Journal Article

Heavenly Signs from Below: A Religious Reading of Michel Tremblay's <i>Chroniques du Plateau‐Mont‐Royal</i>

Donald L. Boisvert

in Literature and Theology

Volume 17, issue 2, pages 141-155
Published in print June 2003 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online June 2003 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/17.2.141
Heavenly Signs from Below: A Religious Reading of Michel Tremblay's Chroniques du Plateau‐Mont‐Royal

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Michel Tremblay's cycle of Quebec novels known as Chroniques du Plateau‐Mont‐Royal occupies an important place in Canadian literature. It is an epic text: the story of a family and a popular Montreal neighbourhood immersed in the joys and pathos of everyday life, but whose complex and colourful journeys reveal much about how individuals and communities shape their worlds. This paper proposes a religious reading of Tremblay's masterwork, which is not religious in any formal sense. Through an analysis of the notion of sacred place and the doings and personalities of some of the work's more significant characters, an argument is made that Tremblay has displaced his religiosity and fixed it in a sense of ‘this‐worldly transcendence’, in the search for personal and collective identities. This is a commonly post‐modern way of apprehending the sacred.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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