Gilbert La Rocque

Gilbert La Rocque, author (b at Montréal 29 Apr 1943; d 26 Nov 1984). Gilbert La Rocque completed classical studies until belle-lettres, and then worked at all kinds of minor jobs.

La Rocque, Gilbert

Gilbert La Rocque, author (b at Montréal 29 Apr 1943; d 26 Nov 1984). Gilbert La Rocque completed classical studies until belle-lettres, and then worked at all kinds of minor jobs. He set out to write his first novels (Le Nombril, 1970; Corridors, 1971) while he was a clerk at the city hall in Montréal Nord. Starting in 1972, he was successively editor in chief at Éditions de l'Homme, and literary director at Éditions de l'Aurore and Éditions Québec Amérique (1979), where he founded the eponymous literary magazine.

A poet rejected by publishers, a biographer (Provencher, le dernier des coureurs de bois, 1974; Le voleur, 1976), a playwright (Le refuge, 1979), it was particularly as a novelist that he established his reputation. He was an instigator fascinated by worlds in decay that reflected the decadence of western culture (Après la boue, 1972; Les masques, 1980), and he used the stream-of consciousness techniques dear to Surréalists, to try and create his own language: a choppy somewhat telegraphic style, incomplete sentences, unorthodox punctuation, and kaleidoscope of varied poetic images. Writer Gérard Bessette devoted an entire novel, Le semestre (1979), to the analysis of Serge d'entre les morts (1976) one of La Roque's works.