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The First Garden. A Personal and Collective History of Québec. The First Garden Raphael talks about a bygone time… at the very beginning of the world. The Garden of Eden Adam and Eve Tree of the knowledge of good and evil Adam and Eve expelled from the garden

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the first garden

The First Garden

A Personal and Collective History of Québec

the first garden raphael talks about a bygone time at the very beginning of the world
The First GardenRaphael talks about a bygone time…at the verybeginning of the world

The Garden of Eden

  • Adam and Eve
  • Tree of the knowledge of good and evil
  • Adam and Eve expelledfrom the garden
  • “...woman who talks on and on, claiming that she has emerged from between our ribs to take her first breath here...” p. 77

The Garden of Louis Hébert and Marie Rollet

  • seeds from France
  • apple tree brought in
  • sketch of a city planted in the wildness of the earth p. 75
  • Marie Rollet fragmented into a thousand fresh faces p.79(filles du roi)
marie rollet
Marie Rollet
  • filles du roi embody a thousand fresh faces. Green branches emerge ...p. 79
  • mother who gives birth. beginnings of a family tree
  • Flora isprepared to play the role of Marie Rollet, imagines how shedressed.
  • She tells Raphael, « Adam isyou. »
flora fontanges
Flora Fontanges
  • Had no familytree– given to the nunsatbirthwhonamedher Pierrette Paul.
  • As a childshesought to belong, to beloved
  • Feltloved by Rosa Gaudrault, who dies in the fire.
  • Shenarrrowly escapes the fire, but nearly dies of scarletfever. Sheisquarantined for 48 days.
  • She must besanitized, strippednaked, shorn and everythingshehad must beburned.
  • She must adapt to her new parents and become Marie. “The reverse of everything she has been required to learn up till now” p. 114
social class
Social class
  • In Québec therewas « good society »and ordinary people «thosewhowerequitebluntlycommon. »
  • The upper class feltsuperior and remainedaloof and unaccepting of those of lesserstatus.
  • The hard-workingmaids made the housesworthy. (p. 94)
  • Madame Eventurel, the false grandmother, came from a wealthy, sociallyprominentfamily.
  • Monsieur Eventurel, her son-in-law, lostmost of their money but theystill put on airs.
marie eventurel
Marie Eventurel
  • The child feels ashamed, petrified; won’t speak.
  • She waits in silence for perfect mastery of speech.
  • Whenever she recites a poem, an alchemy occurs in her, stirring together tears and cries to produce a true, crystalline voice...Her soul is escaping into the light of day in a pure breath. P. 119
her d but
Her Début
  • False grandmother has said, « You’llnevermake a lady of her. »
  • Parents still have a coming-out party for her.
  • The man whokeepsstepping on herfeet proposes marriage.
  • Her parents are pleased—heisrich.
  • Sheflatly refuses to marryhim.
marie becomes flora
Marie becomes Flora
  • Marie runsaway to become a chambermaid on a cruiseship.
  • Sheeventuallysettles in France, became an actress and took the name Flora Fontanges.
  • Sheplaysmanyroles, mostly of powerfulwomen: Joan of Arc, Phaedra, Mary Tudor, HeddaGabler.
  • Shestaysawayfrom Québec for twentyyears.
return to qu bec
Return to Québec
  • Maud has written and askedher to come.
  • Sheisoffered the role of Winnie in Beckett’splayHappy Days.
  • Shesuffers malaise, but doesn’t know why.
  • Shedoesn’treallywant to go back.
repressed memories her subconscious
  • The fireat the orphanage
  • The death of Rosa Gaudrault
  • Scarletfever
  • Having to abandon everythingfamiliar
  • Feeling of not belonging in the Eventurelfamily

Flora’smemoryisjarred as Raphael leadsheraround the old part of the city.

history of qu bec from a woman s perspective
History of Québec from a woman’s perspective
  • Raphael, a historystudentisher guide.
  • Roaming the streets, she conjures up variouswomenwhomight have lived:
    • Barbe Abadie, a merchant’swifewhodied in childbirtharound 1640.
    • Angélique, the governor’sdaughter, who, atage 12 wants to return to France.
    • GuillemetteThibaut– wanted to be a blacksmith but became a nun because women were not allowed to do that.
more women of history
More women of history
  • Aurore (maid) fancied by boss’s son) raped and murdered in the park. P. 94
  • Les filles du roi (girls for marrying), came into the cold, rude climate to whichtheywereunaccustomed.
  • Renée Chavreux, dies in blizzard several days after her marriage
  • Flora’s passion for Maud’sfatherwas « so violent thatduring one wholeseasonsheplayedPhaedrawith the fury of a devastatingflame, beingdoublyconsumed, in her life and in the theater.
  • The fatherismarried, doesn’twant Maud to beborn and abandons Flora
  • Flora takesthreemonths off in a tiny, isolated house in the country, with a garden.
  • Flora loves Maud totally, completely.
flora and maud
Flora and Maud
  • Flora’s acting sufferswhenshedevotesherself to Maud.
  • Shetakes the role of FantinefromLes Misérables (Fantine sacrifices everything for herchild, Cosette).
  • As shegrowsolder, Maud starts running away.
  • Every time Maud has a hit play, Maud runs.
  • Clippings of Flora’s roles alternate with ads for Maud’s return on the wall of the commune.
maud cont
Maud (cont.)
  • Maud joins commune– the supreme virtue is complete detachment.
  • Maud and Raphael break the rules by sleeping togetheroften.
  • Maud’s face “impenetrable as a stone ...Her desires seem inaccessable even to her.”
  • Maud comes back—  »wishesshecouldmeltawaybetweenhermother’sknees. »
  • Maud does not wanther to play the oldwoman Winnie whoisgraduallytotallyengulfed.
  • Maud wants to return to France withher.
  • Flora doesn’tmake an impulsive decision.
  • Flora saysyes, but only in September, afterhercontractis up.
raphael and maud
Raphael and Maud
  • Have an on again, off againrelationship.
  • Are reconciled, seen in the pulsing disco light.
  • She tours the forbidden parts of the city alone. (Raphael iswith Maud now)
  • Shereturns to France aloneafterplaying Winnie for a month.
  • Sheisoffered a role in Pirandello’splayRight You Are (if You Think You Are).
  • Exile
  • Unmasking vs. Hiding
  • Repression
  • Detachment vs. Total immersion
  • Past vs. Present
  • Acting
  • History: the role of women