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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The imaginary universe of Jacques Benoit Sherman, Alan James 1989

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THE IMAGINARY UNIVERSE OF JACQUES BENOIT by ALAN JAMES SHERMAN A., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1983 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 November 198 9 (0 s) w Alan James Sherman, 198 9 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 The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) i i ABSTRACT Th i s t h e s i s i s a study of t h r e e of t h e . l i t e r a r y works of Jacques B e n o i t : Jos Carbone, Les P r i n c e s and G i s e l e et l e  serpent. I t w i l l be an attempt to combine d i f f e r e n t s p a t i a l elements of the t e x t s , l i t e r a l and symbolic, i n order to d e f i n e and e x p l o r e the imaginary u n i v e r s e of our author. In our f i r s t t e x t , Jos Carbone, we look to e s t a b l i s h the r o l e of the unconscious. The background predominance of n i g h t and dark elements, unseen invaders, h a b i t a t i o n s , i n short, the f o r e s t i n g e n e r a l appears as a metaphor f o r the unconscious mind of the hero Jos Carbone. In our a n a l y s i s , we attempt to e x p l o r e t h i s imaginary u n i v e r s e with i n t e n t t o e s t a b l i s h the theme of the t e r r i t o r i a l quest as i t might apply to the c e n t r a l couple Jos and M y r t i e . In our a n a l y s i s of B e n o i t ' s novel, Les P r i n c e s , we endeavour to e x p l o r e the a l l e g o r i c a l world with an emphasis on the nonverbal communication of both the topography and the i n h a b i t a n t s of la Ville. We observe the c o n f r o n t a t i o n of men and dogs i n an e f f o r t t o examine the r o l e of what i s considered c i v i l or animal, pet or prey. The impotency and f r u s t r a t i o n of Coquin s o c i e t y coupled with c o r r u p t G r a l i g e a n a u t h o r i t y evoke the ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau on s o c i a l i n e q u a l i t y . We s h a l l , t h e r e f o r e , attempt t o apply some of h i s b e l i e f s t o imaginary elements of the n o v e l . F i n a l l y , we s h a l l examine the unvoiced r e f u t a t i o n of the G r a l i g e a n ' s v e r b a l law and the p o s s i b l e f u t u r e outcome of la Ville's v i o l e n t upheaval. G i s e l e et l e serpent w i l l be s t u d i e d i n terms of a c r e a t i v e quest t o w r i t e on the p a r t of the hero and n a r r a t o r , G r e g o i r e Rabouin. We w i l l take i n t o account the displacement, t r a n s f o r m a t i o n and constant motion of the t e x t as w e l l as the combination of f a n t a s t i c and c o n v e n t i o n a l elements. The r o l e of the p r o t a g o n i s t G i s e l e i s t o be examined i n terms of her c a p a c i t y as r o l e model, m o t i v a t i o n to w r i t e and magical f o r c e behind the l i b e r a t i o n of the hero's c r e a t i v e d r i v e . We s h a l l show the c o n f l i c t c r e a t e d by the d o c t o r ' s f r u s t r a t i o n with h i s r a t i o n a l p r o f e s s i o n and examine the unblocking of h i s c r e a t i v i t y as p o r t r a y e d by h i s r e l i n q u i s h i n g of c o n t r o l . Furthermore, an a n a l y s i s of the p a r o d i e s of h i s occupation, the deformation of language and p a t i e n t s as w e l l as the f a i r y - t a l e format of the novel w i l l c o n f i r m h i s d e s i r e t o renounce medicine i n favour of l i t e r a r y c r e a t i o n . F i n a l l y , we see the completion of Rabouin's n a r r a t i v e voyage i n the d i s c o v e r y of h i s a b i l i t y t o w r i t e . In c o n c l u s i o n we s h a l l s t a t e g e n e r a l o b s e r v a t i o n s about the imaginary u n i v e r s e as i t a p p l i e s to the comparison of our t h r e e t e x t s . S p e c i f i c a l l y , t h i s w i l l e n t a i l the unconscious world, the v i o l e n t and d i s r u p t i v e element and B e n o i t ' s tendency t o s t r a y from the r u l e s of standard l i t e r a r y genres. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE A b s t r a c t i i Acknowledgments v I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 Chapter I - The Unconscious World of Jos Carbone 11 Chapter II - The Unspoken Message i n Les P r i n c e s 36 Chapter I I I - The N a r r a t i v e Voyage of Gr e g o i r e Rabouin 58 Con c l u s i o n 77 B i b l i o g r a p h y 84 V ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We would l i k e t o express our g r a t i t u d e t o Monsieur Rejean Beaudoin f o r h i s p a t i e n c e and seemingly u n l i m i t e d i m a g i n a t i o n i n the d i r e c t i o n and a d v i s i n g of t h i s work. A p p r e c i a t i o n i s due as w e l l to Monsieur Lamontagne f o r h i s t i m e l y review of the work. Most of a l l , we would l i k e t o thank f a m i l y and f r i e n d s as t h e i r c o n t i n u a l support was i n s t r u m e n t a l i n the completion of t h i s t h e s i s . v i t o my Mother and Father. 1 INTRODUCTION We s h a l l begin our study of Jacques Benoit with a s h o r t summary of the author's work. To f o l l o w w i l l be a resume of the p r i n c i p a l c r i t i c a l work done on Benoit so f a r . F i n a l l y , we w i l l s t a t e i n g e n e r a l the way i n which we p l a n t o continue the study of B e n o i t ' s l i t e r a t u r e and the methods we i n t e n d to use i n our a n a l y s i s . B e n o i t ' s f i r s t work, Jos Carbone, r e v o l v e s around the c h a r a c t e r who g i v e s h i s name to the book. A t i n y , u n a l t e r a b l e man, Jos maintains a hermit l i k e hunting and g a t h e r i n g l i f e s t y l e which he shares with the b e a u t i f u l and blond M y r t i e . In a c a b i n b u i l t by Jos' own hand, they i n h a b i t a nameless f o r e s t d u r i n g an u n s p e c i f i e d epoch. At Jos' i n v i t a t i o n , a second couple have occupied an underground d w e l l i n g , a souterrain, not f a r from Jos' house. T a l l and a g e l e s s , Pique and h i s semi-savage cohabitant, Germaine, b r i n g the f o r e s t p o p u l a t i o n to f o u r . However, when P i e r r o t , an u n i n v i t e d f i f t h r e s i d e n t appears, the s e c u r i t y of the f o r e s t becomes threatened and Jos e n l i s t s Pique's a i d to expel or k i l l the i n t r u d e r . Les V o l e u r s , B e n o i t ' s second novel, i s an attempt a t l i t e r a r y r e a l i s m and, t h e r e f o r e , marks q u i t e a departure f o r our author. I t i s a s t o r y of s u r v i v a l i n the poorer q u a r t e r s of Montreal's east s i d e , of p o l i c e b r u t a l i t y and of church 2 c o r r u p t i o n . The n a r r a t o r i s Emile, an adolescent s m a l l town boy who, a f t e r the death of h i s f a t h e r , i s sent t o l i v e i n the b i g c i t y with h i s u n c l e Jovu and aunt Jeannine. In t h e i r dark, cramped Montreal apartment, the young teenager experiences the r e a l i t y of urban poverty, a l c o h o l i s m , unemployment and domestic v i o l e n c e . B e n o i t ' s t h i r d work. P a t i e n c e et F i r l i p o n , r e p r e s e n t s a r e t u r n t o the f a n t a s t i c genre f o r which he i s b e t t e r known. I t i s a love s t o r y h e a v i l y steeped i n v i o l e n c e and s e x u a l i t y . The s e t t i n g i s a f u t u r i s t i c Montreal and, as the t i t l e suggests, the s t o r y i s centered on the romantic encounters of P a t i e n c e B l o n d i n and F i r l i p o n Roger, two of the ten v a r i e d and c o l o u r f u l c h a r a c t e r s who r e s i d e i n Mme F l o r a Tremblee's pension. Les P r i n c e s , B e n o i t ' s f o u r t h book, i s s e t i n the f i c t i o n a l town of la Ville, populated by t h r e e d i s t i n c t s o c i e t i e s : human, monster and canine. Human s o c i e t y i s su b d i v i d e d i n t o c l a s s e s with the wealthy m i n o r i t y G r a l i g e a n n o i s h o l d i n g a b s o l u t e power and the impoverished i n h a b i t a n t s of l e Coquin grimpant, l e s hommes Bleus or Coquins, c o n s t i t u t i n g a subhuman race who depend on the Blue r i v e r f o r nourishment. Monsters form a d i v e r s e and mysterious community on the o u t s k i r t s of la Ville and Canine s o c i e t y i s founded on a complex s o c i a l h i e r a r c h y organized not by c l a s s but by a b i l i t y . Given the s t e r i l i t y of the e a r t h and the i n e q u a l i t y i n the human c l a s s system, la Ville i s on the verge of a v i o l e n t r e b e l l i o n . The s t r u g g l e begins when a Coquin named Ronule k i l l s and eats a dog, thus v i o l a t i n g the c e n t u r i e s o l d loi canine. When h o s t i l i t i e s e s c a l a t e between Coquins and dogs, the army i s f o r c e d 3 to occupy the Coquin grimpant and e s t a b l i s h a s t r a i n e d t r u c e . However, K r o k n e l l , la Ville's m i l i t a r y commander, p r o f i t s from a p e r s i s t e n t d i s t r u s t of dogs t o o r c h e s t r a t e , through the use of p l a n t e d a g i t a t o r s , a v i o l e n t a n t i - d o g r i o t which spreads t o a l l q u a r t e r s except G r a l i g e a n and r e s u l t s i n the near e x t i n c t i o n of canine s o c i e t y . F i n a l l y , Jacques B e n o i t ' s f i f t h and l a t e s t work, G i s e l e et l e serpent, i s once again set i n Montreal. W r i t t e n i n a f i r s t person d i a r y form, i t i s the s t o r y of a Montreal doctor, G r e g o i r e Rabouin, and h i s adventures with an a t t r a c t i v e young temptress, G i s e l e R i b e a u l t . On two o c c a s i o n s , Rabouin y i e l d s the n a r r a t o r r o l e t o the c h a r a c t e r of G i s e l e who w r i t e s of a l i b e r a t i o n from a dominant husband through the advent of a t a l k i n g snake c a l l e d T o u r n o u k r i e l or Toutou f o r s h o r t . The serpent r e s t o r e s her p h y s i c a l beauty and, i n exchange f o r becoming h i s glte, o f f e r s her s p e c i a l powers. When the doctor resumes h i s n a r r a t i v e , however, Toutou becomes l a F a r i n e , an a c t i v e c h a r a c t e r i n human form with a g h o s t l y white complexion. Rabouin meets G i s e l e and l a F a r i n e on mount Royal and embarks on a nightmare journey which concludes i n the bourgeois marriage of G r e g o i r e and G i s e l e . A l s o of note are two f i l m s f o r which Jacques Benoit has w r i t t e n the s c r e e n p l a y : La Maudite G a l e t t e and ReJeanne Padovani. In the f i r s t of these two, r e l e a s e d i n 1972, greed and v i o l e n c e dominate as we enter Montreal's underworld. The p l o t r e v o l v e s around the j e a l o u s p u r s u i t of s t o l e n money, the maudite galette. Berthe and Ernest, the two main c h a r a c t e r s , b a t t l e over the money, the former out of greed, the l a t t e r i n order to g i v e i t t o 4 h i s p a rents. The f i l m ends with the v i o l e n t death of Berthe and E r n e s t f o l l o w e d s h o r t l y a f t e r by the departure of h i s parents to F l o r i d a with the galette. Rejeanne Padovani, r e l e a s e d a year l a t e r i n 1973, a l s o c o n t a i n s elements of Montreal's organized crime as w e l l as p o l i t i c a l c o r r u p t i o n . At a r e c e p t i o n , entrepreneur V i n c e n t Padovani e n t e r t a i n s w e l l known p o l i t i c a l f i g u r e s to c e l e b r a t e the opening of a new highway. V i n c e n t ' s w i f e . Rejeanne Padovani, r e t u r n s a f t e r running o f f on him and t h i s event, coupled with a popular r e v o l t d i s r u p t s the c e l e b r a t i o n . Not much has been w r i t t e n on the works of Benoit and what l i t t l e t h e r e i s c o n s i s t s mostly of comptes rendus and s h o r t magazine a r t i c l e s . However, we have chosen f i v e c r i t i c s whose a n a l y s i s of Jacques B e n o i t ' s work deserves mention i n t h a t i t seems to c h a r a c t e r i z e the type of study to which our author's novels have so f a r been s u b j e c t . In an a n a l y s i s of B e n o i t ' s f i r s t novel, Jos Carbone, G a b r i e l l e P o u l i n does w e l l to p o i n t out the l a c k of time or space r e f e r e n c e s i n the s t o r y , an aspect which enhances the novels i u n i v e r s a l i t y . Moreover, she p e r c e i v e s the unconscious aspects of the novel, i n d i c a t i n g the p l a y between r e a l and imagined c h a r a c t e r s and t h e i r almost f a i r y - t a l e appearance of the f o r e s t and i t s c h a r a c t e r s . However, i t i s the dominance of f i r e imagery which a t t r a c t s t h i s c r i t i c more than any other a l l u s i o n i n the novel and her a n a l y s i s supports t h i s . "Le roman de Jacques Benoit presente a u s s i 1.'aspect d'un c r e u s e t ou, sous 1'action du feu, l e s e t r e s se p u r i f i e n t et se 2 soudent mysterieusement l e s uns aux a u t r e s . " . So w r i t e s P o u l i n 5 who sees the Carbone name, candles, matches, hearth, even c o l o u r and i l l u m i n a t i o n as p l a y i n g a p a r t i n c r e a t i n g the f i r e imagery around which the novel's c h a r a c t e r s i n t e r a c t . Although her c r i t i q u e i s b r i e f and not intended to delve deep i n t o a p s y c h o l o g i c a l examination of t h i s work, P o u l i n ' s i n s i g h t i n t o the unconscious i n Jos Carbone w i l l be the s t a r t i n g p o i n t upon which we i n t e n d to b u i l d a more d e t a i l e d study of B e n o i t ' s f i r s t n o v e l . Leonard W. Sugden touches l i g h t l y on the f i r s t f o u r novels by our author, c o n c e n t r a t i n g p r i m a r i l y on Jacques B e n o i t ' s second novel, Les V o l e u r s and, t o some extent, the imaginary u n i v e r s e 3 d e s c r i b e d i n Les P r i n c e s . However, i t i s an a r t i c l e which accents the r e a l i s t s i d e of B e n o i t ' s w r i t i n g being t h a t Sugden h a i l s Les V o l e u r s , B e n o i t ' s only attempt at l i t e r a r y r e a l i s m , as a work i n which the " . . . w r i t e r ' s t a l e n t s have found t h e i r f i n e s t 4 e x p r e s s i o n . . . " . The c r i t i c , t h e r e f o r e , p l a c e s g r e a t emphasis on B e n o i t ' s p o r t r a y a l of a Montreal neighbourhood, the v i o l e n c e and sex which dominate and the mixed genres of Jacques B e n o i t ' s l i t e r a r y s t y l e . Most i m p o r t a n t l y , Sugden mentions the d u a l i t y of the c h a r a c t e r s i n Les V o l e u r s who seem t o be both v i l l a i n and hero. T h i s d u a l i t y produces an i n v e r s i o n i n s t e r e o t y p e s where, f o r example, the Bishop i s seen as a base c h a r a c t e r and F o v i o l a i n , a former c o n v i c t , i s e l e v a t e d to hero s t a t u s . T h i s o b s e r v a t i o n i s c e r t a i n l y a p p l i c a b l e i n Les P r i n c e s where the s o c i a l h i e r a r c h y i s r e v e r s e d and the canine s o c i e t y appears more noble than t h a t of the r i c h G r a l i g e a n n o i s . F r a n c o i s R i c a r d has w r i t t e n an i n t e r e s t i n g comparison a r t i c l e on B e n o i t ' s f o u r t h novel, Les P r i n c e s , and Andre Major's 6 5 L ' E p o u v a n t a i l . P o i n t i n g out b r i e f l y the Utopian s t y l e and f a n t a s y m i l i e u i n which the novel begins, R i c a r d soon makes the very important o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t " . . . 1 1 i n v r a i s e m b l a n c e , au bout de quelques pages, d e v i e n t de moins en moins evidente, de moins en moins s e n s i b l e , au p o i n t que l e l e c t e u r a t 6 t f a i t de l ' o u b l i e r presque completement et de se l a i s s e r convaincre par c e t t e h i s t o i r e f a r f e l u e comme par l e p l u s r e a l i s t e des r e c i t s " . 6 In essence, the c r i t i c i n d i c a t e s t h a t , although the decor may be imaginary, the a c t i o n f o l l o w s the r i g i d r u l e s of the r e a l world and, t h e r e f o r e , i s an a l l e g o r y a p p l i c a b l e t o the human s i t u a t i o n . Concerning the f a n t a s t i c i n B e n o i t ' s w r i t i n g , E s t e l l e Dansereau has w r i t t e n a comparative a r t i c l e on Roch C a r r i e r and two of our author's more f a n t a s t i c a l n o v e l s : P a t i e n c e et F i r l i p o n 7 and Les P r i n c e s . L i k e P o u l i n , she a l l u d e s to the f a i r y - t a l e s t r u c t u r e i n B e n o i t ' s work, s p e c i f i c a l l y i n h i s t h i r d p u b l i s h e d novel, P a t i e n c e et F i r l i p o n . However, she does p o i n t out t h a t the author r e s p e c t s " . . . l a forme du conte de f e e s tout en v i o l a n t l e Q contenu t r a d i t i o n n e l " . As f o r Les P r i n c e s , Dansereau a l s o mentions the i n i t i a l Utopian s t y l e and, l i k e R i c a r d which she quotes, s t r e s s e s the way i n which the f a n t a s t i c i n B e n o i t ' s work i s soon r e p l a c e d by r e a l i t y . She s t a t e s t h a t our author's w r i t i n g i s such t h a t the b i z a r r e i s t r e a t e d as n a t u r a l and, t h e r e f o r e , the reader soon accepts the events as r e a l . Again, the e f f e c t i s one of a moral l e s s o n i n a l l e g o r y form. F i n a l l y , an a r t i c l e by Jacques A l l a r d on G i s e l e et l e 9 serpent deserves mention. In h i s a n a l y s i s , the c r i t i c d i v i d e s B e n o i t ' s novel i n t o f o u r p a r t s : enigme ( i s t h i s G i s e l e a woman or 7 a w i t c h ? ) , c o n f i r m a t i o n of the hypothese diabolique (nightmare), couple Gisele-Gregoire and, f i n a l l y , epilogue (the e x p l i c a t i o n f o r w r i t i n g the book). However, i t i s A l l a r d ' s o b s e r v a t i o n of the i n v e r s i o n and ambiguity i n h e r e n t at a l l l e v e l s of the t e x t which we f i n d important. The obvious ambiguity of the u n i d e n t i f i e d "Je" on the back cover of the t e x t , f o r example. Does i t r e f e r t o Benoit or Rabouin? As A l l a r d s t a t e s , t h e r e i s a complete r e v e r s a l of the hero's l i f e where h i s world becomes le monde a 1'envers, so t o speak, and T o u r n o u k r i e l , i s the master of t h i s i n v e r s i o n . We propose i n our a n a l y s i s t o ex p l o r e the espace imaginaire of t h r e e of B e n o i t ' s n o v e l s : Jos Carbone, Les P r i n c e s and G i s e l e  et l e serpent. T h i s concept, however, does not j u s t concern elements of s p a t i a l order. On the c o n t r a r y , i t i s the o v e r a l l t e x t of each novel which we w i l l c o n s i d e r t o be the d e s c r i p t i o n of a p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t a t e p o r t r a y e d as a symbolic l i n k . A c t i o n s , c h a r a c t e r s and t h e i r behaviour, even n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e s a l l c o n t r i b u t e t o forming t h i s espace imaginaire which puts i n t o p l a y the dramatic t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of a s t a t e of focused consciousness i n the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e person of the hero. The p r i n c i p a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h i s space l i e s i n i t s d i s r u p t i v e , v i o l e n t and even a p o c a l y p t i c a s p e c t s . We can d e f i n e some of the borders of the espace imaginaire i n Jacques B e n o i t ' s work by u s i n g common elements which reoccur i n the t h r e e chosen t e x t s . For example, we remark the n o c t u r n a l u n i v e r s e or dark/night imagery which i s i l l u s t r a t e d by the misty f o r e s t and the unconscious mind i n Jos Carbone. Moreover, t h i s same imagery i s d e p i c t e d by the shadowy world of la Ville i n Les 8 P r i n c e s or i n the nightmare journey of G r e g o i r e Rabouin i n G i s e l e  e t l e serpent. A l s o important i n our d e f i n i t i o n i s water symbolism. Here we p o i n t to the a q u a t i c world of P i e r r o t , the r o l e of the r u i s s e a u Bleu, and the r e b i r t h connotations of water i n G i s e l e et l e serpent. We note t h a t some aspects which shape t h i s concept of f i c t i o n a l space are more ev i d e n t i n c e r t a i n t e x t s than i n o t h e r s . We s t a t e as examples the p a s s i o n and t e r r i t o r i a l i t y i n Jos Carbone, the s o c i a l c o n f l i c t and i n t o l e r a n c e i n Les P r i n c e s or the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n and l i b e r a t i o n i n G i s e l e et l e serpent. A l l of these elements may e x i s t i n the other novels to be s t u d i e d but c e r t a i n l y not to the same degree. As c e r t a i n c r i t i c s have w i s e l y noted, t h e r e are two opposing tendencies i n the work of our author: a q u a s i - s o c i o l o g i c a l r e a l i s m mingled w i t h a d i s t i n c t l y f a n t a s t i c world. I t i s p r e c i s e l y t h i s o r i g i n a l mixture which c h a r a c t e r i z e s B e n o i t ' s s t y l e . The c h o i c e of the t h r e e novels as the o b j e c t of our study, t h e r e f o r e , r e f l e c t s our i n t e n t i o n t o concentrate on the f a n t a s t i c which, i n our o p i n i o n , c o n s t i t u t e s the most dynamic q u a l i t y of our author's w r i t i n g . Jos Carbone i s chosen f i r s t of a l l as i t r e p r e s e n t s a t e r r i t o r i a l quest. We w i l l analyze t h i s t e x t i n terms of Jos' unconscious mind, h i s attempts to possess and to p r o t e c t as w e l l as h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with the other c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r , M y r t i e . Our second novel, Les P r i n c e s , i s a study i n nonverbal communication. We s e l e c t t h i s work among others as we i n t e n d to e x p l o r e the way i n which the topography, t e r r a i n and the i n h a b i t a n t s of la Ville i n t e r a c t and a r t i c u l a t e i n an unspoken manner w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s of t h i s f i c t i o n a l u n i v e r s e . F i n a l l y , we w i l l f o l l o w the 9 p r o g r e s s i o n of Grego i r e Rabouin's voyage of s e l f - d i s c o v e r y through t o the r e a l i z a t i o n of h i s dream to w r i t e . 1 0 Notes G a b r i e l l e P o u l i n , " L i t t e r a t u r e . Jos Carbone ou l a puissance du f e u , " R e l a t i o n s , No.340, j u i l . - a o u t 1969, pp.208-09. 2 P o u l i n , p.208. 3 Leonard W. Sugden, "Man as Monster. Dog and P r i n c e : A C r i t i q u e of Les Voleurs by Jacques B e n o i t , " Mosaic, XI, 3 Spring (1978), pp.153-63. 