Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_literature
During this period, the society of New France was being built with great difficulty. The French merchants contracted to transport colonists did not respect their end of the bargain, and the French and their Indian allies were at war with the Iroquois, allied to the English until 1701, etc. To add to these difficulties, the printing press was officially forbidden in Canada until the British Conquest.
In spite of this, some notable documents were produced in the early days of colonization and were passed down from generation to generation until today. The Voyage of Jacques Cartier, the Muses de la Nouvelle-France of Marc Lescarbot, the Voyages of Samuel de Champlain are memories of the exploration of North America and the foundation of New France.
The Relations des jésuites, Le Grand voyage au pays des Hurons of Gabriel Sagard, the Écrits of Marguerite Bourgeois were written by the many religious founders of New France who had undertaken the task of converting the Sauvages to Christianity.
Many songs and poems were transmitted orally by the early French settlers. A popular French ballad, À la claire fontaine was adapted by the voyageurs and gave us the version that is known today in Quebec.
The first patriotic song of Quebec (then known as le Canada) was written by a soldier, François Mariauchau d'Esgly. Entitled C'est le Général de Flip, it paid tribute to the resistance of the French at Quebec during the siege of General William Phips in 1690.
Until 1760, the themes of nature, explorations, and the Sauvages continued to mark the imagination of the civilization of New France. The Moeurs des sauvages américains of Joseph Lafiteau, Histoire de l'Amérique septentrionale of Bacqueville de la Potherie and the Histoire et description générale de la Nouvelle-France are in continuity with the writings of the preceding century.
The first verified use of the term Canadien to designate the descendants of French settlers in Canada was written in a song composed in 1756 in honor of Governor Vaudreuil after the military victory of Fort Chouaguen. In 1758, Étienne Marchand wrote a famous poem in Le carillon de la Nouvelle-France. This song tells the story of the victorious battle of Fort Carillon.
The first poem written by a Canadien after the cession of Canada to Great Britain is Quand Georges trois pris l'Canada written by an anonymous author in 1763.
The Quebec Gazette newspaper was founded in Quebec City by William Brown on June 21, 1764. The bilingual paper was published in both the French language and the English language and over the years survived to be the oldest newspaper still publishing in North America.
The literary trends of Europe and the rest of America slowly penetrated the cities, primarily Quebec City and Montreal. The writings of the Enlightenment and those produced at the time of the American and French revolutions were dominant in the available literature.
Valentin Jautard and Fleury Mesplet published the first journal of Quebec, the Gazette du commerce et littéraire, in 1778–79. Valentin Jautard, a disciple of Voltaire and sympathizer with the American cause, published many poems under different pseudonyms.
The 19th century marks the beginning of the first real literary works published by Quebecers, including Michel Bibaud, Pierre Boucher de Boucherville, François Réal Angers, Philippe Aubert de Gaspé (son), Amédée Papineau, Joseph Doutre, François-Xavier Garneau, Pierre Jean Olivier Chauveau, Louis-Antoine Dessaulles, H.-Émile Chevalier.
By 1860s, Quebec authors were able to acquire a certain autonomy. It was now easier to publish a book and mass produce it.
Antoine Gérin-Lajoie, Philippe-Joseph Aubert de Gaspé, Louis Fréchette, Arthur Buies, William Kirby, Honoré Beaugrand, Laure Conan, Edith Maude Eaton, William Chapman, Jules-Paul Tardivel, Winnifred Eaton, Pamphile Lemay were some of the key writers in this era.
An anonymous song, Les Raftsmen, became popular at the beginning of this century.
19th Century (Selections)
En musique : http://mesaieux.qc.ca/flash/ (look under discographie)
Antoine Gérin-Lajoie : Un Canadien Errant
Yves Beauchemin (born
Paul-Émile Borduas (November 1, 1905 – February 22, 1960)
was a Canadian painter known
for his abstract
paintings. He was also an activist for the separation of church and state,
especially for art, in Quebec.
