Welcome to Adrien Arcand Books in 2019. This web site now consists of one whole book, Down With Hate! (A BAS LA HAINE! 1965), tons of book previews including some full texts, and free downloads of our digital Free Editions.
I’ve been translating Adrien Arcand since mid-2017, and the work is paying off. The Quebec National Archives has rewarded the work by carrying the ebooks and making this an official Quebec Heritage web site. That was totally unexpected and very exciting. The poor “Britanno” Anglo who learned French on her own is finally getting credentials and making good. Merci beaucoup! So, on with the task
An ISBN registration account was requested from the National Library and Archives of Canada on December 21st, 2018. The first two ISBNs were reserved on December 29th. Future books and eBooks will be on legal deposit in Ottawa.
And if you are wondering about me, the translator, I’ll tell you a little. I am descended from three components of the Founding Peoples of Canada, and very proud of it. On my mother’s side, my grandparents were Caroline Wright and John Francis (Jack) Moore, from England and Ireland respectively. They married in England and came to Canada early in the last Century. They both deeply loved England and Canada. Caroline and Jack worked hard, raised a family, then took my mother in and helped to raise me, and they lived out their lives in Montreal.
On my father’s side, my grandparents were very French-Canadian, Antoinette Vézeau and Georges Émile Pageot. (It has been suggested there may be a Belgian tie, alleging that Vézeau might once have been spelled Bézeau.) The Pageot family is found in Quebec (excuse me: New France, La Nouvelle France), in Charlesbourg, as far back as the mid-17th Century. The surname is variously spelled Pageau and Pajot according to records in the Quebec Archives. I have also traced the Pageots to France in the 1500s. A fellow by the name of Rick Pageot in the USA collected over 2,500 Pageots on our family tree descended from our great-great-grandparents, Marie-Catherine Roy and Thomas Pageot of Charlesbourg.
I grew up on the “English” speaking side of the immediate family, and had to pick up French by myself, “au fur et à mesure” because it was very badly taught in English Catholic School in Montreal in the late 1950’s and early 60’s. Pointers and cardboard posters with pictures of cake, pie, streets, “Marie et Jean traverse la rue”, and a dog and a ball, and by 1966, the entire “English” student population was put on a Bell curve to raise our marks, or we couldn’t have graduated. Which means we could not hold a conversation in French because those controlling Education did not give the English-speaking population the skills we needed.
“Pauvre anglophone” is a joke in Quebec. Pauvre means poor, wretched, miserable, pitiful. “Pauvre anglophone” is pronounced by certain French-Canadians with inordinate sympathy in mockery of the fact that we tongue-tied Anglos cannot speak French properly. I still cannot speak it properly. I can read it, I can translate it, but I can’t speak it without an accent from the “English” west end of the city. Clerks at the Rare Books desk in the Quebec Archives regard me with astonishment as I struggle to find the right verb form or another easier word to say what I want to say. Well, now they know why, at least as far as my generation goes that grew up in Montreal. It’s not our fault; please forgive us! I have the impression things have changed for the better for English-speaking students today. I would love to see that change everywhere in Canada!
Now, as to Adrien Arcand Books. At the beginning of 2019, it seems high time for a mission statement, if it wasn’t obvious to begin, so here it is.
The goal of Adrien Arcand Books and its network of online books and documents can be summed up in our motto:
“Every generation has
the right to verify the
alleged facts of history for
Controversy must not interfere with historical investigation, which to produce facts must be open to confirmation or contradiction.
Nor can the courts presume to find (with erga omnes effect, for all time and all persons) that an historical event happened or did not happen, or happened in a particular way. A court can only deal with the information put before it by the parties. It can only approximate the facts accordingly. It may do so rightly or wrongly, thus the concept of appeal. Higher courts may even reverse themselves with time.
Thus an appeal to history must always be available. Adrien Arcand Books supports the appeal to history.
In Canada, a court presumed to find that a man by the unlucky name of Wilbur Coffin was guilty of the crime of murder. He was executed, and later found innocent, thus deprived of his remedy! So much for the courts and findings of fact.
The courts can finalize nothing. But in submitting the alleged facts to a court, only the parties themselves are affected by the judgment. The parties moreover are free to change their minds (subject to the rules) on discovery of new facts.
History, on the other hand, is not a party to anything.
History is bound to nothing but itself. Its shoals, its recesses, its caves and its mounds, its winds and its tides are the vast and foreboding landscape of the search for an ever more accurate understanding of the past. The word truth may approximate the past, but it can never define a limit.
This is not to say, like the Marxist, that everything is relative, that truth (fact) is merely subjective. On the contrary, anything can be subjective, but not everything can be a fact or true, nor a complete fact nor completely true. There are always unknowns, including the unknowns of the human heart and mind, which add an even vaster field, often of permanently hidden facts, to the available landscape.
Even the dictum of “innocent until proven guilty” did not make Wilbur Coffin guilty! It subjected him to a moment in time, to his accusers, and to misfortune.
What is said to be true must be evaluated, calibrated, adjusted, and sometimes annihilated and replaced with new truth, in light of the foregoing. The work of the reader (who seeks more than amusement) is therefore immensely complex, and that of the historian, interminable.
Intellectual liberty of the kind required to think and evaluate necessitates freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of inquiry, freedom of opinion. Whoever disagrees is free to argue. You cannot be deprived of any of these things and still retain your self-respect. Limit or eliminate one or more of them and you eliminate your humanity.
May the reader and the historian find Adrian Arcand Books useful.