Canadian female hero, L o r r a i n e Mullen s t a t e s t h a t the heroine must make " d e c i s i o n s and i n f l u e n c e events, e v i n c t i n g ] c h a r a c t e r i s i t c s u s u a l l y c o n s i d e r e d masculine, such as courage, a g g r e s s i o n and ambition" i n order t o overcome the masculine f o r c e s of the Kings and then to begin the r e s t r u c t u r i n g of her s o c l e t y 3 4 . Or her journey w i l l take her to the depths; she "must grow down"35, not to i n c o r p o r a t e male power, masculine c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , but to f i n d a " l o s t , a r c h a i c world of female power where memory and v i s i o n c oalesce"36. 85 In her I n t r o d u c t i o n to G l o r i a Feman Ore n s t e i n ' s a r t i c l e on the "New F e m i n i s t shaman", Barbara Godard remarks on " l a conscience ©levee de l a f e m i n l s t e contemporalne qui reprend c o n t a c t avec ses a i e u l e s d i s p a r u e s " so t h a t she might f i n d "sacred knowledge"37. O r e n s t e i n r e f e r s t o Mircea E l i a d e ' s Shamanism; A r c h a i c Techniques of E c s t a s y to look a t the s t r u c t u r e s of shamanism, t h a t of a "journey to the Otherworld [which i s ] undertaken, d u r i n g which a d i a l o g u e with t r i b a l a n c e s t o r s takes place"38. The r e s u l t of such a journey i s "a p r o p h e t i c v i s i o n " of some major t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , but not without a "severe dismemberment"39. The r o l e of the f e m i n i s t shaman i s t o e x o r c i s e the " J u d a e o - C h r i s t i a n p a t r i a r c h a l c r e a t i o n myth and a l l of i t s subsequent h i s t o r y " t h a t have masked over the " m a t r i a r c h a l space-time of ecstasy"40. I t i s t h i s "masque d'or sur ma face absente", these " f l e u r s v i o l e t t e s en g u i s e de p r u n e l l e " which have p a i n t e d over "a p e t i t s t r a i t s p r e c i s " (R,60) the "repressed female s o u l [...] t h a t must be brought back to l i f e " , back to "an e x s t a t i c e x i s t e n c e " 4 1 . To move, t o "go down", to shake o f f the "immobile d e s i r des g i s a n t s " (R,60) t h a t p a r a l y s e s , f r e e z e s , s t e r i l i z e s , i s to s h a t t e r a p e r f e c t , ordered space where, Les morts me v i s l t e n t Le monde e s t en ordre Les morts dessous Les v i v a n t s dessus. Les morts m'ennuient Les v i v a n t s me t u e n t . (R,36) 86 The voyage of the shaman puts t h i s order o f f k i l t e r . But, I t i s the "mythical b i r d " which guides the heroine through the l i f e and death p r o c e s s . The shaman might take on animal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and behavior. She "becomes an a n i m a l - s p i r i t , and 'speaks', s i n g s , or f l i e s l i k e the animals and b i r d s " 4 2 . Frank S c o t t , i n h i s d i a l o g u e with Hebert on h i s t r a n s l a t i o n of "Le Tombeau des r o i s " , a s s e r t s t h a t " p r u n e l l e s c r e v e e s " i s a v i o l e n t image of m u t i l a t i o n . 4 3 And y e t , S c o t t a l s o suggests t h a t Hebert " s o u l i g n a i t [...] une t r e s exacte e v o c a t i o n de l a fa u c o n n e r i e : l ' o i s e a u , dont on a crev6 l e s yeux pour q u ' i l ne s'envole pas, e t dont on se s e r t pour a t t i r e r d'autres proles."44 Some u n i d e n t i f i e d being has m u t i l a t e d the eyes of the "Lampe g o n f l e e " , perhaps a f r a i d t h a t t h i s s i g h t might l e a d , as Emond suggests, t o "une p r i s e de p o s s e s s i o n et une domination."45 The b i r d has l o s t i t s eyes i n t r y i n g t o "apprehender l e reg a r d , [ e t . . . ] l e s yeux [...] d i s p a r a i s s e n t . " 4 6 B l i n d e d and under the gaze of an u n i d e n t i f i e d s t r a n g e r , the Heb e r t i a n hero or heroine i s " r e d u i t [e ...] au rang d ' o b j e t , [ l e regard] l e [ l a ] depossede, l ' h u m i l i e ; l a presence de ce regard i n s p i r e l a honte et l a culpabilit£"47. The b i r d , seemingly a t h r e a t t o the " g i s a n t s " , s u f f e r s the d i r e c t m u t i l a t i o n . And yet the heroine has "des yeux d'enfant/Qui ne sont pas a moi." (E,43) Her s i g h t i s b l u r r e d by her " p r u n e l l e s l i q u i d e s " (E ,34). And " l ' o e i l du Pere, [...] l ' o e i l du r o i , l ' o e i l de Dieu"48, t h i s "lumiere 87 mysterleuse, [...] lumiere Implacable et i n t o l e r a b l e qui s'immobilise"49 has f r o z e n the h e r o i n e , l i k e a l l women i n a s q u e l e t a l body. In "De P l u s en Plus E t r o l t " (E,44), " c e t t e femme" i s f r o z e n by the " l e n t e f r o i d e r e s p i r a t i o n immobile" of "cet homme de s e l " . He c o r n e r s her, and from behind breathes h i s " S o u f f l e g l a c e sur sa nuque". The power of h i s "regard" c o n t r o l s her from behind; she i s the o b j e c t of h i s d e s l r , she i s empty. He f i l l s her with h i s gaze, d e f i n e s her, and she, f r o z e n , f r i g h t e n e d to crack the w a l l which c o n t a i n s her, "ne bouge/De to u t l e jour/De peur de h e u r t e r l a p a r o l du s i l e n c e d e r r i e r e e l i e " (6-8). She i s there without being, without speaking, and her o n l y escape, f u t i l e as i t i s , i s to s t a r e out the window where " E l i e regarde passer des equipages amers" ( v . 5 ) , or to sew, " p o i n t a p o i n t , / L ' h u m i l i t e du monde" ( E#20.v.22-23). Denise Boucher quotes words from Marie Noel which seem to summarize woman's s t a t e . These words and her mother's t e a r s l e d her to break her s i l e n c e : Quand 11 e s t e n t r e Dans mon l o g i s c l o s J ' o u r l a l s un drap l o u r d Pres de l a f e n e t r e L ' h i v e r dans l e s d o i g t s L'ombre sur l e dos S a i s - j e depuis quand J ' e t a i s l a sans e t r e Et j e c o u s a i s je c o u s a l s je c o u s a i s 5 0 . 88 The woman "Au p i e d de l'arbre/Sous l e coup de m i d i " (E,20, v. 19-20), s t r u c k by the power of the Sun, by the F a t h e r , by the Law, i s the Mother d e s c r i b e d by Boucher. And she i s the Mother t h a t Marchessault d e s c r i b e s as the one who " t r i c o t e , l e t ] se courbe de p l u s en p l u s . Ma mere t r i c o t e en se courbant parce que tout l e r e s t e se t i e n t debout sur son dos"51. A c c o r d i n g t o Adrienne R i c h , the Mother i n p a t r i a r c h y , d e f i n e d by the Sun, Aten, a m o n o t h e i s t i c d e i t y 5 2 , i s t h i s " a v i d cave; between her l e g s snakes, swamp-grass, or t e e t h ; on her l a p a h e l p l e s s i n f a n t or a martyred son"53. T h i s cave, her va g i n a , t h i s "creux de c e t espace grave/OA v e i l l e n t l e s d r o i t s p i l i e r s " (E,18), i s i n v i t i n g u n t i l the snakes, the " i n s e c t e s p r i s o n n l e r s " invade the dark, deep space, the "coeur n o i r de l a n u i t " where soon "Aucun arbre de p a r o l e n'y pousse [ p l u s ] ses r a c i n e s " . And i n her l a p , t h i s Mother holds "d'etranges lourdes t e t e s d'amants/Qui ne sont p l u s a nous/ [Qui] Pesent e t meurent e n t r e nos d o i g t s i n n o c e n t s . " (E,53) The Mother as comforter, as r e c e p t i c l e , as monster, " ' c h t h o n i c ' or t e l l u r i a n presence"54 i s l u r k i n g deep below the s u r f a c e . She i s the dragon, the Medusa "who has to be possessed, reduced, c o n t r o l l e d , l e s t she swallow him back Into her dark caves, or s t a r e him i n t o stone."55 In Of Woman Born, Adrienne R i c h looks beyond these d e f i n i t i o n s of the Mother, back to the p r e p a t r i a r c h a l time when the cave was her i n t e r n a l body, when e a r t h and womb were one, where water d i d not drown, but gave 89 I i f e 5 6 , where menstrual blood was not woman's f o u l sewage, but nourishment, where b r e a s t s were not o b j e c t s of d e s i r e , but s u b j e c t s i n the l i f e - g i v i n g p r o c e s s . Far from t h i s r e a l i t y , Hebert's heroine sees h e r s e l f as a "Vieux caveau de fam l l l e / E v e n t r e / C a g e de bouleau blanc/Rompue/...Douce p o i t r i n e crev6e" (E,55). She i s h a r d l y the a n c i e n t Mother, whose menstrual blood and milk nurture and transform57. She i s h a r d l y the blossoming Tree of P r e p a t r i a r c h y , whose nourishment comes from t h i s v e s s e l of the e a r t h , the female body58. R i c h s t r e s s e s t h a t women i n P a t r i a r c h a l times s t i l l are l i n k e d to the great Goddess, who i s the s p i d e r s p i n n i n g the thread from her own body, "Ariadne p r o v i d i n g the c l u e t o the l a b y r i n t h [...] or o l d spinning-women who cut the thread of l i f e or s p i n i t f u r t h e r " 5 9 . Women of the present must grab t h a t thread and f o l l o w i t , must continue sewing s t o r i e s so t h a t what was can begin t o be aga i n ; t h a t s t o r i e s on the margins can come t o the cen t r e and be seen i n new l i g h t ; t h a t , as M i l l e t t suggests, "the experience of a l l women everywhere becomes, i n a sense, our