4 Sugden, p.153. 5 F r a n c o i s R i c a r d , "Deux romanciers de t r e n t e ans," L i b e r t e , 16, no.2 (1974), pp.94-9. 6 R i c a r d , p.96. 7 E s t e l l e Dansereau, "Le F a n t a s t i q u e chez Roch C a r r i e r et Jacques B e n o i t , " L i t t e r a t u r e Canadienne, No.88, Spring (1981), pp.39-44. g Dansereau, p.43. g Jacques A l l a r d , "Jacques Benoit; G i s e l e et l e serpent," L i v r e s et auteurs quebecois, (1981), pp.31-35. 11 CHAPTER I The Unconscious World of Jos Carbone To e x p l o r e the espace imaginaire i n Jos Carbone we begin 1 with an examination of the r o l e of the unconscious. We s h a l l c o n s i d e r i t to be the primary focus of the n o v e l . Next we s h a l l t u r n our a t t e n t i o n to more p r e c i s e elements of t h i s ongoing theme. For example, the f o r e s t i s o f t e n p o r t r a y e d as a l i v i n g e n t i t y , a c h a r a c t e r i n the s t o r y so t o speak. What are the t r a i t s of t h i s f o r e s t c h a r a c t e r and how do Jos and Pique r e l a t e t o i t ? A l s o important are the domains t h a t each male c h a r a c t e r chooses to i n h a b i t . What can the home t e l l us about the i n h a b i t a n t ? F i n a l l y , an a n a l y s i s of domain i n c o r p o r a t e s the i d e a of t e r r i t o r i a l i t y . We s h a l l endeavour to e x p l o r e t h i s i d e a with an emphasis on the r e l a t i o n s h i p of Jos and M y r t i e . The unconscious manifests i t s e l f i n many ways. F i r s t l y , we note a g e n e r a l background predominance of n i g h t and dark elements 2 i n the t e x t . Secondly, we e x p l o r e the concrete m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of the unconscious: Who or what i s P i e r r o t e x a c t l y ? As G a b r i e l l e P o u l i n suggests, could he be "...un fantasme ne de 1'imagination 3 i n q u i e t e de Jos Carbone"? Next, how does Pique's s o u t e r r a i n r e l a t e t o a d i s c u s s i o n of the unconscious? F i n a l l y we analyze the l e s s t a n g i b l e elements of the unconscious: f e a r , paranoia and the i n s e c u r i t y and v u l n e r a b i l i t y t h a t l o v e b r i n g s . 1 2 During the f i r s t n i g h t Jos, r e t u r n i n g home t o h i s beloved M y r t i e , embarks upon a n o c t u r n a l stream of p h i l o s o p h i z i n g . As he b r i n g s t o mind a l l the doubts and f e a r s concerning h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h M y r t i e , the c o l d and dark f o r e s t surrounding him forms a backdrop which compliments h i s s t a t e of mind (Quel b e s o i n a v a i t - i l de c e t t e femme?...rugit son cerveau...Pourguoi ces derangements nocturnes...quand on e s t s e u l au coeur de l a 4 n u i t , q u ' i l f a i t f r o i d , humide...). Once M y r t i e has r e a l i z e d Jos' worst f e a r s and r e v e a l e d t o him the presence of a mysterious invader, h i s second n i g h t i s spent keeping v i g i l over her. Jos i s more or l e s s guarding her from an unseen and unknown t h r e a t t o which n i g h t f a l l and the sound of the wind w h i s t l i n g through the chimney g i v e body. On the t h i r d n i g h t , Jos leads M y r t i e o u t s i d e at midnight t o i n t r o d u c e her t o Pique and Germaine i n the s o u t e r r a i n . V e n t u r i n g i n t o the 5 nig h t , " II f a i t n o i r comme chez l e loup." and Jos, sensing the t h r e a t e n i n g presence of an i n v i s i b l e lynx, a t t a c k s w i l d l y i n the darkness. During t h i s n o c t u r n a l scene the symbolism i s perhaps more e v i d e n t . Jos seeks t o con f r o n t h i s f e a r by seeking i t out and conquering i t . The source of h i s f e a r s however, remains as ephemeral and e l u s i v e as the lynx. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note t h a t Jos and Pique's daytime search f o r the invader proves f u t i l e . Jos must make other plans to t r a p the inv a d e r . So on the f o u r t h n i g h t , i n h i s c a r e f u l l y concealed storage hut, Jos d e v i s e s a s t r a t e g y t o l u r e the str a n g e r out of the darkness. T h i s p l a n must n a t u r a l l y i n c l u d e M y r t i e as i t i s she who b r i n g s out the i n s e c u r i t y and f e a r which i s a t the root of Jos' t r o u b l e s . Yet another daytime f a i l u r e t o 1 3 capture the e l u s i v e invader b r i n g s us to the c l o s i n g two n i g h t s d u r i n g which dark emotions dominate. Germaine and Pique both pay n o c t u r n a l v i s i t s t o P i e r r o t ' s r a f t home; the former i s drawn by her s e x u a l i t y , the l a t t e r i s d r i v e n by f e a r and g u i l t . The f o l l o w i n g n i g h t encompasses the v i o l e n t murders of both P i e r r o t and Pique which t r a n s p i r e i n the r e l a t i v e darkness of Pique's underground d w e l l i n g . As we s h a l l soon see the s o u t e r r a i n and the darkness of n i g h t are r e l a t e d i n t h a t they evoke the i n n e r unconscious world of the c h a r a c t e r s . Who i s t h i s invader and where does he come from? P i e r r o t seems to be somewhat of a mysterious c h a r a c t e r whose presence i s symbolized i n many unseen elements of the n o v e l . For i n s t a n c e , b e f o r e M y r t i e has even r e v e a l e d P i e r r o t ' s presence to Jos, she asks her man i f he has "...entendu l e loup t o u t a l ' h e u r e ? " . 6 The wolf r e p r e s e n t s the same concealed t h r e a t as the lynx whose importance i s such t h a t i t s image dominates the f r o n t and back 7 cover of the book. Moreover, P i e r r o t h i m s e l f i s d e s c r i b e d as a mysterious p a l e white f a c e at the window; a phantom dressed i n white who t r e s p a s s e s i n the f o r e s t . Coupled with the sound of s c r a t c h i n g at her door, the i n v a d e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n conjures up once again the idea of the i n v i s i b l e lynx. The q u e s t i o n n a t u r a l l y a r i s e s : Is P i e r r o t ' s i n v a d i n g c h a r a c t e r r e a l or imaginary? Even Jos wonders i f he i s dreaming or i f he has "...reellement vu une g t e t e blanche a t r a v e r s l e carreau?". Jos' doubt concerning P i e r r o t ' s e x i s t e n c e e s t a b l i s h e s the l a t t e r as a c h a r a c t e r who p e r s o n i f i e s i n v i s i b l e r e p r e s s e d f e a r s . The n a t u r a l elements of the f o r e s t tend to d e s c r i b e P i e r r o t as w e l l . As Jos keeps watch over M y r t i e , a c o l d n i g h t wind 14 invades t h e i r home through the chimney. T h i s i n v i s i b l e n i g h t i n t r u d e r p a r a l l e l s P i e r r o t r i g h t down to i t s f a s h i o n of e n t e r i n g the Carbone's home v i a the hearth. Furthermore, the wind w h i s t l e s l i k e a maniac, an image which r e c a l l s the u n p r e d i c t a b l e P i e r r o t once again: Vers deux heures du matin, l e vent e n f l a et se mit a s i f f l e r comme un maniaque dans l a cheminee. Les cendres s ' e l e v a i e n t , c o u r a i e n t sur l e plancher, l e s p o i l s de l a peau de mouton se h e r i s s a i e n t comme p r i s de v e r t i g e . g The wind i s worse than ever the next morning and i s j o i n e d by r a i n . As P i e r r o t i s o f t e n a s s o c i a t e d with water i n t h a t he makes h i s home on a r a f t i n the middle of a pond, the n a r r a t o r ' s p o r t r a i t of a p a l e day and r a i n f a l l i n g on the roof evokes the idea of the white faced P i e r r o t on the roof of Jos' c a b i n : "Au matin, l e vent h u r l a i t de p l u s b e l l e , l a p l u i e c r e p i t a i t sur l e 1 0 t o i t . Le jour e t a i t bleu, b l a f a r d . " . I f we assemble and compare these elements of wind, w h i s t l i n g and the sound of r a i n , we note t h a t t h e i r nature i s immat e r i a l . A l l t hree seem t o i n d i c a t e an a u d i b l e but not a v i s i b l e nature. They are p e r c e i v e d but not d e f i n e d . T h e i r presence i s sensed but never d e c l a r e d . Given the a s s o c i a t i o n of these elements with P i e r r o t ' s mysterious s i d e , we can see how they belong t o the c o n t i n u i n g metaphor of unconscious elements i n the t e x t . F i n a l l y P i e r r o t i s connected with the north. He makes h i s home i n the nort h and seeks refuge f u r t h e r north when he f e e l s threatened. Such i s the case when he throws Germaine overboard. H i s t o r i c a l l y the north s i g n i f i e d freedom, here i t r e p r e s e n t s a menace of i n v a s i o n . As w e l l , one i d e n t i f i e s the north w i t h t h a t which i s untamed, savage and p r i m i t i v e . In terms of appearance and behaviour t h i s c e r t a i n l y d e s c r i b e s P i e r r o t as h i s c h a r a c t e r 1 5 i n s p i r e s and embodies the p r i m i t i v e emotions ( l u s t , v i o l e n c e , 1 1 j e a l o u s y , f e a r , etc.) a s s o c i a t e d with the unconscious. We have seen how a c h a r a c t e r such as P i e r r o t can p o r t r a y i n v i s i b l e elements of the unconscious. Let us now c o n s i d e r the s i g n i f i c a n c e of a d w e l l i n g such as Pique's s o u t e r r a i n . Perhaps the most important symbolic aspect of the s o u t e r r a i n i s the f a c t t h a t Jos helps b u i l d i t . Being i n p a r t h i s c r e a t i o n , on a m e t a p h o r i c a l l e v e l , i t i s a l s o a p a r t of J o s . We s h a l l s t a t e , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t the underground d w e l l i n g i s a metaphor f o r Jos' unconscious, a b l a c k hole where Jos r e p r e s s e s unwanted f e a r s and emotions. Obviously t h e r e are other more ev i d e n t symbolic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of t h i s dark hollow i n the ground; H e l l , Pandora's box or a simple grave, f o r example. However, l e t us pass t o a d e s c r i p t i o n of i t s t r a i t s b e f o r e we analyze i t s f u n c t i o n . F i r s t of a l l , the t r a p door entrance i s f i r m l y shut as we see Jos s t r u g g l e with the l a t c h . T h i s suggests the idea of a p l a c e where t h i n g s are s e c u r e l y locked away. Once i n s i d e Pique g r e e t s them with bonjour even though i t ' s a f t e r midnight. T h i s statement tends to emphasize the f l u i d i t y of time i n h i s underground home. I n s i d e the i n t e r i o r i s d e s c r i b e d as d u l l brown and uniform, l a c k i n g i n l u x u r i e s or d e c o r a t i o n : II n'y a v a i t pas de ces j o l i e s p i e c e s d ' e t o f f e q u ' e l l e l a i s s a i t t r a i n e r autour d ' e l l e dans sa propre maison. Les murs e t a i e n t nus. I c i t o u t e t a i t brun, t e r n e . Meme l e f a u t e u i l e t a i t brun! E l l e en c o n c l u t que l ' a r r i v e e de Pique e t a i t r e c ente et q u ' i l n ' a v a i t pas eu l e temps de decorer son t e r r i e r . . _ 1 2 I t i s a f o r m l e s s shape of undefined dimensions where no n a t u r a l l i g h t ever e n t e r s . Dark, b l a c k and foreboding, the s o u t e r r a i n appears very much to suggest an unconscious f i l l e d w ith q u e l l e d 1 6 emotions which i n Jos' presence tend to remain r e p r e s s e d . For example, soon a f t e r the Carbone's departure, Germaine and Pique v i o l e n t l y a t t a c k each other i n a sexual f r e n z y . Furthermore, Jos i s absent d u r i n g the u n l e a s h i n g of v i o l e n c e and s e x u a l i t y which occurs at the end of the n o v e l . Pique makes a very p e r t i n e n t o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t , i n an 1 3 underground d w e l l i n g , "On se sent p l u s en s e c u r i t e . " . That which remains i n s i d e the s o u t e r r a i n i s p r o t e c t e d from the e x t e r i o r . However, the r e v e r s e i s a l s o t r u e . P r o v i d i n g the door i s s e c u r e l y fastened, those on the o u t s i d e are s h i e l d e d from a l l t h a t i s hidden w i t h i n . When M y r t i e a r r i v e s t h e r e alone i n search of Jos she f i n d s the t r a p wide open. The open door to the unconscious g i v e s vent t o a l l the r e p r e s s e d emotions w i t h i n . I t i s the opening of Pandora's box, c o n t a i n i n g a l l kinds of misery and e v i l . Upon e n t e r i n g , t h e r e i s a symbolic descent i n t o H e l l where she i s v i o l e n t l y and s e x u a l l y a t t a c k e d by an u n c o n t r o l l a b l e P i e r r o t . Her attempts at escape are a l s o i n t e r e s t i n g t o note as i t e n t a i l s an ascent. In order t o save h e r s e l f she must r i s e above the shadowy world, an a c t which P i e r r o t o b s t r u c t s . Shouting descends c o n t i n u a l l y he f i n a l l y throws her to the ground i n an e f f o r t t o lower her to h i s l e v e l . Germaine, i n a f i t of jealousy, murders P i e r r o t thus ending the r e i g n of v i o l e n t emotions. Jos, however, i s c a r e f u l t o leave the bodies i n the s o u t e r r a i n , u s i n g i t s dark concealed hole to suppress t h a t which he f i n d s d i s t u r b i n g . So f a r we have s t u d i e d the t a n g i b l e aspects of Jos' unconscious mind but what now of the emotions themselves? At the s t a r t of the novel we note a t r a n s i t i o n which occurs at the 1 7 moment when Jos says, " J ' a u r a i s b e s o i n de ce c a l e n d r i e r , maudit 1 4 c a l e n d r i e r ! " . E x a c t l y at t h i s p o i n t Jos s u f f e r s a f a l l t o the e a r t h which c o i n c i d e s with h i s i n t r o s p e c t i v e examination of h i m s e l f and of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with M y r t i e . We s h a l l c o n s i d e r t h i s f a l l as a symbolic f a l l or, i n other words, the emotional commitment i n v o l v e d with f a l l i n g i n l o v e . Jos begins h i s p h i l o s o p h i z i n g with a s e r i e s of q u e s t i o n s which seem t o d e a l with M y r t i e ' s f i d e l i t y : L ' a t t e n d a i t - e l l e t o u j o u r s , M y r t i e ? Tout l e jour et t o u t e l a n u i t ? E t a i t - e l l e demeuree f i d e l e au c o i n du feu, s o u f f l a n t sans b r u i t dans ses vetements, reveuse et p a t i e n t e a l o r s que v e n a i t l'aime a t o u t e a l l u r e ? P o s a i t - e l l e l a soupe sur l e f e u dans 1'espoir de l e v o i r p a r a i t r e , f r a n c h i r l a p o r t e d'un pas vainqueur? Et l e l i t ? En a v a i t - e l l e soigneusement chasse l e s p o u s s i e r e s . . . 1 5 These thoughts seem t o r e f l e c t a need f o r s t a b i l i t y i n h i s l i f e , a d e s i r e t o r e t u r n home and f i n d t h i n g s e x a c t l y as he expects them to be. However, as p a r t of h i s emotional involvement with M y r t i e , Jos leaves h i m s e l f v u l n e r a b l e to be hurt and, t h e r e f o r e , s u f f e r s the l o v e r ' s i n s e c u r i t y of doubt i n h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p . Soon Jos q u e s t i o n s h i s d e s i r e . He c h a l l e n g e s h i s very need f o r M y r t i e , r e c o g n i z i n g the danger and r i s k i n v o l v e d i n l o v i n g her: Quel b e s o i n a v a i t - i l de c e t t e femme? N ' a l l a i t - e l l e pas se transformer en monstre, e l l e a u s s i ? A quoi bon l a devorer de ce s o u f f l e b r u l a n t ? "Je s e r a i t o u j o u r s misere!" r u g i t son cerveau. Pourquoi ces derangements nocturnes, ces immenses ardeurs, quand on se r e t r o u v e au matin a u s s i chaud qu'une b o u i l l o i r e , a l o u r d i , deshydrate, rugueux comme une peau de tambour? Le malheur a u s s i , q u i f a i t 1'oiseau au-dessus de l a t e t e , couvre l e corps e n t i e r de son ombre g l a c e e . L'abandon en p l u s , l e tendre abandon sur l e s e i n , l a gueule beante du repos. H a l t e aux ardeurs! Que f a i r e de t o u t c e l a maintenant quand on e s t s e u l au coeur de l a n u i t , q u ' i l f a i t f r o i d , humide, et que l e moindre o i s e a u vous j e t t e des h o r r e u r s a l a f i g u r e ? -1 8 There are many i n t e r e s t i n g elements of t h i s quote which are worthy of e x p l o r i n g . For example, Jos s e t s the emotional mood by d e s c r i b i n g h i m s e l f as misere. Moreover, the n a r r a t i v e use of the verb rugit to d e c l a r e Jos' thoughts i m p l i e s an unconscious mental t o r t u r e . The image of derangements nocturnes conjures up the idea of a dark and d i s t u r b i n g unconscious and immenses ardeurs i n t e n s i f i e s the emotion of the passage. As w e l l , Jos makes d i r e c t r e f e r e n c e t o the bad omen of the b i r d p a s s i n g overhead and malheur c a s t i n g a shadow on him. Undoubtedly these elements, combined with the p r e v i o u s l y mentioned atmosphere of darkness and c o l d , combine t o produce a f e e l i n g of danger and fo r e b o d i n g . The key word here i s perhaps monstre. F a l l i n g i n lo v e f o r Jos means t a k i n g a chance and t h a t i n v o l v e s the danger of being hurt or, i n other words, the danger t h a t M y r t i e w i l l become t h i s monster he f e a r s so much. T h i s idea i s repeated elsewhere i n the f i r s t chapter. As Jos l i e s next t o M y r t i e , "Le corps chaud de sa compagne...soude au s i e n " , he t a l k s about "Une j o i e e f f a r a n t e . . . d a n s t o u t son corps, une j o i e p a l p a b l e et p u i s s a n t e 1 7 comme un ours qu'on ca r e s s e " . M y r t i e i s the bear, an a t t r a c t i v e but u n p r e d i c t a b l e c r e a t u r e with the p o t e n t i a l t o harm Jos. Therefore, l o v e equals p l e a s u r e but a l s o danger and r i s k . As Jos f a l l s a s l e e p at the end of the chapter h i s heart i s compared t o an overloaded v e s s e l which c a p s i z e s due to i t s o v e r f l o w i n g cargo. I t i s an image which expresses a v a r i a n t of the same i d e a . His lo v e f o r M y r t i e f i l l s h i s heart w i t h joy but he pays a p r i c e f o r t h i s e l a t i o n . As p r e c a r i o u s as an overcharged v e s s e l , Jos' e x i s t e n c e i s f r a u g h t with i n s t a b i l i t y and danger caused by h i s i n s e c u r e l o v e f o r M y r t i e . She i s a t t r a c t i v e y e t menacing; " . . . l a 1 9 1 8 p l u s j o l i e des s o r c i e r e s " . N a t u r a l l y Jos t r i e s t o suppress the emotions which t r o u b l e him. For i n s t a n c e , as Jos r e f l e c t s on h i s l i f e w ith M y r t i e , he i s t r o u b l e d w i t h r e o c c u r r i n g and d i s t u r b i n g thoughts which, l a c k i n g the courage t o f u l l y c o n s i d e r , he t r i e s t o d r i v e from h i s mind: Et Jos Carbone p e n s a i t : "Pourquoi meme pas 1'ombre d'une f r a i c h e u r ? Pour q u e l l e v i e s u i s - j e ne? Sur q u e l l e espece de t e r r e p o s e r a i s - j e l e s p i e d s ? " I I repoussa ses pensees d'un geste nerveux, se sentant de v e n i r ver de t e r r e dans l a t e r r e . "Ah! j e m ' i r r i t e " , s o u f f l a - t - i l . Une f o i s encore, i l n'eut pas l e courage d'achever c e t t e pensee a g a c a n t e . i g The image of an earthworm burrowed i n t o the e a r t h summarizes w e l l the a c t of r e p r e s s i n g these t r o u b l i n g thoughts. S i m i l a r l y when d i s q u i e t i n g images of Germaine begin t o dominate h i s mind, Jos endeavors u n s u c c e s s f u l l y t o chase her from h i s thoughts: Depuis q u ' i l a v a i t l a i s s e Pique, l e s idees, l e s images se bo u s c u l a i e n t dans sa t e t e . Au m i l i e u de ce f o u l l i s , i l y a v a i t Germaine tr6nant comme une r e i n e . I I n'y pouva i t r i e n : q u ' i l pensat a une t o u p i e grosse comme une maison, a Pique ou a 1'automne qui v e n a i t , e l l e l u i a p p a r a i s s a i t t o u j o u r s une f r a c t i o n de seconde avec son s o u r i r e etrange et ses cheveux n o i r s . Chaque f o i s i l s u r s a u t a i t comme s ' i l v e n a i t d ' e t r e aveugle par 1 ' e c l a i r d'une lampe au magnesium. 2 Q We have a l r e a d y d i s c u s s e d the r o l e of the s o u t e r r a i n as a symbolic c o n t a i n e r f o r Jos' f e a r s but no amount of r e p r e s s i o n seems t o d i s p e l the f e a r and paranoia evident i n s e v e r a l of the other c h a r a c t e r s . Pique glances a n x i o u s l y over h i s shoulder when he f e a r s t h a t the i n v i s i b l e invader might be f o l l o w i n g Jos and him. Pique's f e a r i s a l l the more acute when i t occurs t o him t h a t the invader might not be a man: Pu i s , d e p i t e , i l pensa q u ' i l ne pouvait s ' a g i r d'un homme. "C'est dangereux de d i r e ca, p e n s a - t - i l a u s s i t d t . S i c'es t pas un homme..." L'idee l u i f i t peur. I I arma son f u s i l , t i r a a t o u t hasard._, 20 What Piques seems to f e a r most i s the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t what he i s chasing may be a thing r a t h e r than a person. Of course, t h i s i d e a t i e s i n w e l l with the n o t i o n t h a t P i e r r o t ' s c h a r a c t e r r e p r e s e n t s i n t a n g i b l e and unconscious elements which cannot be hunted or d r i v e n o f f . M y r t i e as w e l l demonstrates a paranoid f e a r of the unseen i n v a d e r : Tant q u ' i l f i t jour, e l l e a t t e n d a i t l e r e t o u r de Jos sans bouger de sa c h a i s e . E l l e v o u l u t l i r e mais l e p l u s p e t i t craquement dans l e murs l a r e n d a i t f o l l e . La l e v r e tremblante e l l e j e t a i t un coup d ' o e i l a l a f e n e t r e , d e r r i e r e e l l e , sous l e l i t ; e l l e n ' o s a i t meme pas se l e v e r de sa c h a i s e . Quand e n f i n e l l e r e p r e n a i t sa l e c t u r e , e l l e e t a i t i n c a p a b l e de r e t r o u v e r l e f i l de 1 ' h i s t o i r e . 2 2 In both cases we can see t h a t Pique and M y r t i e , the c h a r a c t e r s nearest t o Jos, have developed the same a n x i e t i e s as he. Both these scenes are s i g n i f i c a n t as they occur i n Jos' absence and, t h e r e f o r e , i n d i c a t e t h a t Jos' paranoid f e a r s are f i r m l y e s t a b l i s h e d and a c t independently of him. Apart from the human and the seemingly inhuman c h a r a c t e r s i n the novel, can we e s t a b l i s h another c h a r a c t e r , t h a t of the f o r e s t ? I f so, what i s i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to the other c h a r a c t e r s ? From the s t a r t of the novel we are given an image of a f o r e s t 23 which seems to exhale a ...brume malsaine et opaque...". The same conception of the f o r e s t i s r e i t e r a t e d as Pique walks to Jos' c a b i n the morning of t h e i r u n s u c c e s s f u l hunt f o r the i n t r u d e r : Vers d i x heures et demie de l a matinee, Pique deboucha dans l a p e t i t e c l a i r i e r e des Carbone. L ' o e i l t o r v e et l a barbe longue, i l l e v a i t t r e s haut l e s jambes pour e v i t e r l a brume l e g e r e q u i c o u r a i t a l a s u r f a c e du s o l . II a v a i t l e s idees p l u s e m b r o u i l l e e s que d'habitude et, s u p e r s t i t i e u x comme i l 1 ' e t a i t , i l i m a g i n a i t que c e t t e brume qu i l u i montait jusqu'aux genoux pouv a i t l u i j e t e r un s o r t . . 