Utopian Science Fiction from Quebec, from National Allegories to Cultural Accommodation: Joël Champetier's RESET—Le Voile de lumière (2011) Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • This article surveys utopian science fiction from Quebec with an analysis of a contemporary novel, drawing on national allegory and imperialism. The literature is significantly concerned with domestic amelioration rather than foreign domination, notably through historical revision and idealized social organization. In Joël Champetier's 2011 novel RESET-Le Voile de lumière, characters in a Quebec village have suffered amnesia via bedazzling light. What actually took place was an alien incursion and subsequent attempt to reeducate the population according to puritan principles. Chaos ensues as factions of the alien conglomerate act according to differing ends and the humans respond to the occupation, increasingly viewed as an invasion rather than an aid effort. The intercultural dynamics in RESET play on the debate surrounding reasonable accommodation practices by mirroring and warping them. The novel problematizes a conflicting appreciation of history through seemingly genuine and manifestly skewed memory, based on an incomplete understanding of the self and of the intentions of those who represent alterity. Champetier nuances the legitimacy of competing values and relativizes the authenticity of those who assert their authority by invalidating rival models. This articles offers a critical appreciation of the corpus by shedding light on patterns specific to these works.

publication date

  • 2017