“There is only one possible law of style: write to the maximum of intensity and incantation.” That’s Hubert Aquin, from his 1968 novel Trou de Mémoire (Blackout in the English translation). It’s the only rule you need for writing and for life. And the novel itself is astonishing for its combination of obsession and rupture.
I wrote an essay about Aquin, “Difficulty and Revolution,” which is in my essay book Notes Home from a Prodigal Son, but you can also read it online in Dalkey Archive’s magazine Context.
And here is a Jacques Godbout documentary about Aquin; Godbout, an eminent novelist and filmmaker, published two of my books in French in his capacity as editor of éditions du Boréal in Montreal (Les Pas de L’ourse and Seize sortes de désir)
Two Episodes from the Life of Hubert Aquin by Jacques Godbout, National Film Board of Canadaé