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Signed typescript defending political violence.

1971 Stock Code: 141435
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Original signed typescript by Pierre Vallières (1938-1998), the intellectual leader of the Front de libération du Québec, defending the use of political violence to effect social change. The typescript was sent to the journalist and editor Ray Gardner (1919-1997), for publication as an article in the Toronto Star. The typescript, "La violence est-elle nécessaire pour opérer des changements sociaux?", is in the author's French and is paired with a corrected English translation by Ben Shek for use in the English-language paper. Vallières writes that the bourgeoisie fear of revolutionary violence in Canada is hypocritical given that the French-speaking Quebecis have been the constant victim of British, Anglo-Canadian and American imperialists and colonialists. With the institutionalized violence of the system, only revolutionary violence is a viable strategy to effect radical social change. History offers no examples of fundamental social changes without violence. The pacifistic mind which opposes such violence has always played into the hands of the dictators - there is no alternative. Vallières has signed the typescript at foot, and dated it August 1971; there are a few minor authorial corrections to the text in ink. The typescript overall presents a typically unremitting and fierce defence of violence from the figure whose writings provided the intellectual basis for the FLQ bombings and kidnappings of the 1960s and early 1970s, and who helped firmly link Quebeci nationalism with Marxist-Leninism.

The typescript was conveyed to Gardner with an autograph letter signed, dated 1 September 1971, from Gérald Godin (1938-1994), poet and fellow Quebeci nationalist, among those arrested during the October Crisis in 1970 and later to be elected for the Parti Québécois in the 1976 Quebec provincial election. Godin writes "Dear Mr. Gardner, here is the 'thing' about violence - hope it gets to you in time. Please do not forget to make the check payable to...". Alongside the typescript, translation, and letter, a cautious editorial typed note from within the newspaper is adjoined, writing to Gardner they should take a careful look before printing it; two unrelated obituaries of Vallières are included. Gardner retained the letters and manuscript in his personal collection, along with other similar material from notable personages accrued over his years as editor at the paper.

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4 page typescript, together with 4 page translation of same, typed note, autograph letter signed, newspaper clipping.


Some handling creasing; in excellent condition.


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