Rhapsody in Quebec
246 Pages
English

Rhapsody in Quebec

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Description

Born in Hungary in 1975, Akos Verboczy moved to Montreal, Quebec at the age of 11 with his sister and mother, an esthetician, who learned that in Canada women were willing to pay a fortune ($20) to have their leg hair brutally ripped out.
His story begins in Hungary, where at the age of nine he learned that he was a Jew too—”half-Jew” to be more accurate. Unlike some who emigrated from Eastern Europe, Verboczy has no particularly beefs about life “behind the iron curtain.” He lands in Montreal as James Brown’s Living in America plays and Rocky knocks the Russian communist boxer flat in Rocky IV. The good guys he had learned to like were now officially the bad guys. Once in “America” he discovers that he will be going to French school—after all it is Québec. But then he learns that Canada is the only “place on the planet where there’s no prestige in speaking French.”
In fifty vignettes and tales that belie all the clichés about immigration to Québec, he depicts the experience of embracing a culture and a people who are constantly obliged to reaffirm their right to exist. A keen young fencer, he identifies with Alexander Dumas’s d’Artagnan, the outsider who insists that his “heart is musketeer” though his dress is not.
At a time when identity politics are at the fore, Verboczy’s observations are both enlightening and witty, comforting and yet challenging, and humorous. He does not hesitate to discuss thorny political issues such as language laws, anti-Semitism, multiculturalism, values, Québec sovereignty, and more. Rhapsody in Quebec is an important contribution to public debate wherever immigration is an issue, be it Quebec, Canada, United States or on other continents.

Informations

Published by
Published 24 March 2017
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EAN13 9781771861038
License: All rights reserved
Language English

Legal information: rental price per page €. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

A K O S V E R B O C Z Y RHAPSODY IN QUEBEC ONTHE PATH OF AN IMMIGRANT CHILD
Translated by Casey Roberts
RHAPSODY IN QUEBEC
A K O S V E R B O C Z Y
RHAPSODY  IN QUEBEC O N T H E P AT H O F A N IM M IG R A N T C H IL D
Translated by Casey Roberts
Montréal
All rigs reserved. No par of is book may be reproduced or ransmied in any form or by any means, elecronic or mecanical, including poocopying, re cording, or by any informaion sorage and rerieva l sysem, w iou perm ission in w ri ing from e publiser.
Translaion © Baraka Books 
© Édiions du Boréal, Monréal, Québec 
 ---- pbk; ---- epub; --- - pdf; --- - mobi/pocke
Book Design and Cover by Folio infograpie Cover illusraion: Bruce Robers Ediing and proofreading: Robin Pilpo
Legal Deposi, nd quarer  Biblioèque e Arcives naionales du Québec Library and Arcives Canada
Publised by Baraka Books of Monreal , rue Lacroix Monréal, Québec   Telepone:  - info@barakabooks.com w w w.barakabooks.com
Prined and bound in Quebec
We acknowledge e suppor from e Sociéé de développemen des enreprises culur-elles (SODEC) and e Governmen of Quebec ax credi for book publising adminisered by SODEC.
Trade Disribuion & Reurns Canada and e Unied Saes Independen Publisers Group --- (IPG); orders@ipgbook.com
ForewordWere I’m from
CONTENTS
STEP ONE: START BY ARRIVING Warburg Blues he Boys of Kárpá Sree he dreams of my moer All Quie on e Wesern Fron Farewell my counry Living in America Back o e fuure he languages we are An American Epic For beer and for worse Mr. Nicolas’s class he rial “Nigger Black” he Half-Jew Workers of all counries… he Man Wo Failed
STEP TWO: FIND YOUR WAY Everyone needs a soul mae God, Woody Allen and me he Gazee Frenchementbeer!
9 19
27 31 34 39 43 47 52 56 60 64 67 70 72 78 82 85
91 96 100 103
he enigma of e reurn he Muskeeers On Queen Mary he No-So-Nice Dance 1990 he “Québécois” Madagascar Power he Apprenicesip of Duddy Kraviz Sneedronningen Hungarian Rapsodies
STEP THREE: ARRIVE AT THE BEGINNING he life before us A day in e life of a depuy reurning officer he words of a man of is word Money and enic voes he ime of e buffoons he uman zoo Land of oers Muliculuralizaion he Perfec Foreigner Monreal Tango Nous Rusalka he si rains down on my ead he Grand Seducion he banaliy of evil Mon pays (My counry) Were are we eaded?
108 112 117 120 124 128 133 137 143 146
153 157 162 167 175 181 186 190 193 197 202 206 211 217 223 229 234
FORE WORD
“here are as many ways o be a Quebecer as ere are ways o love is place”
O ne mig ink ere would be someing off-seing and discombobulaing abou wriing a foreword for a book I orougly enjoyed reading, ye didn’ woleearedly agree wi, bu a wasn’ e case a all. Reading Akos Verboczy’s book lef me enerained, moved, on my oes, occasionally aggravaed, and more an once quesioning and reassessing a few ings I previously ook for graned. In oer words, i fel exacly like living in Quebec. His journey as a young Hungarian Jew wo emigraes o Monreal wi is family a e age of eleven, is linguisic and educaional rajecory as a cild of Bill , and is gradual ransformaion ino a full-blown, proud, and com-mied Quebecer is one a I idenified wi – ofen inensely, and occasionally no a all. Anyone born ino an immigran family, wresling wi e consan pus and pull of wa as been let beind and wa needs o be firmly esablised anew, undersands e unique callenges of navigaing e “oerness” wile ba-ling i ou wi e “same” – bo in one’s own culural and linguisic communiy and wiin Quebec overall.
10
RH A P SOD Y IN QUEBEC
Unlike Verboczy, I was born ere o firs-generaion Greek immigran parens, and a few years laer I reurned o eir omeland. My formaive years were spen abroad. I am no a cild of Bill . I didn’ learn o speak Frenc because I was mandaed o. I learned i because o live in a place and no undersand or speak e language of e majoriy would ave been absurd o me. No speaking Frenc would ave condemned me o a life in a linguisic and culural geo, o life as an ousider, forever looking in. And I waned in. he overwelming majoriy of immigrans do, as well. Wile e auor and I may disagree on our parisan poliics, our definiions of wa consiues inegraion, and e PQ’s ill-faed Carer of Values, we bo consider is place ome. We bo agree a e survival and e cele-braion of e Frenc culure and language are essenial and primordial, and we bo idenify as Quebecers more an we will ever idenify as Canadian. Despie consan linguisic insecuriy in is province (some jusified, some quesionable) my impression is a Bill  as succeeded in wa i se ou o do; ensuring a e Frenc language remains dominan and e public lan-guage, face, and voice of Quebec. Conrary o popular belief, you will find few Quebecers (regardless of back-ground) wo disagree wi a. he recurring problem we ave ere is a we don’ oten make room for e moderaes o be eard, wile we allow e voices of division (on eier side of e linguisic fence) o speak way oo loudly. By doing so, we coninue o allow ourselves o be defined by our sereoypes and clicés, wic, in urn, allows poliicians of all colours o manipu-lae us as ey see fi. I’s frusraing o wac play ou. Wen, e day ater Jacques Parizeau’s dea, I wroe a column urging Anglopones and Allopones o ge over