Insolences du Frère Untel, Les

Les Insolences du Frère Untel (1960), by Jean-Paul DESBIENS (published anonymously), is an eloquent plea for educational reform couched in a whimsical, occasionally irreverent but always incisive style. Anticipating the formation of Québec's Ministry of Education in 1964, the essays attack the cultural and linguistic poverty which the author, a teaching friar, attributed in part to the inadequacies of an antiquated and repressive parochial education. Reproducing controversial letters between André LAURENDEAU, Desbiens and others which had been published in the newspaper Le DEVOIR, the introductory essay analyses the prevalent, exclusive use of JOUAL by secondary-school students as reflecting an insular, anti-intellectual form of discourse. Desbiens presented his arguments in a nationalist text which became one of the classics of the QUIET REVOLUTION. Often reprinted, it was translated by Miriam Chapin as The Impertinences of Brother Anonymous (1962).