communal p r o p e r t y , a h e r i t a g e we bestow upon each other, the knowledge of what i t has meant t o be female"60. E l l e n Moers looks a t the b i r d metaphor as woman's r e a l i t y . The b i r d i s a t o r t u r e d , caged v i c t i m , a c r u c i f i e d C h r i s t 6 1 l i k e " Cette enfant (...) l i e e par l a c h e v l l l e / P a r e i l l e a une e s c l a v e f a s c i n 6 e " (E,59). Caught i n the cage of P a t r i a r c h y , t h i s b i r d has become the meta p h o r i c a l -and f o r Hebert, the metonymical- s i g n o£ women. The s p i n s t e r i n Browning's "Aurora L e i g h " had l i v e d A s o r t of c a g e - b i r d l i f e , born i n a cage, Accounting t h a t t o le a p from perch t o perch Was a c t and j o y enough f o r any b i r d . Dear heaven, how s i l l y are the t h i n g s t h a t l i v e In t h i c k e t s , and eat b e r r i e s ! I a l a s , A w i l d b i r d s c a r c e l y f l e d g e d , was brought t o her cage, And she was there to meet me. Very k i n d . B r i n g the c l e a n water, g i v e out the f r e s h seed.62 The b i r d i s a symbol of women caught i n man's world, where "toutes femmes, t a n t que nous sommes, [ne sont] jamais p r e t r e s , mais v i c t i m e s sur l ' a u t e l , avec l e C h r i s t , encadrees, c o n s e i l l e e s , d i r i g e e s par nos s u p e r i e u r g£neraux, evegues e t cardinaux" (ES,55)• T h i s "faucon aveugle" i s a woman caged, as was the woman who, accused of k i l l i n g her husband i n 1763, was not o n l y hanged, but l i t e r a l l y exposed i n an i r o n cage a t L e v i s . Mary Jean Green recounts t h a t the legend, echoed i n Kamouraska, r e v e a l s the "envers" of the e v i l witch63. Wild, as the " w i l d b i r d s c a r c e l y f l e d g e d " i n Browning, La C o r r i v e a u s t i l l l i v e s i n her death; a t t a c h e d t o the shoulders of t r a v e l l e r s , her ghost dances with the s p i r i t s of the past , with the s p i r i t s of her murdered A n c e s t r e s s e s . And f i n a l l y she i s f r e e , through death, to r e t u r n t o her " v i r g i n " s t a t e , not as "une f i l l e maigre", but, as R i c h e x p l a i n s , as was her Moon Mother v i r g i n , t h i s "woman who belongs t o h e r s e l f " , t h i s "she- who-will-not-have-a-husband"64. 91 The maiden Daphne d i d not w i l l a husband, d e s p i t e her f a t h e r ' s d e s i r e s , as w e l l as her s u i t o r ' s , A p o l l o . A c c o r d i n g t o Thomas B u l f l n c h , she wanted to remain unmarried l i k e the Moon Goddess Diana65. And s t i l l A p o l l o pursued her " l i k e a hound pusuing a hare, with open jaws ready to s e i z e ! . . . ] So f l e w the god and the v i r g i n -he on the wings of love [and d e s i r e ] , and she on those of f e a r . " B u l f i n c h recounts the p u r s u i t and Daphne's escape; "Peneus", her f a t h e r the r i v e r god, has p i t y , and turns her i n t o a t r e e : a s t i f f n e s s s e i z e d a l l her limbs; her bosom began to be enclosed i n a tender bark; her h a i r became le a v e s ; her arms became branches; her f o o t stuck f a s t i n the ground, as a r o o t ; her face became a t r e e - t o p , r e t a i n i n g nothing of i t s former s e l f but i t s beauty.66 Transformed i n t o something t h a t she i s not, i n t o an "arbre/En ses f e u i l l e s / E t d e s s i n f i g 6 du vent/Sur l e s f e u i l l e s " (E,19), f r o z e n and hard, she i s not the o r i g i n a l Tree which can nurture and give l i f e . The mother, Dryope, who had made the mistake of p i c k i n g from the l o t u s p l a n t - t h i s p l a n t being the nymph Lotus transformed- a l s o becomes a t r e e a t the whim of the male nymph. "In anguish she attempted t o t e a r her h a i r , but found her hands f i l l e d with l e a v e s . The Infant f e l t h i s mother's bosom begin to harden, and the milk cease to flow"67. Emptied of her i d e n t i t y as Mother, f r o z e n under the bark, a l l she can do i s emit a f a i n t " c r i rauque" (E,56). Leaving one l a s t i n s t r u c t i o n f o r her c h i l d r e n , one l a s t f i n e t hread which w i l l c a r r y through to f u t u r e g e n e r a t i o n s , l i k e the weak, b l i n d e d b i r d , she "Re s p l r e / E t se p l a i n t etrangement" (R,61). Only her c h i l d r e n and her c h i l d r e n ' s c h i l d r e n can save her by remembering, by r e p e a t i n g , "My mother l i e s h i d under t h i s b a r k . " ( i b i d . ) A n c e s t r e s s e s , mothers c r y i n g out beneath the bark, from behind the bar s , emit c r i e s of woe. Daphne, no longer f r e e , now i s remembered as A p o l l o ' s p e r s o n a l symbol -Mother of Trees- p r e s e r v e r of l i f e ; she "becomes a male god", as R i c h claims68 Kore or Persephone, raped and possessed by P l u t o , becomes the p r o p e r t y of the k i n g of the Underworld, and becomes a mother of t h a t p l a c e , b e a r i n g a son. R i c h notes t h a t there i s s t i l l b i r t h from death, d e s p i t e the s t i f l i n g grasp of Pluto69, t h i s "etau des os" (E,61). But, R i c h emphasizes, i t i s her mother, Demeter, who goes on a great journey, f i n d s her daughter, makes a d e a l with the gods, with Death, so th a t Persephone might r e s u r f a c e from her darkness. R i s i n g from the dark, l i k e the b i r d , Persephone peers out from "Ses p r u n e l l e s c r e v e e s " and r e t u r n s t o the l i g h t , to the "matin" (R,61). And y e t , notes B u l f i n c h , Persephone w i l l have t o t a l freedom o n l y i f she has not yet eaten a n y t h i n g of the Underworld: but, a l a s ! the maiden had taken a pomegranate which P l u t o o f f e r e d her, and had sucked the sweet pulp from a few of the seeds. T h i s was enough to prevent her complete r e l e a s e ; but a compromise was made, by which she was to pass h a l f the time with her mother, and the r e s t with her husband Pluto.70 93 The compromise i n "Le Tombeau des r o i s " i s s i m i l a r t o t h a t i n the Greek myth; the heroine has had to pay the p r i c e f o r having eaten of the f o r b i d d e n f r u i t . She has c a r r i e d with her the s i n of her Mother Eve. She has p a i d the consequences; f o l l o w e d , t h r e a t e n e d , p e n e t r a t e d , she has undergone the s a c r i f i c e : Ce n'est que l a profondeur de l a mort qui p e r s i s t e , Simulant l e d e r n i e r tourment Cherchant son apalsment Et son e t e r n i t e En un c l i q u e t i s l e g e r de b r a c e l e t s C e r c l e s v a i n s jeux d ' a i l l e u r s Autour de l a c h a i r s a c r i f i c e . (61) S a c r i f i c e t o the "King of the Underworld", " p r o p i t i a t i n g the Lord of the Dead", O r e n s t e i n a s s e r t s , i s p a r t of the shaman's e c s t a t i c journey. In order "to commune with the s p i r i t s of the a n c e s t o r s i n the Otherworld" she must face the demons of the dead and "perform a r i t e of exorcism"71. And t h i s r i t e , r e i t e r a t e s Emond, i s "un r i t e i n i t i a t i q u e qui permet l e passage de l a mort a l a v i e , d'une n u i t t r a g i q u e a l'aube d'un jour nouveau"72. These r i t e s which "comportent t o u j o u r s des m u t i l a t i o n s , des s a c r i f i c e s , des morts, symbol1que ou r e e l l e s , avant l e triomphe f i n a l de l a r e n a i s s a n c e ou de l a r e s u r r e c t i o n . " 7 3 P a s c a l notes t h a t Hebertian h e r o i n e s , a f t e r having undergone un desordre i n t e r i e u r qui se t r a d u i t par l e d e s e s p o i r , des malaises physiques e t meme 94 psychiques, [...] ces d i f f e r e n t e s m a n i f e s t a t i o n s d'une r e v o l t e l a r v e e marquent un tournant dans 1 ' i n t r i g u e . E l l e s provoquent en e f f e t une p r i s e de conscience q u i d e v i e n t p r i s e de p o u v o i r . Et l e personnage feminin a p p a r a i t sous un jour nouveau.74 And y e t the l i g h t , the morning i s o n l y a " r e f l e t d'aube". R e s u r r e c t i o n comes a f t e r death, but i t i s not y e t . At the end of "Le Tombeau des r o i s " , t here are the beginnings of a r e v o l t which i s " a s s i m i l e e a une t r a n s g r e s s i o n et i d e n t i f i e e a l a mort". But, notes P a s c a l , i t s t i l l seems a "vaine r e b e l l i o n de 1'heroine qui se repete a. l ' i n f i n i " 7 5 . S e a rching d e s p e r a t e l y f o r l i b e r a t i o n , i n her f o l l y , the heroine succombs to a l l temptations, even t h a t of " a u t o - d e s t r u c t i o n . " 7 6 There i s no l i b e r a t i o n y e t . P h i l i p p e Haeck I n t e r p r e t s the f l i g h t of the b i r d , the b i r d i t s e l f i n i t s f a t i g u e , as the heroine caught i n the F a t h e r ' s House. In "Rouler dans des r a v i n s de f a t i g u e " (R,55), t h i s " o i s e a u f o u " , caught i n the "Vieux caveau de f a m i l l e / e v e n t r e " , e x h i b i t s feminine c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : On s a l t que l a psychanalyse e s t nee de l'examen des femmes h y s t e r l q u e s , des f o l l e s . Un o i s e a u se debat dans