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Mise en scene du crime BOURASSA ANDRE G



Bonjour!
Je me permets de vous retransmettre un message personnel que m'a fait
parvenir le collegue Patrick O'Neill, qui est maintenant en sabbatique, a
propos d'une Passion d'un genre particulier dont l'officier britannique
John Knox aurait ete temoin a Quebec. La question porte sur un jeu de
Barabbas dont Patrick me demandait si je le connaissais, ce qui n'est pas
le cas. J'aimerais bien avoir l'avis de nos membres medievistes la-dessus.
Il s'agit moins d'une execution sur scene que d'une torture, reelle ou
simulee (reelle si on en croit Knox, mais les archives de Nouvelle-France
ne rapportent rien du genre). Cette pratique est-elle consignee ailleurs?
Je vous fais cependant remarquer que l'auteur de l'article sur John Knox
dans le _Dictionnaire biographique du Canada_ rappelle que ce dernier a
ecrit ses memoires pendant les annees qui ont suivi sa participation aux
guerres de Nouvelle-France. Comme il etait present a Quebec durant la
Semaine Sainte de 1960 (il a quitte immediatement apres), il a peut-etre
confondu une scene vue la veille de Paques de 1760 avec des scenes vues la
veille de Noel de 1759. A moins ue les penitences de l'Avent aient
justifie des jeux equivalents a ceux du Careme. 

Amities, Andre G. Bourassa.

Voici le texte de Knox tel que transcrit par le professeur O'Neill:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1996 11:43:00 -0400
From: Patrick O'Neill <Patrick.ONeill@MSVU.Ca>

[...] I do not know if you have ever come across Captain 
John Knox's Journal.  I would be interested in knowing about the 
Barrabas play he mentions -- is this an example of the French 
mediaeval tradition in Quebec?

Knox, Captain John.  An Historical Journal of the Campaigns in North 
America For the Years 1757, 1758, 1759, and 1760.  Edited by Arthur 
G. Doughty.  In Three Volumes.  New York, 1914-16.

Vol. II, p. 312-313
     I cannot omit taking notice of an incident that happened here 
yesterday [24 December 1759]:  passing in the evening through one of 
the streets before it was dark, I met a crowd of French people, of 
both sexes, with staves and lanthorns, and seemingly in great haste; 
upon inquiring I found it was one of the Popish ceremonies.  These 
deluded creatures were going in quest of Baraabbas the robber, who 
was released at the crucifixion of the Saviour of the world; and, 
having, after a long search, discovered a man who was to personate 
him, being concealed for that purpose, they bound him like a thief, 
and whipped him before them, with shouts and menaces, until they 
arrived at one of their churces, where it was pretended he was to 
suffer as Christ did, in commemoration of His passion. {FN}
       The editor has found no trace of any custom corresponding to 
       that described by the author. . . .