CREATION, RESEARCH AND LITERARY PERFORMANCE – Marie-Claire Blais, a staunch Francophonist activist

The writer who explored violence, revolt and hatred

Canadian writer Marie-Claire Blais died at her home in Key West on a November day in 2021, yet, she was a native of Quebec, where she was encouraged to write at the Université Laval. In 1959, she published her first novel, La Belle bête, appreciated by critics, despite the roughness of the topics covered and of language. Reading it, you will discover the charm of restlessness and the discomfort of terror, as well as how child’s play can end in tragedy.

Born in 1939 into a family of Quebec workers, she studied in a convent school. Her awards include the David Prize, the Literary Prize of the Prince Pierre Foundation of Monaco and the Governor General’s Prize. Prolific and acclaimed writer, Marie-Claire Blais has shaped her more than twenty novels with a way of writing filled with violence and lyricism. What she created was translate into various languages, as well as adapted for the big screen. Moving to the United States of America, where she was awarded two scholarships, she met the American artist Mary Meigs, with whom she shared her house in Key West (Florida), periodically returning to Québec. In seventy years, she has written novels and plays, newspaper articles, fiction, screenplays and collections of poems, such this.

THE NIGHT TREES – When we loved each other in this life so close to ours, September tree standing near the October tree, we were only one body, my love. And we slept in the only fold of an ever longer shore, you or me, September tree, October tree, standing waiting, like the silent oaks, for a great unknown pain, for the time of the trees struck down was approaching , you or me, desert of November, there remained of us only an afflicted body. When we loved each other in this life so close to ours. Only the golden fall of love existed for us, the sharp fall of the night we were not yet there to suffer. Therefore, the wind passed.

After living in France for two years, Marie-Claire Blais returned to Québec in 1975, constantly moving between Montreal and Key West. Two years later, the National Ballet of Canada, as well as a film by Karim Hussain made her La belle bête into a ballet. Among the themes that mark her works, you find solitary childhoods and revolts, as well as innocence mocked inexhaustible tenderness. Her 10-volume series These Festive Islands, set in an island city, featured a cast of characters that even included drag queens and painters, writers and barflies. This series, based on long tortuous phrases, monologues and character dialogues, was in a chapterless style without paragraph breaks.

With a scholarship from the Guggenheim Foundation she wrote Une saison dans la vie d’Emmanuel, with which she won the Prix Médicis in 1966. In her first novel and at the age of twenty, Marie-Claire Blais analyzed the relationship between ugly young women with her handsome brother. The violence and ferocity that filled the pages of that first novel of her will remain to document the monstrosities of her life in many other writings by her. If you want to know writers, you can type, while for poets around the world The sole purpose of this site is to spread the knowledge of these artists and that other people enjoy their works. The property of the images that appear in this blog correspond to their authors.


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