Writing Against Knowing, Writing Against Certainty; or What’s Really Under the Veranda in Jacques Poulin’s Volkswagen Blues Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • This article looks at attitudes towards history in Jacques Poulin's Volkswagen Blues. It situates the novel in its North American context, as an example both of "l'américanité," and an investigation of "l'altérité." It follows the progress of its characters as they simultaneously retrace and deconstruct the colonialist-expansionist vision represented by "the American dream." The article speaks to the tension in the novel between Eurocentric and Aboriginal imaginative and historical discourses, and to its engagement with post-colonial issues of power and disempowerment. It places these specific textual concerns in the larger context of post-Holocaust thought, seeing it in particular as a consideration of the relationship between historical and providential authority and individual moral responsibility, and as an engagement with fascism.

publication date

  • August 1999

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