Francophone Acadian Literature as an Ultraminor Literature

The Case of Novelist France Daigle

In: Journal of World Literature

This essay takes four novels by Acadian fiction-writer France Daigle as case studies of a phenomenon it defines as ultraminor. It develops the concept of the ultraminor in relation to Acadian literature, a doubly dominated literature positioned uneasily between centers of cultural influence in Paris and Montreal. The author conceives of the ultraminor as a writing strategy and a method of critical reading. As a writing strategy, the ultraminor aims to transcend dual marginality while establishing new frames of reference defined on local terms. As a dialectical critical method, the ultraminor exposes the binaries that novelists such as Daigle seek to transcend—between center and periphery and cultural normativity and emergence—while remaining caught within the terms of the original double-bind. Viewed from the lens of Daigle’s novels, the ultraminor complicates Casanova’s model of polycentrism by rendering intercultural relations among literary centers and peripheries at once dynamic and vulnerable to pressures from the margins.

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