Quebec & French Publishing

Under Jack McClelland M&S served as the premier publisher of translated works of Quebecois literature. These ranged from political works, to children's literature, to more adult novels. The documents featured here cover these three categories specifically. The first two deal with the controversial publishing of the English translation of a popular political manifesto by Quebecois socialist Pierre Vallieres, which caused considerable backlash in the wake of the October Crisis considering the author's connection to the FLQ. The other two documents deal with the publication potential of two books, one from Quebecois author Claude Aubrey, and the other from Ivoirien author Ahmadou Kourouma, whose first novel was originally published in Montreal. Though these books were obviously published with profit in mind, McClelland often saw their publication in English Canada as being important for the country. 

Vallieres War Measures Act Part 1

Vallieres War Measures Act

This letter shows the issues McClelland faced with the publication of Pierre Vallieres' book on the economic state of the Quebecois. Vallieries was considered an intellectual leader of the FLQ, though without any direct connection, and thus McClelland reasoned that the publication of such a book during the War Measures Act would leave him liable to arrest. Ultimately the publication was carried out in spite of the potential dangers. 

Vallieres Censorship

Vallieries Censorship

This document outlines a potential issue with the publication of Vallieries' book, while also outlining the attitude to its publication taken by McClelland. The epilogue had been removed from the English manuscript before publication, on the assumption that it had been from the French publisher. In its place, the translator for the English edition had written his own epilogue, which was rejected by Vallieries. McClelland emphasizes here that this is due to a misunderstanding, and that he has no desire to censor this book. 

Soleils Des Independences

Soleils Des Independences

This document comes from a short correspondence between Ahmadou Kourouma and McClelland discussing the potential publication of Kourouma's book Les Soleils Des Independances, which had recently been published in Montreal. McClelland doubted the book's profitability in the Canadian market, and thus did not pursue publication. 

The King of the Thousand Islands

The King of the Thousand Islands

This document comes from a correspondence between the editorial department of M&S and Helen Jones of the Little Brown & Co. publishing company. M&S had recently published the English translation of a Quebecois children's book called The King of the Thousand Islands. M&S is here trying to expand this book's market, through advertising it to Little Brown for an American publication, showing how M&S contributed to the dissemination of English translations of Quebecois literature. 

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