Germaine Guevremont's "Marie-Didace"

   Some of you are aware that I grew up in what one Quebec newspaper article referred to as "Louisiana in Quebec" -- a bayou of sort, a flood-ridden area at the mouth of Lac Saint-Pierre, known as "Le Chenal du Moine" in Saint-Anne-de Sorel (I know, that's terribly complicated!).

   The major writer associated with this area is a woman by the name of Germaine Guevremont, the name of Guevremont being very "local", along with those of "Beauchemin", "Cournoyer" and "Peloquin".

    She wrote three major novels in the 1940's and one, in particular, could be of interest to those who seek some cultural expression of how French Canadians related to Acadians. In "Marie-Didace", a Beauchemin patriarch decides to marry an Acadian woman, presumably to ensure the ancestral continuation of the Beauchemin lineage. Germaine Guevremont really does a fine portrayal of the "traditional" rural community and its trials and tribulations and shortcomings. 

   You may even find a parallel with Grace de Repentigny in that Guevremont's  human relations are seldom idyllic and her portrayal of mores is not exactly romantic. Good "stuff" even though it is dramatic, tragic even, and contrary to Hollywood, people actually die!!

Jacques Ferland
University of Maine, Orono

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