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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:31 pm
 


Quebec author will burn books to block bilingualism
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | 6:30 PM ET
The Canadian Press

A surge of bilingualism in Quebec has one of the province's most popular writers threatening to burn his entire body of work if something isn't done to stop it.

Victor-Lévy Beaulieu, the author of some 70 works of fiction, non-fiction, drama and poetry, is giving the province two months to correct what he considers its errant linguistic ways, or the books will burn.

Beaulieu, 62, started making good on his symbolic ultimatum earlier this week by tossing a copy of his most recent novel,La Grande Tribu (The Big Tribe), into the wood stove at his remote cottage northeast of Quebec City.

"Bilingualism opens the door to an assault by the anglicised elites of Quebec, who tell us we all have to be at least bilingual," he said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

"It's like we forgot that Bill 101 proclaimed that French was the only official language of Quebec."

Beaulieu's gambit was sparked by Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois's suggestion earlier this month that Quebec school children could benefit from taking more classes in English.
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That was tantamount to an "act of treachery" for ardent separatist Beaulieu, who earlier this month accused Marois of paving the way for francophone assimilation.
English threatens Quebec: Beaulieu

Even if his threat is symbolic, Beaulieu hopes it will send a strong message to Quebecers.

"I'm admitting that my life as a writer has counted for nothing since we're in the process of being Anglicised," he said.

"[An Anglicised Quebec] doesn't interest me. I'd rather admit that I failed, that I worked for nothing and burn my work."

Recent studies that predict francophones will soon drop to a minority in Montreal add urgency to the threat, Beaulieu said.

"We can't even teach our children French properly," Beaulieu said in French. "First let's learn our language, then we can talk about bilingualism and multilingualism."

Beaulieu claims to be unilingual by choice but he admits he is practically bilingual despite his best efforts.

He has written major studies on English-speaking writers such as Jack Kerouac, James Joyce and Margaret Atwood.

Beaulieu, better known as VLB to his fans, is considered among the greatest contemporary Quebec writers. He won the Governor General's Award in 1974 and was nominated twice more, in 1983 and 1991.

Along with penning enough books to topple a bookshelf, he has written for Quebec television shows and heads a successful publishing house.

Beaulieu rejects the characterization that he is simply a cantankerous child of the Quiet Revolution who has long harboured a hatred for the rest of Canada.

"My problem isn't with English Canada, it's with Quebec," he said. "I don't want to become an anglophone. I want to conserve, preserve, defend and improve the language into which I was born, the language my ancestors gave me."

Beaulieu said he will spend the next two months reflecting on the future. He hopes his stunt will spark a wide-ranging debate on Quebec identity during which Quebecers will reaffirm their desire for a country.

He fears that unless action is taken by the province's leaders, Quebec nationalists will lose the gains they have made over the past 170 years.

"We are in the process of returning to the point we were at in the 19th century, before the rebellions of 1837 and 1938," he said.

If torching a body of work that took 45 years to create appears a bit extreme, Beaulieu maintains he doesn't have a choice.

"I don't know what's going to come of this two-month period," he said. "But if I burn the books, I will be choosing to disappear."


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:34 pm
 


I personally do not care if this person decides to burn his own books. First off, they will not actually be lost because they have been published, and there are two copies of each of them both in the National Library and Archives of Canada, and in the Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec. Thus, they will not actually be lost.

I think this guy is taking himself too seriously. And he is also denying the harsh reality of the world, and that is that whether or not Quebec is majority francophone, it is forced to do business with the world in order to survive, and that international business is done primarily in English. So if people do not learn English, they are at a disadvantage. That will be the case whether Quebec is a sovereign country or not. A sovereign Quebec would still have to do business in English with the rest of the world. Sovereignty, it seems, has become a panacea for misinformed Quebec separatists. The solution to every problem facing Quebec, for them, is sovereignty. When in reality, it will only bring on a sleuth of other problems and responsibilities to solve.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:47 pm
 


Looks like this guy hasn't realized he's surrounded by 350 million anglos yet. lol

Sucks to be him, its good to see though(from my day to day experiences) alot more younger Quebecers don't hold the anti-english grudge as hard as some of their parents did. All they ask is if you live in Quebec try to learn french and then their pretty much ok with ya.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:49 pm
 


Successful political separation of Quebec, is a virtual guarantee that French and french culture will have the same statis as in Lousiana.
Ever notice that extremists, whether sovereigntists or GWs resort is force.....


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:50 pm
 


:|


Last edited by Public_Domain on Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:23 pm
 


Victor Lévy-Beaulieu is a twit and lives in his own little bubble - he can just do whatever he wants, nobody takes him seriously.

Sasquatch : I'm not sure I get your point about Louisiana.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:37 pm
 


Most authors are proud to have their works translated to other languages. This way they become members of an international community. If he is this xenophobic, so be it let'em burn. Perhapses the warmth of his burning books will warm his soul and the resulting light might allow him to see the world more clearly.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:01 pm
 


And they lived happily ever after.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:11 pm
 


fire_i wrote:
Victor Lévy-Beaulieu is a twit and lives in his own little bubble - he can just do whatever he wants, nobody takes him seriously.