l e vieux caveau de l a f a m i l l e [ce qui porte l a malchance ou l a mort], i l v o l e , v o l e , l ' a i r se f a i t r a r e , 1'oiseau e s t f a t i g u e , i l ne s o r t i r a pas de l a f a m i l l e : soumis au pere, au mari, au f i l s , c ' e s t t o u j o u r s l ' a i r l o u r d de l a f a m i l l e . Q u e l l e f i e v r e e s t reservee a c e l l e qui veut 6nventrer l a f a m i l l e ? Je commence a aimer l ' h a l e i n e des femmes, j ' y r e c o n n a i s des h i s t o i r e s anciennes qui e x p l i q u e n t l ' h i s t o i r e moderne.77 Haeck sees t h a t " l a femme" "cherche eperdument dans son h i s t o l r e " 7 8 , f o r her r o o t s . The l i n k i n g of the present and the p a s t , i s s t i l l i n process; l i k e a b i r t h not yet complete, there i s p a i n and the passage i s d i f f i c u l t . But the a c t u a l b i r t h i s s t i m u l a t e d by " l a v o i x feminine [,ce] c r i raugue, raugue parce q u ' i l remonte d i f f i c i l e m e n t e t q u ' i l remonte de s i l o i n , de 1'enfance"79. From the heroine to the b i r d ' s c r y , t o the "oiseau mort/Nul passage/Nul s e c o u r s " (E,25) seems to open . And yet the b i r d has taken f l i g h t t o accompany the h e r o i n e . A c c o r d i n g to Haeck, "Le v o l des oiseaux i m a g i n a i r e s e s t peut- e t r e l a p l u s b e l l e chose qui p u i s s e nous a r r i v e r , une chose propre A nous secouer, A nous f a i r e entendre des v o i x " ( i b i d . ) . The b i r d i s the t r a n s f o r m i n g , l i b e r a t i n g agent i n Le Tombeau des r o l s . Searching f o r " l a p o r t e de l a memoire", "La v o i x de 1'oiseau" q u i e t l y shows the way to " l ' e n v e r s du monde" to the young g i r l s , one of them puts her ear to the ground and l i s t e n s to the mouvement beneath the e a r t h . She cannot see, nor can the b i r d . S i g h t i s not t h e i r p r i v i l e g e , but they can hear, as i f f o r the f i r s t time, the babble of the " i n s e c t e s p r i o n n i e r s " below. Edmond Carpenter c l a i m s t h a t where the "eye f o c u s e s , p i n p o i n t s , a b s t r a c t s , l o c a t i n g each o b j e c t i n p h y s i c a l space, a g a i n s t a background [,] the ear [...] favours sound from any d i r e c t i o n . " 8 0 The space of the kings i s v i s u a l . I t i s space which c o n t a i n s the t h i n g . The heroine's space has been d e f i n e d by the k i n g s . But, i t i s the b i r d , with i t s s o f t complaint, i t ' s pained c r y , i t s v o i c e , which opens her ears as i f f o r the f i r s t time. T h i s a u d i t o r y space i s "a sphere without f i x e d boundaries, space made by the t h i n g i t s e l f [...space which i s ] always i n f l u x , c r e a t i n g i t s own dimensions, moment to moment." ( ibJ jL . ) What one hears i s not coherent speech, but muffled n o i s e s : "un b r u i t de s o l e " (57), "Fracas d ' i v o i r e a mi-voix" (55), " l e brulssement des p e u p l i e r s / Q u i f o n t un chant l i q u i d e " (25) or t h i s "coeur" which emits a "Rythme sourd" -a new " s i l e n c e " (24) from t h i s "voix i n t e r i e u r e " (26). I t i s s i l e n c e and incoherent rumblings a t once. M o t i o n l e s s and f l u i d a t the same time, i t i s not language which has l i m i t s , or i s d e f i n e d , but i s beyond language, moving toward a d i f f e r e n t "time". In Another Time, E l i Mandel suggests t h a t beyond language there i s "a rhythmic source i n sound [... ] that t r a n s l a t e s i t s e l f i n t o music, not words. We reach toward these i n the most int e n s e and perhaps the most p r i v a t e moments of our experience."81 But Mandel a l s o says t h a t there i s "something queer[...1 beyond a r t i c u l a t i o n [which] i s not to be t r u s t e d . I t s unseen face may be t h a t of a god, but more l i k e l y a b e a s t . " ( I b i d . ) . Devoid of speech and t r a d i t i o n , t h i s i s the p l a c e of chaos, where monsters l u r k , where Medusa w a i t s . In the words of George S t e i n e r , i t i s a p l a c e d e f i n e d as a v u l g a r "monkey-hutch of babblers and baboons"82. T e r r y E a g l e t o n I n t e r p r e t s J u l i a K r i s t e v a ' s concept of the " s e m i o t i c " as t h i s s p e e c h l e s s s t a g e . I t Is a p a t t e r n of f o r c e s 97 i n the p r e - O e d i p a l s t a t e which i s d i s c e r n e d "as a k i n d of p u l s i o n a l p r e s s u r e " f u l l of " c o n t r a d i c t i o n , meanlnglessness, d i s r u p t i o n , s i l e n c e and absence. The s e m i o t i c i s the 'other' of language". F l u i d and p l u r a l , i t i s "opposed to a l l f i x e d , t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s i g n i f i c a t i o n s " 8 3 . I t i s , "rhythmic, onomatopoeic babble"84. Norman 0. Brown r e f e r s t o t h i s p l a c e as D i o n y s i a n , as a p l a c e where Tr u t h has been h i d i n g , the "envers du monde". And y e t , t r u t h i s always scandalous, a stumbling b l o c k ; t r u t h i s where we stumble or f a l l [... 1 The t r u t h i s i n the e r r o r [...] The o r i g i n a l mistake!..] The god of D e l p h i , who always spoke the t r u t h , never gave a s t r a i g h t answer t... ] He awlays spoke i n r i d d l e s , i n p a r a b l e s ; a m b i g u i t i e s [...Ithat h e a r i n g they might hear and not understand.85 Women's babble i s t h i s t r u t h , the "Rythme sourd/Code s e c r e t " which the heroine of Le Tombeau cannot yet understand: "Je ne d e c h i f f r e aucun mystere." (24). The heroine o n l y can understand what Man has taught her; to see what He sees, to look o n l y "dans ses m i r o i r s p o l l s " (54). S t i l l dependent on s i g h t , on l o o k i n g i n t o these m i r r o r s f o r i n f o r m a t i o n , her ears have been deaf, not been a b l e to tune i n t o to the f a i n t c r y of the b i r d , she hears, but understands nothing of t h i s undecipherable code. I t i s , as E l i Mandel suggests, a code of "the deep rythms of the u n i v e r s e " which begin to r e p l a c e the s t i f l i n g s i l e n c e : "the sound of one's own blood c o u r s i n g through one's v e i n s and one's own heart beating."86 These "grands courants sous-marins"(24) run through, what Norman 0. 98 Brown c a l l s , a "subterranean passage" e m i t t i n g new "unspoken meanings": " b o d i l y meanings, c a r n a l knowledge"87, meanings whose sense w i l l come from nonsense, babble. "To r e s t o r e to words t h e i r f u l l s i g n i f i c a n c e [...] i s to reduce them to nonsense, t o get nonsense or nothingness or s i l e n c e back i n t o words"88. Women who have emitted t h i s "nonsense", though, have been burned as witches. They have been l a b e l l e d as demons and s o r c e r e s s e s , not to be l i s t e n e d t o or t r u s t e d . The quick tongue of Eve, having tempted Adam i n t o S i n , has been i n h e r i t e d by a l l women. Muted, so as not to l u r e or seduce men, and b l i n d e d so as not to turned i n t o stone l i k e L o t ' s wife who looked back, women have turned to other senses. Emond observes what women are beginning t o d i s c o v e r ; "En fermant ses yeux de c h a i r , e l l e [ l a femme] accepte l a m u t i l a t i o n de sa v i s i o n profane pour mieux o u v r i r son t r o i s i e m e o e i l e t deboucher sur une v i s i o n s u p e r i e u r e " [ q u i ] "se double d'une f a c u l t y de percer l e s t6nybres"89. In Kamouraska r E l i z a b e t h becomes aware of t h i s new v i s i o n , i t s s u p e r i o r i t y , i t s l i b e r a t i n g f o r c e : "Je p e r s i s t e du cote des tenebres. Je f o u i l l e l e s tenebres. Je tatonne comme une aveugle." (K., 242) Emond maintains t h a t the Heber t i a n heroine can o n l y "acceder a l a voyance, & l a so u v e r a i n e t y du regard d i v i n [... ] par l a morte r i t u e l l e e t [par] l e % v o l magique'"90 of the b i r d . So, the "faucon aveugle" with i t s " p r u n e l l e s c r e v y e s " , has taken f l i g h t and 99 accompanied the heroine through the shadows which have c o n f i n e d her. B l i n d e d as w e l l , her " p r u n e l l e s l l q u l d e s " ( 3 4 ) , " p l e r r e s d'eau"(36), the heroine becomes accustomed to the "tenebres", and she and the b i r d , t h i s " r o i / M i n u s c u l e et na i f" , feminine and masculine t o g e t h e r , e n v i s i o n another time, another p l a c e i n a s m a l l " r e f l e t d'aube". I t i s a new l i g h t , not of the Su/on of God, but of the Mother. T h i s l i g h t draws the heroine "deeper/into the l i v i n g cave" where, as Rachel Blau D u P l e s s i s s t a t e s i n " E u r y d i c e " , she and her s i s t e r s w i l l be reborn: She w i l l take shape and sprout a s o f t l i g h t f a r from the s u r f a c e pushing outward, of her own power s t a l k , ladder of c l i m b i n g c e l l s r o o t , f i l l i n g the c o r r i d o r s of rock flower, b r e a k i n g the e a r t h , f r a g r a n t , opening seeds of E u r y d i c e She w i l l brood and be born g i r l of her own mother mother of the l a b y r i n t h daughter