Antonine Maillet, PC CC OQ ONB FRSC is an Acadian novelist, playwright, and scholar. Acadian Avenger · La Sagouine, Acadian tourist attraction · Antonine Maillet – The Possibilities Are Endless (Trailer), National Film Board of Canada. La Sagouine is a play written by New Brunswick author Antonine Maillet that tells the story of la Sagouine, an Acadian cleaning lady from rural New Brunswick. On Île-aux-Puces, at Bouctouche, the stories of author Antonine Maillet will transport you to the traditional Acadia that she recreated around her most famous .

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The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Viola Leger has owned the part of the scrubwoman La Sagouine for 40 years.

Her face is as shapeless and crumpled as an mqillet washrag. Her voice has the creaks and squeaks of an oil-parched cupboard door.

La Sagouine by Antonine Maillet

But even at a distance, her tiny eyes gleam with wit like a pair of well-polished teaspoons. The character is in her bones. She first performed it inwhen writer Antonine Maillet expanded a series of radio monologues into the one-woman play La Antonjne. From there, the show toured and maiplet internationally and has become the stuff of Canadian theatre legend, even if many of us have never seen it. La Sagouine is the elderly wife of a fisherman and looks back on her life from the vantage point of her Acadian village based on Maillet’s own hometown of Bouctouche, N.

The Pleiades production, gently directed by John Van Burek, consists of five monologues in which she ponders birth, death, war, religion and the perplexing Acadian identity with the wry skepticism of the poor and marginalized.


Hers has been a hard life, in which she has known hunger, seen shipwrecks and buried too many infants. It’s enough to make her wonder if the hell her Catholic Church speaks of can be any worse than what she and her people have already experienced.

She isn’t complaining, though. Unlike her “bilious” husband Gapi, who is as much a social critic as an oyster-and-smelt fisherman, Mailleh Sagouine is calmly philosophical.

That is, when she isn’t bemused by government census-takers, or amused by the chaos that ensues when the parish priest decides to put the church’s seating up for auction. She also relies on her unlettered character’s malapropisms for some easy laughs.

More often, though, the play’s salt-of-the-earth observations have real weight, and in La Sagouine’s croaking voice you hear echoes of a classic sagoujne. When she confesses that it isn’t death that troubles her, “it’s what comes after,” she sounds like a humble Hamlet. And there’s a hint maillwt Brecht’s Mother Courage when, with cheerful irony, she explains the pecuniary advantages of a war. Even her look belongs to the ages. La Sagouine is considered a landmark in bringing Canada’s disenfranchised Acadian community to the stage.

La Sagouine

At last, we understand why she and this play are national treasures. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

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La Sagouine is a cultural and artistic treasure

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Chantal Richard reviews Antonine Maillet’s La Sagouine | Acadiensis

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