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More books and ephemera

I forget what this material is called (Microfilm?), but they contain images from a newspaper called “L’ami du peuple – du l’ordre et des lois” (roughly: friend of the people, of order and laws) published on May 1, 1839.

The use of the term “L’ami du peuple” is interesting. “L’ami du peuple” was originally a publication by Jean-Paul Marat during the French Revolution. It was known for being radically left-wing (a defender of the “sans-culottes”), and supported violence against the “counter-revolutionaries.” It lasted four tumultuous years, ending with the death of Marat in 1793.

On the other hand, this paper (lasting from 1832-1840 and published in Montreal) seems to be founded from a quite different ideological position. The library of Quebec summarizes it as such: “Dirigé par les Sulpiciens, ce journal conservateur s’oppose aux patriotes de Louis-Joseph Papineau.”

A rough English translaton: Run by the Sulpicians, this conservative journal opposed Louis-Joseph Papineau and his “Patriotes.”

Alright, so there’s a bunch of stuff I don’t really know much about. Thankfully, Google Search exists.

Louis-Joseph Papineau and the “Patriotes” were key figures in the 1837 uprisings in Lower Canada (Quebec). There were uprisings in Upper Canada (Ontario) as well, but it wasn’t quite as long. According to Wiki, a major motivator of the rebellions was a desire for responsible government. At this time, Canada had an elected legislative assembly. However, the upper houses were appointed and were composed totally of the elite who more or less served their own interests. So, after years of demanding reform and being ignored, Papineau and William Lyon Mackenzie got tired of all that and began the rebellions. They lost, of course, but a pretty powerful message had been sent.

The Sulpicians, on the other hand, were a religious order that had previously been given land in New France by the French king, and predictably had more traditional conceptions of law and order. I don’t know their exact relationship to the French Monarchy, but the French revolution wasn’t particularly sympathetic to the Church. A good group of them fled to Montreal during the revolution, moving to the land given to them and eventually starting a seminary.

So, this newspaper, called “L’ami du peuple – du l’ordre et des lois” is quite ideologically different from the publication it seems to make reference to. I wonder if the naming of this paper was a posthumous jab at Marat, or perhaps the best name they could think of to support their point.

Regardless, the paper ran from 1832-1840, when the constitution was amended to create responsible government and a united Province of Canada.

The article on the front page is about Lord Durham’s report on the 1837 rebellions. I can’t make out anything else, really. Durham’s report recommended that Upper and Lower Canada be united and responsible government be created. All sounds well and good. However, Durham was mad racist and his racism was a big motivator for the idea. From the CBC:

“To solve the problem, Durham proposed to unite Upper and Lower Canada, as the English party had previously suggested. By uniting the two Canadas, the English would become dominant and the French Canadians would become a minority. He thought that French Canadians, whom he described as a people “without history and without literature”, would gradually abandon their identity.

‘The language, the laws and the character of the North American continent are English, and every other race than the English race is in a state of inferiority.
It is in order to release them from this inferiority that I wish to give the Canadians our English character.'”

Yup, pretty insane stuff. I don’t mind pointing out that it hasn’t quite worked out as he planned.

Phew, that was quite the history lesson. Here’s a breather. Just a map. A nice map from those Soviet Union days that you could glue little flags onto. There’s a few flags on there, but most are missing.

A song book for a play (musical) called “Orion le tueur” (Orion the killer) from 1950. I think it’s a play, anyways. That’s how it’s listed in the french wiki section on modern references to the myth of Orion, who was a hunter in Greek Mythology and that guy with the sweet belt in your sky tonight.

Here’s an old italian print of “Trionfo di Bacco” by Jacopo Bellini. Bellini lived from around 1400 to around 1470. My roommate gave me a pretty good description of the symbology of this a while back, but I forget most of it now. I do remember that Pan, the Greek god who is half man, half goat and associated a lot with sexuality is playing the flute and eating the grapes of Bacchus, a roman rip off of Dionysus, the Greek God of wine, wine-making and grapes. Bacchus doesn’t look super pleased, and neither does the horse, with all the weird stuff going on. The image is pretty disturbing, really, and I wonder what the artists intent was.

I also found this ripped in two. I taped it back together and it looks pretty good. Still, this was something I saw a lot of in this location. There was a drawing of some nude guy on a couch from the 60s that was ripped into many pieces before being thrown out. I tried to tape it all back together, but unfortunately I was unable to recover all the pieces. Someone apparently didn’t like what they saw.

Some more post-cards. There’s a few from hotels/motels in Vancouver and Victoria, and a few more airline postcards.

A couple of old books on the French language.

I found a good collection of Esperanto paraphernalia as well. Esperanto was a language deliberately created from existing languages to unite people under one language. It was created in the late 1800s by Dr. Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof out of pretty noble purposes. He describes his intentions well in this quote:

“The place where I was born and spent my childhood gave direction to all my future struggles. In Bialystok the inhabitants were divided into four distinct elements: Russians, Poles, Germans and Jews; each of these spoke their own language and looked on all the others as enemies. In such a town a sensitive nature feels more acutely than elsewhere the misery caused by language division and sees at every step that the diversity of languages is the first, or at least the most influential, basis for the separation of the human family into groups of enemies. I was brought up as an idealist; I was taught that all people were brothers, while outside in the street at every step I felt that there were no people, only Russians, Poles, Germans, Jews and so on. This was always a great torment to my infant mind, although many people may smile at such an ‘anguish for the world’ in a child. Since at that time I thought that ‘grown-ups’ were omnipotent, so I often said to myself that when I grew up I would certainly destroy this evil.”

It hasn’t quite lived up to the ideals, but apparently it is used and taught in some places.

I’m going to leave the rest of the stuff for one post. All this researching tires me out!

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