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Hockey, PQ

Hockey, PQ: Canada's Game in Quebec's Popular Culture

Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 280
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    Hockey, PQ
    Book Description:

    A wide-ranging study that examines everything from the blockbuster movie franchiseLes Boysto the sovereigntist hip hop group Loco Locass,Hockey, PQexplores how Canada's national sport has been used to signify a specific Québécois identity. Amy J. Ransom analyzes how Québécois writers, filmmakers, and musicians have appropriated symbols like the Montreal Forum, Maurice Richard, or the 1972 Summit Series to construct or critique images of the Québécois male.

    Close analyses of hockey-themed narratives consider the soap operaLance et compte('He shoots, he scores'), the music of former pro player Bob Bisonnette, folk band Mes Aïeux, rock group Les Dales Hawerchuk, and the fiction of François Barcelo. Through these examinations of the role hockey plays in contemporary francophone popular culture, Ransom shows how Quebec's popular culture uses hockey to distinguish French-Canadians from the French and to rally them against their English-speaking counterparts. In the end, however, this study illuminates how the sport of hockey unites the two solitudes.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7001-3
    Subjects: Art & Art History, Language & Literature, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Permissions
    (pp. ix-2)
  5. Introduction: Hockey as Nationalist Marker in Quebec Film, but Which Nationalism?
    (pp. 3-20)

    One of Quebec’s biggest box office hits in the last decade,³ Érik Canuel’s action comedyBon Cop, Bad Cop(2006) pits two mismatched investigators, one Anglo-Ontarian, the other a Franco-Quebecer, against a serial killer who chooses his victims among various “members of the hockey community” (1:03:05). Nicknamed the “tattoo killer” after the clues he leaves imprinted on his victims, the murderer views himself as a righteous avenger, targeting individuals involved in the pending sale of a fictional Quebec major league franchise to the United States. Perhaps unfortunately, the two very different yet complementary detectives manage to thwart the killer’s final...

  6. Chapter One From Canadiens to Québécois: Maurice Richard as National Hero
    (pp. 21-39)

    Sheldon Cohen’s animated film adaptation of Roch Carrier’s beloved story “The Hockey Sweater” literally transforms ten young boys in Ste-Justine, Quebec, into ten miniature copies of Maurice Richard (1921–2000), who in his day was the most revered French Canadian hockey player both inside and outside “La Belle Province” (and who still is today, in Quebec). Originally titled “Une abominable feuille d’érable sur la glace” (1979; an abominable maple leaf on the ice), the nostalgic text has been appropriated as an important nationalist parable. Its young protagonist – an avatar of Carrier himself as a boy – abhors the fact...

  7. Chapter Two “The Nordiques Have Disappeared!”: Hockey, Science Fiction, and Nationalist Fantasies in Quebec
    (pp. 40-83)

    In his well-known memoirThe Game(1983), Ken Dryden, the former star goalie for the Montreal Canadiens and later a federal MP, recalls the tension in the Forum on provincial election night, 15 November 1976. For once, the crowd appeared distracted by a reality outside the hallowed arena, the Mecca of hockey; the scoreboard intermittently reflected their preoccupation, flashing election results as “Lib vs PQ.” A few miles away in Montreal’s heavily francophone east end, at the Paul Sauvé Arena – once home ice for a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) team – the Parti Québécois prepared for a...

  8. Chapter Three Plus ça change ...: The Hockey-Themed Television Series Lance et compte as a Reflection of Quebec Society
    (pp. 84-117)

    On Tuesday, 9 September 1986, at eight p.m., a record nearly two million³ Québécois viewers tuned in to Radio-Canada for the debut of what would become a cult television series in the province, the hockey-themed prime-time dramaLance et compte(He Shoots! He Scores!). By the end of the season (the finale aired on Tuesday, 2 December 1986), it had garnered 2,756,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen ratings.⁴ The series featured a fictional NHL team, the National of Quebec City, explicitly modelled on the Quebec Nordiques.⁵ Its blue-and-white uniforms sported the fleurs-de-lys of both the provincial flag and the Nordiques’...

  9. Chapter Four Real Men Play Hockey: Sport, Masculinity, and National Identity in the Les Boys Films
    (pp. 118-157)

    InSlap Shot(1977), the mother of all hockey films, Québécois actor Yvan Ponton plays the secondary role of Jean-Guy Drouin, one of two token French Canadians on the Charlestown Chiefs’ roster.¹ A decade later he portrayed the “castrating NHL coach,”² Jacques Mercier inLance et compte; twenty years later, the actor found himself once again on the ice in front of the camera, as Jean-Charles inLes Boys(1997). This time he is a key role player in the film’s eponymous “garage league” hockey team managed by bar owner Stan. Like the earlier American film, the Quebec film centre...

  10. Chapter Five Rock and Roll, Skate and Slide: Hockey Music as an Expression of National Identity in Quebec
    (pp. 158-188)

    Through the Mist(2009) tells the brilliant and tragic life story of André Fortin, nicknamed “Dédé,” the outspokenly nationalist lead singer of the extremely popular 1990s group Les Colocs. The biopic opens with a broad establishing shot of a wintry rural landscape; before we see him, we hear the unmistakable swish of skates on ice; an instant later, a lone hockey player crosses the pond, approaches a goal that we now see, shoots, and scores. This is followed by a series of cuts to a reverse shot of a house on the hill above the pond and then of another...

  11. Conclusion: Hockey Is Quebec
    (pp. 189-192)

    As we have seen in the preceding pages, just as for Anglo-Canadians, for Franco-Québécois hockey represents one of the most omnipresent and meaningful markers of national identity; but for them it signifies a specific, North American francophone identity. Whether viewed nostalgically as the winter pastime of an innocent youth (Carrier’s “The Hockey Sweater” or Barcelo’s “Noël Lachard (I)”), as an arena to safely play out local (Nordiques vs Canadiens) or national (Canadiens vs Maple Leafs) rivalries by proxy, or as a source of French Canadian pride and models for masculinity and heroism (Maurice Richard and the Canadiens as “Nos Glorieux”),...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 193-224)
  13. Works Cited
    (pp. 225-248)
  14. Index
    (pp. 249-265)