Friday, August 21, 2009

On August 21

On this day in ...
... 1968, Germaine Guèvremont (left) died in Québec, Canada, 75 years after she'd been born Marianne-Germaine Grignon, to a lawyer-father and painter-mother, in that same province. Following her education in convent schools, she worked as a journalist, married and took a break to raise a family, but then returned to writing when the death of a daughter sunk her into depression. Guèvremont turned to the writing of fiction; she is most renowned for her novel Le Survenant (1945) and its sequel, Marie-Didace (1947). This work won French-language and -- in English translation as The Outlander (1950) -- English-language literary awards. Dr. Lee Skallerup Bessette, a literature scholar, has written that many consider Guèvremont's novels

the 'last' of the roman de terre, or novels of soil, a genre that dominated Quebec literature for almost 100 years. While the novels stay closely within the rules of the genre, evidence of the social reality of the Depression, the war and the decline of the rural way of life is also prominent. These books can also be read as pre-feminist texts, questioning the traditional roles and limitations placed on women by Quebec society.

(credit for photo (c) Antoine Desilets)
... 2001, Ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization approved sending "a full 3,500-soldier task force into Macedonia to help disarm Albanian insurgents." About 400 NATO troops, mostly Britons and Czechs, already were in what's also known as FYROM, the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (flag at right); the troops had been deployed the previous week in an effort to preserve a ceasefire. Earlier this year, NATO's head applauded Macedonia's ongoing efforts to attain NATO membership.

(Prior August 21 posts are here and here.)

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