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

  • Author / Creator
    Ferron, Andrée Mélissa
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.