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First published in l965, Hubert Aquin’s Next Episode is a disturbing and yet deeply moving novel of dissent and distress. As he awaits trial, a young separatist writes an espionage story in the psychiatric ward of the Montreal prison where he has been detained. Sheila Fischman’s bold new translation captures the pulsating life of Aquin’s complex exploration of the political realities of contemporary Quebec.
From the Paperback edition.
Unmoving, I watch my own nothingness pass by; unmoving, I’m like the chateau of Echandens I see now, solid as the snow that buried our first kiss. The reality around and within me is outstripping me: a thousand dazzled crystals stand in for the passing of time. I am stopped in my race. Nothing moves forward except my hypocritical hand across the paper. And from this lingering residuary movement I infer the brain activity that controls it, the embryonic waves that survive imperceptibly during a
makes a mistake. This brilliant copy of “The Death of General Wolfe,” which was purchased by George III some centuries before H. de Heutz bought his, thrills me! For that matter the remarkable luxury and good taste throughout this chateau fill me with a kind of haunting memory I’ve never known before: the pleasure of living in a house can then resemble the bewildered complacency I experience in this sweeping, majestic salon. H. de Heutz lives in a kind of altered universe that’s never been
feel myself sicken from day to day. Nothing feeds my soul any more: no starry night transmutes my desert into sheets of shadow and mystery. Nothing offers me distraction or some substitute euphoria. Everything abandons me at the speed of light, all the membranes break, allowing the precious blood to seep away. BETWEEN JULY 26, 1960 and August 4, 1792, halfway between two liberations, while I worm my way, coated in a light alloy, into a novel being written in Lausanne, I’m anxiously looking for a
gave birth to me, the revolutionary: upon your lyrical expanse I lie down and live. Deep in the darkness of your belly I strike, fainting with joy, and I find the warm and wounded land of our national invention. My love, you are my native soil I scoop up by the handful, dark elusive soil I make fertile, where I fight to the death, prideful inventor of an endless guerrilla war. On this Eastern Townships road between Acton Vale and Richmond, near Durham-sud and wherever we two have travelled – to
[Vanishing Point] (1971) Blocs erratiques [Erratic Blocks] (1977) FICTION Prochain épisode [Next Episode] (1965) Trou de mémoire [Blackout] (1969) L’Antiphonaire [The Antiphonary] (1973) Neige noire [Hamlet’s Twin] (1974) L’Invention de la mort [The Invention of Death] (1991)