I thought my Canuck friends would appreciate this :-)
A friend came across this while cleaning out some closets and passed it on to me. It’s a brochure for the Expo 67 held in Montreal April 27 to October 29, 1967.
I read Michel Rabagliati’s “The Song of Roland” over the late summer and immediately ran to my editor at Booklist saying he had to let me review it. It’s really a beautiful book. So much so that when I got it back from my editor after turning it in with the review I immediately re-read it and still had the same sense of impact. Here’s the review I turned in (the edited review was in the October 15th issue of Booklist):
Rabagliati’s alter ego Paul’s father-in-law Roland Beaulieu is dying. He’s been ill in gradual stages, he’s elderly – his decline isn’t a surprise, not to Paul’s wife Lucie, not to her sisters Suzanne and Monique, not to Roland’s wife Lisette, and not to Roland himself. Of course that doesn’t make it easier for any of them. Roland’s life has been a long and rich tale where he’s worn many hats –Orphan, Reckless Youth, Self-Made-Man, Husband, Father, Patriarch – the words are applicable, but are at the same time too small to describe his imprint on the lives of those around him. But then, maybe this is the case with any life. Paul, as an observer from closer to the emotional sidelines chronicles the family’s ordeal as Roland slips from sick to gravely ill, to his final decline in a hospice outside of Montreal.
This book floored me. Rabagliati captures the sadness of Roland’s death but more than that he captures the weight of Roland’s life, making the sadness even more poignant. Even with this heaviness of the subject it isn’t to say that there aren’t moments of light and triumph and even laughter in the book as well - especially in the camaraderie between the sisters. Rabagliati’s art – especially through his Paul book series - is well known in Canada and Europe. He captures characters well, even with few lines, rendering their expression and personality adeptly; and his backdrops –Quebec City, Montreal, the Quebec country-side – are wonderfully rendered with enough recognizable landmarks to match up postcards and photos. This book moved me, and were I one to cry at books, I would have likely wept like a child. Through Paul’s vision we are invited into this family’s moment of sadness, not to mourn, but to celebrate a man’s full life with respect and love.
I think I just *swooned* in my pants… Plants & Animals covering one of Malajube’s most awesome songs? Yes, please!!