Selling the Cure: Quebec’s Parti Pris, the Disease of Colonialism and the Nationalist Remedy

Publisher:
Association for Canadian Studies in Australia and New Zealand
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Australasian Canadian Studies, 2014, 31 (1-2), pp. 95 - 116
Issue Date:
2014
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Drawing inspiration from psychological discourses prominent in Francophone decolonization theory and Quebec’s homegrown tradition of medicalized political rhetoric, Parti pris—a socialist journal advocating separatism—used tropes of physical and mental illness to draw attention to national problems and to position the ideologies supported by its editors as the only effective cures to these national ills. This study takes a medical humanities approach to the problems with this rhetorical strategy to argue that an over-emphatic outlining of problems and the choice to prioritize schizophrenia as a national diagnosis for the ills of neo-colonialism generated its own resistances to the proposed solutions. Of particular concern are issues of sensationalism with regard to the medical and public health realities of Quebec at the time, a blurring of the connotative and denotative functions of medicalized language, and inconsistencies within the overall discursive strategy, particularly in relation to postcolonial intertexts and mental health discourse.
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