The Tangible Word


161 pages
ISBN 0-920717-56-X
DDC C843'.54





Translated by Barbara Godard

Marguerite Andersen is a professor of French studies at the University
of Guelph.


The four stories in this collection (published separately in French as
Bloody Mary [1977]; Une Voix pour Odile [1978]; Vertiges [1979]; and
Nécessairement putain [1980]) all show woman in search of a meaning, a
language, and an identity that she can call her own. They demonstrate
Théoret’s desire to break away from traditional forms—from linear
and binary thinking.

Like Nicole Brossard, Louky Bersianik, Madeleine Gagnon, Carole Massé,
and Yolande Villemaire, Théoret believes questions of gender need to be
asked within the domain of art in order to examine the grounds on which
power relations are formed and artistic expression influenced.

She also explores sexual relations, giving some of her writing (for
example in Vertiges) beautiful erotic overtones. (Such pages could be
used to illustrate the difference between pornography and erotica.)

As always, Godard has translated these difficult texts with sensitive
artistry. In her introductory essay, she speaks of the difficulty in
finding a rhythm in English to match that of the francophone writer. In
reading the stories, however, it is evident that she overcame this
difficulty with elegance.


Théoret, France., “The Tangible Word,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 26, 2024,