pushing the c h i l d h e r s e l f toward g r e a t head, the cave l a r g e i n s i d e i t great l i p s of a g i a n t woman great cunt, f r a g r a n t , opening seeds of Eurydice.91 Mothers, daughters have been empowered. Annis P r a t t suggests " t h a t not o n l y r e c e n t and contemporary poets, but a l s o our grandmothers and great-grandmothers may have found some way to encode a sense of s e l f - a f f i r m a t i o n and power" i n t h e i r 100 w r i t i n g 9 2 . Although s i l e n c e d , women have been f i n d i n g ways to express t h e i r e xperience. By w r i t i n g , weaving, or whispering s e c r e t s i n each o t h e r s ' e a r s , g i r l s and women have been, f o r c e n t u r i e s , t r a n s g r e s s i n g the Law of P a t r i a r c h y . Anne Hebert's c r e a t i o n of Le Tombeau des r o i s f i s an example of t h i s t r a n s g r e s s i o n . In "My S i s t e r s , 0 My S i s t e r s " , Mary Sarton i n t i m a t e s t h a t the place of r e b i r t h , of t r a n s g r e s s i o n , i s the cave93. The tomb, no longer a pl a c e of death, i s a womb, tha t deep p l a c e where poet becomes woman. Where nothing has to be renounced or giv e n over In the pure l i g h t t h a t shines out from the l o v e r , In the pure l i g h t t h a t b r i n g s f o r t h f r u i t and flower And t h a t great s a n i t y , t h a t sun, the feminine power. Images used by women poets, present and past, have s u r f a c e d and melted t o g e t h e r . Paula G i l b e r t Lewis notes t h a t although Anne Hubert f a l l s i n t o the ' t r a d i t i o n a l * c a t e g o r y of poets, "there i s an embryonic feminism n o t i c e a b l e even i n the works of the most t r a d i t i o n a l women w r i t e r s " 9 4 . In w r i t i n g Le Tombeau des r o l s f Anne Hubert has j o i n e d hands with hers s i s t e r s and mothers, and has entered "that deep place where poet becomes woman", the pl a c e where she i s reborn and where she leads other women through the process of r e b i r t h . 101 Notes 1. Annis P r a t t , " A f f a i r s with Bears: Some Notes Towards Fe m i n i s t A r c h e t y p a l Hypotheses f o r Canadian L i t e r a t u r e , " G y n o c r i t i c s / G y n o c r i t i q u e s ed. Barbara Godard (Toronto: ECW P r e s s , 1987) 161. 2. P i e r r e - H e r v e Lemieux, Entre Sonoe et P a r o l e (Ottawa: E d i t i o n s de l ' U n i v e r s i t e d'Ottawa, 1978) 176. 3. D e l b e r t W. R u s s e l l , Anne Hebert (Boston: Twayne, 1983) 42. 4. L u c i l l e Roy, "Anne Hubert ou l e d e s e r t du monde," v o i x e t images 7.3 printemps 1982: 491. 5. Lemieux 184. 6. Roy 484. 7. Roy 492. 8. Maurice Emond, La Femme a l a f e n e t r e (Quebec: Presses de l ' U n i v e r s i t e L a v a l , 1984) 134. 9. Emond 135. 10. Emond 134. 11. Roy 499-500. 12. Gerard B e s s e t t e , " l a D i s l o c a t i o n dans l a poesie d'Anne Hebert," Une l i t t e r a t u r e en e b u l l i t i o n (Montreal: E d i t i o n s du Jour, 1968) 13. 13. Joy Kogawa, Obasan (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983) prelude (n.p.). 14. Marie C o u i l l a r d , "Les Enfants du Sabbat d'Anne Hebert: un r e c i t de s u b v e r s i o n f a n t a s t i q u e , " Incidences 14.2-3 mai- dec. 1980: 120. 15. Jan M o n t e f i o r e , Feminism and Poetry (London: Pandora P r e s s , 1987) 42. 102 16. Margaret Atwood, "The Curse of Eve -Or What I Learned i n S c h ool," Canadian Women's St u d i e s 1.3 Sp r i n g 1979: 31. 17. P r a t t , " T i g e r " 172. 18. Waeltl-Walters 89. 19. Waelti-Walters 5. 20. Waeltl-Walters 81. 21. Waelti-Walters 90. 22. P r a t t , " T i g e r " 188. 23. P r a t t , " T i g e r " 190. 24. Marcotte 282. 25. Bouchard 148. 26. P a s c a l , "Soumlssion" 74. 27. 1975: Rachel Blau D u P l e s s i s , " E u r y d i c e , 250-254. " Boundary 28. Jean-Louis Ma1or r Anne Hebert et l e m i r a c l e p a r o l e (Montreal: Presses de l ' U n i v e r s l t e de Montreal, 1976) 14. 29. Lemieux 209. 30. Emond 45. 31. J o v e t t e Marchessault, La M6re des herbes (Montreal: Quinze, 1980) 35. 32. Kuntsmann 255. 33. Kuntsmann 260. 34. Godard, "Mapmaking" 10. 35. Godard, "Mapmaking" 13. 36. Godard, "Mapmaking" 14. 37. O r e n s t e i n 179. 38. O r e n s t e i n 180. 39. O r e n s t e i n 182. 103 40. O r e n s t e i n 181. 41. O r e n s t e i n 183. 42. O r e n s t e i n 182. 43. Frank S c o t t et Anne Hebert, Dialogue sur l a t r a d u c t i o n (Montreal: HMH, 1970) 102. 44. S c o t t 30. 45. Emond 271. 46. Emond 272. 47. Emond 272-3. 48. Emond 273. 49. Emond 282. 50. Denise Boucher, "La Poesie en ta n t que moyen de communication dans l e s oeuvres des femmes poetes," Conference des femmes-ecrivains en Amerique, Revue de l ' U n i v e r s i t e d'Ottawa 50.1 jan-mars 1980: 20. 51. J o v e t t e Marchessault, "Les Fa l s e u s e s d'anges," Trv p t i q u e l e s b l e n (Montreal: l a P l e i n e lune, 1980): 108. 52. 1976) Adrienne R i c h , Of Woman Born (New York: W.W. Norton. 123. 53. R i c h , Woman 186. 54. R i c h , Woman 109. 55. R i c h , Woman 112. 56. R i c h , Woman 108. 57. R i c h , Woman 101. 58. R i c h , Woman 100. 59. R i c h , Woman 101. 60. C h e r i R e g i s t e r , "American F e m i n i s t L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m : A B i b l i o g r a p h i c a l I n t r o d u c t i o n , " F e m i n i s t L i t e r a r y Theory: A Reader ed. Mary Eagle t o n (Oxford: B a s i l B l a c k w e l l , 1986) 172. 104 61. E l l e n Moers, L i t e r a r y Woman (excerpt) F e m i n i s t L i t e r a r y Theory: A Reader ed. Mary Ea g l e t o n (Oxford: B a s i l B l a c k w e l l , 1986) 209. 62. Moers 210. 63. Green, "Witch" 145. 64. R i c h , Woman 107. 65. Thomas B u l f i n c h , B u l f i n c h ' s Mythology (New York: Modern L i b r a r y ) n.d.: 22. 66. B u l f i n c h 23. 67. B u l f i n c h 57. 68. Rich,. Woman 125. 69. R i c h , Woman 238. 70. B u l f i n c h 50. 71. O r e n s t e i n 193. 72. Emond 142. 73. Emond 143. 74. P a s c a l , "Soumlssion" 68. 75. P a s c a l , "Soumlssion" 74. 76. P a s c a l , "Soumlssion" 75. 77. Haeck 147. 78. Haeck 146. 79. Haeck 147. 80. 107. E l i Mandel, Another Time ( E r i n : Press P o r c e p i c , 1977) 81. Mandel 36-7. 82. Mandel 37. 83. T e r r y E a g l e t o n , L i t e r a r y Theory: an I n t r o d u c t i o n (an excerpt) F e m i n i s t L i t e r a r y Theory: A Reader ed. Mary Eagle t o n (Oxford: B a s i l B l a c k w e l l , 1986) 214. 84. E a g l e t o n 217. 85. Norman 0. Brown, Love's Body (New York: Random House, 1966) 243-45. 86. Mandel 41. 87. Brown 265. 88. Brown 258. 89. Emond 300. 90. Emond 299. 91. D u P l e s s i s , " E u r y d i c e " 250-254. 92. P r a t t , " T i g e r " 192. 93. Mary Sarton, "My S i s t e r s , O My S i s t e r s , " C o l l e c t e d Poems 1930-1973 (New York: W.W. Norton, 1974) 74-75. 94. Lewis 6. 106 C o n c l u s i o n And Our S t o r y Is One Anne Hebert, " f e d up with other people's f u r n i t u r e " , with other people's e x p e c t a t i o n s of t h i s a t t r a c t i v e "grande f i l l e sage", f i n a l l y exploded i n rage. Marci McDonald d e s c r i b e s her as "some a d u l t A l i c e [who] stepped through the l o o k i n g g l a s s of contemporary Quebec [...] to r e v e a l the h e l l i s h bowels of an underworld of the c o l l e c t i v e psyche where a l i e n a t i o n t r i p p e d up a l l the t i m e p i e c e s and resentment was the e t e r n a l guest a t the tea party."1 Her wrath was indeed "reserved f o r the Church - with I t s s t r a n g l e h o l d on e d u c a t i o n and l i f e i t s e l f " , but Hebert e i t h e r had not r e c o g n i z e d i t as such while w r i t i n g the poems of Tombeau, or d i d not dare c h a l l e n g e the system. Taught to t u r n the other cheek, Hebert kept deep i n s i d e what would have been "the g r e a t e s t l i t e r a r y s c a n d a l " f o r which, one male c r i t i c noted, "We would have e x i l e d her, i f not hanged her."2 What d i d emerge was a l i t e r a t u r e burning with anger, which t o r e open the "tombeau des r o i s " , s h a t t e r i n g the t h i n s u r f a c e which d i s g u i s e d the l a y e r s of "an obscure world of r e v o l t s which o f t e n d i d n ' t see the l i g h t . " 3 T h i n g i r l s are raped, male l o v e r s have t h e i r faces s t r i p p e d and r e p l a c e d with m i r r o r s so t h a t even they become r e f l e c t i o n s of the Sun's p e n e t r a t i n g rays (54), and kings of the dead l i v e a h e l l i s h e x i s t e n c e , s e a r c h i n g 107 f o r any kind of appeasement to t h i s e t e r n a l torment (61). Jane Marcus s t a t e s t h a t woman's wrath, "comes from the d e v i l while the f u r y of a g e n e r a l or a prime m i n i s t e r i s h e r o i c and g o d l i k e . " For " d i v i n e s and churchmen [ . . . i t i s ] a necessary a t t r i b u t e [ s i g n i f y i n g ] s t r e n g t h i n the s t r o n g , weakness i n the weak. An angry mother i s out of c o n t r o l ; an angry f a t h e r i s e x e r c i s i n g h i s authority."4 Women have lea r n e d t o bury t h e i r anger; f a i t h f u l wives, wait out t h e i r torment i n t h e i r " p atience ancienne" (18), the " l i e n s d u r s" of " l a f i d e l i t e " have long ago been "noues ...Avec l a mort"(37). Thomas B u l f i n c h reminds us t h a t Penelope, w a i t i n g f o r years f o r her husband, U l y s s e s , to r e t u r n from the T r o j a n war, had to f i g h t o f f numerous s u i t o r s . Sewing by day, u n s t i t c h i n g by n i g h t , and then resewing a f u n e r a l robe, Penelope was a b l e to d e l a y choosing another husband.5 Wanting both to remain f a i t h f u l t o her husband ( i n case he might r e t u r n ) , and to remain otherwise c e l i b a t e , she p a t i e n t l y , " p o i n t a p o i n t " sewed her " h u m i l i t e " ( 2 0 ) . Her rage must have been b o i l i n g underneath. B e a u t i f u l E u r y d i c e , having d i e d from a serpent's b i t e , i s rescued by her newlywed Orpheus. He i s allowed to take her from P l u t o as long as he does not look a t her on t h e i r ascent out of the Underworld. Imagine the anger of E u r y d i c e when t h i s man, d e s i r i n g to gaze upon h i s beauty, t u r n s , looks and condemns her to H e l l ! And Antigone, f a i t h f u l daughter to her c r a z e d , b l i n d f a t h e r , f a i t h f u l s i s t e r t o her s l a i n , unburied 108 b r o t h e r , d i g s a grave with her bare hands. And, her uncle Creon, now k i n g , h i s anger unleashed, has Antigone b u r i e d a l i v e . 6 Imagine her rage. And y e t , years l a t e r , some u n i d e n t i f i e d woman i s uncovered, r e s u r r e c t e d from the f r o z e n e a r t h (K.,250). Women have remained s i l e n t , b i t by b i t f i n d i n g ways t o weave t h e i r * h i s / s t o r y ' i n t o the c e n t r e . Marcus remarks t h a t few women have been ab l e t o express t h i s "angry t r u t h - t e l l i n g " as has Adrienne R i c h , and t h a t most women have, i n s t e a d , i n an i n d i r e c t and nonthreatening way, o f f e r e d o n l y " b e a u t i f u l l y mandarin or minor" a r t or d i s c o u r s e . Hortense C a l i s h e r has c a l l e d t h i s q u i e t , n i c e a r t "mental hysterectomy".7 One way to r e l i e v e the pressure of not being a b l e to 'shout out lo u d ' , i s to escape. In Les Fous de Bassan there are warnings of rape and murder which come from the dead s p i r i t s of O l i v i a ' s mother and grandmothers. O l i v i a dreams of f l e e i n g t o a pl a c e where she can be once agai n with the maternal s p i r i t s . 8 She imagines the long awaited peace and community found i n t h i s p l a c e : Je p r e n d r a i ma mere avec mol e t je l'ammenerai t r e s l o i n . Au fond des oceans p e u t - e t r e , l a oft 11 y a des p a l a i s de c o q u i l l a g e s , des f l e u r s etranges, des pois s o n s m u l t i c o l o r e s , des rues ou l'on r e s p i r e l'eau calmement comme l ' a i r . Nous v i v r o n s ensemble sans b r u i t e t sans e f f o r t . (ES.,208) Women w r i t e r s i n Quebec have been f i n d i n g ways t o r e l e a s e 109 some of t h e i r anger and Impatience, s i n c e Laure Conan's AngAllne. Gagnon e x p l a i n s t h a t A n g e l i n e f having r e f u s e d t o "*§tre donnee et possed£e [par l e s deux h£ros] e n f i n , heroine, e l i e possede e t donne."9 J o v e t t e B e r n i e r , i n La C h a i r decevante (1931), expressed a feminine emotional r e a l i t y i n her " t e l e g r a p h i c " , e l l i p t i c , j a z z - l i k e phrases. R e v e a l i n g i n t h i s way the depth of woman's emotions was con s i d e r e d immoral and i t was r a d i c a l l y new i n Quebec.10 B l a i s remembers these women and o t h e r s . She o f t e n t h i n k s aux femmes du passe, a t o u t e s ces v o i x qui ont longtemps dorml ... a ces v o i x du passe dont on ne s a l t r i e n [...,] v o i x de femmes, v o i x de jeunes f i l l e s , v o i x sans noms, epouses, meres, femmes i n q u i e t e s , c r a i n t i v e s [...,] v o i x coupables, peut-§tre complices de t a n t d'horreurs, v o i x r e v o l t e e s mais coupables de s i l e n c e , au temps oft l'hornme s e u l a v a i t une v i e , une h i s t o i r e , c ar c ' e t a i t l u i , l a v o i x , e t nous, l e s i l e n c e l l . J o v e t t e Marchessault's response to woman's op p r e s s i o n i s to look back t o a grandmother, who, untouched by p a t r i a r c h a l i d e o l o g y , i n s t i l l s her value s i n her g r a n d c h i l d . I t i s t h i s i n d i s p e n s i b l e c onnecting thread which i s the c r u c i a l *£il d'Ariane' i n women's s t o r y . I t i s the l i n k betweeen the past and present which the grandmother makes, a c t i n g as female sage and conveyor of p r i v a t e feminine t r u t h s and unorthodox wisdom.12 Marchessault has grabbed hold of t h i s " f i l " and p u l l e d h e r s e l f , not out of the cave t h a t has imprisoned her, but deeper i n s i d e a transformed and t r a n s f o r m i n g p l a c e : the 110 womb of the maternal O r i g i n . In La M&re des Herbes (1980), where the grandmother has r e j e c t e d the value s of P a t r i a r c h y , i n Tr y p t i q u e l e s b i e n (1980), where the n a r r a t o r s i t s no longer under a p h a l l i c symbol, but under "1'arbre-Mere-en-fleurs, dans l a n u i t v i v e de ma t e r r e n o u v e l l e " (76), i n Saga des poules m o u l l l e e s (1981), where women's h i s t o r y has been r e c a s t and Hebert, Roy, Guevremont and Conan f i n d themselves "beyond p a t r i a r c h y [ s h a r i n g ] t h e i r dreams and f e a r s , t h e i r l o v e , t h e i r a s p i r a t i o n s , t h e i r s e c r e t knowledge"13, Marchessault has escaped from the p l a c e of op p r e s s i o n and has, i n s t e a d , r e - entered the b i r t h c a n a l . These 'mothers' and 'grandmothers', Hebert, Conan, Guevremont and Roy, these " i n s e c t e s p r i s o n n l e r s " (E,53), r e c a s t and reborn, emerge, i r o n i c a l l y , from a daughter. And t h i n g s are re v e r s e d i n " l ' e n v e r s du monde": r e g e n e r a t i o n of the l i v i n g from the dead and of the dead from the l i v i n g . At one time e v e r y t h i n g was i n order, " l e s morts dessous/Les v l v a n t s dessus"(36); the t h i n s u r f a c e of e a r t h which separated the two worlds has now been cracked open, the order shaken. What l i e s r e v e a l e d i s the Underground which has consumed women, but now has i t s e l f been transformed i n t o a p l a c e of p r o d u c t i o n , of b i r t h . The subtex t , the " f i l i g r a n e " has f i n a l l y emerged with one woman f i n a l l y having "decided" t o "approche[r] l a t e r r e de son o r e i l l e " (53). And others f o l l o w e d . Grandmothers are exhumed blackened, yet l i v i n g , (K. 250) and daughters f i n a l l y " S c a r t e n t l e jour [du Pere S o l e l l ] comme un r i d e a u " and f i n d "L'ombre d'un s e u l arbre [cet arbre M a t e r n e l l e ] Stale" ( E , 111 58) a t the f e e t of women. Maurice Emond re c o g n i z e s t h i s t r a n s g r e s s i o n , r e b i r t h i n g , exhuming, renaming; i t i s a "renaissance p e r p e t u e l l e " , and an " e t e r n e l l e jeunesse".14 He notes t h a t the fecond nature of woman's menstrual c y c l e corresponds to t h i s r e b i r t h i n g process, which aga i n i s l i n k e d t o the moon's "phases t r a g i g u e s , avec l e u r s m u t i l a t i o n s , s a c r i f i c e s et morts t..Cependant, e l l e s ] ne sont que temporaires [..et] annoncent l e s phases triomphantes du renouvellement, de l a r e g e n e r a t i o n et de l a r e s u r r e c t i o n . " 1 5 I t i s under the Moon t h a t " c e t t e soeur que nous avons/Se baigne bleue" (E/48). T h i s " p e t i t e morte" has c r o s s e d over to " l ' e n v e r s de ce m i r o i r l i m p i d e " . Perhaps the heroine i n "Le Tombeau des r o i s " does not r e c o g n i z e the glimmer of l i g h t . Morning l i g h t , the " r e f l e t d'aube", should be of the Sun. Posing q u e s t i o n s a f t e r " l e s morts hors de moi, [sont] a s s a s s i n e s " (E, 61), the heroine sees the b i r d s h i v e r . The kings dead, the P a t r i a r c h a l Sun l o s i n g i t s power, the b i r d , though b l i n d e d , has a newly d i s c o v e r e d v i s i o n of a new l i g h t through i t s " p r u n e l l e s c r e v e e s " . The Moon i n i t s own Dawn, i n i t s morning, r i s e s i n t h i s r e v e r s e d world. The "ombre [qui] e t a l e " has t r a n s g r e s s e d the Sun's space and has been empowered; a new l i g h t begins to be born. Things are not what they were. In the words of J.C. H o l l a n d , i t i s " t h i s strange b i r d s i n g i n g the songs of another 112 shore M16 t h a t a c t s as communicator from a d i f f e r e n t p l a c e , t h a t leads " l e s f i l l e s bleues de l'6te"(E,52) to l i s t e n t o the e a r t h , to r e v e a l the deeper meanings, e x i s t e n c e s ... the watermark. T o r i l Mol c a l l s woman's masking of the T r u t h , " p a l l m p s e s t i c " . 