A MAN OF SENTIMENT: THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIPPE JOSEPH AUBERT DE GASPE, 1786-1871.
Translated by Jane Brierley. Montreal, Vehicule Press, 1988. 486pp, paper, ISBN 0-919890-78-4 (cloth) $30.00. 0-919890-73-3 (paper) $15.95. (Dossier Quebec series). Distributed by University of Toronto Press. CIP
Volume 16 Number 6
The great charm of The Memoirs of Philippe-Joseph Aubert de Gaspe lies in the immediacy of the work. He quotes snippets of popular songs and jokes and snatches from the French and English writers he most admires (he was a great fan of Shakespeare); he refers frequently to the surprisingly amiable relations between French and English in this post-conquest era. Endearingly, he often starts to tell one story and wanders into another, pauses to revisit scenes of lost delight, or dwells on his own memories, happy or sad.
The volume is forbiddingly large at first glance, but so interesting that once begun, it will not likely be laid aside unfinished. The easy flow of language, which is utterly and entirely believable as the expression of Gaspe's musings, is a tribute to the translator's graceful work. There is a lengthy but useful introductory section, copious source notes, and an index. Senior students of the history of Lower Canada or of social history in general will find in these memoirs a matchless group portrait.
Joan McGrath, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, Ont.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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