The Secret Voice

Short stories, translated from the French by Matt Cohen (Toronto:

Porcupine’s Quill, 1990 )

This is a collection of ten short stories which all deal with the relationships of the characters to the law. The law has many facets: orders to follow, internalized principles we obey to without questioning, etc. These stories analyze what happens when one gets rid of its consciousness: a world of nonsense.

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Reviews' excerpts

"Some stories of this collection by Brulotte are among the best texts published in Quebec in 1982, simple, sober, nourished by an original and rich intelligence of emotion." Rene Lapierre, Liberté, April 1983.

"Gaëtan Brulotte is one of those writers who have participated in a significant fashion to the recent history of Quebec short story. (… ) The Secret Voice is said to be an emblematic collection, which has contributed to give a formidable impulse to the genre." Francine Bordeleau, Montreal, Lettres québécoises 87 (1997), 14.

"Among the best collections since the beginning of the 80s" Jean-François Chassay, Spirale, March 1986.

"A collection of ten short stories of a rare quality. [...] A perfect mastery of short story writing. [...] Universal themes inspired from small but significant facts of daily life, an acute sense of irony [...] evident skills in text construction, intelligence of style [...] all make this collection of short stories a great achievement. The Secret Voice is a book that is at the same time solemn and funny, full of modern references which unveil with soberness and just a tremor the dramatic side of the contemporary world. This is a book that you must read." Noel Audet, Le Devoir (Montreal), Dec. 18, 1982

"It is certainly The Secret Voice by Gaëtan Brulotte which leads the way (...) this collection is a rupture and sets the tone, the future orientation that will take the genre. With minute detail Brulotte unearths the absurd, shams, even the totalitarian dimension hidden in apparent automatisms, social fights, and hierarchical relations. His characters well illustrate what we may call, following Freud, a "daily life psychopathology". But The Secret Voice tells emotional states rather than stories, Brulotte is not only in fiction but also in metafiction, and his texts seem to be reflecting on the writing process itself..." Marie Caron, Lettres québécoises, 2000, p. 39

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