The divided Montreal of the 1960s is very different from today's cosmopolitan, hybrid city. Taking the perspective of a walker moving through a fluid landscape of neighbourhoods and eras, Sherry Simon experiences Montreal as a voyage across languages. Sketching out literary passages from the then of the colonial city to the now of the cosmopolitan Montreal, she traces a history of crossings and intersections around the familiar sites and symbols of the city - the mythical boulevard Saint-Laurent, Mile End, the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, Mont-Royal. Translating Montreal follows the trajectories of adventurous cultural translators such as Malcolm Reid, F.R. Scott, and A.M. Klein - pioneers of the 1950s and 1960s - Pierre Anctil, whose translations from Yiddish to French are emblematic of the dramatic reroutings now occurring across the Montreal landscape, and contemporary writer-translators such as Gail Scott, Erin Moure, Jacques Brault, Michel Garneau, Nicole Brossard, and Emile Ollivier. Simon argues that translation is a dynamic and subtle tool for analysing cultural contact.An original take on cultural relations in the city, Translating Montreal explores the emergence of the "new" Montrealer.
No longer "Franco-Quebecois," "Anglo-Quebecois," "immigrant," or "ethnic," the new Montrealer is a citizen of a mixed and cosmopolitan city.
Sherry Simon is the author of numerous books, including Gender in Translation and Le Trafic des langues. She teaches in the French Studies Department at Concordia University in Montreal.