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Volume 02, Number 2 (1977)

Journey to the Interior: The Journal Form in Place d'Armes

  • Elspeth Cameron
May 22, 2008


Scott Symons's Place d'Armes uses the journal to create an open-ended novel whose form reflects an immediacy of experience. Symons's fictional character, Hugh Anderson, writes a journal in order to inspire material for his own novel, thus allowing for private notation within the public art of the novel. The various literary forms within this book – notes, journal, letters, novel – further comment on one another through their juxtaposition, illustrating Robert Kroetsch's thesis that Canadian writers are engrossed in "unhiding the hidden." The journal comes to overtake that of the novel, representing a move back to simplicity and directness, maintaining a link with the past which gives strength to the present.