21 In these two quotes we begin t o e n v i s i o n the f o r e s t as a l i v i n g , b r e a t h i n g e n t i t y . Furthermore, a somewhat m y s t i c a l , perhaps even s i n i s t e r image i s p r o j e c t e d by these passages. In an e f f o r t t o draw Pique out of h i s complacent s t a t e by t a k i n g advantage of h i s s u p e r s t i t i o u s nature, Jos v e r b a l i z e s these i d e a s t o Pique while walking through the ni g h t f o r e s t t o the cabin a noix: -- II y a une chose que t u s a i s pas: dans l a f o r e t , i c i , c ' e s t l a meme chose que dans l a j u n g l e . A ce moment-ci de 1'annee, l a t e r r e p o u r r i t . C'est comme quelqu'un q ui dig e r e , e l l e l ache t o u t e s s o r t e s de gaz. Ca m'est deja a r r i v e : s i t'as l e malheur d'en r e s p i r e r un peu t r o p , t u r6ves. T'es comme un homme q u i a des v i s i o n s . Je t e l e d i s . Tu vas v o i r , ga sera e m b r o u i l l e dans t a t e t e . C'est l a preuve, ga, que c' e s t l e s g a z . " 2 ^ The f o r e s t c h a r a c t e r i s not so much e v i l as i t i s completely n e u t r a l . Those who are s u p e r s t i t i o u s l i k e Pique p r o j e c t menacing c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s onto the f o r e s t . Jos r e i n f o r c e s t h a t s u p e r s t i t i o n , i n e f f e c t t r a n s m i t t i n g h i s own a n x i e t i e s t o Pique whose c h a r a c t e r a c t s as a m i r r o r f o r those f e a r s . Likewise, the f o r e s t seems t o m i r r o r the apprehension i n the minds of those who walk through i t . The i n t a n g i b l e m i s t s and unhealthy gases, because of t h e i r opaque and t h r e a t e n i n g nature, r e f l e c t the idea of hidden f e a r s and belong t o the ongoing metaphor of the human unconscious. What then i s Jos' r e l a t i o n s h i p with the f o r e s t ? We have noted h i s need t o d r i v e o f f the invader but what motivates t h i s need and how does i t manifest i t s e l f ? P o s s e s s i o n seems t o be the key word i n h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s , both with the f o r e s t and with M y r t i e . Of course, i n order t o possess the f o r e s t Jos must f i r s t conquer i t . As we have a l r e a d y s t a t e d the f o r e s t i s a n e u t r a l c h a r a c t e r which r e f u s e s t o take s i d e s . While Jos cla i m s t o be 2 2 defending h i s t e r r i t o r y , h i s t e r r i t o r y i s r e f u s i n g t o be possessed and proves t o be more of an o b s t a c l e than an a l l y : Les muriers, l e s f r a m b o i s i e r s , l a fougere et t o u t e c e t t e cochonnerie q u i se p r e s s a i e n t c ontre ses f l a n e s n ' a l l a i e n t pas l e manger. Le v e g e t a l e n t i e r se p l i a i t sous ses coups._ c z o We note the same de t e r m i n a t i o n t o subdue and master an uncooperative environment when Jos v i s i t s the s o u t e r r a i n f o r the f i r s t time with M y r t i e : Au bout de d i x minutes, l e passage l u i parut s i e t r o i t q u ' i l pensa s ' e t r e egare. II a v a i t beau a l l e r a t a t o n s , r e n t r e r l a t e t e dans l e s epaules, l e s maudites branches s'acharnaient contre l u i . Buvant sa rage a grandes gorgees, Jos p r i t son p a r t i : i l a l l a i t l e s mater par son s a n g - f r o i d . II r e d r e s s a l a t e t e exposa sa f i g u r e a l e u r s coups. E l l e s f r a p p e r e n t de pl u s b e l l e . S t u p e f a i t , i l stoppa net. L u i q u i a v a i t c r u l e s dompter, i l en a v a i t pour son a r g e n t \ ^ We have seen how Pique's s u p e r s t i t i o u s nature causes him to see a m a l i c i o u s s p i r i t i n the morning mist. Here Jos as w e l l p r o j e c t s a p e r s o n a l i t y i n t o the f o r e s t , t h a t of an e l u s i v e and mocking adversary t h a t laughs a t h i s attempts t o de f e a t him. The image of an ungraspable and, t h e r e f o r e , i ndomitable e n t i t y f r u s t r a t e s Jos and h i s need t o possess h i s t e r r i t o r y : II s a i s i t une branche, t i r a de tou t e sa f o r c e . Seulement quelques f e u i l l e s l u i r e s t e r e n t entre l e s mains. " J ' a i 1'impression q u ' e l l e s r i e n t de moi, l e s maudites v a c h e s ! " 2 g Pique f a r e s no b e t t e r a g a i n s t an u n y i e l d i n g f o r e s t when he i s blocked by a bush i n attempt t o chase P i e r r o t escaping i n t o the f o r e s t . T h i s time an i m p a r t i a l f o r e s t a l l o w s P i e r r o t t o escape w h i l s t Pique d i v e s " . . . t e t e premiere dans un bu i s s o n . . . " and 2 9 succeeds i n t e a r i n g away " . . . l a m o i t i e de l a figu r e " . . P o s s i b l y a more s p e c i f i c r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the f o r e s t ' s i n d i f f e r e n c e are the t r e e s f o r which Jos seems to ma i n t a i n t h i s same p o s s e s s i v e a t t i t u d e . As he makes h i s way home to M y r t i e at the beginning of the novel, we note h i s r e s p e c t f u l almost re v e r e n t a t t i t u d e towards the f i r t r e e which he c a l l s le ndtre. Moreover, admiring the t a l l s t r o n g maple which Jos uses to perch i n , he g i v e s i t une tape amicale emphasizing t h a t the t r e e w i l l a c t as an a l l y i n h i s attempt t o t r a p P i e r r o t . The maple serves no such purpose f o r Jos i n j u r e s h i m s e l f f a l l i n g from the upper branches. In both cases the t r e e s remain q u i t e i n d i f f e r e n t t o the emotional v a l u e t h a t Jos a t t a c h e s to i t . The t r e e as an o b s t a c l e takes no s i d e as we see both P i e r r o t and Jos brought down i n t u r n by a s i m i l a r o b s t r u c t i o n . Pique r a c i n g t o escape Jos f a i l s t o n o t i c e the r o o t s a t h i s f e e t and i s brought down a b r u p t l y . T h i s i r o n y occurs s h o r t l y a f t e r h i s attempt to use an elm stump as an accomplice to evade h i s pursuant: II a p p r o c h a i t d'un v i e i l orme couche sur l e s o l par l a foudre. II o b l i q u a a d r o i t e , et, a u s s i souple qu'un r e s s o r t , passa 1'obstacle comme un t r a i t . Le c r i de d e s e s p o i r q u ' i l a t t e n d a i t ne v i n t pas. Jos sauta l e vieux geant l u i a u s s i . ( . . . ) L'imprudent P i e r r o t ne v i t pas l a r a c i n e . II trebucha, r o u l a par t e r r e . 3 Q However, Jos can c l a i m no b e t t e r a l l i a n c e with the t r e e s as he, c a r r y i n g P i e r r o t on h i s shoulders, f a l l s v i c t i m t o a t r e e trunk i n a moment of i n a t t e n t i v e n e s s : Dans sa hate, i l n e g l i g e a de p o r t e r a t t e n t i o n aux o b s t a c l e s . II c o u r a i t presque quand, t o u t a coup, l e s jambes de P i e r r o t cognerent un t r o n c d'arbre. Jos n'eut pas l e temps de r e a l i s e r ce q u i se p a s s a i t . E n t r a i n e par son e l a n , i l tourna sur ses jambes, tomba a l a renverse avec son f a r d e a u ^ Despite t h i s somewhat detached r e l a t i o n s h i p with the f o r e s t , Jos p e r s i s t s i n i t s defence as a matter of t e r r i t o r y . Even though i t s extent i s not d e f i n e d , Jos wishes t o r i d h i s domain of i n v a d e r s . One should note t h a t the chosen t e r r i t o r y of both Pique 24 and Jos are q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from t h a t of t h e i r adversary. Furthermore, the domain t h a t they have chosen seems to, i n p a r t , d e f i n e the i n h a b i t a n t . For example, Pique who very much f e a r s the f o r e s t abides i n a s o u t e r r a i n which seems t o swallow and possess him. This i s n a t u r a l l y the opp o s i t e of Jos whose attempts t o master the f o r e s t cause him to l i v e above ground i n a ca b i n which he has c o n s t r u c t e d of the f o r e s t t o s u i t h i s purposes. Moreover, h i s l i v e l i h o o d , based i n p a r t on the g a t h e r i n g of nuts t o s e l l i n town, suggests a dependance on h i s environment. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note t h a t both these men are so d e f i n e d by t h e i r domains t h a t they are i n c a p a b l e of e n v i s i o n i n g the t r e s p a s s e r as l i v i n g i n another type of home than one with which they are f a m i l i a r . Jos sees P i e r r o t above ground i n a t r e e whereas Pique's instinct de taupe t e l l s him t h a t the i n t r u d e r w i l l l i v e below ground l i k e he. Water, s p e c i f i c a l l y the swamp, does not seem t o form p a r t of Jos' p o s s e s s i o n as here i s an area of the f o r e s t where Jos never ventures: Jos Carbone n ' i g n o r a i t pas 1'existence du marecage. Plus a v e r t i que Germaine, i l n ' a v a i t jamais ose s'y aventurer. I I s a v a i t que l a l i g n e de demarcation des deux t e r r i t o i r e s e t a i t cachee et so u r n o i s e . Un bon marcheur pouvait q u i t t e r l a f o r e t et se r e t r o u v e r en p l e i n marecage sans m§me s'en e t r e rendu compte. Tout c e l a l u i repugnait s o u v e r a i n e m e n t . 3 2 I t i s important t o note Jos' f e a r and repugnance of t h i s area as w e l l as the f a c t t h a t the border between h i s e l e c t e d t e r r a i n and P i e r r o t ' s swamp remains u n c l e a r . The swamp seems more or l e s s a c o n t i n u a t i o n of Jos' home and, much l i k e the hidden aspects of the unconscious, i t accommodates c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which f r i g h t e n and d i s g u s t him. P i e r r o t i s undoubtedly d e f i n e d by the a q u a t i c world he i n h a b i t s . We note t h a t h i s a s s o c i a t i o n with water e n t a i l s the c r e a t i o n symbolism of the ocean and, t h e r e f o r e , r e f l e c t s the idea of a p r i m o r d i a l savage s t a t e . The examples of P i e r r o t ' s connection w i t h water are numerous. For i n s t a n c e , every morning he makes a r i t u a l i s t i c plunge i n t o the c o l d waters upon which he makes h i s home: Pas une s e u l e r i d e ne g o n f l a i t l a s u r f a c e de l'e a u . P i e r r o t tapa du p i e d pour f a i r e f u i r un moineau q u i s ' e t a i t pose pres de l u i , sauta dans l'eau grasse de l a r i v i e r e . Ce bain m a t i n a l l u i f o u e t t a l e sang. La t e t e b i e n d r o i t e , i l nagea jusqu'a l ' e t a n g . Tous l e s cents pieds, i l a r r e t a i t une minute ou deux pour se r e p o s e r . 3 3 As w e l l , we observe t h a t , f o l l o w i n g h i s drop through the chimney of the Carbone household, P i e r r o t ' s f i r s t response i s t o ask My r t i e f o r d r i n k i n g water. However, due to the hot embers c a t c h i n g flame on h i s pants, she i s soon drenching him i n water to e x t i n g u i s h the flames. In both examples, we f i n d t h a t P i e r r o t i s immersed i n water, a f f i r m i n g the connection between P i e r r o t and the p r i m a l s t a t e which water symbolizes. One need only examine the s t a t e of P i e r r o t ' s domain as d e s c r i b e d i n the n a r r a t i o n t o a c q u i r e an image of h i s c h a r a c t e r . Indeed, t h i s i s necessary as P i e r r o t h i m s e l f i s almost never d e s c r i b e d . I t i s an area of u n s t a b l e ground, covered with a v e g e t a t i o n " . . . q u i d i s s i m u l e et obstrue..." the view of the 3 4 e a r t h . The f a c t t h a t only w i l d animals s t a l k t h i s domain suggests P i e r r o t ' s untamed nature. Above a l l , t h e r e i s a constant silence de mort which combined with the other f a c e t s of hidden danger, mystery and savagery form a p o r t r a i t of P i e r r o t and the unconscious mind of Jos as we have d e f i n e d i t . So f a r we have d i s c u s s e d many aspects and m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of the unconscious both t a n g i b l e and i n t a n g i b l e . We have a l s o noted t h a t the unconscious t h r e a t i s deeply rooted i n Jos' r e l a t i o n s h i p with M y r t i e . On a s u r f a c e l e v e l t h i s can n a t u r a l l y be i n t e r p r e t e d as a t h r e a t t o h i s pr o p e r t y . But l e t us not f o r g e t t h a t P i e r r o t ' s r e a l o b s e s s i o n i s not Jos' f o r e s t but Jos' wi f e . From t h i s c o n f u s i o n of t e r r i t o r y and wife s p r i n g s the m u l t i - f a c e t e d r o l e of M y r t i e . T h e r e f o r e , we p e r c e i v e two b a s i c a s s o c i a t i o n s i n her c h a r a c t e r : f i r s t l y w ith the Carbones' cabin and secondly, on a l a r g e r s c a l e , w i t h Jos' t e r r i t o r y . The c a b i n f o r Jos i s the c e n t r e of h i s e x i s t e n c e ; thus, i t i s not unusual t h a t M y r t i e be a s s o c i a t e d with i t . As the novel begins, Jos' d e s t i n a t i o n i s not c l e a r u n t i l he c r i e s , "'Ma chere 3 5 M y r t i e , mon ange M y r t i e , me v o i l a q u i v o l e v e r s t o i . ' " . He proceeds then t o d e s c r i b e a M y r t i e who waits p a t i e n t l y at home f o r him, q u i e t l y and f a i t h f u l l y c l e a n i n g and cooking i n the a n t i c i p a t i o n of h i s a r r i v a l . I t i s i n t h i s f i r s t scene t h a t the r o l e s of jfioyer and femme are permanently l i n k e d . A r r i v i n g home, Jos stops t o admire the cabin, h i s c r e a t i o n . Constructed e x a c t l y as he wants i t , the bed i s on the l e f t s i d e , le cdte du coeur. A pa s s i o n a t e reunion f o l l o w s where Jos d e c l a r e s openly the con f u s i o n between Myrtie and Maison: . . . i l l a s e r r a entre ses bras a l u i f a i r e mal, mais, f o u comme i l 1 ' e t a i t , i l ne put s'empecher ce f a i s a n t d'examiner amoureusement l a maison, repetant dans sa t e t e : " E l l e e s t b e l l e a mort!" sans t r o p s a v o i r s ' i l p e n s a i t a M y r t i e ou a l a maison._ i o The ambiguity between wif e and home i s thus confirmed. Jos has cr e a t e d a home a t the heart of which i s the bed where M y r t i e l i e s s l e e p i n g . 27 One has the impression t h a t M y r t i e r a r e l y l eaves the sanctuary of the ca b i n and t h a t her l i f e i s more or l e s s c o n f i n e d to household a c t i v i t i e s . Upon Jos' r e t u r n , she complains of being bored i n h i s absence. Jos responds, " . . . j e peux pas e t r e i c i et 37 la-bas en meme temps!". We are thereby g i v e n the impression t h a t M y r t i e never accompanies Jos on h i s t r i p s t o the unnamed la-bas. In another example, M y r t i e , s u r p r i s e d by the e x i s t e n c e of Pique's s o u t e r r a i n , exclaims, " ' I I y a une chose que je ne comprends t o u j o u r s pas...Vous vous etes i n s t a l l e i c i , et moi, je 3 8 n'en a i r i e n su. Comment The reason f o r her ignorance i s t h a t Jos has kept her i s o l a t e d at home, r e v e a l i n g t o her the presence of Pique, Germaine and t h e i r s o u t e r r a i n o n l y when he thought the time was a p p r o p r i a t e . Here again we see a form of po s s e s s i o n governing h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with M y r t i e as Jos seems t o maintain s t r i c t c o n t r o l over house and w i f e . M y r t i e ' s f i r s t r e f e r e n c e t o P i e r r o t d e s c r i b e s him as an invader l u r k i n g around the house. T h i s i s s i g n i f i c a n t as the i n i t i a l i n d i c a t i o n of the menace, o c c u r r i n g i n the context of her l i f e w i t h i n the cabin, a l s o bonds the images of M y r t i e and Maison. Hence, when P i e r r o t , obsessed with t a u n t i n g v i s i o n s of Myr t i e , seeks t o take p o s s e s s i o n of her away from Jos, he heads d i r e c t l y f o r the c a b i n . Due to the dual image of M y r t i e as both home and wife, h i s f o r c e d e n t r y and t r e s p a s s i n t o the cabin correspond t o a v i o l a t i o n of M y r t i e . Even h i s mode of entry, p e n e t r a t i o n through the chimney, suggests a f o r c e d sexual encounter w i t h M y r t i e . Indeed, P i e r r o t l a t e r pursues e x a c t l y t h a t g o a l with the idea of having her par force. I t i s at t h i s moment t h a t the two r i v a l s c o n f r o n t each other i n - the f o r e s t . The 28 q u e s t i o n n a t u r a l l y a r i s e s as t o what Jos i s defending: wife, home or t e r r i t o r y ? On a l a r g e r s c a l e we can see t h a t M y r t i e f u n c t i o n s as a l l t h r e e of these. E x p l o r i n g her r o l e as Jos' t e r r i t o r y , we see from the beginning many s p a t i a l images i n the way she i s d e s c r i b e d . For example, Jos c o n f r o n t s M y r t i e , demanding to know why she i s a c t i n g so s t r a n g e l y and her ex p r e s s i o n i s p o r t r a y e d as a l a n d s l i d e : -- Pourquoi r i s - t u comme ca? Veux-tu me l e d i r e ? veux-t u me l e d i r e ? " Sa v o i x devenait menacante. E l l e s ' a r r e t a t o u t net, l e regarda longuement. P u i s , peu a peu, e l l e p r i t une tou t e a u t r e e x p r e s s i o n . Tout son v i s a g e s ' a f f a i s s a graduellement comme un t e r r a i n q ui g l i s s e . 3 g With M y r t i e , i t i s o f t e n a q u e s t i o n of her long blond h a i r "...tombes sur l e s epaules..." or " . . . e p a r p i l l e s sur l a 40 c o u v e r t u r e " . Again the n o t i o n of her long h a i r f l o w i n g over her shoulders or spread out on the bed p r o v i d e s a very s p a t i a l image. L a t e r i n the novel, she appears i n P i e r r o t ' s e r o t i c dream i l l u s t r a t e d with the same s p a c i a l imagery: Des q u ' i l f u t endormi, l a femme a l a robe de daim se d e s h a b i l l a . II 1'avait vue couchee sur l e dos, a g i t a n t ses pieds b l a n c s , a p l a t v entre, sur l e cote; l ' a i r moqueur, e l l e s ' e t a i t promenee a quatre p a t t e s dans l a hutte et l u i a v a i t donne de p e t i t s coups de s e i n s dans l a f i g u r e , e l l e s ' e t a i t a s s i s e f a c e a l u i , jambes entrouvertes...De son coucher a son l e v e r , e l l e parada dans sa t<5te, s i l e n c i e u s e et p l e i n e de g r a c e . 4 1 Here i t i s not j u s t M y r t i e ' s h a i r but her e n t i r e body which i s s t r e t c h e d out before P i e r r o t . N a t u r a l l y t h i s passage has strong sexual connotations but we a l s o note a s p a t i a l d e p i c t i o n of M y r t i e which evokes the idea of imaginary t e r r i t o r y and, once again, P i e r r o t i s po r t r a y e d as c o v e t i n g t h a t t e r r a i n . 29 Another aspect of M y r t i e ' s c h a r a c t e r which tends t o t i e her to an image of t e r r i t o r y i s her r o l e as n o u r i s h e r . As Jos and My r t i e both l i v e o f f the land i n a ^  hunting and g a t h e r i n g l i f e s t y l e , t h i s r o l e of food p r o v i d e r goes w e l l with her t e r r i t o r i a l image. Even her name suggests the name of a b e r r y 42 and, t h e r e f o r e , food. T h i s idea r e o c c u r s when P i e r r o t , on h i s way t o the Carbon cabin stops t o p i c k Jbaies. Taking these b e r r i e s 43 corresponds t o h i s i n t e n t i o n t o take and possess M y r t i e . Furthermore, as Jos races home to h i s beloved, we see him 44 hungering f o r her: " . . . t o u t en l u i c r i a i t famine. M y r t i e ! " . M y r t i e i s the answer t o Jos' famine, both emotional and p h y s i c a l . E m o t i o n a l l y s a t i s f i e d t o be once again a t home, Jos wakes t o a p h y s i c a l hunger which i s a l s o soon s a t i s f i e d by the soup M y r t i e i s ready t o serve him. F i n a l l y , Jos' d e s i r e t o defend t h i s t e r r i t o r y d e a l s i n p a r t with a need t o keep i t c l e a n . He a s s o c i a t e s M y r t i e with t h a t c l e a n l i n e s s as she waits a t home c l e a n i n g the bed: "Et l e l i t ? En a v a i t - e l l e soigneusement chasse l e s p o u s s i e r e s , nettoye l e s moindres r e c o i n s ? A v a i t - e l l e r a f r a i c h i l e s draps et l a pesante 4 5 peau de mouton?". Part of P i e r r o t ' s infringement on t h i s t e r r i t o r y , however, i s the s o i l i n g of i t . H is a c t of cr u s h i n g a r o t t e n apple i n My r t i e ' s f a c e i s such an infringement f o r i n doing so P i e r r o t s t a i n s M y r t i e and thus Jos' t e r r i t o r y . Jos has a l r e a d y s t a t e d 46 t h a t i n t r u d e r s do not belong "...dans une f o r e t s i propre" and thereby e s t a b l i s h e d P i e r r o t ' s r o l e as an unclean element i n h i s domain. Defending M y r t i e and f o r e s t , t h e r e f o r e , i s an a c t of p r e s e r v a t i o n . I t r e p r e s e n t s a need t o see t h i n g s remain unchanged 30 and a c o n t i n u a t i o n of the peace he has known f o r two years of untroubled e x i s t e n c e i n the f o r e s t . Jos Carbone i s a t e r r i t o r i a l quest, s p e c i f i c a l l y Jos' quest to secure M y r t i e as h i s t e r r i t o r y . We see the idea of pays equals femme echoed i n the l i t e r a t u r e of t h i s era, f o r example, Hubert 47 Aquin's P r o c h a i n Episode. In a novel which h e a v i l y s t r e s s e s the quest f o r i d e n t i t y , Aquin equates country and woman through the blond female double agent K. One of the p o s s i b l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f t e n g i v e n by l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s i s t h a t K i s a metaphor f o r Quebec. A s s o c i a t e d with the l i b e r a t i o n of a country, K i s a l s o the n a r r a t o r ' s l o s t love whom he c o n t i n u a l l y seeks at the t e r r a s s e of 1'hdtel d ' A n g l e t e r r e . The c o n f u s i o n of woman and country i s again e v i d e n t i n 48 Gaston Miron's poem, "Marche a 1'amour". I t i s e s s e n t i a l l y a poem of de v o t i o n whose d e c l a r a t i o n s of lov e are inte r m i x e d with v i v i d c o l o u r s and imagery of the Quebec landscape. The reader i s swept away by a s p a t i a l movement suggested even from the s t a r t by the t i t l e . The poet, t h e r e f o r e , expresses s i m u l t a n e o u s l y h i s lo v e f o r woman as w e l l as homeland. We a l s o note the quest f o r a country or o r i g i n i n L'Ombre et 49 l e double by Yvon R i v a r d . The author, however, s t r e s s e s the f r o n t i e r s of language r a t h e r than landscape i n a more c e r e b r a l and a b s t r a c t a n a l y s i s of t e r r i t o r y . A f i c t i o n a l world i s c r e a t e d i n the w r i t i n g not i n the p l o t as Ri v a r d ' s novel does not r e l a t e much of a s t o r y . E s s e n t i a l l y , the c h r o n i c l e r Thomas i s i n j a i l accused of hampering the b i r t h of a country. A s s o c i a t e d w i t h time and t r o u b l e d by h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h les immortels, Thomas i s an e x p l o r e r of words who p r e f e r s the v o i d of time t o the p r o p o r t i o n s 31 of space. A f t e r Thomas i s found innocent, he s e t s out to f i n d the p a i n t e r Gaspard and the mysterious Marie. From the beginning, Marie i s l i k e an unconscious d e s i r e . She speaks to Thomas i n h i s s l e e p and emerges throughout the t e x t as a glimpsed shadow or a d i s t a n t v o i c e . She i s the l i v i n g symbol of an u n a c c e s s i b l e country; a f a c t which becomes ev i d e n t when Thomas e v e n t u a l l y f i n d s her a t journey's end on e t e r n i t y ' s doorstep. We n o t i c e , however, t h a t Benoit does d i f f e r somewhat from the other authors mentioned. For i n s t a n c e , i n Jos Carbone, the l i n k between woman and homeland i s not so e v i d e n t . Throughout t h i s chapter we have s t r e s s e d the importance of the unconscious and i t i s at t h i s l e v e l where we f i n d the t r u e f u s i o n of l o v e r and country. As w e l l , we must c o n s i d e r the f a c t t h a t , u n l i k e the other works t o which we have a l l u d e d , the n a r r a t i o n of the t e x t i s i n the t h i r d person and, t h e r e f o r e , more o b j e c t i v e . T h i s i s s i g n i f i c a n t as Benoit remains detached from h i s c h a r a c t e r s , a l l o w i n g them to impart t h e i r own message. Moreover, B e n o i t ' s novel l a c k s any d i r e c t p o l i t i c a l a l l u s i o n s to Quebec as the s t o r y takes p l a c e i n an e n t i r e l y f i c t i o n a l s e t t i n g . F i n a l l y , Benoit i s n e i t h e r a p o e t i c or c e r e b r a l w r i t e r . We expect, t h e r e f o r e , a s i m p l i c i t y and d i r e c t n e s s to h i s l i t e r a r y s t y l e and an emphasis on a c t i o n . He i s an author who p r e f e r s to r e l i n q u i s h c o n t r o l t o h i s c h a r a c t e r s r a t h e r than to dominate or burden them with important t r u t h s . Perhaps i t i s through t h i s freedom t h a t they are able t o d e p i c t the unconscious world we have d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s chapter. 