La Barre du jour | The Canadian Encyclopedia


La Barre du jour

La Barre du jour (BJ), magazine fd 1965 by Nicole Brossard, Marcel Saint-Pierre, Roger Soublière and Jan Stafford to stimulate writing and to transform both the production and the reading of literature.

Barre du jour, La

In 1977, BJ was reorganized as La Nouvelle Barre du jour (NBJ) by Brossard (who left in 1979), Michel Gay and Jean-Yves Collette. Despite a change of management in Sept 1981 to H. Corriveau, Louise Cotnoir and Lise Guèvremont, the magazine's purpose remained unchanged. Collette and Gay returned to the helm of the magazine in 1984 and presided over it until it ceased publication in 1990.

From the start, BJ wanted to combine formal research with appreciation for a certain tradition, and so it presented the unpublished works of Charles Gill, Louis-Joseph Quesnel, Nérée Beauchemin, Saint-Denys Garneau, Gaëtane de Montreuil and Émile Nelligan. By abandoning the "cult of the soil" as subject matter (see Novel in French) and skirting revolutionary politics, BJ distinguished itself from both Hexagone and Parti Pris. BJ favoured articles about theory and formalism; NBJ preferred fiction and applied literary theory, and published on the theory and practical battles of feminism. There have been various series dealing with such subjects as literary history and literary theory, and special issues devoted to such genres as fantasy and science fiction.

NBJ was a laboratory of creation and research, a permanent writing workshop, drawing in contributors as the need arose. It did not merely echo current literary trends in Québec; it pioneered their creation. Although it was at times repetitive in dealing with themes and issues, the publication played an important part in Québec literature. See also Literary Periodicals in French.