It’s like a habit: every ten years, a Quebec feather emerges from who knows where.
I still remember a Sunday evening in 2005 when a young storyteller from Saint-Élie-De-Caxton landed on the set of Everybody talks about it.
He spoke, gesticulated, told and blasted stories from words, neologisms and expressions raped. There was magic in the television. As if our uniqueness as a people was embodied in the one man.
Quebec then discovered its national storyteller. His name was Fred Pellerin.
When I listen to and read writer David Goudreault, it’s a bit of the same indescribable and metaphysical magic that takes place.
Something that makes us want him to describe us collectively, that he raises our grandeur and our laziness, that he points to where too often we forget to look, that he juggles with words to dazzle us.
Goudreault was a social worker before becoming a writer. And it shows in his prose, at the same time beautiful, rough and trashy. He writes “trashi-comic realities”, as I’ve heard before.
Catherine Dorion said a few years ago that our artists who mark us collectively are those who manage to observe our collective place, Quebec, with love.
They succeed with us, not by pulling away from us. They sing ” Do you love me ” instead of’I love you.
Through his books and songs, Goudreault does what Dorion said. He dips his pen in our quirks, our hypocrisies, our taboos to reveal unsuspected parts of ourselves.
It even pushes our gaze further. Often to those who caught the wrong number in the lottery of life. And we, we discover a world that we often ignore.
So if you haven’t already, get his trilogy The beast or his latest book Your death to me.
Also listen to his new album. Especially the last piece: I appeal to poetry.
It could be our national anthem.