32 Notes The f o l l o w i n g d e f i n i t i o n of the unconscious i s giv e n i n The Layman's D i c t i o n a r y of P s y c h i a t r y : In p s y c h o a n a l y s i s , t h a t p o r t i o n of the psyche which i s the r e p o s i t o r y f o r p r i m i t i v e and repre s s e d memories and impulses and i s r a r e l y s u b j e c t t o awareness. James A. B r u s s e l and George La Fond C a n t z l a a r , The Layman's  D i c t i o n a r y of P s y c h i a t r y (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1967), p.229. 2 Throughout the novel the importance of n i g h t and a s s o c i a t e d imagery i s e v i d e n t . The mere f a c t t h a t the m a j o r i t y of the a c t i o n occurs d u r i n g the nig h t t i m e i s evidence of i t s importance. Germaine's b l a c k h a i r and dress, the dark b l a c k e a r t h which s t a i n s a l l who come i n con t a c t with i t , even Jos' name, Carbone, seems t o r e f l e c t the blackness of c h a r c o a l . 3 G a b r i e l l e P o u l i n , " L i t t e r a t u r e . Jos Carbone ou l a puissance du f e u , " R e l a t i o n s , No.340, j u i l . - a o u t 1969, p.208. 4 Jacques Benoit, Jos Carbone, (Montreal: Stanke, Quebec 10/10, 1980), p.9. 5 Benoit, p.26. 6 Benoit, p.18. 7 We are r e f e r r i n g t o the cover i l l u s t r a t i o n by G i t e i n the 1980 p u b l i c a t i o n of Jos Carbone, Stanke 10/10. g Benoit, p.20. 9 Benoit, p.21. The image of a w h i s t l i n g P i e r r o t occurs s e v e r a l times throughout the t e x t . For example, When P i e r r o t appears f o r the f i r s t time: "Soudain, quelqu'un s i f f l a deux ou t r o i s mesures d'une melodie." (p.58), when Germaine stumbles ac r o s s P i e r r o t ' s r a f t home: " E l l e pensa a se rendre j u s q u e - l a par l a r i v e , h e s i t a . Sur 1'embarcation, quelqu'un s i f f l a i t . " (p.62) and again when P i e r r o t s e t s out t o v i s i t the Carbone cabin i n search of M y r t i e : "Soudain, i l eut peur: i l v e n a i t de se rendre compte q u ' i l s i f f l a i t depuis q u ' i l e t a i t s o r t ! de l ' e a u . " (p.80). Benoit, p.21 . 33 1 1 Jack Warwick has attempted t o i d e n t i f y and analyze the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the North and French Canadian l i t e r a t u r e i n a book e n t i t l e d : The Long Journey, (Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto Press, 1968). He examines both i t s l i t e r a l and symbolic c h a r a c t e r , d e f i n i n g the t r a d i t i o n a l pays d'en haut, l i t e r a l l y the country upstream from the c o l o n i z a t i o n s i t e , as w e l l as a symbolic North i n d i c a t i v e of a quest f o r freedom. However, i t i s i t s i n h a b i t a n t s which best i n c a r n a t e the North and Warwick s p e c i f i e s the Voyager, the Coureur de b o i s and the Lumberjack. They are the h i s t o r i c a l rogue adventurers who have f l e d n o r t h i n order t o escape the r i g i d c o n f i n e s and a u t h o r i t y of the European colony. Freedom seekers, they r e v o l t and adopt a l i b e r t i n e l i f e s t y l e which i m i t a t e s the n a t i v e s but which c o n t r a d i c t s the s t r i c t moral codes of the Church. Of these t h r e e i t i s the Voyager, t r a d i t i o n a l r e b e l f i g u r e par e x c e l l e n c e , who best embodies the Indians' s t r e n g t h , knowledge and harmony, both with h i s way of l i f e and with h i s world around him. Warwick makes use of the many l i t e r a r y p o r t r a y a l s of the Voyager to e s t a b l i s h these a t t r i b u t e s but a g e n e r a l theme of escape or freedom seems to summarize t h i s n orthern c h a r a c t e r . Warwick's study does not p r o f e s s any p s y c h o a n a l y t i c a l base. However, i n d e s c r i b i n g what he c a l l s the n o r d i c myth of French Canadian l i t e r a t u r e , the author does approach the idea of the collective unconscious. A c c o r d i n g to B r u s s e l and La Fond C a n t z l a a r , t h i s i s "Jung's term f o r h i s concept of i n h e r i t a n c e , through the b r a i n s t r u c t u r e , of p r i m i t i v e r a c i a l ideas and impulses which do not enter consciousness" (p.56). 1 2 Benoit, p.29. 1 3 Benoit, p.32. 1 4 Benoit, p.8. 1 5 Benoit, p.8. 1 Benoit, p.9. 1 7 Benoit, p.13. Jos i s making an unconscious r e f e r e n c e to the memory of a passed event. However, i n the context of h i s c u r r e n t i n t i m a c y with M y r t i e , the a l l u s i o n t o c a r e s s i n g a bear i s s i g n i f i c a n t . Indeed, through the n a r r a t i v e use of the f o o t n o t e e x p l a i n i n g the o r i g i n s of Jos' unusual comparison, we are a b l e t o d i s c e r n the l i n k Jos e s t a b l i s h e s between danger and l o v e or, i n other words, the concepts of bear (animal, monster) and M y r t i e . 1 8 B e n o i t , p.16. 1 9 Benoit, pp.8-9. 2 0 Benoit, pp.50-1. 34 21 Benoit, p.39. Thi s quote suggests t h a t Pique's f e a r i s approaching the Freudian concept of the id. B r u s s e l and La Fond C a n t z l a a r d e f i n e t h i s concept as "...the p r i m i t i v e p s y c h i c f o r c e i n the unconscious" and "...the r e p o s i t o r y f o r the i n s t i n c t s t h a t are e s s e n t i a l t o propagation and s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n " (p.119). When Pique speaks of the danger i n v o l v e d i n v e r b a l i z i n g the i d e a t h a t t h e i r prey may not be human, he i s r e f e r r i n g t o elements of v i o l e n c e , s e x u a l i t y and p r i m i t i v e i n s t i n c t which are suppressed i n the unconscious p r e c i s e l y because they r e p r e s e n t a d i s t u r b i n g t h r e a t t o the conscious mind. These b u r i e d elements make up the id and Pique r e c o g n i z e s the r i s k i n v o l v e d i n e x p l o r i n g hidden aspects of h i s mind which he may f i n d unpleasant. 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 Benoit, p.49. Benoit, p.7. Benoit, p.36. Benoit, p.44. Benoit, p.10. Benoit, p.25. Benoit, p.26. Benoit, p.60. Benoit, p.92. Benoit, p.101. Benoit, p.69. Benoit, p.80. Benoit, p.70. Benoit, p.8. Benoit, p.11. Benoit, p.12. Benoit, p.31. Benoit, p. 1 8. Benoit, pp.20-1 Benoit, p.79. We observe the s i m i l a r i t y between the name Myrtie and the French word myrtille, meaning b l u e b e r r y . 43 44 45 46 47 Benoit, p.80. Benoit, p.9. Benoit, p.9. Benoit, p.19. Hubert Aquin, Prochain Episode, l i v r e de France, 1965). 48 Gaston Miron, The March t o (Pennsylvania: Byblos E d i t i o n s X, 1986). 49 1979) . (Montreal: Le C e r c l e du Love S e l e c t e d Poems, Yvon R i v a r d , L'Ombre et l e double, (Montreal: Stanke, 36 CHAPTER II The Unspoken Message i n Les P r i n c e s Jacques Benoit i n h i s f o u r t h novel, Les P r i n c e s , has cr e a t e d an a l l e g o r i c a l world which succumbs t o v i o l e n t s t r u g g l e and d e s t r u c t i o n . In order f o r an a l l e g o r y t o f u n c t i o n , t h e r e must be an a b s t r a c t i o n or g e n e r a l i z a t i o n of human behaviour or experience. Indeed, we note the s e t t i n g f o r the novel, la Ville, i s g iven a g e n e r i c , and thus u n i v e r s a l name. La Montagne, the s i t e of the Chateau and l o c a t i o n of the r u l i n g power, are a l s o names which i l l u s t r a t e t h a t u n i v e r s a l i t y . As w e l l , elements of time and space w i t h i n the t e x t remain undefined and, t h e r e f o r e , support the a l l e g o r y . I t i s through t h i s a b s t r a c t i o n t h a t we are ab l e t o d e r i v e d i v e r s e symbolic meanings which we s h a l l now proceed t o e x p l o r e . In the f a n t a s y topography of la Ville and the surrounding P l a i n , we p e r c e i v e a c o r r e l a t i o n with i t s i n h a b i t a n t s , human, monster and canine. T h e i r s t r u g g l e r e l a t e s t o t h e i r make b e l i e v e m i l i e u and, t h e r e f o r e , the geography of la Ville imparts a nonverbal message. I f the environment can communicate without speech, can we not observe an unvoiced meaning conveyed by the i n h a b i t a n t s and t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n s ? For nonvocal e x p r e s s i o n we look to the body i t s e l f . The speechless v i r t u e of canine s o c i e t y c o n f l i c t s with the v e r b a l and c o r r u p t human s o c i e t y . How do we, t h e r e f o r e , l i n k nonverbal bodies such as natols, Coquin grimpant 37 and t h i n k i n g dogs t o questions of nature, c i v i l i t y , power and p r i v i l e g e ? Let us f i r s t of a l l d e l v e i n t o the geography of la Ville as Ben o i t d e s c r i b e s i t . Within the framework of the C i t y ' s f o u r b a s i c neighbourhoods: G r a l i g e a n , Nilaudante, P e t r a j i e and Coquin grimpant, we note s e v e r a l t o p o g r a p h i c a l f a c t o r s which are worthy of e x p l o r i n g . The most obvious of these of course i s the very v i s i b l e Chateau which i s the seat of power i n la Ville: ...aucune des maisons de G r a l i g e a n ne peut cependant r i v a l i s e r avec l e vaste e d i f i c e de p i e r r e brune q u i c o i f f e l e sommet de l a Montagne. On s'y rend par l a Voie r o y a l e q u i , la-haut, s ' e l a r g i t considerablement. Nomme l e Chateau, cet e d i f i c e a b r i t e l e s d i f f e r e n t s s e r v i c e s a d m i n i s t r a t i f s . Le gouverneur, ses p r i n c i p a u x a d j o i n t s a i n s i que l e s chefs des m i l i c e s y ont des appartements p r i v e s . Comptant d i x etages s o u t e r r a i n s et d i x etages au-dessus du s o l (ce qui en f a i t de l o i n l e p l u s haut batiment de l a V i l l e ) , l e Chateau es t v i s i b l e de tous l e s q u a r t i e r s , et meme de l a p l a i n e ^ The b u i l d i n g ' s stone c o n s t r u c t i o n and m u l t i p l e underground l e v e l s i n d i c a t e t h a t i t i s a stro n g and deep rooted i n s t i t u t i o n . I t s s i z e and l o f t y l o c a t i o n make i t very conspicuous as a symbol of power and a u t h o r i t y but w i t h i n i t s w a l l s t h e r e i s an i n d i c a t i o n t h a t the s t r u c t u r e hides many s e c r e t s . Concealed s t a i r c a s e s t r a v e r s e the Chateau but only K r o k n e l l , the chef des milices, can s t a t e t h a t he i s the "...seule personne dans t o u t e c e t t e V i l l e a 2 co n n a i t r e tous l e s passages s e c r e t s du Chateau,...". As one of our s t a t e d aims i s t o c o r r e l a t e the environment t o the occupant we can see how t h i s d e c l a r a t i o n suggests t h a t K r o k n e l l p l a y s a major r o l e i n the c l a n d e s t i n e a c t i o n s of the r u l i n g Chateau d w e l l e r s . At the op p o s i t e end of the t o p o g r a p h i c a l spectrum we have the underground passages of la Ville and of Coquin grimpant. 38 Whereas the t u n n e l s under the c i t y are a s s o c i a t e d with mining and do not extend i n t o Coquin grimpant f o r s a f e t y reasons, the l a t t e r has i t s own network of covered or underground passages which connect homes and businesses i n the q u a r t e r : En p l u s de ses r u e l l e s , l e q u a r t i e r compte une m u l t i t u d e de passages couverts, souvent j u s t e assez l a r g e s pour un homme, des maisons que l ' o n p o u r r a i t c r o i r e h a b i t e e s f o n t o f f i c e de r a c c o u r c i s . . . t o u t c e c i sans p a r l e r des especes de c o u l o i r s qui s e r a i e n t menages dans l ' e p a i s s e u r des murs mitoyens d'un c e r t a i n nombre d 1 h a b i t a t i o n s et des nombreuses g a l e r i e s q u i , d i t - o n , a u r a i e n t ete p r a t i q u e e s dans l e s c o l l i n e s et 1'ensemble du s o u s - s o l . Au d i r e de P e t r a j i e et de Nilaudante, l e s g a l e r i e s du Coquin grimpant f o r m e r a i e n t un v e r i t a b l e reseau s o u t e r r a i n , comparable a une t a u p i n i e r e g e a n t e . 3 Here we have an image of a dark and dangerous m i l i e u t h a t seems t o swallow up and imprison i t s i n h a b i t a n t s . Moreover, being the home of the poorest and lowest c a s t e of human, the Coquins, the i d e a of c l a s s o p p r e s s i o n i s i n t i m a t e d . C o n s i d e r i n g the a l l e g o r i c a l nature of the t e x t , i s i t not p o s s i b l e t o see i n the topography of Les P r i n c e s an o p p o r t u n i t y t o r e f l e c t upon what Jean-Jacques Rousseau c a l l e d " l ' o r i g i n e de 1 ' i n e g a l i t e " ? A c c o r d i n g to Rousseau, human i n e q u a l i t y o r i g i n a t e s i n the establishment of s o c i e t y . I t i s the abandoning of the n a t u r a l s t a t e which c r e a t e s a l o s s of innocence i n humanity. He sees the development of communal h a b i t a t s as the beginning of language, f a m i l y , sexual d i v i s i o n of labour, e t c . From s o c i a l growth, however, comes progress and Rousseau e n v i s i o n s t h i s as a step backwards i n t h a t i t r e p r e s e n t s a d e n i a l of nature which he c o n s i d e r s man's proper home: L'exemple des sauvages qu'on a presque tous trouves a ce p o i n t semble confirmer que l e genre humain e t a i t f a i t pour y r e s t e r t o u j o u r s , que cet e t a t e s t l a v e r i t a b l e jeunesse du monde, et que tous l e s progres u l t e r i e u r s ont ete en apparence autant de pas v e r s l a p e r f e c t i o n de l ' i n d i v i d u , et en e f f e t v e r s l a d e c r e p i t u d e de l ' e s p e c e . . We note t h a t , i n Les P r i n c e s , i t i s not j u s t a q u e s t i o n of the p e r f e c t i o n of an i n d i v i d u a l or the decay of a p a r t i c u l a r s p e c i e s t o which t h a t i n d i v i d u a l belongs. As la Ville i s populated w i t h t h r e e d i s t i n c t s p e c i e s , the development of s o c i e t y r e p r e s e n t s a g e n e r a l decay, both i n human s o c i e t y and, consequently, i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s with other s o c i e t i e s . However, Rousseau's ideas on the l i n k between s o c i a l development through the d e n i a l of nature and human i n e q u a l i t y seem t o have some a p p l i c a t i o n i n the t e x t . For example, the qua r t e r which houses the r i c h and powerful only gained prominence with the c r e a t i o n of la Ville and, thus, human c l a s s i n e q u a l i t y f i n d s i t s o r i g i n s i n the b i r t h of the c i t y : Le quatrieme et d e r n i e r q u a r t i e r p o r te l e nom de faubourg l e faubourg G r a l i g e a n . S i t u e a p r o x i m i t e de l a r i v i e r e Noire, l a q u e l l e alimente l a V i l l e en eau potable, l e faubourg s ' e s t b a t i sur l a Montagne. II y a longtemps, a l o r s que l a V i l l e n ' e t a i t qu'un v i l l a g e de quelques masures groupees p r i n c i p a l e m e n t sur l e s r i v e s de l a r i v i e r e Noire, l a Montagne ne se d i s t i n g u a i t en r i e n de 1'ensemble. La f o n d a t i o n du faubourg comme t e l remonterait a l'epoque ou l e v i l l a g e p r i t l e nom de V i l l e . , . b Turning t o the t e r r a i n of the c i t y , we note a completely s t e r i l e environment i n which human h a b i t a t i o n suppresses and denies nature. The f a c t t h a t the natol i s the s o l e l i v i n g v e g e t a t i o n i n la Ville c e r t a i n l y r e f l e c t s t h i s i d e a . A l l u d i n g once again t o Rousseau, we note t h a t w i t h i n the framework of l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y , he i s a t the onset of the Romantic movement i n French l i t e r a t u r e , a p e r i o d c h a r a c t e r i z e d by an i d y l l i c concept of nature. In t h i s r e s p e c t , Rousseau's i d e a l i z a t i o n of nature c o n t r a s t s g r e a t l y with the d e s o l a t e environment p o r t r a y e d i n Les P r i n c e s . Here, nature i s i n d e c l i n e and appears t o f u n c t i o n p r i m a r i l y as the h a b i t a t of monsters. 40 Moreover, the monsters' chosen home, the natol, very much d e s c r i b e s i t s i n h a b i t a n t s who " . . . f o n t bande a p a r t et n'ont aucun r a p p o r t avec l e s a u t r e s h a b i t a n t s des q u a r t i e r s ou i l s v i v e n t " . 6 I s o l a t e d as t h e i r t r e e c i t y on the p l a i n , monsters are ou t c a s t s i n human s o c i e t y p r i m a r i l y because of t h e i r grotesque appearance. From t h e i r d i s s o c i a t i o n with humans and t h e i r c l o s e a s s o c i a t i o n with nature, i . e . the p l a i n and the natol, we can gather a meaning: monsters symbolize human deformation of nature and, u l t i m a t e l y , the c o r r u p t i v e e f f e c t of man's power. Let us f u r t h e r c l a r i f y t h i s i d e a . Monsters embody every p h y s i c a l d i s f i g u r e m e n t which humans f i n d r e p r e h e n s i b l e . However, i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note how human s o c i e t y e n v i s i o n s the o r i g i n of monster def o r m i t y : La l o i i n t e r d i t aux hommes Bleus de q u i t t e r l e u r q u a r t i e r . Pourtant, i l a r r i v e que 1 1un d'eux passe o u t r e . Denonce a u s s i t d t par son odeur, l'homme Bleu f a i t l e v i d e devant l u i ; hommes, femmes, enfants, tous se r e f u g i e n t e n t r e quatre murs. P r i s e s d'epouvante, l e s femmes e n c e i n t e s f u i e n t d r o i t devant e l l e s , car i l s u f f i t , pretend-on, qu'une femme grosse sente de t r o p pres un Coquin pour que son enfant n a i s s e mort-ne ou d i f f o r m e . La croyance p o p u l a i r e n'explique pas autrement 1'existence des monstres de t o u t e s s o r t e s q u i peuplent l a V i l l e . ? Although monsters are shuned by human s o c i e t y , popular human b e l i e f , and by t h i s we assume an o r a l f o l k l o r e , s t i l l takes r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e i r c r e a t i o n through contact with i t s own lower c l a s s , the Coquins. J u s t as the image of nature i n decay i m p l i e s i t s r e j e c t i o n , so too does the monsters' r e p u l s i v e appearance bespeak the c o r r u p t i o n i n h e r e n t i n human c l a s s r e l a t i o n s . In sh o r t , man's i n t e r a c t i o n with nature produces a grotesque environment; man's i n t e r a c t i o n with the lower c l a s s e s of i t s own s o c i e t y produces a grotesque s o c i e t y . 