Overcoming father-son conflict in selected novels of Claude Jasmin

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University of Alabama Libraries

This study delves into selected works of the Quebecois writer Claude Jasmin that were written between 1972 and 2010. In each novel, the narrator and his father are manifestations of the same individuals; the narrator represents Jasmin and the character of the father depicts Jasmin's own father. These characters indirectly convey Jasmin's evolving attitudes towards his father. Read chronologically, the ever-present father-son tensions depicted in the texts eventually abate, and the recurring narrator is seen to progress from rebellion towards a symbolic reconciliation with the father. The author's perspective towards his father is perceptible through his recurring narrator and reveals that, over time, Jasmin attains a growing overall understanding of him. The domestic strife in the novels corresponds to the societal situation in Quebec around the time of the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s when the Church lost power in the region. Jasmin witnessed the rapid social changes of his province during this era, which included the search for a new collective identity. The designation "French Canadian" no longer seemed appropriate for the dynamic period of modernization, and the people of the province began to refer to themselves as Quebecois. The recurring narrator's diminishing animosity towards his father in the selected novels can be seen to parallel the Quebecois who, as a people, similarly reconcile with their past while continuing to advance and define themselves in their contemporary secular culture.

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French Canadian literature, French Canadian culture, Canadian studies