Parti pris

Parti pris was a political and cultural magazine founded 1963 by Montréal writers André MAJOR, Paul CHAMBERLAND, Pierre Maheu, Jean-Marc Piotte and André Brochu, all in their twenties and convinced that Québec needed a revolution to produce an independent, socialist and secular state. Young activist intellectuals in QUIET REVOLUTION Québec soon began to gravitate to the magazine. During its 5 years (from October 1963 to the summer of 1968), Parti pris was simultaneously a high-quality magazine (53 issues appeared, in 39 installments); an avant-garde revolutionary centre which was active in demonstrations, the training of militants, the Club Parti pris and later the Mouvement de libération populaire; and a publishing house which put out some 20 works, most of them literary and some outstanding. The publishing house, Éditions Parti pris, continued to exist after the magazine had disappeared.

The magazine allied itself with the major ideological currents of its time: Marxist-Leninism, Sartrean existentialism and Third World decolonization. It drew heavily on these ideologies to develop a virulent analysis of Québec as a colonized society whose inhabitants were economically, culturally and politically deeply alienated, dispossessed of their being along with their homeland. Parti pris consistently rejected "French Canada" and called "Québec" into existence. On the literary level, it was known for the JOUAL writing it published. The group put out powerful, shocking works, such as Le Cassé (1964; tr Flat Broke and Beat, 1964) by Jacques Renaud, L'Afficheur hurle (1965; tr The Shouting Signpainters, 1972) by Paul Chamberland, and an extraordinary essay, NÈGRES BLANCS D'AMÉRIQUE (1968; tr White Niggers of America, 1971) by Pierre VALLIÈRES. Parti pris was a brilliant literary generation. In the words of a contemporary, it was the Québec "Intellectual" Liberation Front.