41 Geographical names i n la Ville a l s o suggest a c o r r u p t i o n of nature and s o c i e t y . The riviere Noire, source of pure d r i n k i n g water, suggests contamination whereas the poisonous ruisseau Bleu i m p l i e s the i n v e r s e . Moreover, the r u i s s e a u B l e u c r o s s e s a l l q u a r t e r s and, t h e r e f o r e , i s the common denominator which l i n k s a l l i n h a b i t a n t s of la Ville. For most humans i t i s a sewer u s e f u l o n l y f o r c a r r y i n g away a l l r e f u s e . The poisonous water f i l t e r s t h e i r environment as i t c i r c u l a t e s through P e t r a j i e , N i l a u d a n t e and G r a l i g e a n t o r e t u r n t o Coquin grimpant from where i t o r i g i n a t e d . The Coquins, however, are very much a p a r t of t h i s r i v e r . Immune to the water's t o x i c i t y , they depend on the r i v e r ' s garbage f o r food and c l o t h i n g as w e l l as share the same b o d i l y stench and blu e t i n t . Although f o r b i d d e n t o leave t h e i r quarter, the Coquins' repugnant p h y s i c a l essence i s c a r r i e d by the blue water t o a l l r e g i o n s of la Ville. In t h i s manner, the r u i s s e a u B l e u conveys an unpleasant and t a n g i b l e t r u t h which touches every human neighbourhood r e g a r d l e s s of c l a s s . The body i l l u s t r a t e s the v e r i t y , the r i v e r makes t h a t t r u t h u n i v e r s a l . Coquin body odour and c o l o u r suggest a s t a t e of decomposition and t h e i r s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n i m p l i e s the decay of human s o c i e t y . Perhaps t h i s i s never more apparent as when, near the end of the novel, i t overflows i t s banks, inundating a l l r e g i o n s but G r a l i g e a n . In Les P r i n c e s , nature and s o c i e t y do not c o n s t i t u t e two opposing p o l e s as Rousseau conceives them. They both belong t o the same s t a t e of decay and, t h e r e f o r e , the notio n s of a n i m a l i t y and c i v i l i t y become b l u r r e d i n la Ville. C e r t a i n l y , the s o p h i s t i c a t i o n of dog s o c i e t y and the b r u t a l i t y of human s o c i e t y seem to i l l u s t r a t e a complete r e v e r s a l of what we would conceive to be animal or c i v i l . In a d d i t i o n , t r a c e s of nature, s p e c i f i c a l l y animal, are l i m i t e d i n the t e x t . We know t h a t horses e x i s t but o n l y i n s e r v i t u d e t o humanity. Rats and i n s e c t s e x i s t and are a major source of p r o t e i n f o r a l l except the 8 G r a l i g e a n n o i s . On the whole, nature i s consumed or e x p l o i t e d i n a world c o n t r o l l e d by humans. In a c i t y which suppresses and deforms nature can t h e i r a l s o be a need to dominate? Let us ex p l o r e the c o r r u p t i o n of power i n la Ville, s p e c i f i c a l l y as i t concerns the human domination of canine s o c i e t y . Whereas t e n s i o n has always e x i s t e d between dogs and humans, the most dogs ever s u f f e r e d was "...quelques coups de p i e d p a r - c i 9 p a r - l a . . . " . H i s t o r i c a l l y e x p l o i t e d t o k i l l r a t s and p r o t e c t e d by a n c i e n t law f o r t h i s very purpose, dogs now f i n d themselves a persecuted r a c e . They are trapped w i t h i n the p h y s i c a l boundaries of la Ville and some, l i k e domestic dogs, are imprisoned w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s of human s o c i e t y as w e l l . Undeniably, dogs are p a r t of human l i f e and are consequently absorbed or consumed by man's more powerful p o s i t i o n . 1 0 T h i s n o t i o n of a trapped s o c i e t y i s q u i t e e v i d e n t when the dogs are l i t e r a l l y b a r r i c a d e d i n s i d e an abandoned home and s l a u g h t e r e d : " L a i s s e z - l e s pas s o r t i r ! I I f a u t l e s t u e r la-dedans!" A ces mots, prononces par une v o i x humaine, l e s chiens se r e t o u r n e r e n t en b l o c . Ce q u ' i l s v i r e n t l e u r glaga l e sang: des hommes, 1 ' o e i l mauvais, armes q u i d'un gourdin, qui d'une fourche, b l o q u a i e n t l a porte, l e u r haute s t a t u r e dominant l e s betes... 1 1 The canine response i s not t o f l e e t o the p l a i n but to simply a v o i d the Coquin grimpant. During the second and f i n a l canine s l a u g h t e r , a group of over f i v e hundred dogs lead by V i r n a l are 1 2 trapped when they are " . . . a c c u l e s dans une impasse..." and massacred one by one. 43 Moreover, because dogs are both a domesticated pet and a source of food, they e x i s t on the f r o n t i e r between c i v i l i t y and a n i m a l i t y . T h i s s t a t u s f u r t h e r supports t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n as a trapped s o c i e t y i n t h a t they are caught between the c i v i l i z e d r o l e of pet and the animal r o l e of prey. The l i t e r a l a c t of devouring i s an e x p r e s s i o n of power, a form of domination. I t renders t h a t which i s eaten i n t o game and imposes upon i t an animal r o l e . Man's consumption of dog, t h e r e f o r e , attempts t o s t r i p the c i v i l nature of the c r e a t u r e and convert i t i n t o prey, l i t t l e more than f l e s h t o be consumed. Canine s o c i e t y r e f u t e s the r o l e of prey by i n s i s t i n g on the i n d i v i d u a l i t y of dogs. For example, when the news i s r e v e l e d t h a t a member of le Grand consell has been k i l l e d and eaten, the speaker h e s i t a t e s t o r e f e r t o a f e l l o w dog as simple meat, p r e f e r r i n g i n s t e a d t o i n d i c a t e the name of the dog: "Le p e t i t homme q u i v i e n t de mourir a mange de l a viande de ch i e n c e t 1 3 apres-midi, de l a . . . viande de Remieux...". G i v i n g a name t o the s l a u g h t e r e d dog d e p i c t s i t as a murder v i c t i m r a t h e r than a source of food and thereby r e i n s t a t e s and a f f i r m s i t s c i v i l i t y . In a d d i t i o n , we note t h a t vengeance i s not a p r i o r i t y of the animal world y e t dogs r e t a l i a t e a g a i n s t humans who attempt t o t r e a t them as prey. S h o r t l y a f t e r the dog's death i s announced, 1 4 the news i s r e v e a l e d t h a t "Remieux e s t venge! . Both the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and avenging of Remieux rep r e s e n t a r e f u t a t i o n of the animal r o l e which humans impose on them. Dogs are c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a sense of n o b i l i t y and s u p e r i o r i t y t o t h e i r supposed human masters. Even the name. Pr i n c e , and f o r t h a t matter the t i t l e of the novel suggest 44 n o b i l i t y . Although v e r b a l l y they cannot express s u p e r i o r i t y i n human language, v a r i o u s body g e s t u r e s support t h i s i d e a . From the beginning we remark how the e m i s s a i r e P r i n c e takes care t o leap a puddle of u r i n e when the Coquin walks through i t b a r e f o o t . P r i d e i n n o n s e r v i l i t y r e f l e c t s t h i s a t t i t u d e as w e l l . V i r n a l at the 1 5 canine assembly boasts t h a t he has no maitre humain. As w e l l , the monster M a k r i b i observes t h a t V i r n a l ' s i n i t i a l g e s ture i s an attempt t o k i l l him and comments t h a t such an a c t i o n shows he i s 1 6 not a domestic dog. Indeed the noble image they p o r t r a y renders i r o n i c t h e i r name used as an i n s u l t . When Ronule and M a k r i b i attempt t o s e l l o v e r p r i c e d dog meat to a p e n n i l e s s crowd of hungry Coquins, the angry mob shouts, "...'Trop cher!', 1 7 'Voleurs!', *Chiens!'...". The q u e s t i o n immediately a r i s e s as to who i n la Ville r e p r e s e n t the r e a l chiensl Even Meliba, G r a l i g e a n ' s spy i n the Coquin grimpant, r e f e r s t o the m i l i t i a and i t s a u t h o r i t y by saying, "Les chiens sont m e i l l e u r s qu'eux 1 8 a u t r e s . . . " . I t should a l s o be noted t h a t , i n c o n t r a s t t o the savage Coquins, the dogs' s o c i e t y i s extremely ordered and c o o p e r a t i v e and, thus, d e p i c t s i d e a l human s o c i a l v a l u e s . The r u l i n g c l a s s r e s i d e n t s of G r a l i g e a n and i t s Chateau, are t h a t a u t h o r i t y and are c h a r a c t e r i z e d by p r o s p e r i t y and power d e r i v e d from t h e i r mines and m i l i t i a m e n . Rousseau r a i s e s the q u e s t i o n of l e g i t i m a t e power w i t h i n s o c i e t y . S o c i a l i n e q u a l i t y , such as e x i s t s i n la Ville, i s due t o a s e r i e s of s o c i a l changes stemming from the establishment of property, government and, f i n a l l y , d e s p o t i c power: S i nous suivons l e progres de l ' i n e g a l i t e dans ces d i f f e r e n t e s r e v o l u t i o n s , nous trouverons que 1'etablissement de l a l o i et du d r o i t de p r o p r i e t e f u t son premier terme, 1 ' i n s t i t u t i o n de l a m a g i s t r a t u r e l e second, que l e t r o i s i e m e 45 et d e r n i e r f u t l e changement du pouvoir l e g i t i m e en pouvoir a r b i t r a i r e ; en s o r t e que 1'etat de r i c h e et de pauvre f u t a u t o r i s e par l a premiere epoque, c e l u i de p u i s s a n t et de f a i b l e par l a seconde, et par l a t r o i s i e m e c e l u i de maitre et d 'esclave, q u i e s t l e d e r n i e r degre de 1 ' i n e g a l i t e , et l e terme auquel a b o u t i s s e n t e n f i n tous l e s a u t r e s , jusqu'a ce que de n o u v e l l e s r e v o l u t i o n s d i s s o l v e n t t o u t a f a i t l e gouvernement, ou l e rapprochent de 1 ' i n s t i t u t i o n l e g i t i m e . 1 Q We remark t h a t the G r a l i g e a n n o i s own the mines and, t h e r e f o r e , the wealth of la Ville as w e l l as govern with no sense of j u s t i c e as they c o n s i d e r themselves exempt from la loi canine. I t would seem t h a t , a c c o r d i n g t o Rousseau, la Ville i s i n the f i n a l stage of s o c i a l i n e q u a l i t y ; the phase where l e g i t i m a t e power i s s a c r i f i c e d t o t y r a n n i c a l r u l e . The body of a G r a l i g e a n r e s i d e n t communicates the impression of i n n ate p h y s i c a l f r a i l t y . For example, the son of the seigneur de Maistries succumbs due to the consumption of t a i n t e d dog meat which he i s p h y s i c a l l y unable t o d i g e s t . U n l i k e the Coquins, they are not immune to the waters of the r u i s s e a u B l e u . Power, t h e r e f o r e , does not come to them from p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h . On the con t r a r y , they depend h e a v i l y on a l l s o c i e t i e s , human and otherwise, t o support t h e i r r u l e . From the monsters comes the p h y s i c i a n M a k r i b i , the only one of h i s s p e c i e s allowed t o enter the c o n f i n e s of the Chateau. The governor, though d i s g u s t e d by the monster's appearance, has need of h i s medical e x p e r t i s e f o r h i s c o n d i t i o n . For a source of food, the G r a l i g e a n n o i s r e l y on the canine s o c i e t y even though dogs are p r o t e c t e d by law. L a s t l y , they r e c r u i t miners and m i l i t i a m e n from the working c l a s s q u a r t e r known as P e t r a j i e f o r labour and p r o t e c t i o n . Rousseau again notes t h a t the r u l i n g of the weak i s another u n n a t u r a l s t a t e i n t h a t i t goes a g a i n s t nature's own law of the s u r v i v a l of the f i t t e s t . Wealth and the ownership of p r o p e r t y r e q u i r e s the establishment 46 of laws t o p r o t e c t i t . Therefore, the r i c h soon l e a r n t o manipulate the lower c l a s s e s i n t o the maintenance of t h e i r counter nature e x i s t e n c e . G r a l i g e a n a u t h o r i t y i s based on an i n c o r r e c t a r t i c u l a t i o n of r e a l i t y , a v e r b a l m i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the' way t h i n g s are. For example, K r o k n e l l has no d i f f i c u l t y i n o r c h e s t r a t i n g the f i n a l canine s l a u g h t e r , g i v e n the t e n s i o n which s t i l l e x i s t s i n la Ville. He p r o f i t s from human d i s t r u s t and misunderstanding of canine s o c i e t y t o spread u n t r u t h s concerning dogs and thereby i n i t i a t e s the v i o l e n c e . Dogs are unable to r e f u t e human d i s c o u r s e as they are i n c a p a b l e of communication i n human terms. When V i r n a l t r i e s t o communicate with humans v i a a t h i r d p a r t y , the monster M a k r i b i , the attempt ends i n f a i l u r e as M a k r i b i s t a t e s 2 0 c a t e g o r i c a l l y t h a t he i s not the envoye des chiens. As we have seen, the dogs r e l y on nonverbal e x p r e s s i o n : s e l f - p o i s o n i n g , v i o l e n t r e p r i s a l and b o d i l y e x p r e s s i o n s of n o b i l i t y and s u p e r i o r i t y . Let us t u r n now to an examination of the Coquins to observe the nonvocal manner i n which they r e f u t e G r a l i g e a n domination. Coquin grimpant i s the q u a r t e r most f e a r e d and l e a s t understood. We have a l r e a d y mentioned i t s dark subterranean elements. But what of the Coquins, the Blue men as they are otherwise c a l l e d . In an obscure and dangerous environment, even t h e i r name Coquin i m p l i e s t r e a c h e r y . From a s u r f a c e p r o s p e c t i v e t h e i r animal nature i s most n o t i c e a b l e . Savage and t e r r i t o r i a l c r e a t u r e s they l e a d a b a r e f o o t and i s o l a t e d e x i s t e n c e . L i k e animals they mate i n s t e a d of marry. They are a f e r t i l e race who bear t h e i r c h i l d r e n i n m u l t i p l e b i r t h s and p i c k up the young by 47 the s c r u f f of the neck. Most important i n the animal image i s the idea of s u r v i v a l of the f i t t e s t . Coquins show no i n t e r e s t i n h e l p i n g o t h e r s of t h e i r race and f i g h t f o r the few scraps of sustenance which e x i s t i n t h e i r environment. To t h i s extent they r e p r e s e n t the o p p o s i t e of Rousseau's idea of n a t u r a l man i n t h a t they e x h i b i t no i n n a t e idea of p i t y or compassion towards o t h e r s of t h e i r r a c e . A c c o r d i n g t o Rousseau, compassion i s the elemental emotion which reason d e s t r o y s : II e s t done b i e n c e r t a i n que l a p i t i e e s t un sentiment n a t u r e l , q u i , moderant dans chaque i n d i v i d u l ' a c t i v i t e de 1'amour de soi-meme, concourt a l a c o n s e r v a t i o n mutuelle de t o u t e l ' e s p e c e . C'est e l l e qui nous p o r t e sans r e f l e x i o n au secours de ceux que nous voyons s o u f f r i r ; c ' e s t e l l e q u i , dans 1'etat de nature, t i e n t l i e u de l o i s , de moeurs et de v e r t u , avec cet avantage que n u l n'est t e n t e de d e s o b e i r a sa douce v o i x : c ' e s t e l l e q u i detournera t o u t sauvage robuste d'enlever a un f a i b l e enfant ou a un v i e i l l a r d i n f i r m e sa s u b s i s t a n c e acquise avec peine, s i lui-meme espere pouvoir t r o u v e r l a sienne a i l l e u r s . . . 2 1 C e r t a i n l y , Ronule's squabbles f o r food i n the r u i s s e a u Bleu or h i s i n d i f f e r e n c e towards the wounded Coquin he sees stumble out the door of the taverne du Pore would seem to i n d i c a t e a l a c k of pitie us Rousseau c a l l s i t . The Coquin s o c i e t y i s one steeped i n impotence. T h e i r dependance on the whims of the r u i s s e a u Bleu and the garbage other neighbourhoods throw away i n d i c a t e s a l a c k of c o n t r o l over t h e i r c o n d i t i o n . Day to day s u r v i v a l i s not determined by them but by the f o r t u n e of what f l o a t s by. Furthermore, Coquins are powerless to leave t h e i r impoverished q u a r t e r and are t h e r e f o r e c o n f i n e d to these circumstances. N a t u r a l l y , f r u s t r a t i o n a r i s e s from the i n a b i l i t y t o c o n t r o l ones d e s t i n y . When Ronule r e t u r n s empty handed and unable t o p r o v i d e food f o r h i s f a m i l y , h i s enraged mate Gamelle chases him 48 out t o resume h i s food search i n the r u i s s e a u B l e u . In a barren environment, of course, h i s t a s k i s made a l l the more d i f f i c u l t and when he i s robbed of h i s p r i z e chunk of g r e e n i s h meat, Ronule can stand no more. He vents h i s f r u s t r a t i o n by k i c k i n g the s m a l l dog he f i n d s when e x i t i n g the water and walks o f f "...sans but, 2 2 l a t e t e p l e i n e de c e t t e viande q u i l u i a v a i t echappe,...". The f r u s t r a t i o n , the hunger, and e s p e c i a l l y the i n c a p a c i t y t o change or overcome h i s p l i g h t , a l l combine t o form a s i t u a t i o n which i g n i t e s w i t h the a c q u i s i t i o n of a mysterious c l u b . Made of a hard wood, i t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t i t i s made from the natol as, "Vu l'absence de t o u t e a u t r e espece de v e g e t a t i o n , i l e s t s t r i c t e m e n t i n t e r d i t , pour quelque r a i s o n que ce s o i t , d ' a b a t t r e 23 ces a r b r e s . " . T h i s o b s e r v a t i o n assumes i t i s a f o r e i g n element int r o d u c e d i n t o the s i t u a t i o n at an opportune time. A simple t h e f t at f i r s t , we note t h a t once the club i s i n h i s p o s s e s s i o n , changes begin to occur i n Ronule: . . . i l s ' a r r e t a , a bout de s o u f f l e , pour p a l p e r 1'arme q u ' i l v e n a i t de derober. Le baton, q u i l u i a r r i v a i t presque au cou, e t a i t f a i t d'un b o i s t r e s dur et p e s a i t autant que s ' i l eut ete en metal, du moins i l parut t e l a Ronule. I I l e t a t a longuement, a 1'aveuglette, de ses mains moites de sueur, p u i s , sans b i e n s a v o i r ce q u ' i l f a i s a i t , emporte par une s o r t e d ' i v r e s s e , i l r e t o u r n a a grands pas a l a taverne du P o r c . 2 4 The club i s a symbol of power, something Ronule has never held, and r e p r e s e n t s a move from savagery to the c i v i l i z e d usage of t o o l s . C ontrary to the w r i t t e n law, i t r e p r e s e n t s a nonverbal e x p r e s s i o n of power. Once i n h i s p o s s e s s i o n , i t has a marked e f f e c t on him and he i s d e s c r i b e d as being c a r r i e d away by a s o r t of i n e b r i a t i o n . Driven by f r u s t r a t i o n and the animal i n s t i n c t s of s u r v i v a l , Ronule uses t h i s power and k i l l s a dog i n a machine l i k e , almost u n i n t e n t i o n a l g e s t u r e : 49 La t e t e l u i t o u r n a i t et, un moment, i l pensa a p a r t i r . P uis i l se d i t q u ' i l a l l a i t chasser l e s chiens avec son baton et le c h e r ce q u i r e s t e r a i t de sang quand soudain 1'un d'eux, l e pl u s p e t i t , marcha v e r s l u i pour s ' a r r e t e r a 1'extrSme l i m i t e du halo de lumiere. Ronule e l e v a machinalement son baton; i l f i t un pas, a b a t t i t son gourdin sur l a bete. Les r e i n s b r i s e s nets, 1'animal tomba sur l e ve n t r e avec un f a i b l e s o u p i r . _ c Z D K i l l i n g a dog i s a simple and d i r e c t p h y s i c a l r e f u t a t i o n of the Gr a l i g e a n ' s v e r b a l law. With one s w i f t body motion Ronule has reve r s e d the nature of h i s predicament and i s thus completely transformed. He has taken c o n t r o l of h i s e x i s t e n c e and the changes are numerous. No longer i n f e a r of h i s environment, he takes the q u i c k e s t route home along s t r e e t s and g a l l e r i e s " . . . p r o p i c e s aux embuscades". Furthermore, "Sa f a t i g u e , sa f a i b l e s s e e t meme sa faim..." have disappeared so t h a t he no 2 6 longer f e e l s the weight of the clu b and dog. Confidence and st r e n g t h , t h e r e f o r e , are exp r e s s i o n s of t h i s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . Let us continue t o ex p l o r e the body language of Ronule's d e f i a n c e . The k i l l i n g of the dog s i g n i f i e s the s t a r t of a breakdown of taboo concerning canine s o c i e t y . C o nditioned by the n o b i l i t y t o f e a r the m i l i t i a and the laws they enforce, the Coquins have never questioned t h a t a u t h o r i t y . Therefore, when Ronule proudly b r i n g s home h i s prey, Gamelle echoes the standard Coquin 27 sentiment by s a y i n g : " On n'a pas l e d r o i t . " . T h i s i s again evident i n the taverne au Trou, where the Coquin patrons and e s p e c i a l l y the owner P e t i t L o u i s are shocked at Ronule's r e p e t i t i o n of h i s f e a t . C o n d i t i o n e d t o f e a r t h a t which they are taught i s i n c o r r e c t , Ronule t e r r o r i z e s the c l i e n t a l by v i o l e n t l y b u t c h e r i n g and devouring h i s second dog. T y p i c a l l y , P e t i t L o u i s cleans away the blood and b u r i e s the corpse so as to suppress any 50 d i s r u p t i o n t o the impotent y e t secure s o c i e t y he has known. Here we have another nonvocal e x p r e s s i o n . By p u b l i c l y b u t c h e r i n g the dog, Ronule i s making an unspoken announcement t o h i s f e l l o w Coquins which i f v e r b a l i z e d would s t a t e t h a t they need no longer r e s p e c t G r a l i g e a n a u t h o r i t y j u s t because they are t o l d t o . In s h o r t , Coquins are capable of c o n t r o l l i n g t h e i r own d e s t i n y . Simply put, Ronule i s no longer content t o p a s s i v e l y wait f o r meals to f l o a t by i n the r u i s s e a u B l e u f o r he can a c t i v e l y hunt h i s own prey. He i s r e v e l i n g i n h i s new found power. His p h y s i c a l a s s a u l t of the drunk i n the same pub where he butchers the dog, t h e r e f o r e , i s not so much an a c t of c r u e l t y as i t i s another s p e e c h l e s s demonstration of newly a c q u i r e d a g g r e s s i o n . Furthermore, Ronule's a t t i t u d e spreads q u i c k l y t o other Blue men. The pub patrons who witness the s l a u g h t e r are s y m b o l i c a l l y b a p t i s e d with dog's blood as Ronule t o s s e s i t s heart, 2 8 "...crachant de sang au m i l i e u des buveurs...". However, whereas a baptism ceremony has a c i v i l , r e l i g i o u s f u n c t i o n , here we see a r e v e r s a l of symbolism. Although m a i n t a i n i n g a form s i m i l a r t o a sacred event, the Coquins' a c t i o n s r e v e a l a b r u t a l , animal l i k e nature. Moreover, v i o l e n c e and d i s o b e d i e n c e to the law are the r e s u l t s of the Coquin baptism and again we see a r e v e r s a l of the C h r i s t i a n ceremony. Ronule's a c t c o n s t i t u t e s another p h y s i c a l g esture which communicates a meaning. Once t a i n t e d with the blood, the onlookers are converted to Ronule's way of t h i n k i n g which i s the r e j e c t i o n of v e r b a l law i n favour of animal s u r v i v a l . Those t h a t gather at the r u i s s e a u B l e u the f o l l o w i n g day d i s c u s s and repeat the v i o l e n t event with more c o n v e r t s : 51 Le Coquin a r r i v e en d e r n i e r s'avanca sans b r u i t et, a l a s u r p r i s e des a u t r e s , i l se j e t a de t o u t son long sur 1'animal. Un hurlement de t e r r e u r echappa a 1'epagneul qui g l i s s a dans l'eau avec son a s s a i l l a n t . ( . . . ) Le hurlement de 1'animal a v a i t g l a c e l e s Coquins groupes sur l a r i v e et, pendant un long moment aucun ne bougea. P u i s l'un d'eux, e n f i n , se decida a e n t r e r dans l'eau e t, 1 ' i n s t a n t d'apres, i l s e t a i e n t quatre ou c i n q dans l e r u i s s e a u , a t a p e r sur l e c h i e n a coups de p o i n g s . 