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Écrire l'espace acadien: dialectique du rural et de l'urbain dans les oeuvres de Claude LeBouthillier et Gérald Leblanc Open Access


Other title
hétérotopie et hétérotopologie
thirdspace et lectures postmodernes de l'espace
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Ferron, Andrée Mélissa
Supervisor and department
Laforest, Daniel (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Dubé, Paul (Campus Saint-Jean)
Examining committee member and department
Lord, Marie-Linda (Université de Moncton)
Demers, Patricia (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Carrière, Marie (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
True, Micah (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
French Language, Literatures and Linguistics
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This thesis utilizes postmodern readings of spaces to demonstrate how 1) Acadian spaces in literature participate in a larger palimpsest narrative originating in the founding texts of French America – essentially those of Jacques Cartier, Marc Lescarbot – and mostly in Evangeline, the epic poem of Henry Wadworth Longfellow 2) Acadian space in literature can be interpreted as an example of Michel Foucault’s heterotopia 3) representations of space in contemporary Acadian literature are reconceptualized in order to embrace peripheralness, marginality, and openness in ways that are akin to Edward Soja’s conceptualization of thirdspace. It also suggests that Acadian literature displays a polarizing pattern generating spatial dialectics of both rural and urban subjectivities. Embodying polarized spaces are the works of Acadian writers Claude LeBouthillier and Gérald Leblanc. Although seemingly opposites, both body of work present nonetheless a similar propensity towards the heterotopization of Acadian geographies, be they LeBouthillier’s Acadian Peninsula or Gerald Leblanc’s Moncton. This Acadian heterotopia is a space of resistance and emancipation as well as an outlet for conscious confining and deliberate boundaries. It is however above all a way of disordering the politics of space within a context of polycentric identities and political weakness. Gérald Leblanc wrote Moncton as a real-and-imagined place, and a space of infinite simulations, encompassing acadianity within its paradigm of radical openness. Claude LeBoutihillier chose to link the appropriation and use of Acadian space – specifically representations of his native Acadian Peninsula – to a certain ascetic experience of acadianity. However, in every case, the constant reconceptualization of Acadian spatiality and acadianity can be perceived as an effective strategy of counter-hegemonic survival. In that sense, the perpetuation of the Acadian palimpsest narrative, conjugating historicity, spatiality and sociality (according to the trialectics of space as described by Henri Lefebvre, reprised by Edward Soja), acts as an expanding political significance of Acadian subjective territoriality.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Certains passages de cette thèse ont été publiés sous forme d’article («Gérald Leblanc et l’expérience du corps dans la ville») dans le numéro 3 de la revue Arborescence en juillet 2013 (Lire le texte et son espace : outils, méthodes, études) sous la direction de Antje Ziethen, Caroline Lebrec et Janet Paterson.

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