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1981
Volume 10, Issue 3-4
  • ISSN: 1539-7785
  • E-ISSN: 2048-0717

Abstract

In 1945, Canadian author Hugh MacLennan published, Two Solitudes, a novel about the tense relationship between Québec's French and English cultures. Today, "two solitudes" is the eponym signifying the divide between French and English Canada. Like MacLennan, Marshall McLuhan saw the English Canadians as the environment of the French Canadians. In the electric age, both populations grew acutely aware of each other's presence, and television abetted the quest for national identity by French speakers. That such a quest was accompanied by turmoil proved unsurprising to McLuhan. It is therefore not insignificant that the McLuhan centenary follows the 40th anniversary of Québec's October Crisis, when a group of Québec indépendantistes orchestrated kidnappings and assassination. Television viewers watched as Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau called in federal troops to quell further violence. A decade earlier, the Quiet Revolution had already begun transforming Québec. French speakers leapfrogged into the global village, and suddenly old environmental arrangements were no longer sustainable.

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2011-07-10
2024-06-13
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