2 g Again the idea of baptism i s i n t i m a t e d by the immersion i n the r u i s s e a u B l e u . I t i s a l s o i r o n i c t h a t the movement to take charge of t h e i r f a t e gains momentum i n the very r i v e r t h a t has always symbolized the impotence of the Coquins. The r u i s s e a u B l eu r e c a l l s the c r e a t i o n symbolism of water, the c l e a n s i n g of o l d ways, i n b r i e f , a symbolism which suggest a r e b i r t h i n t h i n k i n g . The solemnity of the o c c a s i o n i s f u r t h e r emphasized when the dead dog's paw i s passed around and t a s t e d by a s m a l l group of Coquins i n a a c t which resembles a communion ceremony: " E l l e f i t l e t our et chacun gouta a l a viande, p u i s e l l e r e v i n t au 30 p r o p r i e t a i r e du couteau.". Whereas the C h r i s t i a n ceremony a f f i r m s the i n i t i a t i o n i n t o a group on a s p i r i t u a l l e v e l , food f o r the s o u l so to speak, the Coquin a c t i s again a r e v e r s e symbolism as i t denotes i n i t i a t i o n i n t o a group but only on a p h y s i c a l l e v e l . I t i s food f o r the body; the i n s t i n c t u a l animal search f o r nourishment. The nonverbal i n d i c a t i o n s of impending change are evident i n the t e x t . To r e i t e r a t e , we have a dominant human s o c i e t y where the poor are f r u s t r a t e d and powerless i n a s t e r i l e environment and the wealthy maintain an a r t i f i c i a l l u x u r y dependant on a l l other c l a s s e s and races i n the C i t y . However, the end of G r a l i g e a n dominance seems ev i d e n t and i s most g r a p h i c a l l y symbolised by the gangrenous limbs of the governor. R i n a l o b u l e ' s power i s f a l l i n g i n t o decay j u s t as i s h i s body. Furthermore, the death of twenty-three of the Chateau's youth due to the consumption of poisoned dog, i n d i c a t e s a heavy blow t o the f u t u r e of G r a l i g e a n . The d e s t r u c t i o n of t h e i r youth means an era i s coming t o a c l o s e . As the vice-gouverneur climbs the s t a i r s t o v i s i t h i s dying son, he encounters a f a l l e n t o r c h which he does not stoop t o p i c k up. The l i g h t symbolises a d e c l i n e of t h e i r empire and even h i s son's name, M i c l 6 , suggests c l o s u r e and end. In dog s o c i e t y , V i r n a l r e c e i v e s a s i m i l a r bad omen when he encounters the deformed body of a b l a c k raven j u s t b e f o r e s e t t i n g o f f i n t o the p l a i n i n search of M a k r i b i : Peu avant d ' a r r i v e r a 1'oree de l a p l a i n e , l e ch i e n c r o i s a une v i e i l l e femme h a b i l l e e de n o i r q ui promenait au bout d'une f i c e l l e un corbeau a m o i t i e deplume; l ' o i s e a u a v a i t 1'anus bombe, de l a grosseur d'une t e t e de c h i o t . A cause de son i n f i r m i t e , i l marchait en se dehanchant d'une maniere comique. La v i e i l l e s'arr£ta et regarda passer l e chien en r i c a n a n t ; p r i s d'une peur i r r a i s o n n e e , V i r n a l fonca a t o u t e s jambes ver s l a p l a i n e . 0 , 31 The ominous message of t h i s passage i s e v i d e n t . An e l d e r l y woman i n mourning and the black raven are both symbols which do not augur w e l l f o r the dogs' f u t u r e . Moreover, we a l s o note the leas h , symbol of d o m e s t i c a t i o n and s e r v i l i t y i n canine s o c i e t y . V i r n a l , f a ced with such an image, f l e e s i n t o the p l a i n i n t e r r o r w ith the u n r e a l i s t i c hope of f i n d i n g s a l v a t i o n i n M a k r i b i , a monster whose e x i s t e n c e i s only rumoured. Near the end of the novel, the n a r r a t i o n adopts a j o u r n a l i s t i c s t y l e which augments the v e r i s i m i l i t u d e of the events. I n c i d e n t s are r e l a t e d t o us as i f they were w e l l documented h i s t o r i c a l events, o f t e n with an approximate time: Vers l e s deux heures et demie du matin, a l o r s que t o u t dormait, e n v i r o n deux m i l l e hommes Bleus ou s o i - d i s a n t hommes Bleus, comme 1 ' a f f i r m e r e n t p l u s t a r d l e s authentiques Coquins, encore qu'on n ' a i t jamais vraiment su q u i i l s e t a i e n t e n v i r o n deux m i l l e hommes Bleus, venus, d i t - o n , de l a p l a i n e , se repandaient subrepticement dans l e Coquin g r i m p a n t . 3 2 The r e a l i t y of the more grotesque events i s a l l the more strengthened by r e f e r e n c e s to a w r i t t e n h i s t o r y of la Ville: Au cours de l a n u i t , s i l ' o n en c r o i t l e s annales, l e s h a b i t a n t s du q u a r t i e r f i r e n t sept ou h u i t buchers du genre. Le p l u s gros, qu'on dressa en p l e i n c e n t r e de P e t r a j i e , a u r a i t ete c o n s t i t u e de p l u s de deux m i l l e c h i e n s . Les flammes, pretend-on, montaient p l u s haut que l e Chateau et e c l a i r a i e n t t o u t e l a V i l l e . 3 3 The h i s t o r i c a l l i k e r e f e r e n c e s i n these quotes seem t o imply another human d i s t o r t i o n of t r u t h as the n a r r a t o r i n both cases sheds doubt on the v e r i t y of the f a c t s s t a t e d . Whereas v e r b a l or w r i t t e n h i s t o r y seems to r e c a l l and misrepresent the past, p l a c i n g the blame f o r the s l a u g h t e r u n j u s t l y on Coquin s o c i e t y , the blood s t a i n e d body of m i l i t a r y commander K r o k n e l l s t a t e s a present time t r u t h t h a t he and h i s m i l i t i a are r e s p o n s i b l e . J u s t as h i s c u l p a b i l i t y i s expressed n o n v e r b a l l y , so too does the f i n a l g e s t u r e of Petrus and Nina, k i l l i n g and m u t i l a t i n g K r o k n e l l , communicate an unspoken message of revenge and d e f i a n c e . To r e t u r n f u l l c i r c l e and once again examine the topography of the t e x t , we note t h a t i n the map which the author s u p p l i e s f o r us, the shape of la Ville, the a c t u a l body of the c i t y so t o speak, i s not u n l i k e an egg. Could t h e r e be a r e b i r t h symbolism evident i n the body of la Ville and, t h e r e f o r e , i n the t e x t i t s e l f ? As w e l l , what can we p e r c e i v e from the m o l e h i l l image of Coquin grimpant? I t s underground g a l l e r i e s are f e r t i l e ground f o r the germination of new i d e a s . F e c u n d i t y and d u r a b i l i t y , both important t o the Coquin's s u r v i v a l , help these ideas take r o o t . 54 F i n a l l y , we note the f a i r y - t a l e aspect of the Ch&teau and, t h e r e f o r e , of i t s i n h a b i t a n t s way of l i f e . Does t h i s suggest the eventual demise of G r a l i g e a n s o c i e t y ? I t i s d i f f i c u l t t o say what new order would s p r i n g from the end of G r a l i g e a n r u l e . Each race has always managed i t s own a f f a i r s and t h e r e seems no reason t o b e l i e v e t h a t t h i s would change g i v e n the d i v e r s i t y and the l a c k of communication between the t h r e e s o c i e t i e s . C e r t a i n l y , the human s o c i e t y has l o s t c r e d i b i l i t y but with the canine p o p u l a t i o n decimated and the monsters remaining n e u t r a l , i t seems u n l i k e l y t h a t t h e r e w i l l be an end t o human supremacy i n la Ville. Change i s most l i k e l y t o occur i n the form of a re f o r m a t i o n of the c l a s s s t r u c t u r e i n the l e a s t s o c i a l l y developed of the thr e e races, the human ra c e . Yet could the animal l i k e Coquins dominate la Ville i n a l e s s v i o l e n t f a s h i o n than t h e i r G r a l i g e a n c o u n t e r p a r t s ? Would Coquin r u l e a l t e r human i n t e r a c t i o n with the other two s p e c i e s as a r e s u l t ? F i n a l l y , from where would they d e r i v e t h e i r a u t h o r i t y t o r u l e ? A u t h o r i t y t o govern, a c c o r d i n g t o an a r t i c l e by Diderot i n L'Encyclopedie, i s d e r i v e d from e i t h e r brute f o r c e or the consent of those who are governed: Aucun homme n'a rec u de l a nature l e d r o i t de commander aux a u t r e s . La l i b e r t e e s t un present du c i e l , et chaque i n d i v i d u de l a meme espece a l e d r o i t d'en j o u i r a u s s i t o t q u ' i l j o u i t de l a r a i s o n . S i l a nature a e t a b l i quelque autorite, c ' e s t l a puissance p a t e r n e l l e : mais l a puissance p a t e r n e l l e a ses bornes; et dans 1'etat de nature e l l e f i n i r a i t a u s s i t d t que l e s enfants s e r a i e n t en e t a t de se conduire. Toute autre autorite v i e n t d'une aut r e o r i g i n e que l a nature. Qu'on examine b i e n et on l a f e r a t o u j o u r s remonter a 1'une de ces deux sources: ou l a f o r c e et l a v i o l e n c e de c e l u i qui s'en e s t empare, ou l e consentement de ceux q u i s'y sont soumis par un c o n t r a t f a i t ou suppose entre eux et c e l u i a qu i i l s ont def e r e 1' autorite. _„ As p r e v i o u s l y s t a t e d , r e s i d e n t s of the Coquin grimpant are c h a r a c t e r i z e d by s t r e n g t h and f e r t i l i t y . They are capable of assuming power but i t would be c o n t r o l secured through v i o l e n c e and f o r c e . Yet would t h i s not re p r e s e n t a step backwards, a r e g r e s s i o n back t o a savage s t a t e where might r u l e s ? The f e r t i l e and robust image of Coquin s o c i e t y does not g i v e cause f o r optimism as i t r e p r e s e n t s no c r e a t i v e or p o s i t i v e f o r c e i n la Ville. No c l a s s i n human s o c i e t y appears t o have the answer. While monster and dog continue t o evolve, man continues t o devolve. Perhaps the only s o l u t i o n i s an end t o human domination i n la Ville but the t e x t only h i n t s a t t h i s c o n c l u s i o n and the reader i s l e f t t o s p e c u l a t e . 56 Notes Jacques Benoit, Les P r i n c e s (Montreal: Stanke, Quebec 10/10, 1981), p.21 . 2 Benoit, p.79. 3 Benoit, pp.15-6. 4 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Di s c o u r s sur 1 o r i g i n e de  1 ' i n e g a l i t e ( P a r i s : L i b r a i r i e Larousse, 1972), p.71. 5 Benoit, p.20. 6 Benoit, p.25. 7 Benoit, pp.19-20. When M a k r i b i suggests t o the governor t h a t the G r a l i g e a n n o i s should i m i t a t e the monsters and eat r a t s and i n s e c t s , he r e p l i e s , " Nous n'aimons n i l e r a t n i l e s i n s e c t s . " (p.120) . 9 Benoit, p.62. 1 0 U n l i k e monsters, dogs order t h e i r s o c i e t y a c c o r d i n g t o the g e o g r a p h i c a l boundaries of human neighbourhoods and i n h a b i t la Ville i n s t e a d of the p l a i n . For example, i n the f i r s t chapter d e s c r i p t i o n of the complex canine s o c i e t y we l e a r n t h a t at l e a s t two l e v e l s of t h e i r h i e r a r c h y , the chefs de groupe and the savants, are organized a c c o r d i n g t o the f o u r human q u a r t e r s . T h i s i s e v i d e n t i n the way i n which they d e f i n e themselves at the canine monthly assembly: " -- Mon nom e s t B a r t o u f l u . Je s u i s chef de groupe du t r o i s i e m e s e c t e u r de P e t r a j i e . . . " (p.58) and again, "~Mon nom e s t V i r n a l , . . . J e s u i s savant du cinquieme s e c t e u r de Nilaudant e " (p.70) . 11 Benoit, P- 145 1 2 Benoit, P- 1 68 1 3 Benoit, P- 66 . 14 Benoit, P. 65 . 1 5 Benoit, P- 70 . 1 6 Benoit, P- 95 . 1 7 Benoit, p. 156. 1 8 Benoit, p. 138 . 1 9 Rousseau, pp.85-6. 20 Benoit, p. 121 . 21 Rousseau, pp.58-9. 22 Benoit, p. 38 . 23 Benoit, p. 1 3 . 24 Benoit, p. 39 . 25 Benoit, p.40 . 26 Benoit, p.41 . 27 Benoit, p.42 . 28 Benoit, p. 1 09 . 29 Benoit, pp.127-8. 30 Benoit, p.130. 31 Benoit, pp.86-7. 32 Benoit, pp.163-4. 33 Benoit, pp.166-7. 34 Denis Diderot, L'Encyclopedie ou d i c t i o n n a i r e r aisonne des s c i e n c e s , des a r t s et des met i e r s , I ( P a r i s : B r i a s s o n , David, Le Breton, Durand, 1751), 898. 58 CHAPTER I I I The N a r r a t i v e Voyage of Gre g o i r e Rabouin Jacques B e n o i t ' s most re c e n t novel, G i s e l e et l e serpent, c o n t a i n s many f a n t a s t i c elements s i t u a t e d i n a contemporary Montreal s e t t i n g . I t i s a work which pres e n t s a s p a t i a l i t y i n c o r p o r a t i n g the ideas of c o n t i n u a l t r a n s p o r t a t i o n and t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , displacement, e r r a t i c movement, i n s h o r t , a t e x t i n constant motion which throws the reader i n t o a s t a t e of f l u x . The t e x t forms an imaginary u n i v e r s e teaming with f a n t a s t i c a l elements which have no l o g i c i n themselves. Therefore, we must explo r e a deeper l e v e l of the t e x t to uncover meaning i n the overwhelmingly v i o l e n t and sexual adventures of the p r i n c i p a l c h a r a c t e r , Doctor Grego i r e Rabouin and the p r o t a g o n i s t , G i s e l e R i b e a u l t . Rabouin, i s both hero and n a r r a t o r and the t e x t , w r i t t e n i n the f i r s t person n a r r a t i v e s t y l e , e x i s t s as both h i s s t o r y and as h i s c r e a t i o n . However, the c o n f i r m a t i o n t h a t G r e g o i r e i s the a c t u a l author of the t e x t i s d i s p l a c e d at the end of the novel i n the e p i l o g u e . The u n c e r t a i n t y c r e a t e d by t h i s w i t h h e l d i n f o r m a t i o n enhances the p l a y between the r e a l and the u n r e a l i n the n o v e l . R i c h i n meaning, the e p i l o g u e begins with h i s e x p l a n a t i o n f o r w r i t i n g the t e x t and ends with an a f f i r m a t i o n t h a t what the reader holds i n h i s hand i s indeed the l i t e r a r y c r e a t i o n of the n a r r a t o r , Rabouin: 59 . . . j e me j u r a l de r a c o n t e r ce que l e l e c t e u r m'a f a i t l'honneur de l i r e . ( . . . ) Ma s e u l e i n q u i e t u d e concerne mes enfants a q u i je n ' a i jamais s o u f f l e mot de t o u t c e l a . La s o l u t i o n s ' i l s me c r o i e n t derange e s t t o u t trouvee: je n ' a u r a i qu'a pretendre q u ' i l s ' a g i t b e l et bi e n d'un roman, comme j ' a i eu l a p r e c a u t i o n de f a i r e i n d i q u e r sur l a c o u v e r t u r e ^ His d e c i s i o n t o w r i t e the novel emanates from G i s e l e 1 s r e f u s a l t o be the d e s t i n e d audience f o r the ideas expressed i n h i s t e x t . She, i n e f f e c t , denounces the content of h i s s t o r y . A f t e r h i s marriage with G i s e l e , h i s f a n t a s i e s of magical d i s r u p t i o n are no longer an approachable s u b j e c t and th e r e i s a d e n i a l of the past and the a b e r r a t i o n s which came be f o r e : Jamais, t o u t e f o i s , i l n ' e t a i t q u e s t i o n e n t r e nous de l ' i n f i r m i t e dont j ' e t a i s a f f l i g e ( e l l e ne s'en f o r m a l i s a i t pas une miette, d ' a i l l e u r s ) n i des aventures n i des tourments que j ' a v a i s t r a v e r s e s . 2 As w e l l , d u r i n g an evening d i n n e r i n P a r i s , G r e g o i r e attempts t o b r i n g up the s u b j e c t of t h e i r adventures with the serpent Toutou and i s q u i c k l y hushed by G i s e l e . Faced with a c o n s e r v a t i v e bourgeois l i f e s t y l e and a l a c k of communication with h i s wife, perhaps the doct o r has no ch o i c e but t o express h i s f a n t a s i e s t o the reader i n a symbolic w r i t t e n account and, i n so doing, c r e a t e s the t e x t . I t i s G i s e l e ' s r e l u c t a n c e t o l i s t e n t o h i s s t o r y which suggests t h a t G r e g o i r e must express h i m s e l f i n a fa n t a s y format and, i n the context of h i s i m a g i n a t i v e n a r r a t i o n , we are f r e e t o d e r i v e a l t e r n a t e meaning i n i t s episodes. We have noted t h a t the t e x t i s h i s c r e a t i o n and, indeed, w i t h i n the t e x t t h e r e are s e v e r a l i n d i c a t i o n s t h a t Rabouin's s e c r e t d e s i r e i s t o be a w r i t e r and t h a t h i s l i f e w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s of a medical o f f i c e i s a p r a c t i c a l way to make h i s l i v i n g but not h i s r e a l p a s s i o n . T h i s he admits near the s t a r t of h i s t e x t as he d e s c r i b e s h i m s e l f i n Red Square with G i s e l e : 60 MoscouJ Moi q u i , dans ma jeunesse, l i s a i t avidement Tchekhov, medecin comme moi, et r e v a i s de deve n i r e c r i v a i n comme l u i . Mais, b i e n sur, une paresse c r a s s e et l e manque de t a l e n t me f a i s a i e n t remettre 1 ' a f f a i r e d'annee en annee et j e n'avais jamais e c r i t une l i g n e . 3 I t i s a l s o s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t when Rabouin pres e n t s the cahier noir to the Abbe Noyer as proof of the e x i s t e n c e of demons, the clergyman c o n s i d e r s i t t o be the do c t o r ' s c r e a t i o n and comments on h i s c r e a t i v i t y : "Vous etes medecin, mais vous a u r i e z f a i t a u s s i un t r e s bon romancier, d i t - i l f i n a l e m e n t en me l e remettant avec un mince s o u r i r e . Un Tcheckov moderne. Vous avez beaucoup d'i m a g i n a t i o n . To summarize, we have a s i t u a t i o n where the n a r r a t o r Rabouin admits t o the reader t h a t he has a d e s i r e t o be a w r i t e r but doubts he i s capable. On one l e v e l of the t e x t , the docto r a p p a r e n t l y l a c k s the confidence t o pursue h i s dream t o w r i t e y e t one of the cr e a t e d c h a r a c t e r s of h i s n a r r a t i o n i s c o n t r a d i c t i n g him and s t a t i n g t h a t , yes, Rabouin can be a w r i t e r l i k e Chekhov. J u s t as G i s e l e denies the f a n t a s i z e d adventures i n the d o c t o r ' s n a r r a t i v e , so does Noyer deny the a c t u a l i t y of the magical events d e s c r i b e d i n the t e x t . Moreover, h i s l i t e r a r y p r a i s e of the notebook r e p r e s e n t s both a c o n f i r m a t i o n of Rabouin's s e c r e t p a s s i o n f o r w r i t i n g and a f a n t a s i z e d r e a l i z a t i o n of t h a t p a s s i o n . We note as w e l l t h a t key elements of the f i n a l chapter may repre s e n t the i n s p i r a t i o n f o r the t e x t as a whole. For example, the Russian novel concerning an i n v a s i o n of demons i n Moscow, by the sho r t d e s c r i p t i o n given, seems t o p a r a l l e l G r e g o i r e ' s s t o r y i n i t s p l o t and p a r t i a l l y i n i t s s e t t i n g as Rabouin i s abducted and i n c a r c e r a t e d i n a Moscow j a i l c e l l i n chapter one of h i s account. As w e l l , Rabouin's v i s i t t o h i s mother i n h o s p i t a l a l l u d e s t o h i s medical p r o f e s s i o n and, t h e r e f o r e , t o the do c t o r 6 1 r o l e he p l a y s as hero of h i s t e x t . L a s t l y , c h a r a c t e r s of h i s n a r r a t i o n a re r e f e r r e d t o i n t h i s h o s p i t a l . The overheated r a d i a t o r s , a s e r p e n t i n e symbol, r e c a l l the demon snake Toutou and the homme sans tdte he sees pass i n the c o r r i d o r i s , of course, B r a z e a u l t , one of Toutou's m u t i l a t e d v i c t i m s . Since G r e g o i r e ' s p e r s o n a l experiences d e s c r i b e d i n the e p i l o g u e precede the a c t u a l c r e a t i o n of the novel and, at the same time, mimic the a b e r r a t i o n s d e s c r i b e d t h e r e i n , can we not p e r c e i v e a l i n k between the d o c t o r ' s p e r s o n a l l i f e and an imagined one, i n other words, between h i s r e a l l i f e experience and a f a n t a s i z e d experience expressed i n h i s n a r r a t i o n ? The t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of these elements i n t o a novel with Rabouin being the s e l f - p r o c l a i m e d author i n d i c a t e s the idea of a n a r r a t i v e journey of d i s c o v e r y . L i k e a f o r e s t t h a t the hero e x p l o r e s , the t e x t can be seen as an imaginary u n i v e r s e where the raw m a t e r i a l of the do c t o r ' s f a n t a s i e s become developed and take body i n the t e x t . The displacement between t h i s imaginary u n i v e r s e and the c o n v e n t i o n a l world i s allowed by v a r i o u s open doors and connecting l i n k s , such as the e p i l o g u e . These l i n k s permit a m e t a p h o r i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of f a n c i f u l elements i n the t e x t such t h a t they can s i g n i f y t r u t h s about the doctor/author. The d o c t o r ' s r o l e of w r i t e r and hero poses i n t e r e s t i n g problems, s p e c i f i c a l l y concerning G i s e l e ' s c h a r a c t e r . I t should be noted t h a t she never a c t i v e l y speaks f o r h e r s e l f . Her a c t i o n s and words are r e l a t e d t o us v i a Rabouin's n a r r a t i o n and, t h e r e f o r e , she too may e x i s t s o l e l y as h i s l i t e r a r y c r e a t i o n . E s s e n t i a l l y , i t i s l e f t up t o the reader t o decide whether she e x i s t s or whether she i s j u s t a f a n t a s y of the n a r r a t o r . T h i s 62 u n c e r t a i n t y concerning her s t a t u s urges us t o examine how she as a f o r c e a c t s i n Gr e g o i r e ' s l i f e ; not as G i s e l e , the bourgeois housewife but as G i s e l e , a c t i v e agent i n the doc t o r ' s psyche. The p l a y between the two n a r r a t o r s , between G i s e l e ' s notebook and Gre g o i r e ' s novel, e s t a b l i s h e s the c o n f u s i o n of G i s e l e R i b e a u l t and Gregoir e Rabouin. I t i s the same ambiguity which i s a t the nucleus of the novel and which p r o p e l s the e r r a t i c movement of the t e x t . The c e n t r a l c o n f u s i o n between r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n , e x i s t e n c e and nonexistence, w r i t e r and ch a r a c t e r a l l stem from t h i s core d u a l i t y . As we can see by the f o l l o w i n g quote, the doctor admits t h i s i d e n t i t y c o n f u s i o n with G i s e l e : J'empoignai l e c a h i e r n o i r , je l ' o u v r i s et comme l a foudre l ' i d e e me frappa que c ' e t a i t moi q u i a v a i s e c r i t c e t t e c o n f e s s i o n . Bref, pendant l e s quelques i n s t a n t s que dura ma f o l i e , je c rus que j ' e t a i s G i s e l e R i b e a u l t . N ' a v a i s - j e pas t r a v a i l l e a d o l e s c e n t comme garcon de courses a Radio-Canada pendant un ete? n ' a v a i s - j e pas, a v i n g t ans, ete marie a une Suedoise prenommee Barbie, avec q u i j ' a v a i s d i v o r c e quelques annees p l u s t a r d ? Sauf pour l e sexe et des d e t a i l s , nous e t i o n s , 1'autre G.R. et moi, l a meme personne: e l l e a v a i t e l l e a u s s i t r a v a i l l e a Radio-Canada, son mari p l u t 6 t que sa femme---, e l l e l e nommait dans sa c o n f e s s i o n Barbiche, ou p l u s brievement Barbi... But what meaning can we gather from t h i s c o n f u s i o n of two c h a r a c t e r s whose name, past h i s t o r i e s as w e l l as n a r r a t o r r o l e s resemble each other? I f we p o s t u l a t e t h a t the correspondence between the two i n d i v i d u a l s suggests t h a t G i s e l e r e p r e s e n t s a p r o j e c t i o n of the doc t o r ' s i n n e r needs and a s p i r a t i o n s , then her experiences may t e l l us something about h i s c h a r a c t e r . For example, the chapter IV q u o t a t i o n of the cahier noir, or hallucinante confession as the docto r c a l l s i t , could c o n t a i n r e l e v a n t c l u e s t o Gr e g o i r e ' s own c h a r a c t e r i n t h a t we may p e r c e i v e i n each one of G i s e l e ' s achievements a d e s i r e on the doc t o r ' s p a r t t o emulate her. We have s t a t e d t h a t Rabouin's dual r o l e as both hero and n a r r a t o r supports the idea t h a t G i s e l e may-be h i s l i t e r a r y c r e a t i o n . In t h i s r e s p e c t , she may a l s o r e p r e s e n t a spokesperson f o r h i s hidden f e e l i n g s . Moreover, does not a c o n f e s s i o n r e p r e s e n t the i n i t i a l d e c l a r a t i o n of an in n e r c o n f l i c t and, t h e r e f o r e , could i t not, i n Rabouin's case, s i g n i f y the beginning of a pe r s o n a l r e v e l a t i o n , the launchin g of an i n t r o s p e c t i v e voyage, so to speak? Let us take a c l o s e r look at G i s e l e ' s cahier noir with a view t o i d e n t i f y i n g the s i g n i f i c a n c e of events i n her l i f e i n terms of the d o c t o r ' s c h a r a c t e r . G i s e l e ' s p h y s i c a l and emotional metamorphosis through the advent of a t a l k i n g snake c a l l e d T o u r n o u k r i e l or Toutou d e p i c t s a r e b i r t h of her c o r p o r e a l beauty. The serpent's p h y s i c a l presence i n s i d e of her i s o f t e n r e f e r r e d t o as an impregnation. For example, G i s e l e l i k e n s h e r s e l f t o a pregnant woman who f e e l s " . . . l e s coups de pie d s de son f o e t u s " . 