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The city is planning to name a tiny square in Outremont after Kate McGarrigle, who died in 2010.
Kate, Robert H, jeather, and 6 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
Sigh. I miss Kate McGarrigle. I’m happy she’ll get honoured by the city.
Ah, how lucky she wasn’t a dirty Jew like Mordecai Richler.
Richler openly hated the Quebecois.
He spoke out against reactionary separatists and the absurdities of the language police; that’s not hate, that’s well-deserved satire. Of course we see that the powers-that-be still can’t deal with satire as in the case of Liberty and the People chez Khadir. Richler has done more to make Montreal an international landmark city than most other authors from here, not just because he’s a great writer, but because he’s a great writer about Montreal. If anyone’s surprised that Richler distrusted Quebecois nationalists, one only has to think back to the fascist parades down the streets of the Jewish neighbourhood in his youth, how Jews weren’t allowed to go to Catholic schools so inevitably ended up anglicised, and of course the “no dogs or Jews” signs on the beaches. This isn’t fiction, it’s a reality. As Richler pointed out (and it still holds true today), “Jews who have been Quebecers for generations understand only too well that when thousands of flag-waving nationalists take to the streets roaring ‘Le Québec aux Québécois!’ they do not have in mind anybody named Ginsburg — or, for that matter, MacGregor.”
When anglo newspapers from the anglosphere report that “Montreal makes us think about Leonard Cohen, Mordechai Richler and Schwartzs,” they aren’t just using nepotism to create undeserved celebrity. They are also ethnic-cleansing the francophones of this city in their texts. Back-scratching and nepotism have many victims.
qatzelok, please don’t use “ethnic cleansing” in such a vapid manner. I try to take you seriously but sometimes your hysteria overwhelms your logic.
English-speaking people will have been exposed to Cohen and Richler because they wrote in English. Cohen, as a recording artist, is better known than Richler, but Richler lived in England for some years and published there, so he had attained some visibility in their literary world before he returned to Canada. Those facts are not the result of some conspiracy – they’re just how those two careers worked out, giving both those men a boost of fame.
Even if French writers from Quebec get translated to English, I’m betting very few of those translations get publishing contracts in other English-speaking countries. There’s too much competition, and unless I’m mistaken, nobody writing here is on the kind of universal plane of excellence that makes people elsewhere clamour to read their work. If I’m mistaken about this I’d be happy to be enlightened.
To be fair, if you read the review pages of the Globe and Mail, the Guardian, the New York Times, it’s a rare translation of any work that gets a lot of attention. Canada, the US and the UK (plus Australia, Ireland, etc. etc.) are cranking out plenty of work in English. It’s not due to an evil conspiracy that their papers mostly take an interest in what’s written in English.
I challenge you to find a quote from any of the newspapers to that effect – I think you may in fact be quoting me, though I would have written “Schwartz’s”. If you are quoting me, I only brought it up to note that outside of Quebec very few people know anything about Québecois culture. It’s not just because the evil Anglo empire doesn’t report on it, it’s because the Québecois are pretty insular and don’t try to get the word out to English-speaking North America, and that, frankly, there’s not a lot of effort to attract an anglophone audience to the cultural output of the Nation of Quebec. What’s more, much of the French vs. English drama that is so importance to us here is irrelevant in teh ROC – Balconville has been available in translation for decades, but further west than Ottawa nobody understands the issues. The ROC thinks the Quebecois are just Canadians that speak French. They really don’t understand that there is a separate culture. The thing I think a lot of Quebecois don’t realize is that English Canadians face a lot of cultural hurdles too, in that we’re a second class English-speaking culture on the continent. For artists like Cohen or Richler to make recognized impact outside of Canada is actually a super big deal that we should all be proud of.
Wow, this started out as a post about a beautiful person, a great singer who was equally loved by both anglos and francos.
Yet, somehow, it turned into a hate discussion about politics and language. Nice job!
Well only one person mentioned hate, but hey, don’t let me stop you from feeling offended. Yes, McGarrigle was a lovely person by all accounts, loved by both anglos and francos. Like I said, how fortunate she wasn’t a dirty Jew like Richler or all she’d have named after her is a piece of broken park furniture, if that.
Yeah, you’re right Ian, no hate or negativity at all in your uplifting comments. I stand corrected.
Well, soon you’ll be able to sit corrected in a nice little park on Laurier between Querbes and Durocher.
@Clement, right on!
Kate McGariggle will have a tiny square named after her in an area where she lived and i think it’s a nice gesture by the city.
In the same vein Mordecai Richler has had a Gazebo (not a piece of broken park furniture) named after him. It is located in a very popular park, very visible and easily accessible than the tiny little place for Kate McGariggle plus the Richler family greatly approved of the initiative after they refused the city’s idea of an alley way.
Oh, and by the way, @Ian, Saul Bellow has a library named after him in Lachine. So much for being a ”dirty jew”, as you say !
Huh, how about that. I had no idea they’d named a llibrary after Saul Bellow in Lachine, or that he was born in Lachine.
FWIW the gazebo the city named after Richler has been unusable for a couple of years now – the city removed the flooring so homeless people wouldn’t sleep in it. I admit I’m bitter about Luc Ferrandez trying to block naming anything after Richler, who has done more to immortalize Montreal worldwide than Ferrandez could even dream of.
But yeah, I was being needlessly bitchy about McGarrigle, you’re right, it’s a nice story and it’s really very lovely that the city named a park after her right by where she used to live.
Sorry for being a jerk about it.
@ Kate: “English-speaking people will have been exposed to Cohen and Richler because they wrote in English.”
Yes, anglos have an aversion to reading “forners.” This is what tribalism does to people. And it is what anglo mass media has done to the anglosphere: turned anglos into insular hicks with no respect for other cultures. /Michel Brule
I’m not entirely convinced that anglos (who are, apparently, a monolith of really terrible, boring people who all live in the suburbs) have any reason to respect people who consistently insult them.
Ian, you make an excellent point about Cohen and Richler’s popularity outside of Canada. Indigenous culture in Canada faces substantial hurdles on both sides of the linguistic divide. Even if Québec did a better job of promoting its flourishing cultural scene–novels, music, movies, theatre, television–the going would still be tough as the anglosphere, especially the U.S. is notoriously unreceptive to–non-english media. Jay-Z could fill an arena in Montréal or Québec City, but could Loco Locass do the same in New York or Los Angeles? At least, Québec’s limitation is also its strength, which unfortunately cannot be said for english Canada’s singers, writers, actors, and artists. The McGarrigle sisters managed to carve out a career in the world of folk and acoustic music that extended beyond Canada, despite the tendency of their countrymen and fellow artists to succumb to the overwhelming, irresistible gravitational pull of the American pop-cultural industrial complex. Given the existing conditions, any Canadian artist or performer of any sort who makes an impact outside of Canada, particularly without leaving Canada, has indeed done something extraordinary and worthy of admiration.
@qatzelok, I don’t know your background, but I fear you’re showing some cultural ignorance here.
Lots of works not originally written in English are valued within the English canon, from all the Greek and Latin classics through people like Tolstoy and Proust and more recent writers as diverse as W.G. Sebald, Irene Nemirovsky and Haruki Murakami. Yes, people tend to read them in translation, but that’s always so. Walk into a Renaud-Bray and your eyes will be assaulted by the quantity of books on display translated from English to French.
I think you’re trolling with the Michel Brulé, so let’s leave it there.
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