Quebec Studies

Le Monologue Splénétique De La Sagouine

Quebec Studies (1994), 19, (1), 113–122.


Antonine Maillet, one of the first (and strongest) to seize the spoken idiom of her native Acadia and to assert the claim of its speakers to a voice in human drama, has set out in her La sagouine a spleen-filled soliloquy in which an ageing washerwoman spits out rage, vituperation, and caustic humor in a now chatty, now ferocious indictment of a social order which conspires to treat her as an inferior. Out of this bittersweet recollection emerges nonetheless a stoic wisdom and dignity which take strentgth not merely from the cogency of the indictment and the richness of the language in which the diatribe is couched but also from its participation in a far older tradition of woman, wisdom, pain, and word: that of the hag or crone.

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Author details

Farrell, Alan