1 7 In w r i t i n g , women have been c o n s c i o u s l y or un c o n s c i o u s l y , w i l l i n g l y or u n w i l l i n g l y , h i d i n g the subtex t , the " f i l i g r a n e " , u n t i l the "La rage/Qui oppresse notre p o i t r i n e " ( 3 2 ) f i n a l l y b o i l s to the s u r f a c e , u n t i l t h a t s m a l l v o i c e "de 1'oiseau mort"(25) i s "re§ue.../Par l a v o i x i n t e r i e u r e " ( 2 6 ) of women. The b i r d , regenerated with new v i s i o n , i s no longer "ce r o i / M i n u s c u l e e t n a i f " (20), but has been transformed i n t o une a u t r e femme, p l u s p e t i t e , (...] to u t comme s i e l l e f u t trouvee a l ' i n t e r i e u r de l a femme en ro s e , l a femme en rose etant v i d e e t creuse, en a b a t - j o u r , f a i t e expres pour c o n t e n i r une aut r e femme p l u s p e t i t e , p l u s ancienne dans l e temps, q u i , e l l e a u s s i , accouche d'une autre femme. Des femmes gigognes. Des poupees russes s'emboitant l e s unes dans l e s a u t r e s (ES,p.103). To ' d i g up' women's ' t r u e ' t e x t ( h i s t o r y , " h e r / s t o r y " , which has l a i d p a t i e n t l y underground, w a i t i n g f o r some brave s o u l t o dare t o approach and s c r a t c h open the s u r f a c e ) , i s perhaps a grander p i c t u r e , (metaphor, "mlse en abime") of the hero i n e ' s l i s t e n i n g t o the e a r t h and e n t e r i n g the tomb, d i g g i n g up o l d bones and d i s c o v e r i n g new f l e s h . Enclosed i n a s e a l e d room, E l i s a b e t h i n Kamouraska r e l i v e s her past and attempts t o k i l l the dead. Marcel F o r t i n , i n h i s re c e n t a r t i c l e on the 113 c r i t i c i s m of Hebert's works, notes t h a t t h i s attempt i s s i m i l a r t o t h a t of the p r o t a g o n i s t i n "Le Tombeau des r o i s " . Perhaps she and E l i s a b e t h , t r a g i c a l l y trapped i n t h i s s m a l l space, I r o n i c a l l y are abl e t o f i n d some k i n d of freedom; i n t h i s cramped space, they t r a n s g r e s s the Law with impunityl8 : "La t r a g i g u e , dure v e r t u de l a beaute s u f f i s a n t e , invente ses propres l o l s . Vous ne pouvez pas comprendre. E l i e e s t au- dessus des l o l s o r d i n a i r e s de l a t e r r e " (K., 47). The p r o t a g o n i s t d i s c o v e r s her own Law, one which al l o w s her to have her own a u t h e n t i c i t y . In "Poesie, s o l i t u d e rompue", Hebert speaks of "une oeuvre authentigue [...] q u i se contente d ' e t r e dans sa p l e n i t u d e , ayant r e j o l n t sa propre l o i i n t e r i e u r e , dans l a conscience et 1 ' e f f o r t c r e a t e u r , e t l'a y a n t observee jusqu'e. l a l i m i t e de l ' e t r e exprime et donne" (R,70-71). Hubert i s r e f e r r i n g t o the freedom t o w r i t e a u t h e n t i c a l l y f o r the f i r s t time. Again, the search f o r woman's Truth or A u t h e n t i c i t y ' w i t h i n ' the s t o r y or the poem, i s a metaphor, (an example of *mise en abime') f o r the journey of a l l Quebecois(es) and of a l l women and men. Th i s s t o r y i s a shared s t o r y . I t belongs t o Quebeckers, to women, to men, to a l l those who have been oppressed. I t i s a s t o r y about f o r g i v e n e s s . In A Handmaid's T a l e r O f f r e d r e p r e s e n t s women who have been pe n e t r a t e d , c o n t r o l l e d , oppressed. And y e t , l i k e the b i r d , she q u i e t l y murmurs her " p l a i n t e " : 114 Maybe none of t h i s i s about contr o l . Maybe i t i s n ' t realy about who can own whom, who can do what to whom and get way with i t , even as far as death...Maybe i t ' s about who can do what to whom and be forgiven for it.19 It i s the story about Kateri Tekakwita, who, condemned by the French s e t t l e r s i n 1675 as a sorceress, turned back the Iroquois warriors by s e t t i n g aflame her hand which turned into a bird of peace. Her body, woman's body, becomes that bird once again, a creative symbol of l i f e over death.20 It i s the story of a woman who f i n a l l y sheds the v e i l of the chaste " v i r g i n " and dons the archaic robes of the " V i r g i n " who, according to Esther Harding, i s free to choose to marry or not, to make love or not.21 This Daphne i s f i n a l l y free to be, l i k e Diana or Penelope, c e l i b a t e . It i s a story of the past and present and future. Robin Morgan brings t h i s story to the centre of her work. The story has now become a tapestry, no longer just the embroidered margins: From the beginning there has been one story surviving a l l Its versions. We who have l i v e d and s t i l l r e l i v e i t s l i v i n g here set down what we remember of the pattern - mere d e t a i l s of clues l o s t in the execution. Each of us has brought her own imperfect s k i l l humbly to t h i s work so that together our chanson de t o l l e might weave the storyt...] 115 f o r time to fade and weather s t i f f e n . 2 2 But i t has been necessary t h a t someone put her ear to the ground to begin d e c o n s t r u c t i n g the " p a t r i a r c h a l t a p e s t r y " and, as Annis P r a t t suggests, to l e t those embroidered edges "Implode inwards."23 I t has taken the s m a l l s o f t v o i c e of a b i r d , who, through i t s b l i n d n e s s , e n v i s i o n e d the l i g h t of the Moon b a r e l y v i s i b l e " i n the obscured sky". But as O f f r e d looks out the window i n The Handmaid's T a l e r she i s c e r t a i n of the moon's presence. I t i s a "wishing moon, a s l i v e r of a n c i e n t rock, a goddess, a wink".24 The Moon i s a s i g n of hope, as i s the b i r d . Annis P r a t t u n d e r l i n e s the importance of the b i r d . P a r t of the animal h e r a l d r y embroidered by Mary Queen of Scots d u r i n g her long emprisonment, the b i r d became an emblem f o r her. I t i s the phoenix i n flames with the i n s c r i p t i o n "en ma f i n g i t mon commencement". D e p i c t i n g her own c a p t i v i t y , she wove the emblem of a l i o n i n a net, with hares l e a p i n g over i t and of a hawk f l y i n g over a b i r d i n i t s cage25; imprisoned and f r e e , t h e r e i s new beginni n g . The phoenix Is the symbol of r e b i r t h , the symbol of the Hebertian heroine who i s reborn "sans cesse de ses cendres [...,] de bucher en bucher, elle-meme m o r t e l l e et p a l p a b l e , e t pourtant s u r n a t u r e l l e et male f i q u e " (ES.,179). G a b r i e l l e P ascal-Smith remarks t h a t the Hebertian h e r o i n e , "d'abord a s s e r v i e , [maintenant] se dresse comme un g l a i v e . " 2 6 Woman, s t a n d i n g t a l l , no longer hunched under a t r e e , f i n a l l y 116 d i s c o v e r s i n "ses deux mains b r u l e e s " (E, 20), the power to tra n s f o r m the g i v i n g of l i f e t o the bea r i n g of new l i f e . Gwendolyn MacEwen has recog n i z e d t h i s new s t o r y as an ongoing one: f o r i f one woman can be brave enough t o take us a l l on a new journey, then there i s s t i l l hope found i n the " r e f l e t d'aube" f l i c k e r i n g i n the d i s t a n c e from the a n c i e n t rock of t h a t new Moon: do not imagine t h a t the e x p l o r a t i o n ends, t h a t she has y i e l d e d a l l her mystery or t h a t the map you hold c a n c e l s f u r t h e r d i s c o v e r y I t e l l you her uncovering takes y e a r s , takes c e n t u r i e s , and when you f i n d her naked look a g a i n , admit there i s something e l s e you cannot name, a v e i l , a c o a t i n g j u s t above the f l e s h . . . I mean the moment when i t seems most p l a i n i s the moment when you must begin again.27 The journey t h a t we have j u s t taken d i d not begin with the f i r s t poem of Le Tombeau des r o l s P nor d i d i t progress l o g i c a l l y , poem by poem, u n t i l the end of the work. Instead, we fo l l o w e d a woman on a quest f o r I d e n t i t y , f o r her own v o i c e , f o r wholeness, f o r new s i g h t . And y e t , she v a c i l l a t e s between " e l l e " and " j e " throughout most of the work; her v o i c e i s the f a i n t c r y of the b i r d ; her body i s fragmented and v i o l a t e d , even i n the l a s t poem; and i n the l a s t s t a n z a , her v i s i o n , the b i r d ' s , i s s t i l l flawed. The l i t t l e hope t h a t seems t o e x i s t 117 f o r a new f u t u r e , i s a d i s t a n t , p a l e r e f l e x i o n of l i g h t ; but, ye t , t h i s b a r e l y v i s i b l e glimmer i s the beginning of a new era f o r the Qu e b e c o i s ( e s ) . The " I " f i n a l l y speaking out i n the f i r s t person i s the f i r s t murmuring of one's own v o i c e speaking i t s f i r s t words; the eyes are b l i n d e d , yet are abl e t o d e t e c t l i g h t with a new v i s i o n . Le Tombeau des r o l s has been analysed as a quest i n which wholeness, v o i c e and i d e n t i t y are f i n a l l y found and a p p r o p r i a t e d by the Qu e b e c o i s ( e s ) . Anne Hebert was one of the many represented by the heroine on her journey. However, Hubert was not o n l y speaking as a "Quebecois", but, as w e l l , as a woman. The Hebertian p r o t a g o n i s t i s a woman who i s aware of her body, fragmented as i t i s ; she i s a woman, cornered i n a room, who shudders as the c o l d , s a l t y breath of a man breathes down her neck; she i s a woman who p a t