Oh Canada Oh Quebec Requiem for a Divided Country A humorous look at Quebec s movement toward independence from Canada remarking upon the Draconian language laws imposed on English speaking Quebecois the economic problems posed by the movement and

  • Title: Oh Canada! Oh Quebec!: Requiem for a Divided Country
  • Author: Mordecai Richler
  • ISBN: 9780679412465
  • Page: 377
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A humorous look at Quebec s movement toward independence from Canada, remarking upon the Draconian language laws imposed on English speaking Quebecois, the economic problems posed by the movement, and the troubles with blind nationalism.

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      Published :2019-05-03T21:48:58+00:00

    About “Mordecai Richler

    1. Mordecai Richler says:

      Mordecai Richler was a Canadian author, screenwriter and essayist His best known works are The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz 1959 and Barney s Version 1997 his 1989 novel Solomon Gursky Was Here was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 1990 He was also well known for the Jacob Two Two children s storiesThe son of a Jewish scrap yard dealer, Richler was born in 1931 and raised on St Urbain Street in the Mile End area of Montreal He learned Yiddish and English, and graduated from Baron Byng High School Richler enrolled in Sir George Williams College now Concordia University to study English but dropped out before completing his degree Years later, Leah Rosenberg, Richler s mother, published an autobiography, The Errand Runner Memoirs of a Rabbi s Daughter 1981 , which discusses Mordecai s birth and upbringing, and the sometime difficult relationship between them.Richler moved to Paris at age nineteen, intent on following in the footsteps of a previous generation of literary exiles, the so called Lost Generation of the 1920s, many of whom were from the United States.Richler returned to Montreal in 1952, working briefly at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, then moved to London in 1954 He published seven of his ten novels while living in London, as well as considerable journalism.Worrying about being so long away from the roots of my discontent , Richler returned to Montreal in 1972 He wrote repeatedly about the Jewish community of Montreal and especially about his former neighborhood, portraying it in multiple novels.In England, in 1954, Richler married Catherine Boudreau, a French Canadian divorcee nine years his senior On the eve of their wedding, he met and was smitten by Florence Mann n e Wood , a young married woman.Some years later Richler and Mann both divorced and married each other He adopted her son Daniel The couple had five children together Daniel, Jacob, Noah, Martha and Emma These events inspired his novel Barney s Version.Richler died of cancer at the age of 70.



    2 thoughts on “Oh Canada! Oh Quebec!: Requiem for a Divided Country

    1. Amusing and well-written (and a quick read, as far as 250-page treatises about Quebec politics go), this book will put you in the center of Quebec's pre-referendum political and social climate. My only complaint is that Richler spends a lot of time discussing antisemitism in Quebec, more than I believe is necessary to get the point across. It makes some sense for the context in which this book was published (e.g. the book's postscript is a long-form response to comments received about an except [...]

    2. Yeah, I know. Late. But I sat through the 1995 referendum with my bags packed, ready to head to Ontario. So, I thought I'd like to read Mr. Richler's cynical take on the whole thing. No fiction usually takes me ages, so

    3. I admit I bought this after Brexit in an attempt to make myself feel better about the whole divided union mess thing. Throughout the campaign and the early aftermath I was aware of comparisons through Quebec, and came to the conclusion (or perhaps pinned my hopes upon the theory) that the Bank of England's Mark Carney was perhaps the only key player who had considered Brexit a reap possibility due to his being Canadian, and the two close sovereignty referendums in Quebec. This is a fascinating b [...]

    4. Mordecai Richler wrote this in the lead-up to the referendum on Quebec independence in the early 1990s. What is surprising is how relevant the book still is today. Language especially is a topic revisited often, made more interesting because of the laws Richler cites in this book.Some of it is unintentionally relevant, as when he exhorts Ottawa and Quebec to explain the true costs of independence. It's worth quoting here, "…Parizeau, wearing his Tinker Bell suit, actually told a group of Unive [...]

    5. Richler gives full vent to his prejudices and crude stereotypes to produces a splenetic and thoroughly inaccurate caricature of Quebec. Given the prejudice his experienced in his own life, it is sad to see such a great writer and humanist falling into mere ethnic ranting.

    6. Mordecai Richler walks us through a history of Quebecois Nationalism to show us it was born out of xenophobic sentiment and blossomed into a movement that was sweeping, pointless, borderline fascist, and utterly insane. Far from being oppressed by les maudites Anglais, Richler documents how the English minority and newcomers to Quebec were subjected to discriminatory laws at the hands of Francophones. The separatist movement tapped into tribal feelings and did little except disrupt the economy, [...]

    7. A very funny, interesting, poignant and informative discussion of Quebec's "Separatism" and its roots as it played out circa 1990, when Quebec's PQ leaders wanted "independence" and the Meech Lake Accord which guaranteed Quebec's "special" status in Canada fell through. Great history of the province and of the French in Canada as well as the reasons for their grievances towards English Canada, although Richler is a definite skeptic as to how bad the French-Canadian oppression is or was, having b [...]

    8. While I have to admit that this book presents a biased point of view on the issue of the french language and seperation issues, it is not a bias I disagree with for the most part.Richler is true to form as he gives a personal history of the Quebecois sense of disenfrancisment, combined with an examination of rascism embodied within the spirit of Quebec nationalism. His sarcasm and wit add to the flow of the book, but his ( perhaps justified ) attitudes regarding anti-semitism in Quebec tend to r [...]

    9. The situation has changed since the publication of this book but it was interesting to get an overview of the history leading up to the call for referendum in the early 90s. Having studied Quebec history and society at the francophone Universite de Montreal a few years ago, it was interesting to get the Anglophone viewpoint, including some of the anecdotal evidence. As always in these things, there are genuine hurts and concerns on both sides of the linguistic divide. The author also seeks to ad [...]

    10. Aw Mordecai j'ai aimé les anedoctes, ses rencontres avec Levesque et Mulroney, mais son insistence à relier le nationalisme québécois à l'anti-sémitisme est fuckin' fatigant. Dans le fond, rendu au début des années 90, le célèbre écrivain est davantage un pauvre vieux schmuck qui souffrait d'une grande nostalgie des années 50 à Montréal, quand les anglos étaient encore tout-puissants. Ce livre fut acheté all used up au village des valeurs, just for the lulz, pour le Canada Day 20 [...]

    11. I found myself vigorously disagreeing with some of the conclusions Richler made in this book. It's good as an introduction to the topic, but it doesn't have much of a structure to keep the reader interested.

    12. A bit of an outdated read at this point, but certainly a good introductory read to the language issue once you weed through Richler's opinions.

    13. Needed something a little local.d so sick of civil war/rape/traumatic books. Refreshing and Mordecai true to form :)

    14. It's dated, sure, but Richler also provides a history of the political-cultural climate of Quebec. All of which was basically new to me.

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