6 The image of pregnancy i m p l i e s a r e b i r t h t h a t she owes t o the serpent. However, we may a l s o see t h i s as a s i n c e r e d e s i r e on the do c t o r ' s p a r t t o hi m s e l f be reborn. There i s i n t h i s quote a suggestion of G i s e l e ' s f e c u n d i t y concerning G r e g o i r e ' s w r i t i n g . She i s the i n s p i r a t i o n f o r Rabouin's c r e a t i v i t y , an image enhanced by the p a r a l l e l between the image of a k i c k i n g f o e t u s and one of G i s e l e ' s f u n c t i o n s i n the t e x t . Throughout the s t o r y , Rabouin a s s i g n s G i s e l e the r o l e of shaking up h i s monotone l i f e s t y l e . She i s , i n co n j u n c t i o n with Toutou, t h i s k i c k i n g f o e t u s i n the stomach of the blossoming w r i t e r . As the cahier noir d e s c r i b e s i t , G i s e l e begins t o waste away i n a s t a t e of d e p r e s s i o n due to a s e x l e s s marriage with a dominating husband she c a l l s B a r b i . Moreover, her husband l a c k s c r e a t i v i t y . T h i s i s evident when G i s e l e s t a t e s t h a t " . . . i l n'a 7 jamais accouche d'une s e u l e pensee p h i l o s o p h i q u e o r i g i n a l e . . . " . By exchanging B a r b i f o r the serpent T o u r n o u k r i e l , G i s e l e e f f e c t i v e l y abandons the r a t i o n a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l i z e d world of her p h i l o s o p h e r husband f o r the emotional and p h y s i c a l s a t i s f a c t i o n her serpent g i v e s her. Once again, G i s e l e i s a s s o c i a t e d with a f e r t i l e and p r o d u c t i v e s t a t e . Her f a n c i f u l c h a r a c t e r i s the means by which Rabouin w i l l have the o p p o r t u n i t y t o express h i s c r e a t i v i t y . L i k e the b i r t h image i n the p r e v i o u s example, the g e n e s i s of o r i g i n a l thought i s her c o n t r i b u t i o n to Rabouin. These o b s e r v a t i o n s taken from the b l a c k notebook and a p p l i e d to Rabouin i n d i c a t e t h a t he i s f r u s t r a t e d by a r a t i o n a l p r o f e s s i o n and, t h e r e f o r e , would l i k e t o renounce h i s r a t i o n a l s i d e and achieve a l i b e r a t i o n by f o l l o w i n g a more c r e a t i v e path. Rabouin's d e s i r e to w r i t e i s connected to h i s c r a v i n g f o r c r e a t i v i t y . The unblocking of h i s c r e a t i v e e x p r e s s i o n i s represented by ideas of s e d u c t i o n , confinement, or l i t e r a l l o s s of c o n t r o l and nowhere i s t h a t b e t t e r d e p i c t e d than i n h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with G i s e l e . Her a t t r a c t i v e and c o n s t a n t l y changing c h a r a c t e r i s the embodiment of the a c t i v e power of the w r i t e r and the magic power she e x e r t s over Rabouin helps to l i b e r a t e h i s c r e a t i v e d r i v e . The displacement and metamorphosis brought about by these magic e f f e c t s , t h e r e f o r e , permit a leap from r e a l i t y i n t o an imaginary u n i v e r s e , a jump which, i n the d o c t o r ' s case, r e p r e s e n t s a change from the r e a l i t y l e v e l of h i s s o c i a l and p r o f e s s i o n a l l i f e t o a l e v e l of f a n t a s y hidden below the s u r f a c e . Rabouin's n a r r a t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n s of G i s e l e emphasize her sexual a t t r a c t i v e n e s s . At the t e r r a s s e , the d o c t o r r e f e r s to G i s e l e as souverainement appetissante. In the Moscow p r i s o n she i s " . ..plus b e l l e que jamais, to u t e rose dans une robe rouge g incroyablement moulante". F i n a l l y , at the mental i n s t i t u t i o n , her semi-transparent nurse's uniform causes Rabouin to remark t h a t she must make the insane a moitie fous. C a p t i v a t e d by her beauty, G r e g o i r e ' s enchantment wi t h G i s e l e suggests a f a i r y - t a l e form to the s t o r y , an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n which would c o i n c i d e w e l l with G i s e l e ' s magic power. Moreover, the d o c t o r ' s obvious i n f a t u a t i o n f o r G i s e l e , a l b e i t somewhat sexual, supports her r o l e as a magical i n f l u e n c e i n h i s f a n t a s i e s . As G i s e l e ' s c h a r a c t e r i s p e r p e t u a l l y d e p i c t e d w i t h T o u r n o u k r i e l , she r e f l e c t s serpent connotations such as the idea of c o n s t r a i n t or confinement. T h i s i s e v i d e n t from the moment when the d o c t o r r e c o g n i z e s h i s e x - p a t i e n t at the t e r r a s s e and, " . . . p r i s d'une peur a u s s i soudaine q u ' i n e x p l i c a b l e . . . " , s t r u g g l e s 9 to loosen h i s n e c k t i e . N a t u r a l l y the ensuing i n c a r c e r a t i o n i n a Russian p r i s o n a l s o r e f l e c t s t h i s n o t i o n of being trapped. We must a l s o remark the two p l a c e s where Gregoi r e wakes up d u r i n g t h i s episode: f i r s t l y i n a c e l l i n a Moscow p r i s o n and secondly i n bed naked with G i s e l e . In t h i s episode, the d o c t o r i s c a p t i v a t e d i n i t s most l i t e r a l sense and not j u s t charmed by G i s e l e ' s a t t r a c t i v e appearance. We note a l s o the idea of displacement which re c o n f i r m s the magic a b i l i t y t o make l a r g e jumps between f a n t a s y and r e a l i t y . Rabouin's n a r r a t i o n p r o v i d e s us with f u r t h e r examples of magic and f a i r y t a l e . For example, the doctor o f t e n p o r t r a y s G i s e l e as the enchantress who c a s t s a s p e l l over him. At the t e r r a s s e she o f f e r ' s him couac, an i n e b r i a t i n g d r i n k which can be seen as a s o r t of witch's p o t i o n t h a t b r i n g s G r e g o i r e under her c o n t r o l . T h i s magic or m y s t i c a l s i d e t o G i s e l e r e l a t e s w e l l to r e l i g i o u s a s s o c i a t i o n s evident i n the t e x t . Indeed, Rabouin i s tempted and bewitched by G i s e l e who he d e s c r i b e s as endiablee. Of course, the serpent i s a s s o c i a t e d with e v i l and temptation, s p e c i f i c a l l y i t s symbolic value i n the Garden of Eden. The d e s t r u c t i o n of the c r o s s on top of mount Royal and the underground metro s t a t i o n meat market r e m i n i s c e n t of H e l l a l l i n d i c a t e r e l i g i o u s undertones. We remark as w e l l t h a t G i s e l e ' s f i r s t t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i n t o a snake occurs i n the water of her bath and, t h e r e f o r e , can be seen as a s o r t of baptism or r e b i r t h where G i s e l e adopts not only the form but the manner of the serpent and a l l i t r e p r e s e n t s . There i s a r e v e r s a l , however, of the idea behind C h r i s t i a n baptism as G i s e l e ' s i n i t i a t i o n i n t o Toutou's company of demons e n t a i l s a d e v o t i o n to d i s r u p t i o n and disharmony and, thus, p a r a l l e l s the opposing f o r c e t o C h r i s t i a n i t y e v i d e n t i n the other r e l i g i o u s symbolism a l l u d e d to i n the t e x t . We have grouped to g e t h e r s e v e r a l aspects of the G i s e l e c h a r a c t e r which unblock Rabouin's c r e a t i v i t y : s e d u c t i o n , confinement and enchantment manifested i n r e l i g i o u s a s s o c i a t i o n s . A l l of these elements seem to p o i n t to a l o s s of c o n t r o l , an e f f e c t most ev i d e n t when the d o c t o r meets f o r the f i r s t time l a F a r i n e , the human m a n i f e s t a t i o n of Toutou. T h e i r strange encounter on mount Royal ends up with the two s h a r i n g a tandem 67 b i c y c l e . The very f a c t t h a t Rabouin occupies the r e a r seat suggests t h a t he does not c o n t r o l the d i r e c t i o n nor c a r r y out h i s inn e r wishes. As w e l l , t h i s episode marks the s t a r t of a n o t i c e a b l e change i n the tone of the novel, a s h i f t i n the d i r e c t i o n of movement, so t o speak. Toutou has become an a c t i v e c h a r a c t e r i n the form of l a F a r i n e and G i s e l e begins t o exert a t o t a l c o n t r o l over Rabouin. As she re p r e s e n t s the doc t o r ' s c r e a t i v e f o r c e , her domination i s an i n d i c a t i o n t h a t G r e g o i r e begins t o obey h i s c r e a t i v e impulses. Most imp o r t a n t l y , we note t h a t e x t e r i o r c o n t r o l i s surrendered and, thus, Rabouin's n a r r a t i o n i s f o r c e d t o focus on a d e s c r i p t i o n of h i s i n n e r f e e l i n g s and thoughts as th a t i s a l l t h a t remains under h i s c o n t r o l . Loss of c o n t r o l , t h e r e f o r e , i s the way by which he en t e r s i n t o the imaginary u n i v e r s e i n s i d e of him. T h i s i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n the f o l l o w i n g passage where Gr e g o i r e and l a F a r i n e are on the tandem b i c y c l e : J ' e t a i s . . . comment d i r e ? En un mot, je me r e t r o u v a i s i n e x p l i c a b l e m e n t p r i v e de v o l o n t e et p l u t 6 t que de d e t a l e r a tout e s jambes comme je l ' a u r a i s voulu, je r e s t a i s b i e n calmement a s s i s sur ma s e l l e . Bien calmement, mais en apparence seulement: au dedans, je t r e m b l a i s , j ' a v a i s peur comme j'imagine qu'on a peur devant un phenomene d ' o r i g i n e s u r n a t u r e l l e , hors de portee de 1 ' e s p r i t humain. 1 Q The key idea i n t h i s quote i s perhaps the r e f e r e n c e t o a strong i n n e r f e a r . Often the doctor i s d e s c r i b e d as being f o r c e d on the ou t s i d e t o v o i c e meaningless phrases l i k e charmante soiree and, on the i n s i d e , wanting t o p r o t e s t vehemently a g a i n s t the a c t i v i t i e s i n which he i s being f o r c e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e . Beginning an i n v o l u n t a r y b i c y c l e t r i p , t h e r e f o r e , i s an image which symbolizes a n a r r a t i v e journey, an i n t e r i o r e x p l o r a t i o n of him s e l f through the w r i t i n g of the t e x t . Furthermore, i t i s 68 another example of e r r a t i c s p a t i a l movement. L i k e h i s c o n t i n u a l t r a n s p o r t v i a G i s e l e ' s g i f t of u b i q u i t y , i t i s a p h y s i c a l displacement which, i n i t s magical and i m a g i n a t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n , permits the doct o r t o escape the c o n f i n e s of h i s n o n c r e a t i v e l i f e s t y l e . We have mentioned t h a t s p a t i a l displacement i s c e n t r a l i n t h i s n o v e l . I t takes on many forms throughout the t e x t . For example, i n v e r s i o n and d i s o r d e r are fundamental i n G i s e l e ' s l i f e w ith Toutou and are q u i t e p r e v a l e n t i n her e f f e c t on Rabouin. We can see by the way i n which she dismantles the communist group at the CBC t h a t she i s a c h a r a c t e r with the a b i l i t y and the d e s i r e to f o s t e r c o n f u s i o n and pa n i c . Although she t e l l s them i n her se r p e n t i n e form t h a t she wishes to help them "...a remettre de 1'ordre dans l e monde", she achieves the opposite, causing an 1 1 h y s t e r i c a l uproar and disbanding the group. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note, t h e r e f o r e , t h a t her d i s r u p t i o n of Rabouin's l i f e i s an a t t a c k p r i m a r i l y on h i s c o n s e r v a t i v e l i f e s t y l e and e s p e c i a l l y on h i s p r o f e s s i o n a l l i f e as a doc t o r . For example, the i n i t i a l d i s t u r b a n c e , h i s t r i p t o Moscow wit h G i s e l e v i a her g i f t of u b i q u i t y , r e s u l t s i n him mi s s i n g a day of work. Instead of being i n h i s o f f i c e , the doctor i s i n G i s e l e ' s bed. Can we not p e r c e i v e i n the nature of t h i s d i s r u p t i o n a meaning? Perhaps Rabouin i s r e j e c t i n g the r a t i o n a l world of medicine i n favour of a s e c r e t p a s s i o n . His presence i n the bed of the se n s u a l and a t t r a c t i v e G i s e l e r a t h e r than i n the s t e r i l e environment of h i s medical o f f i c e seems t o i n d i c a t e a need t o escape and a search f o r s e n s u a l i t y t h a t can only be expressed i n a c r e a t i v e p u r s u i t . I t i s h i s p r o f e s s i o n a l l i f e , t h e r e f o r e , which 69 covers up and blo c k s h i s c r e a t i v i t y and, again, G i s e l e ' s magical c h a r a c t e r which p r o v i d e s the escape. As i n h i s t r i p t o Moscow, Gr e g o i r e ' s p r o f e s s i o n a l l i f e i s the t a r g e t of d i s o r d e r d u r i n g G i s e l e and l a F a r i n e ' s i n v a s i o n of h i s o f f i c e and, subsequently, the convention of p h y s i c i a n s at the Hot e l Reine E l i z a b e t h . Often r e f e r r e d t o as demons, we observe t h a t the d i s r u p t i o n which they cause i n the doc t o r ' s o f f i c e and i n the c i t y of Montreal are not j u s t random a c t s of e v i l . They tend t o f o l l o w the same p a t t e r n of i n v e r s i o n and c o n t r i b u t e t o t u r n i n g Rabouin's mundane world upside down. Most obvious i s the deformation of the language. Proper names such as Rabouin or Ribeault are transformed i n t o amusing 12 v a r i a t i o n s such as BaJbouin or Ribote and l a F a r i n e ' s chosen name, Barbin, i s completely i n v e r t e d becoming Binbar, BraniJb or 1 3 Narbbi. Apart from the i n v e n t i o n of n o n s e n s i c a l medical terms such as Bursitanacherite aigue, we see t h a t even b a s i c words of the medical p r o f e s s i o n such as medecin(e) become d i s t o r t e d i n t o medezin(ej. However, i t i s not j u s t language which becomes d i s t o r t e d . In seemingly i m p o s s i b l e o p e r a t i o n s , Rabouin's p a t i e n t s become m u t i l a t e d and, again, we note the i n v e r s i o n or r e v e r s a l theme; t h i s time d i r e c t l y e f f e c t i n g the do c t o r ' s p r a c t i c e . Organs are transposed or t r a n s p l a n t e d by other o b j e c t s . In i t s most l i t e r a l sense the i n v e r s i o n i s obvious with the m u t i l a t i o n of h i s p a t i e n t named B r a z e a u l t whose l e g s and arms are reversed so t h a t he walks 1 4 " . . . l a t e t e en bas et l e sexe en haut". The i n v e r s i o n of names and medical jargon, the m u t i l a t i o n of h i s p a t i e n t s , i n sho r t , the complete r e v e r s a l of h i s p r o f e s s i o n a l 70 world i s the s t r o n g e s t e x p r e s s i o n y e t of h i s d e s i r e t o r e j e c t the ordered c o n d i t i o n s of h i s c a r e e r and to f i n d a form of ex p r e s s i o n which i s e n t i r e l y o p p o s i t e t o h i s c u r r e n t l i f e s t y l e . Turning t o other episodes i n the t e x t , we observe the per v e r t e d s e x u a l i t y evident at an outward l e v e l i n the recreation de nuit. Here, i n an underground metro s t a t i o n , deformed c l i e n t s with d e v i a n t t a s t e s s e l e c t mental p a t i e n t s f o r sexual purposes: Chaque c l i e n t a v a i t ses gouts et ses exigences, c e r t a i n s , p l u s f o r t u n e s , emmenant jusqu'a t r o i s malades. A i n s i , une blonde oxygenee, minuscule, dans l e s cinquante-c i n q ans, enleva ses bagues et f o u r r a son d o i g t p o i n t u dans pas moins d'une qu i n z a i n e de rectums avant de se d e c i d e r de p a r t i r avec deux hommes et une femme. Autre cas remarquable, c e l u i d'un gros homme f l a s q u e , p l a c i d e , un s o u r i r e beat sur l e s l e v r e s , q ui exigea l e pl u s gros c l i t o r i s et arr§ta fi n a l e m e n t son choix, apres de minutieux examens, sur une femme grasse et blonde.,,. * 1 5 Sexual excess and p e r v e r s i o n i n t h i s passage are i n d i c a t i o n s of a magic power. They show Rabouin's a b i l i t y t o formulate a f a n t a s y s c e n a r i o of i n c r e d i b l e i m a g i n a t i o n . Indeed, the doctor r e f e r s t o th a t c r e a t i v e f o r c e when he s t a t e s t h a t "Seul un e c r i v a i n p r o f e s s i o n e l . . . " could d e s c r i b e the s p e c t a c l e b e f o r e h i m . 1 6 The abnormality of the appearance and de v i a n t sexual t a s t e s of the c l i e n t s who v i s i t t h e i r meat market known as a la Bonne Chair i l l u s t r a t e the degree t o which h i s power extends. I t i s important t o note t h a t i n t h i s scene l a F a r i n e p l a y s the r o l e of a p s y c h i a t r i s t . H i s adopted p r o f e s s i o n r e i n f o r c e s the n o t i o n t h a t Rabouin i s f i g h t i n g a g a i n s t the i n h i b i t i n g e f f e c t s of h i s p r o f e s s i o n . By s e t t i n g up a s c e n a r i o p o r t r a y i n g a d o c t o r / p a t i e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p counter t o one which you would expect i n h i s p r o f e s s i o n a l l i f e , G r e g o i r e has again t a r g e t e d h i s occupation i n h i s c r e a t i v e e x p r e s s i o n . We note elements i n t h i s quote t h a t seem t o parody h i s p r o f e s s i o n . For example, s e v e r a l gestures, 71 s p e c i f i c a l l y the i n s e r t i o n of a poi n t e d f i n g e r i n une quinzaine de rectums or the cho i c e of the woman with the l a r g e s t c l i t o r i s apres de minutieux examens, mimic medical procedures and, t h e r e f o r e , c o n s t i t u t e a mockery of the do c t o r ' s p r o f e s s i o n a l l i f e . The scenes of butchery which occur i n h i s o f f i c e are a l s o powerful d e s c r i p t i v e passages e n t a i l i n g magical o p e r a t i o n s . For example, l a F a r i n e ' s cure f o r the ve n e r e a l d i s e a s e of two of h i s p a t i e n t s i s t o transpose t h e i r sex organs with other p a r t s of t h e i r body. Again i f we i n t e r p r e t t h i s scene i n terms of the doct o r ' s s t i f l e d c r e a t i v i t y , we note the st r o n g e s t s u g g e s t i o n yet of a c r e a t i v e s p i r i t r epressed by h i s p r o f e s s i o n . Indeed, the f a c t t h a t the m u t i l a t i n g a t t a c k on the sex organ of h i s p a t i e n t s occurs i n h i s o f f i c e under the g u i s e of a medical o p e r a t i o n i s a d i r e c t condemnation of h i s occupation as a f o r c e which deforms c r e a t i v i t y . We have remarked the c r e a t i v e e f f e c t of Toutou i n G i s e l e ' s l i f e through the e l i m i n a t i o n of her unimaginative husband and i n f e r t i l e marriage and, as w e l l , the pregnancy imagery of the snake i n s i d e her womb. The serpent T o u r n o u k r i e l ' s a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h Rabouin's sex organ, t h e r e f o r e , f u r t h e r s the co n f u s i o n of the two c h a r a c t e r s and r e a f f i r m s h i s c r e a t i v e d r i v e : Le s o u f f l e coupe, je p o r t a i s de nouveau mon regard sur l u i , e t je v i s a l o r s dans ses moindres d e t a i l s ce que mes yeux et ma r a i s o n s ' e t a i e n t j u s q u e - l a r e f u s e s a c r o i r e : i l n ' e t a i t p l u s rose, mais v e r t , c ' e t a i t en f a i t l a F a r i n e -serpent que j ' a v a i s entre l e s jambes!(...) Doue d'une v i e propre, i l semblait p e r c e v o i r meme a d i s t a n c e l e s moindres d e s i r s de c e t t e femme et, que je l e v e u i l l e ou pas, i l me f a l l a i t o b e i r - 1 7 I t i s through the i n t e r v e n t i o n of Toutou as h i s sexual organ t h a t Rabouin reaches h i s hig h e s t l e v e l of c r e a t i v i t y . Being t h a t G i s e l e r e p r e s e n t s the f i g u r e of h i s c r e a t i v e impulse, her f u l l c o n t r o l over h i s a c t i o n s and continued d i s r u p t i o n of h i s p r o f e s s i o n a l l i f e i s a c l i m a c t i c e x p r e s s i o n of h i s complete obedience t o h i s c r e a t i v e d e s i r e . Moreover, the o p p o s i t i o n of t h i s episode t o the m u t i l a t i o n scene i n the do c t o r ' s o f f i c e s t r e s s e s the idea t h a t h i s c r e a t i v i t y c o n f l i c t s w i t h h i s p r a c t i c a l p r o f e s s i o n . For example, i n the m u t i l a t i o n of h i s p a t i e n t s ' sex organs th e r e i s a r e d u c t i o n i n t h e i r anatomy which i s i n o p p o s i t i o n t o the h y p e r t r o p h i c t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of h i s penis i n t o a l a r g e r than l i f e s e r p e n t i n e p e n i s . G r e g o i r e has an o b l i g a t i o n t o w r i t e d i c t a t e d by l a F a r i n e i n the second i n s t a l l m e n t of the cahier noir*. Je ne s e r a i pas t o u j o u r s parmi vous comme d i s a i t 1'autre , et quelqu'un d o i t p o r t e r temoignage sur notre passage, a moi et Glougoutte. Ce quelqu'un sera l e nomme Babouin. II fau t done q u ' i l nous v o i e de v i s u a 1'oeuvre et s o i t temoin d'un c e r t a i n nombre de nos b i e n f a i t s . " 1 Q T h i s quote r e c o n f i r m s t h a t the magical i n f l u e n c e s of the demon f i g u r e s Glougoutte and l a Farine/Toutou as w e l l as G i s e l e are behind the c r e a t i v e p r o d u c t i o n of the t e x t . The f a c t t h a t Rabouin must bear witness t o t h e i r d i s r u p t i o n of h i s monotonous l i f e and, i n doing so, c r e a t e a novel equates t h e i r s u p e r n a t u r a l i n f l u e n c e to the a c t of c r e a t i o n . Moreover, r e l i g i o u s s i g n i f i c a n c e and magic are once again l i n k e d i n t h i s passage by the a l l u s i o n t o C h r i s t , 1 'autre as l a F a r i n e c a l l s him, and the a c t of bea r i n g testimony t o the l a t t e r ' s bienfaits. As i n the p r e v i o u s r e l i g i o u s a l l u s i o n s , t h e r e i s a r e v e r s a l of C h r i s t i a n d o c t r i n e i m p l i e d by the c o n t r a r y meaning of bienfait. We have noted the co n f u s i o n of G i s e l e and Gr e g o i r e i n s e v e r a l episodes and at s e v e r a l l e v e l s of the n a r r a t i o n . 