i e n t l y sews, with her burned hands, the h u m i l i t y of the world, of a world which i s bu r i e d beneath the power, v i o l e n c e and egotism of the p a t r i a r c h a l one, the world of her a n c e s t r e s s e s . The her o i n e , surrounded by a w a l l which e n c l o s e s and c o n s t r a i n s , t i e d by her f i d e l i t y t o t h i s p a t r i a r c h a l world of Law which c o n s t r i c t s and c o n f i n e s , begins, b i t by b i t , to pay a t t e n t i o n t o the sm a l l v o i c e of the b i r d . I t i s the b i r d which guides her back t o her feminine and female o r i g i n s . Not u n l i k e C h r i s t , t h i s b i r d i s s a c r i f i c e d f o r womankind and f o r mankind. Through death i s r e b i r t h . The phoenix i s reborn i n the cave, the p l a c e of 118 r e p r o d u c t i o n : the womb, the p l a c e which p a t r i a r c h a l language has not permeated, the place where "babble" i s understood. The m o t i f s of the s a c r i f i c i a l b i r d , of the weaver, the cave, of a s e c r e t coded language, are found In f e m i n i s t l i t e r a t u r e , f o r the most p a r t , w r i t t e n a f t e r Le Tombeau des r o i s . To use images and m o t i f s found i n other women's w r i t i n g as an i n t e r t e x t u a l base from which t o study t h i s e a r l y work of Hebert, i s v a l i d from a f e m i n i s t p e r s p e c t i v e . I t i s a p e r s p e c t i v e which I have extended t o some of Hebert's l a t e r p o e t r y and prose, by which I t r y to s u b s t a n t i a t e my a n a l y s i s of the camouflaged feminine s u b t e x t . T h i s l i e s hidden beneath the t r a d i t i o n a l a n a l y s i s of Hebert's works, which focus on the search f o r a n a t i o n a l i d e n t i t y . T h i s type of a n a l y s i s i s prepared t o t r a n s g r e s s T r a d i t i o n , the Law. I t proceeds t o draw together c l u e s from other women w r i t e r s , not to c l a r i f y and narrow the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Le Tombeau des r o i s , but to r e v e a l and o f f e r another r e a d i n g . I t "re-members" fragments of s t o r i e s from women's experie n c e , r e v i s i n g m e t a p h o r i c a l l y the image of the "tomb", a pl a c e of death, t o the "womb", where there i s r e b i r t h . That i s , a c c o r d i n g t o C h r i s t i n e Downing, where men and women " r e t u r n to the r e c e p t i v e , g e n e r a t i v e mother", t o the goddess who i s "the source of v i s i o n - a n d of lunacy, which i s a l t e r e d v i s i o n " . 2 8 The Moon, which o f f e r s l i g h t , v i s i o n , i s a s s o c i a t e d with what 119 i s not understood - the lunacy of women's speech. To read Anne Hebert's p o e t r y as an " 6 c r i t u r e au f e m i n i n " , i s to share i n her l i f e as a woman and as a "Quebecois", t o l i n k the s t o r y of Quebec, and of a l l oppressed people, with women's expe r i e n c e . The s t o r y i s one. Notes 1. McDonald 58. 2. McDonald 60. 3. McDonald 59. 4. Jane Marcus, "Art and Anger," F e m i n i s t S t u d i e s 4.1 February 1978: 70. 5. B u l f i n c h 150. 6. B u l f i n c h 152, 149. 7. Marcus 93. 8. Green, "Witch 137. 9. Madeleine Gagnon, "Angeline de Montbrun: l e mensonge h i s t o r i g u e e t l a su b v e r s i o n de l a metaphore blanche," Voix et Images du Pays V 1972: 66. 10. Karen Gould, Mary Jean Green, Paula G i l b e r t Lewis, " I n s c r i p t i o n s of the Feminine: A Century of Women W r i t i n g i n Quebec," The American Review of Canadian S t u d i e s 15.4 Winter 1985: 376. 11. Gould, Green, Lewis 369. 12. Gould, Green, Lewis 377. 13. O r e n s t e i n 192. 14. Emond 148. 120 15. Emond 150. 16. Mandel 72. 17. T o r i l Moi, Sexual/Textual P o l i t i c s (London: Methuen, 1985) 59. 18. Marcel F o r t i n , "La Reception c r i t i q u e de l'oeuvre d'Anne H6bert: h i s t o i r e d'une c e l e b r a t i o n , " L l t t 6 r a t u r e s No. 2 (1988): 111. 19. Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's T a l e (Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart, 1985) 144-45. 20. Gould, Green, Lewis 379. 21. Esther Harding, Woman's M y s t e r i e s , A n c i e n t and Modern (New York: Bantam, 1973) 121. 22. Robin Morgan, Lady of the Beasts (New York: Random House, 1976) 108. 23. P r a t t , " T i g e r " 177. 24. Atwood 108. 25. P r a t t , " T i g e r " 176. 26. G a b r i e l l e Pascal-Smith, "La C o n d i t i o n feminine dans Kamouraska d'Anne Hebert," The F r e n c h R e v i e w 54.1 October 1980: 91. 27. Gwendolyn MacEwen, The Shadow-Maker (Toronto: Macmillan, 1969) 30. 28. Downing 13. 121 B i b l i o g r a p h y . Works bv Anne Hubert 1. Books Hebert, Anne. Les Enfants du Sabbat. P a r i s : S e u l l , 1975. Les Fous de Bassan. P a r i s : S e u l l , 1982. H e l o l s e . P a r i s : S e u l l , 1980. Kamouraska. P a r i s : S e u l l , 1970. Poernes. P a r i s : S e u i l , 1960. Le T o r r e n t . Montreal: Beauchemin, 1950. 2. C r i t i c a l work Dialogue sur l a T r a d u c t i o n , a propos du "Tombeau des r o i s " , en c o l l a b o r a t i o n avec Frank S c o t t . P r e s e n t a t i o n de Jeanne Lapointe et p r e f a c e de Northrop F r y e . Montreal: HMH, 1970. I. S t u d i e s of Anne Hebert's work Amyot, Georges. "Anne Hubert e t l a r e n a i s s a n c e . " Les E c r i t s du Canada f r a n c a l s 20 (1965): 233-253. Aylwin, U l r i c . "Vers une l e c t u r e de l'oeuvre d'Anne Hebert." La Barre du i o u r 1.7 ete 1966: 2-11. B e l i e f e u i l l e , Normand de. " T e l qu'en lui-meme." La Barre du l o u r 38-42 printemps-ete 1973: 104-123. B e s s e t t e , Gerard. "La D i s l o c a t i o n dans l a poesie d'Anne Hebert." Une L i t t e r a t u r e en e b u l l i t i o n . Montreal: E d i t i o n s du j o u r , 1968. 13-23. B l a i n , Maurice. "Anne Hebert ou l e r i s q u e de v i v r e . " L l b e r t e no 9 automne 1959: 322-330. Bolduc, Yves. "La Comparaison dans l'oeuvre poetique d'Anne Hebert." S i Que 4 automne 1979: 123-142. Bouchard, Denis. Une l e c t u r e d'Anne Hebert. Montreal: Hurtubise HMH, 1977. 122 Cohen, Matt. "Queen i n E x i l e . " Books i n Canada Aug.-Sept. 1983: 9-12. C o u i l l a r d , Marie. "Les Enfants du sabbat d'Anne Hebert: un r e c i t de su b v e r s i o n f a n t a s t i q u e . " Incidences 4.2-3 mai- dec. 1980: 77-84. Emond, Maurice. La Femme A l a f e n e t r e . Quebec: Les Presses de 1 ' U n i v e r s i t y de L a v a l , 1984. F e r a l , J o s e t t e . " C l o t u r e du moi, c l o t u r e du t e x t e dans l'oeuvre d'Anne Hebert." Voix et Images 1.2 decembre 1975: 265-283. F o r t i n , M a r c e l . "La Reception c r i t i q u e de l'oeuvre d'Anne Hebert: h i s t o i r e d'une c e l e b r a t i o n . " L i t t 6 r a t u r e s 2 (1988): 89-114. Godin, Jean-Cleo. " R e b i r t h i n the Word." Yale French S t u d i e s 45 (1970): 137-153. Green, Mary Jean. "The Witch and the P r i n c e s s : the Feminine F a n t a s t i c i n the F i c t i o n of Anne Hebert." The American Review of Canadian S t u d i e s 15.2 Summer 1985: 137-146. Heldt, Barbara. " F i v e Women Poets (Dickenson, Tsvetaeva, P l a t h , Hebert and Brogan): Toward a Female P o e t i c s . " U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1988 (unpublished p a p e r ) . I q b a l , F r a n c o i s e Maccabee. "Kamouraska: l a fausse r e p r e s e n t a t i o n demasquee." Voix et Images: etudes quebecolses 4 a v r i l 1979: 460-478. Kuntsmann, P i e r r e . "Le Tombeau des r o i s : ou l a p r o g r e s s i o n r e g r e s s i v e . " Voix e t Images 2.2 decembre 1976: 255-264. Lacote, Rene. Anne Hebert. P a r i s : Seghers, 1969. Le Grand, A l b e r t . Anne Hebert: de l ' e x i l au rovaume. Montreal: U n i v e r s i t y de Montreal, 1967. Lemieux, P i e r r e - H e r v e . E n t r e songe et p a r o l e . Ottawa: E d i t i o n s de l ' U n i v e r s i t e d'Ottawa, 1978. Major, Jean-Louis. Anne Hebert et l e m i r a c l e de l a p a r o l e . M o n t r e a l : Presses de l ' U n i v e r s i t e de Montreal, 1976. Major, Ruth. "Kamouraska et Les Enfants du sabbat: f a i r e jouer l a tra n s p a r e n c e . " Voix et Images 7.3 printemps 1982: 459-470. 