Shakespeare in Quebec: Nation, Gender, and Adaptation

Shakespeare in Quebec: Nation, Gender, and Adaptation

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By Jennifer Drouin
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2014
World Rights
296 Pages
ISBN 9781442647978
Published Mar 2014
Online discount: 25%
 $65.00    $48.75
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442669703
Published Mar 2014
Online discount: 25%
Full purchase $65.00

In Shakespeare in Québec, Jennifer Drouin analyses representations of nation and gender in Shakespearean adaptations written in Québec since the Quiet Revolution. Using postcolonial and gender theory, Drouin traces the evolution of discourses of nation and gender in Québec from the Conquest of New France to the present, and she elaborates a theory of adaptation specific to Shakespeare studies.

Drouin’s book explains why Québécois playwrights seem so obsessed with rewriting “le grand Will,” what changes they make to the Shakespearean text, and how the differences between Shakespeare and the adaptations engage the nationalist, feminist, and queer concerns of Québec society.

Close readings from ten plays investigate the radical changes to content that allowed Québécois playwrights to advocate for political change and contribute to the hot debates of the Quiet Revolution, the 1970 October Crisis, the 1980 and 1995 referenda, the rise of feminism, and the emergence of AIDS. Drouin reveals not only how Shakespeare has been adapted in Québec but also how Québécois adaptations have evolved in response to changes in the political climate. As a critical analysis in English of rich but largely ignored French plays, Shakespeare in Québec bridges Canada’s “two solitudes.”

Jennifer Drouin is an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Alabama.


Chapter 1: Postcolonial Shakespeares and Gendering the Québec Nation

Chapter 2: A Theory of Shakespearean Adaptation

Chapter 3: The Quiet Revolution: Passer à l’action

Chapter 4: Tyrants and Usurpers: Tradapting the Conquest

Chapter 5: The First Referendum: Daughters of the Carnivalized Nation

Chapter 6: The Second Referendum: Plurality without Pluralism

Conclusion: Québec v. Canada: Interculturalism and the Politics of Recognition

Appendix: Chronology of Québécois Adaptations of Shakespeare, 1968-2013

Works Cited

Shakespeare in Québec is an intelligent, carefully argued, and stylistically polished book that sheds light on a national and cultural genre of Shakespearean appropriation that has been largely overlooked. The adaptations and appropriations discussed within the book are interesting in their own right, and Drouin does a good job of making them accessible to readers outside Québec or even Canadian studies.”

Christy Desmet, Department of English, University of Georgia

Shakespeare in Québec illuminates an unusual cultural phenomenon: modern Québec playwrights have often adapted Shakespeare – an icon of British cultural conquest – to advance their anticolonial and nationalist projet de société. Jennifer Drouin’s well-researched and persuasively argued work reorients appreciation of Québec stage adaptations of Shakespeare to nationalist perspectives which challenge prevailing multicultural perspectives on Canadian adaptations of Shakespeare.’

Randall Martin, Department of English, University of New Brunswick

‘Drouin’s examination of Québécois literature is a refreshing, entirely new addition to the field of Shakespeare studies. This work would be of interest to readers who focus on any one of her three key terms – Québécois, adaptation, or Shakespeare - as well as those interested in postcolonial Studies.’

Laura Schechter, English Studies in Canada vol 41:03:2015