Sasquatch : I'm not sure I get your point about Louisiana.


Louisiana (aka Lousyanna) was allowed to retain French as a language after the Louisiana Purchase and they also retained the Napoleonic Code as the basis of law as opposed to the English Common Law that is the foundation of law in 49 other US states.

Francophones in Louisiana are routinely considered ignorant and a Cajun (derivative of 'Arcadian') accent is a bar to employment and educational opportunties.

Quebec francophones are pursuing a course that will leave them similarly marginalized on the fringes on 21st century North American society.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:12 pm
 


fire_i wrote:
And they lived happily ever after.


Pardon moi, Et ils vivent heureux pour toujours. :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:35 pm
 


Let him burn his books. Ignorant seperatist bastard.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:35 pm
 


BartSimpson wrote:
fire_i wrote:
Victor Lévy-Beaulieu is a twit and lives in his own little bubble - he can just do whatever he wants, nobody takes him seriously.

Sasquatch : I'm not sure I get your point about Louisiana.


Louisiana (aka Lousyanna) was allowed to retain French as a language after the Louisiana Purchase and they also retained the Napoleonic Code as the basis of law as opposed to the English Common Law that is the foundation of law in 49 other US states.

Francophones in Louisiana are routinely considered ignorant and a Cajun (derivative of 'Arcadian') accent is a bar to employment and educational opportunties.

Quebec francophones are pursuing a course that will leave them similarly marginalized on the fringes on 21st century North American society.


And what's the basis of your belief? VLB's claims? Ha! That guy is a twit. His opinion is representative of no one but himself. If you base yourself off what he says to analyze the course of action Quebec francophones are taking concerning relations with the world at large, I'm afraid you're waaaay off the outfield, past the sidelines, somewhere in the terraces.

Bilingualism is highly well-regarded and learning English is constantly pushed as a necessity. When you say "course that will leave [us] marginalized", I'm guessing you're not actually referring to Beaulieu's crap (as you'd need to be an idiot to do so, and I don't consider you to be an idiot), but rather remotely to the Cajuns' case and to the language protection laws in Quebec. Right? I'll assume so over the rest of this paragraph - if I'm wrong, do tell. So, going on : thing is that unlike what VLB thinks, bilingualism *can* go along with protection of the language. No need to axe bilingualism to protect the language. By that logic, no need to stop protecting the language to ensure Quebec will not end up marginalized...

Between you and I anyway, what kind of wretched society would 21st century NA society be if it saw a mere difference in language as enough of a basis to discriminate? [rant](Or is it already starting, with Visa idiotically leading the march and burning the first acres for everyone to follow, all just to save a few dollars? In such a case I'd say, let's just hit them where it hurts until they get the fucking message : profit. Respect us, we'll give you the one and only thing you want ; otherwise we'll just massively support your competitors and you'll see we're ready to pay back every insult 10 for 1)[/rant] If I follow your comparison, that's essentially what you're implying...

Likewise : I'm aware that's most certainly not what you were implying, but no matter how many times I read what you say it seems to me you condone the fact Cajuns are being denied access to education and jobs because of a mere accent... as if it they were to blame for having kept their language and culture instead of the idiot fuckwads who base themselves off an accent and a stereotypical and wrongful impression in order to allow people access to such important things. Again, I'm sure that's not the point you wanted to make, but I have to say the comparison between Cajuns VS Misinformed bullshit and Quebec francophones VS Globalization is extremely sloppy at best.

Oh, and it's "ils vivèrent heureux pour toujours". ;)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:58 pm
 


Quote:
Bilingualism is highly well-regarded and learning English is constantly pushed as a necessity. When you say "course that will leave [us] marginalized", I'm guessing you're not actually referring to Beaulieu's crap (as you'd need to be an idiot to do so, and I don't consider you to be an idiot), but rather remotely to the Cajuns' case and to the language protection laws in Quebec.


Billigualism is common thougout the former British Empire. India, Ireland, South Aftica all have English and anouther offical language. It has been argued that as Enlgish becomes a linga franca native speakers are diadvantaged as they aren't taught English fomraly and have difficult with those tought ESL who are not fluent in in English.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:07 pm
 


fire_i wrote:
Oh, and it's "ils vivèrent heureux pour toujours". ;)


Ahhh, le passé simple... encore un autre temps de verbe qui fait chier aux étudiants du français (y inclus les francophones eux-mêmes).


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:42 pm
 


This entire Quebec thing is really getting annoying now, read so many articles on things like this. One being a Irish Pub in Quebec who had Irish Posters in English. They got fined and asked to put them down because the posters were in english.

I believe that was the case, been awhile since I last saw the article. Then there is the other ones just like it. It's like English is a sin in Quebec lol.

In English Canada, schools teach both English and French. Both being a requirement to learn. Doesn't Quebec have the same system? or do they only offer French? Because I am starting to think that they don't teach French in Quebec?

If they don't, that's really bad because we have to learn both languages and they only have to learn theres?


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