Intimate Journal


141 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 1-55128-104-X
DDC C843'.5403





Reviewed by Tamara Jones

Tamara Jones is a former production operations supervisor in the
Entertainment Department of Paramount Canada’s Wonderland.


Time, writing and subject, and their relationship to each other are the
key components of this journal by the prolific Quebec writer-poet Nicole

Written between January 26 and June 1, 1983, the journal is divided
into five chapters. Within that time frame the author also records
entries from the past, bringing into relief earlier experiences and
sensations. She writes and changes the date, deciding to taste the
illusion of “writing tomorrow” as she records “February 4” on
the entry for February 3. At the end of each chapter, she distils the
entries into a prose poem, which she then reduces to a five- or six-line
poem. At the conclusion of the journal, she recombines the entries in a
section of prose poems titled “Works of Flesh” that revolves around
ideas of mothering and the transmission of knowledge.

Intimate Journal is a work in translation, a point not lost on
Brossard, who sees the act of translation as a challenge to the writer:
“To be translated is to be interrogated not only in what one believes
oneself to be but in one’s way of thinking in a language.”
Brossard’s journal demonstrates her passion for language and
challenges the reader to be thoughtfully engaged.


Brossard, Nicole., “Intimate Journal,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 22, 2024,