73 Therefore, i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note t h a t , i n the second i n s t a l l m e n t of the cahier noir, t h e r e i s a f u r t h e r c o n f u s i o n of the two c h a r a c t e r s i n t h a t Rabouin's sexual a t t r a c t i o n t o G i s e l e i s r e c i p r o c a t e d by her: Meme un e t r e trempe comme j e l ' e t a i s maintenant a ses f a i b l e s s e s , e t j'en eus une, qu'on ne me demande pas pourquoi, pour ce p e t i t bourgeois e l e g a n t . Des c e t t e n u i t -l a , t o u t e f o i s , je me vengeai admirablement de l ' a t t r a i t q u ' i l exerce sur moi, l e gueux! en l u i en f a i s a n t v o i r de tout e s l e s c o u l e u r s . Et p u i s , i l en s a i t quelque chose, ca ne s ' e s t pas a r r e t e l a , et ce n'est pas encore f i n i : t a n t que ce salaud me t i e n d r a e n t r e ses g r i f f e s , t a n t q u ' i l ne m'aura pas debarrassee du s o r t i l e g e q u i m ' a t t i r e v e r s l u i , i l l e p a i e r a cher. Ecoeurant, salaud de Rabouin! Degoutant personnage! Je t e h a i s , t'entends? Je demanderai a Toutou de te changer a ton tou r en crapaud s i t u ne me lac h e s pas. Je vou d r a i s t e v o i r r e d u i t en b o u i l l i e . Salaud!,„ 1 9 There i s i n t h i s quote a l l u s i o n s to many of the p o i n t s we have a l r e a d y noted. For example, G i s e l e r e f e r s t o the bourgeois s t a t u s of the doctor, a f a c t o r which conforms t o h i s p r o f e s s i o n a l and n o n c r e a t i v e l i f e s t y l e . As w e l l , G i s e l e ' s d i s r u p t i o n of Rabouin's l i f e which we have d e s c r i b e d as an unblocking of h i s c r e a t i v i t y i s r e f e r r e d t o here as making him " v o i r de t o u t e s l e s c o u l e u r s " . The concepts of p e r c e p t i o n and co l o u r , t h e r e f o r e , emphasize t h a t c r e a t i v i t y . F i n a l l y , the s u p e r n a t u r a l e f f e c t of the sortilege t h a t she a t t r i b u t e s t o Rabouin or the f a i r y - t a l e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n e n t a i l e d by a metamorphosis i n t o a toad both suggest the magical power which permits G r e g o i r e t o escape the bourgeois s t e r i l i t y of h i s p r o f e s s i o n and to express h i s c r e a t i v e urges i n w r i t i n g . With the marriage of Rabouin and G i s e l e , however, the phantasm G i s e l e who was once d i f f i c u l t t o d e s c r i b e i n terms of r e a l i t y , now becomes the most banal of bourgeois housewives and Toutou i s h i m s e l f d i s p l a c e d by Gre g o i r e ' s normal sex organ. T h e i r marriage b r i n g s r e a l i t y back i n t o p r o p o r t i o n and, t h e r e f o r e , appears to d i s r u p t the e x p r e s s i o n of the d o c t o r ' s i m a g i n a t i o n . Marriage means a c r e a t i v e f r u s t r a t i o n as G i s e l e ' s c h a r a c t e r not only looses her magical power but r e f u s e s t o c o n f i r m i t ever e x i s t e d as we have s t a t e d at the beginning of our a n a l y s i s . Through t h i s f r u s t r a t i o n , Rabouin i s f o r c e d to e x p l o r e other l e v e l s of e x p r e s s i o n , s p e c i f i c a l l y , h i s c r e a t i v e ambition to be a w r i t e r . E s s e n t i a l l y , Rabouin d i s c o v e r s i n h i s n a r r a t i v e voyage t h a t , l i k e Chekhov, he can indeed w r i t e . His i n s e c u r i t i e s and doubts concerning h i s c r e a t i v e a b i l i t i e s are proven wrong i n the c r e a t i n g of the n o v e l . But i s h i s dream of w r i t i n g over or j u s t beginning a t the end of the t e x t ? The key to t h i s problem might be found at the end of the book. For example, Gr e g o i r e ' s c o n v i c t i o n t h a t h i s f a n t a s i e s are only a prelude to "...evenements p l u s graves, encore a v e n i r " i m p l i e s the 20 c o n t i n u a t i o n of h i s c r e a t i v i t y . Moreover, we note a c i r c u l a r e f f e c t which s e t s the jump from the r e a l t o the u n r e a l back i n motion. The n a r r a t o r ' s f i n a l statement t h a t he has made sure the word rowan appears on the book cover w i l l n a t u r a l l y cause the reader to t u r n back to the f r o n t cover, thus r e s t a r t i n g the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n the l i g h t of new i n f o r m a t i o n w i t h h e l d t i l l the very end of the t e x t . F i n a l l y , burning the cahier noir i s a p o s s i b l e r e f e r e n c e t o burning the draught of h i s novel a f t e r f i n i s h i n g the f i n a l copy and, t h e r e f o r e , s t r e s s e s the r e a l i z a t i o n of the c r e a t i v e d e s i r e . Indeed, the d i r e c t q u o t a t i o n s of the notebook and the s i m i l a r i t i e s between G i s e l e and G r e g o i r e seem t o support the idea 75 t h a t the hallucinante confession to which he r e f e r s i s h i s own. The c r e a t i o n of the novel and, u l t i m a t e l y , the p o s i t i v e e x p r e s s i o n of h i s p a s s i o n r e p r e s e n t s a p l a y on r e a l i t y , a f a n t a s y expressed though h i s c h a r a c t e r s and a r e a l i z a t i o n of a hidden dream. 76 Notes Jacques Benoit, G i s e l e et l e serpent, (Montreal: L i b r e E x p r e s s i o n , 1981), pp.251-2. z Benoit, p.248 . 3 Benoit, p. 19. 4 Benoit, p.225. 5 Benoit, pp.79-80 6 Benoit, p. 32 . 7 Benoit, p. 30 . 8 Benoit, p. 18 . 9 Benoit, p. 1 3 . 1 0 B e n o i t , p.114. 1 1 Benoit , p.74. The c o r r u p t i o n of these two names i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t i n g i n terms of t h e i r meaning. Babouin, f o r example, s i g n i f i e s baboon, a type of monkey, and Ribote i s an orgy of overindulgence. A f u r t h e r parody of Rabouin's p r o f e s s i o n and a r e a f f i r m a t i o n of G i s e l e ' s s e x u a l i t y can be i n f e r r e d from these name a l t e r a t i o n s . 1 3 Benoit, P- 214. 1 4 Benoit, P- 1 57 . 1 5 Benoit, PP . 1 34 -5 . 1 6 Benoit, P- 1 34 . 1 7 Benoit, PP . 242 -3 . 1 8 Benoit, P- 208 . 1 9 Benoit, PP . 1 99 -200 20 Benoit, P • 250 . 77 CONCLUSION In the l i t e r a r y work of Jacques Benoit, we p e r c e i v e t h r e e major p o i n t s common to a l l t h r e e s t u d i e d t e x t s . F i r s t l y , we note the unconscious world d e s c r i b e d by the n o c t u r n a l imagery i n Jos Carbone's f o r e s t and the n a r r a t i v e f a n t a s i e s of Gr e g o i r e Rabouin. Secondly, d i s r u p t i v e and v i o l e n t change appear throughout a l l the t e x t s as w e l l as c e r t a i n r e o c c u r r i n g symbolism. I t w i l l be our task t o gather together some common elements which e x p l a i n how the v i o l e n t r upture i s produced i n each t e x t . F i n a l l y , we note a tendency i n Jacques B e n o i t ' s w r i t i n g t o i n i t i a t e a p a r t i c u l a r l i t e r a r y genre only t o s t r a y l a t e r from the laws which govern i t . We have d e f i n e d the f o r e s t i n Jos Carbone as a dark and hidden enclave of repressed emotions. I t i s home to Jos and r e f l e c t s the darker r e c e s s e s of h i s unconscious mind. The most obvious aspect of t h i s world i s the shadowy, n o c t u r n a l images which forms a s u i t a b l e background f o r the s u r f a c i n g of p r i m i t i v e p a s s i o n s . Fogs and mists, the b u r i e d s o u t e r r a i n , the f o r e s t at nig h t ; these are a l l elements which r e c a l l Jos' unconscious mind. In Jos' case, the unconscious m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f as a j e a l o u s r e a c t i o n t o a p e r c e i v e d t h r e a t t o h i s f o r e s t and, p r i m a r i l y , t o M y r t i e . Throughout we are reminded t h a t t h i n g s i n the f o r e s t are not always as they seem. Unhealthy m i s t s are s a i d t o confuse the mind and inv a d e r s l i k e the lynx are o f t e n unseen or, l i k e P i e r r o t , appear as g h o s t l y white f a c e s a t the window. Therefore, 78 the p o s s i b i l i t y e x i s t s t h a t t h i s t h r e a t i s only imagined i n the in s e c u r e f e a r s of Jos' unconscious mind. In G i s e l e et l e serpent, the unconscious world i s w i t h i n the n a r r a t o r G r e g o i r e Rabouin and r e v o l v e s around h i s c r e a t i v e d r i v e . Through the r i c h i m a g i n a t i o n and f a n t a s i e s of h i s w r i t t e n c r e a t i o n i s made manifest h i s unconscious d e s i r e t o c r e a t e . P r o p e l l e d both by a co n v e n t i o n a l G i s e l e who denies the imagined events of h i s n a r r a t i o n and by a f a n t a s y G i s e l e who unblocks h i s l i t e r a r y e x p r e s s i o n , Rabouin f i n d s an o u t l e t f o r unconscious passions on the p r i n t e d page. Nocturnal imagery i s not so evi d e n t as i n Jos's f o r e s t y e t we note shadowy elements such as the trou de conscience caused by u b i q u i t y , the recreation de nuit, or even the b l a c k c o l o u r of the cahier noir. As w e l l , i t i s not a ques t i o n of suppressed p r i m i t i v e p a s s i o n s as i n the f i r s t novel but r a t h e r a r e l e a s e of h i s c r e a t i v e d r i v e and the e x p r e s s i o n of h i s l i t e r a r y d e s i r e . Moreover, p e r c e p t i o n s are t w i s t e d i n the f a n c i f u l happenings of the s t o r y l i k e i n the mis t s of Jos' f o r e s t and g h o s t l y a p p a r i t i o n s such as the u n e a r t h l y white f a c e of l a F a r i n e t i e i n w e l l with P i e r r o t ' s s p e c t r e l i k e image. However, the t h r e a t i n the d o c t o r ' s unconscious mind i s not imagined and does not take on human form as we have noted with the c h a r a c t e r of P i e r r o t . The menace of h i s n o n c r e a t i v e p r o f e s s i o n i s very r e a l and G r e g o i r e d e a l s with i t through h i s phantasms. In Les P r i n c e s , the space represented by la Ville i s home t o a wider a r r a y of c o n f l i c t which e x i s t s not only i n the mind of an i n d i v i d u a l as i n the f i r s t two novels but i n the combined m e n t a l i t y of a m u l t i - r a c e environment. S i m i l a r n o c t u r n a l and r e p r e s s i v e imagery such as mining s h a f t s i n la Ville, underground 79 g a l l e r i e s i n Coquin grimpant as w e l l as the hidden passages of the Chateau enhance the somber atmosphere of the t e x t . In a l l t h r e e novels, we look t o the u n d e r l y i n g symbolism f o r meaning. The v i o l e n t rupture i n Jos Carbone i s produced by the unle a s h i n g of repr e s s e d or p r i m i t i v e emotions from w i t h i n the hero. A tormented Jos g i v e s i n t o h i s paranoid f e a r s of i n v a s i o n and from t h a t moment the s t a b i l i t y can not r e t u r n t o the f o r e s t u n t i l the hero e i t h e r r e p r e s s e s or d i s p e l s h i s a n x i e t i e s . As a r e s u l t , the balance i n the f o r e s t i s destroyed and the t e x t i s set i n motion. E r r a t i c displacement and v i o l e n c e behaviour i n the t e x t are a l l s i g n s of i n n e r movement i n the hero. Indeed, chase or f l i g h t of the inva d i n g presence i n d i c a t e s the emotional upheaval w i t h i n J o s. In Les P r i n c e s , v i o l e n c e and the rupture of s t a b i l i t y are produced i n an urban s o c i a l s e t t i n g . There i s t e n s i o n at a l l l e v e l s of t h i s s o c i e t y which i s aggravated by a v a r i e t y of f a c t o r s . The s t e r i l e t e r r a i n , the s u p e r i o r i t y of canine s o c i e t y , t h e i r p r e c a r i o u s p o s i t i o n on the border between a n i m a l i t y and human law and impotency and f r u s t r a t i o n i n Coquin s o c i e t y a l l c o n t r i b u t e t o the b u i l d i n g of t h a t t e n s i o n . U n l i k e Jos who accuses and names h i s d i s r u p t i v e i n t r u d e r , the c r i m i n a l or the crime i n l a V i l l e i s never v e r b a l i z e d . In the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , however, i t i s s u p e r s t i t i o n , what i s s a i d , and noncommunication, what i s not s a i d , which are the u n d e r l y i n g m o t i v a t i o n s f o r the e x p l o s i o n of t h i s t e n s i o n . The o r i g i n s of t h e i r d i s r u p t i o n are deeply b u r i e d i n the f o l k l o r e and e v o l u t i o n of the t h r e e race settlement. 80 The u n b l o c k i n g of Rabouin's c r e a t i v e d r i v e s i g n i f i e s the r e l e a s e of v i o l e n t and o f t e n d i s t u r b i n g f a n t a s i e s . Displacement, as i n Jos' i n n e r world, i s c e r t a i n l y evident i n the d o c t o r ' s experience and we note t h a t the hero i s o f t e n d i s o r i e n t e d and overwhelmed by the p e r t u r b a t i o n . Under the i n f l u e n c e of G i s e l e , d i s p r o p o r t i o n , d i s o r d e r and d i s o r i e n t a t i o n abound. In s h o r t , t h e r e i s a shaking up of the hero's e x i s t e n c e . As i n the other t e x t s , t h i s displacement r e f l e c t s an attempted r e s o l u t i o n of an u n d e r l y i n g c o n f l i c t which, i n G r e g o i r e ' s case, i s a p e r s o n a l appeal to h i s own c r e a t i v i t y . The novels we have chosen f o r our a n a l y s i s are d i f f i c u l t t o p l a c e i n one p a r t i c u l a r l i t e r a r y genre. We note, however, t h a t i n a l l t h r e e t e x t s , t h e r e are v e s t i g e s of a standard l i t e r a r y type. The d e v i a t i o n from the r u l e s of these genres c o n s t i t u t e s another form of displacement. For example, i n Jos Carbone, we observe t r a c e s of the novel of d i s c o v e r y and e x p l o r a t i o n as i t might r e l a t e t o a t e r r i t o r i a l quest. Jos' quest to p r o t e c t the f o r e s t c e r t a i n l y e s t a b l i s h e s t h i s i d e a from the s t a r t of the n o v e l . Moreover, the landscape d e s c r i p t i o n s of swamp and f o r e s t as w e l l as the e v i d e n t search and d i s c o v e r y of the invader P i e r r o t continue to develop the genre. However, whereas d i s c o v e r y and e x p l o r a t i o n imply a l a r g e s c a l e quest, Jos' adventures r e l a t e t o an i n n e r d i s c o v e r y of the mind not an outer e x p l o r a t i o n of t e r r a i n . We have noted t h a t the unnamed f o r e s t f u n c t i o n s as a metaphor f o r the unconscious. In e f f e c t , the novel i s the hero's own s e l f - e x p l o r a t i o n l e a d i n g to the r e v e l a t i o n of the deeper s e l f w i t h a l l i t s r e l a t e d i n s e c u r i t i e s and f e a r s . 81 Introduced i n a Utopian s t y l e , one soon n o t i c e s t h a t l a V i l l e , i t s i n h a b i t a n t s and t h e i r s o c i a l order resemble more a jungle than a U t o p i a . Jacques P e l l e t i e r notes t h a t , "...contrairement a l a c i t e utopiane q u i e s t t o u j o u r s a l a f o i s c r i t i q u e de l a s o c i e t e a c t u e l l e et modele de ce q u ' e l l e d e v r a i t e t r e , l a c i t e presentee par Benoit a p p a r a i t amputee de c e t t e 1 f o n c t i o n r e v o l u t i o n a i r e " . Although i s o l a t e d i n time and space i n t h a t the date i s not f i x e d nor the l o c a t i o n s p e c i f i e d , l a V i l l e l a c k s the quest f o r p u r i t y and the t o l e r a n c e i n h e r e n t i n the Utopian genre. In e f f e c t , i t can be considered an a n t i - u t o p i a i n t h a t i t s b u r i e d g a l l e r i e s and mines, f i l t h y s t r e e t s and v i o l e n t s o c i a l c l a s h e s suggest the d e s t r u c t i o n of order. Moreover, the U t o p i a r e p r e s e n t s p e r f e c t i o n and s t a b i l i t y i n s o c i a l development. In Les P r i n c e s , we note only a world i n d e c l i n e . Any v e s t i g e of a Utopian order as i n d i c a t e d at the opening of the novel soon f a l l s away i n t o v i o l e n t and a p o c a l y p t i c d e s t r u c t i o n . F i n a l l y , i n G i s e l e et l e serpent, the magical f a i r y t a l e i s d i s p l a c e d by b r u t a l r e a l i s m and a t t e n t i o n t o d e t a i l . The u n i v e r s a l time and p l a c e which we have noted i n the other two novels does not e x i s t i n B e n o i t ' s l a t e s t work. The n a r r a t o r dates the a c t i o n d u r i n g the 1980s and s t a t e s e x p l i c i t l y the l o c a t i o n as Montreal. The f a i r y - t a l e genre, however, r e l i e s on a undetermined l o c a l i t y and time. Being t h a t s t r e e t and p l a c e names a l l f i t a system of i d e n t i f i a b l e l o c a t i o n w i t h i n the realm of the reader's knowledge, a d i s c o r d i s s t r u c k between the world of magic and the world of r e a l i t y which makes t h e i r convergence a l l the more tumultuous. As w e l l , s i m i l a r i t i e s e x i s t i n s o f a r as the f a n t a s y nature of the i n t r i g u e . S t a r t l i n g t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s and magical 82 beings a l l belong to t h i s s t y l e . A l s o present i n the t e x t i s the i m p l i e d n e c e s s i t y t h a t the reader accept, f o r the purposes of the n a r r a t i o n , t h a t these f a n t a s t i c s t o r i e s are p o s s i b l e . C e r t a i n l y , without t h i s consent, Rabouin's s t o r y s l i p s again i n t o d i s t u r b i n g r e a l i s m . A l l t h r e e t e x t s , t h e r e f o r e , f u n c t i o n i n t h e i r choice of genre more by displacement than by any obedience to a set l i t e r a r y r u l e or p r i n c i p a l . Though we s t a t e here i n our c o n c l u s i o n o n l y a g l o b a l and g e n e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the m a t e r i a l , we b e l i e v e our commentary on the l i t e r a r y genre to be c o n s i s t e n t with our o b s e r v a t i o n s of B e n o i t ' s work on the whole and c o n s t i t u t e s a f u r t h e r example of the v i o l e n t and d i s r u p t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n h e r e n t i n the imaginary u n i v e r s e we have endeavoured t o d e s c r i b e . 83 Notes Jacques P e l l e t i e r , "Les P r i n c e s , " L i v r e s et auteurs  quebecois, 1973, p.32. BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary Sources Books by Jacques Benoit Benoit, Jacques. Jos Carbone (1967). Montreal: Stanke, Quebec 10/10, 1980. . Les Vo l e u r s (1969). Montreal: Stanke, Quebec 10/10, 1 981 . . P a t i e n c e et F i r l i p o n (1970). Montreal: Stanke, Quebec 10/10, 1981 . . Les P r i n c e s (1973). Montreal: Stanke, Quebec 10/10, 1 981 . 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" L i v r e s et auteurs quebecois, (1973), pp.32-33. P o u l i n , G a b r i e l l e . " L i t t e r a t u r e . Jos Carbone ou l a puissance du f e u . " R e l a t i o n s , No.340, j u i l . - a o u t 1969, pp.208-09. "Romans Quebecois 1973." R e l a t i o n s , a v r i l 1974, p.127. . "Patience et F i r l i p o n . " R e l a t i o n s , No.358, mars 1971, pp.93-94 . R i c a r d , F r a n c o i s . "Deux romanciers de t r e n t e ans." L i b e r t e , 16, No.2, (1974), pp.94-9. Shohet, L i n d a . "The Cover w i l l t e l l you the P l o t . " J o u r n a l of  Canadian F i c t i o n , No.19, (1977), pp.134-7. Sugden, Leonard W.. "Man as Monster. Dog and P r i n c e : A C r i t i q u e of - Les Voleurs' by Jacques B e n o i t . " Mosaic, XI, 3 Spring (1978), pp.153-63. Vanasse, Andre. "L'Ecole du j o u r . " Le Magazine Maclean, dec. 1972, pp.20-21, 60, 62. Other Works Consulted P e r i o d i c a l s Bourque, Paul-Andre. "L'Americanite du roman quebecois." 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Le Mythe de l ' e t e r n e l r e t o u r . P a r i s : G a l l i m a r d , 1 969. Une H i s t o i r e des croyances et d'idees r e l i g i e u s e s . P a r i s : Payot, 1976. Hamelin, Jean ( d i r e c t o r ) , et a l . H i s t o i r e du Quebec. Montreal: E d i t i o n s France-Amerique, 1977. J a n e l l e , Claude. Une g e n e r a t i o n d ' e c r i v a i n s . Montreal: l e s E d i t i o n s du Jour, 1983. Major, Jean-Louis. P i e r r e de Grandpre ed. 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 a i s e du Quebec. Tome IV. Montreal: Beauchemin, 1973. Marin, L o u i s . La p a r o l e mangee. Quebec: B o r e a l , 1986. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. D i s c o u r s sur l ' o r i g i n e de l ' i n e g a l i t e . P a r i s : L i b r a i r i e Larousse, 1972. Scholem, Gerschom G. Le Messanisme j u i f . France: Calmann-Levy, 1 974 . S e r v i e r , Jean. H i s t o i r e de l ' u t o p i e . France: G a l l i m a r d , 1967. Warwick, Jack. The Long Journey. Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto Press, 1968. D i c t i o n a r i e s and B i b l i o g r a p h i e s Bergeron, Leandre. D i c t i o n n a i r e de l a langue f r a n g a i s e au Canada. Montreal: VLB E d i t e u r , 1980. B i b l i o g r a p h i e der f r a n z o s i s c h e n L i t e r a t u r w i s s e n s c h a f t . Bd. 1- 1956-58-. F r a n k f u r t am Main: V. Klostermann, ( C 1 9 6 0 - ) . B r u s s e l , James A., and George La Fond C a n t z l a a r . The Layman's  D i c t i o n a r y of P s y c h i a t r y . New York: Barnes and Noble, 1967. D i c t i o n n a i r e des oeuvres de tous l e s temps et de tous l e s pays:  l i t t e r a t u r e , p h i l o s o p h i e , musique, s c i e n c e s , (par) L a f f o n t -Bompiani. (1 ere ed.) 4 V o l s . P a r i s : S.E.D.E., (1952-54). Lemire, Maurice, ed. D i c t i o n n a i r e des oeuvres l i t t e r a i r e s du  Quebec. V o l s IV, V. Montreal: F i d e s , 1984, 87. 

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