The intricate relationship between space and autobiography : space narrated in I had a father by Clarke Blaise

Author: Molnár, Judit
Source document: The Central European journal of Canadian studies. 2004, vol. 3, iss. [1], pp. [75]-81
  • ISSN
    1213-7715 (print)
    2336-4556 (online)
License: Not specified license
My intention in this paper is to analyse Clarke Blaise's novel I Had A Father (A Postmodern Biography) (1993) front the point of you how spacialization and autobiography are linked in his identity formation. Space is of particular importance in the process of trying to define his bilingual and bi/polycultural identity. His father was French-Canadian, his mother was English-Canadian and he lived much of his life in the USA. The "multiple personality syndrome" in his case is strongly connected to space and therefore to places in an idiosyncratic way. This narrative of self-definition cannot be separated from spatial interaction with the environment. The spatial polarities among which he keeps moving aim towards Québec; he would like to become a Québecer and is searching for his roots there, and therefore it is a questfor his father as well, who was present in his life by his absence. The article will conclude by supposing that the varied spatial configurations in the novel support an ambivalent fixity, which, however, is set in a deep-rooted Québecois self.
Dans la présente étude, je me propose d'analyser un roman de Clarke Blaise, I Had A Father (A Postmodern Biography) (1993), du point de vue des rapports qui s'établissent entre spatialisation et autobiographie dans la formation de l'identité de l'auteur. L'espace est d'une importance particulière dans son effort pour définir son identité bilingue et bi/polyculturelle. Né d'un pere canadien francophone et d'une mère canadienne anglophone, l'auteur a passé la plus grande partie de sa vie aux États-Unis. Dans son cas, le "syndrome de la personnalité multiple" est fortement lié à l'espace, et par conséquent à certains lieux, de manière idiosyncrasique. Ce récit d'autodéfinition ne pourrait done être séparé de l'interaction spatiale entre l'histoire et l'nvironnement. Les polarités spatiales où se meut le narrateur le dirigent vers le Québec; il voudrait devenir Québecois, partant à la recherche de ses racines là-bas. Cette quête est en même temps celle de son père, qui a été présent dans sa vie précisément par son absence. L'étude se terminera par l'hypothèse selon laquelle les diverses configurations spatiales du roman représentent une fixité ambivalente qui, cependant, est fortement enracinée dans l'identité québécoise.
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