Wednesday 1 February 2012

Where the water is deep

"Chicoutimi is an Amerindian word
it means up to where the water is deep
this word refers to the Saguenay
a big a beautiful a splendid river
but Chicoutimi as a town is ugly
as every American town
and this ugliness is very interesting
but fortunately nature surrounds every town
in this country
and nature cannot be ugly"

Larry Tremblay
, The Dragonfly of Chicoutimi

I have quoted Larry Tremblay before, this very quote in fact, but it fits the topic of this post. I am in Chicoutimi, where I grew up, where indeed I spent the first 20 years of my life or so. I had a glimpse of the Saguenay, this beautiful, splendid river, and a lot of the ugliness of the town. It didn't change much. I can say that Chicoutimi is ugly without being considered a traitor, I hope, as this ugliness has now been immortalised in a major play. And because ugliness can be interesting.

I always come back here with an uneasy feeling. Chicoutimi, as I mentioned here in French, has a fitting name: it is deep, far away from everywhere, surrounded by forest and nature, the Saguenay river with its deep, deep water, and it affected our psyche: we are as insular as English people, if not more. I wonder if being an expat does not mean, also, becoming a foreigner. I will come back to it in the next days.


Prof Solitaire said...

Profite bien de ton séjour en terre natale! Bienvenue chez toi! :-)

Anonymous said...

Your town has a beautiful name and home lies deep. If you feel foreign there, it is merely forgetting. However reading this post I think that you remember just fine:-)