Fractured Bodies and Diseased Societies: Medicalizing Quebec in Cite Libre

University of Toronto Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Canadian Studies, 2011, 45 (1), pp. 178 - 199
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This essay seeks to rationalize and explain the evolution of medical rhetoric in Cité libre by looking at trends in the journal's use of tropes of illness and disease. Through a combination of broad content analysis and close readings, it contrasts how individual metaphors create the impression of a sickening nation and the manner in which these metaphors collectively, albeit paradoxically, act as a national allegory of cure for mid-twentieth-century Quebec's social ills in general, and specifically for its pathological inferiority complex. By examining how the journal uses medical metaphors and specifically how the writers employed the trope of the body politic to illustrate Quebec's national failings, the essay demonstrates how Quebec challenges the rhetorical stability of the age-old metaphor as it attempts to solve, but also creates, problems within Quebec's articulation of its own nationhood.
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