Curative Illnesses: Medico-National Allegory in Québécois Fiction (Hardcover)

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During a time of uncertainty over collective identity and social transformation, Quebec novels started getting sick – after 1940, the number of narratives about illness, disease, and sick characters intensified. For the last seventy years, generations of authors have turned to medically oriented stories to represent day to day life and political turmoil. In Curative Illnesses, Julie Robert investigates how the theme of sickness is woven into literature and gauges its effect on depictions of Quebec’s national identity. Challenging the legitimacy of illness as a metaphor for the nation, Robert contests interpretations of illness-related literature that have presented Quebec itself as ailing. Through re-examinations of Quebec novels, Curative Illnesses shatters the illusion of congruency between the nation and the body, countering assumptions about nationwide weakness and victimization. For Quebec in particular, these assumptions have greater implications, because the separatist movement, policies of interculturalism, and majority language rights revolve around protecting and defending Québécois society and its cultural values. Robert skilfully demonstrates a more nuanced view of illness through a series of analyses focusing on works of literature from some of Quebec’s most renowned novelists, including Gabrielle Roy, André Langevin, Denis Lord, Hubert Aquin, Jacques Godbout, Pierre Billon, and Anne Bernard. Using an interdisciplinary approach that engages with nationalism, postcolonial studies, literature, rhetoric, and the medical humanities, Curative Illnesses explores how moving beyond earlier diagnoses offers new insights into nationhood.

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Product Details
ISBN: 9780773547056
ISBN-10: 0773547053
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Publication Date: February 18th, 2016
Pages: 252
Language: English