10 May 2013

William Johnson: Quebec, land of myth

Quebec, land of myth | Full Comment | National Post

Quebec’s literature has taken up the theme of its historiography: It displays Anglophobia as its most central theme, as I demonstrated in my 1991 book, published in French, Anglophobie made in Québec. Many of the authors who are considered provincial greats, such as Gaston Miron, Jacques Ferron, Hubert Aquin and Yves Beauchemin, are also the most ardently Anglophobic. 

The fact is that France itself was a colonizer — and it kept New France in a state of extreme under-development. No industry was allowed to start up that competed with that industry in France. So, as contemporary observers agreed, New France remained poor while New England grew rich. This, not any Anglo plot, generated the legacy of economic and cultural under-development that retarded French Canadians until the Quiet Revolution.

A new royal commission is needed to demystify Quebec’s founding Anglophobic myth, to shine the light of reason and scientific scrutiny on the dark beliefs that poison the historic consciousness of Quebec’s youths, their teachers and most prominent authors.

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