123 Marta, Janet. " D e c h i f f r a g e du code b i b l i q u e dans l e s PoAmes d'Anne Hebert." Presence francophone no 16 printemps 1978: 123-130. McDonald, M a r c i . "Anne Hebert: P a r i s i s the P l a c e to Chart Women's Rage." C i t y Woman Sp r i n g 1981: 55-61. Mezei, Kathy. "Anne Hebert: A P a t t e r n Repeated." Canadian L i t e r a t u r e ns 72 S p r i n g 1977: 29-40. Monette, P i e r r e . "Anne Hebert: poesie rompue." L e t t r e s qu6b6colses 1.2 nov. 1978: 49-51. P a r a d i s , Suzanne. Femme f l c t l v e r femme r e e l l e . M o n treal: Garneau, 1966. P a s c a l , G a b r i e l l e . "Soumission et r e v o l t e dans l e s romans d'Anne Hebert." Incidences 4.2-3 mai-dec. 1980: 59-75. Pascal-Smith, G a b r i e l l e . "La C o n d i t i o n feminine dans KaffiOUffaska d'Anne Hebert." The French Review 54.1 October 1980: 85-92. Paterson, Janet. " L ' E c r i t u r e de l a j o u i s s a n c e dans l'oeuvre romanesgue d'Anne Hubert." Revue de l ' U n i v e r s i t e d'Ottawa 50.1 (1980): 69-73. Paterson, Janet. " B i b l i o g r a p h i e c r i t i q u e des etudes consacrees aux romans d'Anne Hebert." Voix et Images: etudes quebecoises 7 printemps 1982: 187-192. P u r c e l l , P a t r i c i a . "The A g o n i z i n g S o l i t u d e . " Canadian L i t e r a t u r e 9 Autumn 1961: 51-61. Page, P i e r r e . Anne Hebert. Ottawa: F i d e s , 1965. Robert, Guy. La Po6tique du sonqe. Montreal: A.G.E.U.M., 1962. Roy, L u c i l l e . "Anne Hebert ou l e d e s e r t du monde." Voix et Images 7.3 printemps 1982. Roy, L u c i l l e . E ntre l a lumiere et 1'ombre. Sherbrooke: Naaman, 1984. R u s s e l l , D e l b e r t . Anne Hubert. Boston: Twayne, 1983. S i l v a , Edson Rosa da. "La Regeneration du cosmos dans un poeme d'Anne H6bert." Presence francophone 23 automne 1981: 163-175. Sincennes, Gustave. "Le Tombeau des r o i s : Anne H6bert et 124 1 ' i n t r o s p e c t i o n . " these de m a i t r l s e , U n i v e r s i t y of A l b e r t a , 1968. Smart, P a t r i c i a . "La Poesie d'Anne Hebert: une p e r s p e c t i v e feminine." Revue de l ' U n i v e r s i t e d'Ottawa 50.1 j a n . - mars, 1980: 62-68. S y l v e s t r e , Roger. "Du Sang sur l e s mains blanches." C r l t e r e 4 j u i n 1971: 47-61. Vanasse, Andre. " L ' E c r i t u r e e t 1'ambivalence, entrevue avec Anne Hebert." Voix e t Images 7.3 printemps 1982: 441- 448. Weir, L o r r a i n e . "'Fauna of M i r r o r s ' : the Po e t r y of Hebert and Atwood." A r i e l 10.3 J u l y 1979: 99-113. Wyczynski, P a u l . "1'Univers poetique d'Anne Hebert." Poesie et symbole. Montreal: Deom, 1965, 149-185. I I . General works Ahmed, Maroussia. " T r a n s g r e s s e r , c ' e s t p r o g r e s s e r . " Incidences 4.2-3 mai-dec. 1980: 119-127. Atwood, Margaret. "The Curse of Eve - Or What I Learned i n Sch o o l . " Canadian Women's St u d i e s 1.1 F a l l 1978: 30-33. The Handmaid's T a l e . Toronto: McLelland and Stewart, 1985. Beer, Frances. "The C o n t i n u i t y of Female S t e r e o t y p e s : from Recluse to Bunny." Canadian Women's St u d i e s 1.1 F a l l 1978: 40-42. Brown, Norman 0. Love's Body. New York: Random House, 1966. B u l f i n c h , Thomas. B u l f i n c h ' s Mythology. New York: The Modern L i b r a r y , n.d. C o u i l l a r d , Marie. "La Femme-ecrivain canadienne-frangaise et quebecoise face aux i d e o l o g i e s de son temps." Canadian E t h n i c Studies/Etudes ethniques au Canada 13.1 (1981): 43-51. Couillard-Goodenough. "La Femme et l e sacre dans quelques romans quebecois contemporalns." Revue de l ' U n i v e r s i t e 125 d'Ottawa 50.1 (1980): 74-81. Downing, C h r i s t i n e . The Goddess: Mythological images of the Feminine. New York: Crossroads, 1981. D u P l e s s i s , Rachel B l a u . " E u r y d i c e . " Boundary 24.1 F a l l 1975: 250-254. DuprS, L o u i s e . " L ' E c r i t u r e feminine dans Les Herbes KQMges •" Revue de l ' U n i v e r s i t e d'Ottawa 50.1 (1980): 89-94. E a g l e t o n , Mary, ed. F e m i n i s t L i t e r a r y Theory: A Reader. Oxford: B a s i l B l a c k w e l l , 1986. E l l i o t t , C h a r l e s . P r a y i n g Through Paradox. London: Fount Paperbacks, 1987. Gagne, S y l v i e . "La S o u r c i e r e . " Les Herbes rouges no 58 decembre 1977: 8. Gagnon, Madeleine. "Une T r a d i t i o n feminine en l i t t e r a t u r e ? " Conference i n t e r a m e r i c a i n e des femmes-ecrivains, Ottawa, Canadian Women's St u d i e s 1.1 F a l l 1978: 52. Godard, Barbara. "'Body I ' : Daphne M a r l a t t ' s F e m i n i s t P o e t i c s . " American Review of Canadian S t u d i e s 15.4 (1985): 481-496. . G y n o c r l t l c s / G y n o c r l t l q u e s . Toronto: ECW Pre s s , 1987. Grandpr6, P i e r r e de. H i s t o i r e de l a l i t t e r a t u r e f r a n c h i s e du Quebec. I l l Montreal: Beauchemin, 1969. Green, Mary Jean. "The ' L i t e r a r y F e m i n i s t s ' and the F i g h t f o r Women's W r i t i n g i n Quebec." J o u r n a l of Canadian S t u d i e s 4.1 Sp r i n g 1986: 128-144. Green, Mary Jean, and Paula G i l b e r t Lewis, and Karen Gould. " I n s c r i p t i o n s of the Feminine: A Century of Women W r i t i n g i n Quebec." The American Review of Canadian S t u d i e s 15.4 Winter 1985: 363-388. Haeck, P h i l i p p e . La Table d ' 6 c r l t u r e . Montreal: VLB E d l t e u r , 1984. Harding, E s t h e r . Woman's M y s t e r i e s , Ancient and Modern. New York: Bantam, 1973. Howelis, C o r a l Ann. P r i v a t e and F i c t i o n a l Words: Canadian Women N o v e l i s t s of the 1970's and 1980's. New York : Methuen, 1987. 126 Juery, Rene. I n i t i a t i o n A 1'analyse t e x t u e l l e . H u l l : A s t l c o u , 1981. Juteau-Lee, D a n i e l l e , and Barbara Roberts. " E t h n i c i t y and F e m i n i n i t y : (d') apres nos e x p e r i e n c e s . " Canadian E t h n i c Studies/Etudes ethnlques au Canada 13.1 (1981): 1-23. Kogawa, Joy. obasan. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983. Lewis, Paula G i l b e r t , ed. T r a d i t i o n a l i s m , N a t i o n a l i s m and Feminism. Westport: Greenwood P r e s s , 1985. MacEwen, Gwendolyn. The Shadow-Maker. Toronto: Macmlllan, 1969. M a i l h o t , Laurent. Que s a i s - l e : l a l i t t e r a t u r e quebecoise. P a r i s : Presses u n i v e r s i t a i r e s de France, 1974. Mandel, E l i . Another Time. E r i n : Press P o r c e p i c , 1977. Maranda, Jeanne e t Mair Verthuy. "Les E c r i t s f e m i n i s t e s au Quebec." Emergency L i b r a r i a n 5-7 s e p t . - o c t . 1977: 12- 20. Marchessault, J o v e t t e . T r y p t i q e l e s b i e n . M o ntreal: La P l e i n e lune, 1980. La Mere des herbes. Montreal: Quinze, 1980. Marcotte, G l l l e s . Une L i t t e r a t u r e qui se f a i t . 2 Montreal: HMH, 1962. Marcus, Jane. "Art and Anger." F e m i n i s t S t u d i e s 4.1 February, 1978. Molsan, Clement. "Le Phenomene de l a poesie dans l e Quebec contemporain (1945-1970)." C u l t u r e p o p u l a i r e et l i t t e r a t u r e au Quebec, d i r . Rene Bouchard, Saratoga: Anma L i b r i , 1980. Moi, T o r i l . S e x ual/Textual P o l i t i c s . London: Methuen, 1985. M o n t e f i o r e , Jan. Feminism and Poetry. London: Pandora P r e s s , 1987. Morgan, Robin. "Voices from S i x T a p e s t r i e s . " Lady of the Beasts. New York: Random House, 1976. 127 O u e l l e t t e - M i c h a l s k a , Madeleine. L 1 Amour de l a c a r t e p o s t a l e . Montreal: E d i t i o n s Quebec/Amerlque, 1987. . "Mythe et i d e o l o g i e : de l ' e t r e de c h a i r a. l ' e t r e de p a r o l e . " Derives 27. (1981): 3-21. P e l l e t i e r , A l b e r t . C a r q u o l s . Montreal: L i b r a i r i e d ' A c t i o n c a n a d i e n n e - f r a n g a i s e , 1931. P r a t t , Annis. "Aunt J e n n i f e r ' s T i g e r s : Notes Toward a P r e l i t e r a r y H i s t o r y of Women's Archetypes." F e m i n i s t S t u d i e s 4.1 February 1978: 163-194. R i c h , Adrienne. Of Woman Born. New York: W.W. Norton, 1976. . "When We Dead Awaken: W r i t i n g as R e - V i s i o n . " On L i e s , S e c r e t s and S i l e n c e s . New York: W.W. Norton, 1979. Robert, Guy. L i t t e r a t u r e du Quebec: poesie a c t u e l l e . M o n treal: Deom, 1970. Roy, Monigue. "Femmage: Madeleine Gagnon." Canadian Women's Stu d i e s 1.1 F a l l 1978: 48-51. Sarton, Mary. "My S i s t e r s , 0 My S i s t e r s . " C o l l e c t e d Poems. 1930-1973. New York: W.W. Norton, 1974: 74-75. Sequin, L u c i e . " N i c o l e B r o s s a r d : l e s m o t s - e t r e i n t s . " Canadian Women's St u d i e s 1.3 Spr i n g 1979: 56-59. Silverman, Kaja. The Subject of S e m i o t i c s . New York: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1983. Smart, P a t r i c i a . E c r l r e dans l a maison du pere: 1'emergence du f e m i n i n dans l a t r a d i t i o n l i t t e r a i r e du Quebec. Montreal: E d i t i o n s Quebec/Amerique, 1988. Spivak, G a y a t r i . "Feminism and C r i t i c a l Theory." Women's Stu d i e s I n t e r n a t i o n a l J o u r n a l 1-2 (1978-79): 241-246. Tougas, Gerard. H i s t o i r e de l a l i t t e r a t u r e canadlenne- f r a n g a l s e . 41erne e d i t i o n , P a r i s : Presses u n i v e r s i t a l r e s de France, 1967. Verduyn, C h r l s t l . "From the 'Word on F l e s h ' t o the 'F l e s h made Word': Women's F i c t i o n i n Canada." American Review of Canadian S t u d i e s 15.4 (1985): 449-464. Waddington, Miriam. "Women and W r i t i n g : Keynote Speech i n Honour of Margaret Laurence." Canadian Women's St u d i e s 8.3 F a l l 1987: 27-29. 128 W a e l t i - W a l t e r s , J e n n i f e r . F a i r y T a l e s and the Female Imagination. Montreal: Eden Pr e s s , 1982. Warwick, Jack. "Un Retour aux mythes de l a t e r r e ? " Etudes f r a n c h i s e s 9.1 f e v r i e r , 1973: 279-301. 129

Cite

Citation Scheme:

    

Usage Statistics

Country Views Downloads
Germany 75 8
United States 12 3
Canada 7 0
India 6 0
China 2 31
Japan 2 0
Singapore 1 0
City Views Downloads
Unknown 85 9
Mississauga 4 0
Seattle 4 0
Tokyo 2 0
Beijing 2 2
Anaheim 2 0
Chicoutimi 2 0
Dollard-Des Ormeaux 1 0
Singapore 1 0
Carmel 1 0
Ashburn 1 0

{[{ mDataHeader[type] }]} {[{ month[type] }]} {[{ tData[type] }]}

Share

Share to:

Comment

Related Items