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CanLit Challenge 1867-1913 > Armand Durand by Rosanna Leprohon #37

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message 1: by Ibis3 (last edited Sep 06, 2010 11:19AM) (new)

Ibis3 | 322 comments Mod
Paul Durand, a well-off farmer living in the fictional seigneurie of Alonville on the bank of the St. Lawrence, has two sons, each by a different wife (he is made a widower twice). They go off to school in Montreal where one flourishes and the other wishes to be back working outside on the farm. Sibling rivalry and a bad marriage play out against the backdrop of village and urban societies.

From the introduction:
"Obviously this novel demonstrated new interests on the part of the author. It appeared in a period of innovation. Novelists in Britain, America, and Europe were experimenting with problem novels. Mrs. Gaskell's sombre novels were supplanting Dickens' more humourous accounts of family and class relations--but even Dickens had turned from his early Pickwick style to the darker tones of Hard Times--a novel about industrial strikes, drunkenness, and family breakdown. In the 1860s Turgenev and Flaubert, Meredith and Melville were opening new avenues in their fiction. Mrs. Leprohon's 1868 story reflects the changing concerns of contemporary novelists."Armand Durand, or, A promise fulfilled

message 2: by Ibis3 (new)

Ibis3 | 322 comments Mod
Armand Durand was quite distinct from Antoinette de Mirecourt. Where the latter novel had a rather tight plot contained within a relatively short period of time and with no extraneous subplots, this one is meandering, biographical, and takes place over the course of two generations. As well, Antoinette was more in the style of the previous century whereas Armand Durand has a stronger sense of realism. I quite liked this novel with all of its character studies set against the backdrop of Quebec society. For more (including spoilers!), check out my blog post at Reader of the Stack.

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