Literary traces | Literature stands on street corners

What a good idea the management of The Itinerary had to ask 18 authors to contribute to a collection of short stories to mark the 30the anniversary of this magazine which is much more than a simple publication.

In Literary traces, you will find texts by Michel Tremblay, Éric Chacour, Patrick Senécal, Heather O’Neill, Monique Proulx, Dominique Fortier, Ghislain Taschereau, Francis Ouellette and several others. Thank you to these authors for offering their time and the fruit of their pen.


The cover of The Itinerary

Camelots also sign texts. As for the cover, it is by cartoonist Michel Rabagliati. It’s a great and beautiful piece of work!

I was told that a great moment of emotion was experienced in the offices of The Itinerary last Thursday when the boxes of this 124-page special issue were delivered. It is understandable. The result is frankly astonishing.

Some examples of the result?

Michel Tremblay slips into the shoes of a boy (could it be him?) who can no longer stand being harassed by a classmate. This text, as short as it is incisive, allows us to taste once again the talent of this author at the origin of the most beautiful monologues of our theater.

“At first I thought it would get boring. Well no, we didn’t get tired of it, on the contrary! It was getting worse and worse! Paperclips hurt! It pinches! Do you know how many paperclips I receive during one of your classes? Eh ? Well me neither! Because I don’t count them! I couldn’t concentrate anymore either! I’m no longer capable. I’m no longer capable! Are you able to understand that if you’re not too stuffy? I’m no longer capable! It drives me crazy ! It kills me ! »

Sophie Voillot signs the text L’opinel which presents us with the reality of a young girl who lives under the influence of her mother’s partner. Then one day, she meets a man who introduces her to the true emotions of love. This girl likes to carve birds with her Opinel knife. But one day, this tool will become something else.

“I like collecting branches, it’s like going hunting. You have to keep your eyes peeled to spot those that have the right shape, twisted, knotted. The knot is the body of the bird. But before carving it, I remove the bark. I have to be careful not to get it everywhere otherwise my mother will yell at me. So I put an old newspaper on the kitchen table, that way I have peace. »

Christian Tarte, peddler posted in front of the Jean Coutu located at the corner of the 28e Avenue and rue Beaubien, looks back on the quiet happiness of his childhood at the time when, with his group of friends, he was the master of the alleys of Montreal.

“Among the bad things recounted in this text were the stink bombs that we bought at the joke store and smashed everywhere. One that we liked was scaring someone who had their hands full. But the one we liked the most consisted of attaching two door handles facing each other in the apartment blocks, ringing both doors, staying in place and observing the reactions, then pushing each other while running. »

What pleasure I had reading this issue. However, I learned with sadness that the peddler Roger Perreault died last year. I met Roger in 2018 during the preparation of the annual issue 100% camelot. We teamed up together. He was a man of great sensitivity, funny, talkative, never boring. In the text which is published in Literary traces, he recounts the time a fire broke out at his home while he was away. I won’t tell you how it happened. The scenario reflects Roger.

As this special issue marks an anniversary, 12 peddlers go back in time and tell what they were like in 1994 when The Itinerary was born. Thanks to a QR code, you will access a platform where you can hear these 12 very inspiring testimonies.

You may happen to pass by a peddler and wonder what the sale of this magazine is for. In fact, you help an organization support adults in situations of social and economic vulnerability, at risk of homelessness, struggling with addiction or mental health problems. The goal is to enable them to become full citizens.

Over the years, around 3,200 people have improved their quality of life through the writing and sale of this street magazine.

Around 15,000 copies of Literary traces were printed. Obviously, it costs a little more than the standard number. But I tell you, it’s worth its weight in gold. It would be so great if we could say in a few days that this issue is “out of print”.

Literary traces is on sale at camelots as well as at the bookstore La Livrerie, 1376, rue Ontario Est, in Montreal, at a cost of $10.


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