(This third volume in the Chronicles of the Plateau Mont-Royal --an epic series of novels which imagines the lives of the characters of Tremblay's plays--deals with an explicitly gay thematic: Tremblay's metaphor for the Québécois desire for a more glamorous identity on the world stage.)
This is the third volume in Michel Tremblay's six-volume Chronicles of the Plateau Mont Royal , an epic series of novels which imagines, in prose, the lives of the characters of Tremblay's plays, in which each of them acts out their own personal drama: their loves, their disappointments, their travails, their agony and their ecstasy. It is in the novels, however, that these characters are seen in their context of time and space: the neighbourhood in which Tremblay and his extended family lived and grew up.
The Duchess and the Commoner focuses on Albertine's brother, Édouard, brother-in-law to 'the fat woman' and uncle to Marcel, and to the 'fat woman's' son. In ths volume, Édouard launches his forays into the 1940's world of Montréal show-business and creates his own astonishing role within it. As with all the novels in this series, a certain sense of wonder, even magic, emanates from the grandmother, Victoire, which inthis episode is seen flowing through Édouard to his nephew, the brilliant and disturbed Marcel.