(serialized in Paris 1914, publ in Montréal 1916), a novel embodying the spirit of French Canada at its most lyrical, was based by author Louis HÉMON
, an expatriate Frenchman, on his experiences in the Lac Saint-Jean district of Québec. Church and farm provide a physical and symbolic setting for the romance, as the seasons and feast days provide a mythic temporal framework for its action. Following the death of her mother and that of her lover François Paradis, Maria must choose between 2 suitors: Lorenzo Surprenant, who tempts her with the riches of America, and Eutrope Gagnon, the boy next door. She unselfishly accepts Gagnon, thereby ensuring the survival of family and community and affirming the traditional values of rural French Canada. Frequently reprinted both in Canada and in France, Maria Chapdelaine
has been filmed 3 times, most recently by Gilles CARLE
(1983). W.H. Blake's translation (1921), beautifully illustrated with woodcuts by Thoreau MACDONALD
, remains the standard English edition.
Links to Other Sites
See images from an art exhibit inspired by the French Canadian novel "Maria Chapdelaine." From the McMichael Canadian Art Collection