As the conversation which introduces this special issue reveals, TESSERA was begun in order to bring the theoretical and experimental writing of Québécois feminists to the attention of English-Canadian writers, to acquaint Quebec writers with English-Canadian feminist writing, and to encourage English-Canadian feminist literary criticism, which we feel has been largely conventional and uninspired, to become more innovative in its theory and practice. Above all, we wish to offer a forum for dialogue between French and English women writers and among women across Canada interested in feminist literary criticism.
TESSERA will appear once a year as a special issue of an already established magazine; our next issue will appear in Quebec or Ontario. We plan to publish a wide range of genres: essays, letters, interviews or discussions, reflections, écritures, some fiction and poetry—writing, in short, that focuses on writing by women, in formed by a theoretical approach to language, form, meaning as it is being developed by women writers breaking with the main stream. We are not interested in thematic criticism or essays that focus on images of women.
We invite our readers to respond to the texts in this issue by submitting letters, papers, notes, etc. for inclusion in number two. Controversy and debate are encouraged. Not all positions taken by the authors in this issue are necessarily endorsed by every member of the collective: we feel debate is more important than a party line. Submissions will be acknowledged as soon as possible; they are then read and discussed long-distance by all members of the collective so notification of acceptance or rejection may take several months.
After compiling this issue, our editorial collective feels there is still much room for growth. W e would like to see more texts move further along the route to a criticism “ where theory and practice are united in the writing and the reading” (“Why This Book,” New French Feminisms).
—Barbara Godard, Daphne Marlatt, Kathy Mezei, Gail Scott.
TESSERA would like to thank Room of One’s Own for this special issue, and the English Department at Simon Fraser University for funding and secretarial assistance.