“Victory!” by Michel Tremblay: lovers of the Laurentians

Through The Desrosiers Diaspora and the Chronicles of Plateau-Mont-Royal, the readers of Michel Tremblay already know the secrets of this family, revealed bit by bit over the books. In Victory!, his new opus, Michel Tremblay goes back in time to 1898, in the heart of the Laurentians, and tells the great love story between two orphans, Victoire and Josaphat.

After spending seven long years at the convent with a view to becoming a nun, Victoire decides to return to Duhamel to find her brother Josaphat. Like her, he has been an orphan since the death of their parents in the fire in the village church.

Giving voice to Victoire, Michel Tremblay tells in this romantic elegy what happened. From their union will be born Albertine, then Gabriel, the husband of the Fat Woman and the father of Jean-Marc, alias Michel Tremblay. This story had never really been told, and the writer does it with jubilation, sincerity and great intensity.

Her editor, the late Lise Bergevin, often asked her to write a book recounting the genesis of Victoire with her brother. “This is the genesis of the genesis of everything I have written,” said Michel Tremblay in an interview. When she left, in July of last year, I said to myself, oh yes … Not only do I owe it to her, but I owe it to myself too and to all the species of immense saga that I ‘ve been writing for 50 years. “

In The Desrosiers Diaspora, he went back to 1902 and this time he went to Gabriel’s source until 1898. “Instead of talking about Gabriel’s birth, I went to meet the brother and sister who have not seen each other for seven years and who fall in love. “

The story is touching and the characters extremely vibrant. “I called it an elegiac novel: I wanted it to be half an inch above the floor. I wanted to give Victoire’s voice a kind of poetry, larger than life, a transcendence and, at the same time, a little touch of sadness too. An elegy, we find that magnificent, but it grips the heart a little. “

Michel Tremblay evokes the beautiful nature and landscapes of Duhamel, in the Laurentians. “This is the only campaign I knew when I was little. The first time I went there I was maybe 10-12 years old – I had never been out of town in my life. My aunt Tina had a country house which is the house I am describing, in Duhamel. “

Victory!, it is the rediscovery of the countryside by a girl who comes from there, but who was locked up in a convent with sisters for seven years and who suddenly returns to her roots. The presence of nature, it comes back to him, and I wanted to find this kind of innocence in front of so much beauty. I wanted it to be very present and very strong in the novel. ”

Michel Tremblay notes that he always talks about nature in his novels. “She’s been there ever since The Crossing of Feelings, since 2010.”

The landscapes transpose the emotions. “Duhamel, it’s still very beautiful. Besides, I went there recently and found the Hanging House. I knew exactly where it was, a mile from the village, and I remembered it because the fence was diagonally. The barrier was open and we went. The lady who lived there recognized me. I told him: My grandmother died here. And she said to me: Well yes, I know it! It was a great emotion to find this house. ”

  • A prolific columnist and playwright whose plays are performed around the world, Michel Tremblay is one of the most important writers of his generation.
  • The cycle of the Belles-Sœurs, the Chronicles of Plateau-Mont-Royal and The Desrosiers Diaspora belong to the corpus of major works of current French-speaking literature.

EXTRACT

I have always known Jehoshaphat as a gentle, peaceful being, more often than in his turn silent. As a child, he could play for hours with a stick or sit under a tree, his hands behind his head, daydreaming. Dad had found a quote in his encyclopedia that he kept repeating to my brother: “The future belongs to the daring, Josaphat, pis toé, well, you don’t seem to be one!” A dreamer, that’s what he had always been. ”

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