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Nicole Brossard

Nicole Brossard: Selections

Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: 1
Pages: 252
  • Book Info
    Nicole Brossard
    Book Description:

    "Pleasure," Jennifer Moxley writes in her introduction to this volume, "is the word that first comes to mind at the mention of Nicole Brossard's poetry." This volume provides English-language readers with an overview of the life and work of Nicole Brossard, poet, novelist, and essayist, who is widely recognized in her native Québec and throughout the French-speaking world as one of the greatest writers of her generation. Brossard's poetry is rooted in her investigations of language, her abiding commitment to a feminist consciousness, and her capacity for renewing meaning as a virtual space of desire. The reader enters a poetic world in which the aesthetic is joined with the political, and the meaning of both is enriched in the process. The selections in this volume include translations of some of Brossard's best-known works-Lovhers, Ultra Sounds, Museum of Bone and Water, Notebook of Roses and Civilization-along with short prose works, an interview with Brossard, and a bibliography of works in French and English, and constitute the most substantial English-language sampling published to date of one of Canada's greatest living poets.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94510-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
    (pp. 1-22)
    Jennifer Moxley

    Pleasure. This is the word that first comes to mind at the mention of Nicole Brossard’s poetry. There are other words, of course, words with historical and political resonance—Québécoise, avant-garde, feminist, lesbian—words which cannot be uttered casually, words which cause some to stop listening and others to lean in and listen more closely. Brossard puts such words at risk, for under her pen they magically change. Heavy words become light yet still maintain their gravitas, their restrictive weight (“labels” as some dismissively call them), becoming expansive, utopian, inspiring. Specific historical moments turn into universals, personal desire into the...

  4. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
    (pp. 23-24)
  6. POEMS

    • From The Echo Moves Beautiful (1968)
      (pp. 27-29)
    • From Logical Suite (1970)
      (pp. 30-35)
    • From The White Centre (1970)
      (pp. 36-39)
    • From Daydream Mechanics (1974–1980)
      (pp. 40-48)
    • From The Part for the Whole (1975)
      (pp. 49-54)
    • From Lovhers (1980–1986)
      (pp. 55-77)
    • From Double Impression (1984)
      (pp. 78-81)
    • From Aviva (1985, 2008)
      (pp. 82-87)
    • From To Every Gaze (1989)
      (pp. 88-92)
    • From Obscure Languages (1992)
      (pp. 93-95)
    • From Vertigo of the Proscenium (1997)
      (pp. 96-97)
    • From Installations (1989–2000)
      (pp. 98-125)
    • From Museum of Bone and Water (1999–2003)
      (pp. 126-149)
    • From Shadow: Soft et Soif (2003)
      (pp. 150-156)
    • From Notebook of Roses and Civilization (2003–2007)
      (pp. 157-172)
    • From Ardor (2008)
      (pp. 173-175)
    • From After the Words (2007)
      (pp. 176-176)

    • Poetic Politics (1990)
      (pp. 179-192)

      I have divided my presentation into two parts. The first part has to do with the body of writing, its motivations, its energies. The second part has to do with the references and values that surround us and the kinds of linguistic reaction they call for when we disagree with them. I saywhen we disagree with thembecause I don’t believe that one becomes a writer to reinforce common values or common perspectives on reality.

      I would like, in this talk, to make space for questions regarding different rituals, different approaches, different postures that we take in language in...

    • [UNTITLED] “I’m a woman of the present” (1999)
      (pp. 193-196)

      I’m a woman of the present fascinated by the history that enters into the composition of the words with which each generation bears witness to its anguish, invents its hope, modifies the collective tale. I am interested in what confines each generation inside themes, metaphors, theoretical and stylistic attitudes. I imagine the passion of the language that is allowed to escape from this. The turbulence that cracks open history. The desire that consumes the common places. I imagine the interior urgency that forces the liquidation of an era’s truisms. Literature is the fruit of a displacement of belonging into a...

    • Process of a Yes Its Energy in Progress (1993)
      (pp. 197-205)

      A title, a mise en scène. Progress of an energy that says yes amid the complexity and variety of living forms. Certainly, we are never through with the torment, with our lofty affirmations. There are always questions to warn us against what we already are, what we already know, questions that generate narrative, feeding the back-and-forth between reality and what, virtual, throws us back into the enigma. Yes, because we deal in lies and changing your mind isn’t easy amid the laws and sepultures. It is in language, we will recall, that lives the hunted hand of theI weigh...

    • Why Do You Write in French? (2000)
      (pp. 206-210)

      To tell you the truth, I have never asked myself that question. Belonging to the only group of francophones issuing from the French colonies who can really claim an infamous “Gallic ancestry,” being part of a people for whom the French language is an obsession, a favorite pastime, a source of anguish and pride, having inebriated myself very early on with French literature as though it were mine in hopes of one day, to paraphrase France Théoret, talking like we write, it seems to be completely honest if a bit simplistic to answer today’s question by saying that I write...

    • Interview with Nicole Brossard (1993)
      (pp. 211-220)

      Llynne huffe: I would like to begin by talking about your work both as a writer and a feminist. Since the 1970s you have been a part of the feminist movement as a poet, novelist, editor, essayist. Could you put the history of these various activities in a contemporary context?

      Nicole brossard: The poet, the novelist, and the feminist are still very active. I am still trying to answer questions about what it means to be a contemporary subject in a civilization about to shift into another dimension. Very early on, I said that I saw myself as an explorer...

    (pp. 221-235)
    (pp. 236-238)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 239-239)