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A Dizzying Boldness

Melissa Bull celebrates a decade of editing our "Writing from Quebec" column.

The first piece I translated for “Writing from Quebec” was assigned to me. It was a biting, irreverent essay called “Why Quebec Comedy Isn’t Funny” by Marie-Andrée Labbé, author of many projects, including the series Trop and Sans rendez-vous. But, looking back, I also think it was a bit of a clear example of what a lot of Canadians like to hear about Quebec: we’re not that great, here’s why.

It’s an odd situation, in a way. French is the mother tongue of almost 23 percent of Canadians, and we generally consider ourselves to be a bilingual country. Canadians whose first language isn’t French—who very kindly choose to study French and learn to speak the language with mostly French from France teachers—often express opinions along the lines that Quebecers should stop complaining about sovereignty, get over themselves, accept that they lost the war ...

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