Shaping the house of words


Among the greats of Québécois poetry, Gaston Miron stands out as one of those who shaped the identity and soul of his people. L’homme rapaillé, the collected poems, is a masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers and singers. It was written mostly while the author resided on the Plateau Mont-Royal.

In tribute to his memory, the Ville de Montréal unveiled the first Cabinet des auteurs, located on Place Villeneuve at the corner of St-Denis and Gilford. Completed by multidisciplinary design studio La Camaraderie, this urban installation represents the archetype of a working-class house. The structure “literally” invites you to enter the heart of Miron’s poetry, between walls of laminated glass that project transparencies of his verses: me voici en moi comme un homme dans une maison / qui s’est faite en son absence. Like a sly wink, the last two verses (je ne suis pas revenu pour revenir / je suis arrivé à ce qui commence) also decorate the façade of the Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique, two streets away.

Named World Book Capital by UNESCO in 2005, Montréal honours its literary heritage and declares, with this first completed tribute, its commitment to honouring the city’s great literary figures. Let us hope that similar tributes appear soon in many other corners of the metropolis...