Borduas wrote Refus Global (or
"Global Refusal", anglicized) in late 1947- early 1948. It was
disseminated in a folder that contained other Automatists' writings. This piece
was originally intended to accompany an Automatist showing,
however it was actually distributed alone. "Global Refusal"
served as an important manifesto that advocated the separation of church and
Roch Carrier, (born 13 May 1937) is a Canadian novelist
and author of "contes" (a very brief form of the short story). Carrier has
adapted La guerre, yes sir!
and Floralie, où es-tu? for
the stage. La guerre, yes sir! was produced as
a play in 1970, was performed in English at the
Leonard Norman Cohen, The use of the album track " (co-written by Sharon Robinson) in the 1990 film Pump Up the Volume helped expose Cohen's music to a younger audience. "Suzanne", one of his best-known songs, refers to Suzanne Verdal, the former wife of his friend, the Québécois sculptor Armand Vaillancourt, rather than Elrod. The 1979 song "The Gypsy Wife" is supposedly about Suzanne Elrod.
Jacques Godbout, (born November 27, 1933) is a Canadian novelist, essayist, children's writer, journalist, filmmaker and
poet. By his own admission a
bit of a dabbler (touche-à-tout), Godbout has become one of the most
important writers of his generation, with a major influence on post-1960
Anne Hébert, (August 1, 1916 – January 22, 2000), was a Canadian author and poet. She is a descendant of famed French-Canadian historian Francois-Xavier Garneau. Her novel, Kamouraska is a novel was published in 1970. Set in 19th century Quebec, it tells the story of a woman, Elisabeth D’Aulnières, who conspires with her lover, an American doctor, to kill her husband, the seigneur of Kamouraska. The narrative begins with Elisabeth beside the death bed of her second husband, Jérôme Rolland, a notary. The story is told in a series of flashbacks. The narrative begins in the third person, but later switches to the viewpoint of Elisabeth telling her story in the first person. The novel is used in many schools as a novel study.
Louis Hémon (
Dany Laferrière (born
Laferrière published his first
novel, Comment faire
l'amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer (How
To Make Love To A Negro Without Getting Tired) in 1985. In
Roger Lemelin, CC,
OQ, FRSC (April 7, 1919 - March 16, 1992) was a
Quebec novelist, television
writer and essayist. Les Plouffe (The
Plouffe Family), 1948 is an amusing satire of the French
'little people' inhabiting the working class neighbourhoods of
Gaston Miron, January 8, 1928 –
Émile Nelligan (December 24, 1879 – November 18, 1941)
was a francophone poet from Quebec, Canada. A follower of Symbolism, his poetry was profoundly influenced by
Louis Fréchette, Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Georges Rodenbach, Maurice Rollinat and Edgar Allan Poe. A precocious talent like Arthur Rimbaud, his
first poems were published in
In 1899, Nelligan suffered a major psychotic breakdown from which he never recovered. He never had a chance to finish his first poetry work which was to be entitled Le Récital des Anges according to his last notes.
In 1903, his collected poems
were published to great acclaim in
Poem : Soir d’hiver – Winter Evening
English Recitation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L-ATLh7URs
Mordecai Richler, (January 27, 1931 – July 3, 2001) was a Canadian author, screenwriter and essayist. A leading critic called him "the great shining star of his Canadian literary generation" and a pivotal figure in the country's history. His best known works are The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Barney's Version, and the Jacob Two-Two children's stories.
Gabrielle Roy, (March 22, 1909 – July 13, 1983) was a French Canadian author.
Born in Saint Boniface (now part of Winnipeg), Manitoba, Her first novel, Bonheur d'occasion
(1945), gave a starkly realistic portrait of the lives of people in Saint-Henri, a
working-class neighbourhood of Montreal.
The novel caused many Quebeckers to take a hard look at themselves,
and is regarded as the novel that helped lay the foundation for
She is considered by many to be one of the most important Francophone writers in Canadian history and one of the most influential Canadian authors.
Tremblay grew up in the Plateau
Mont-Royal, a French-speaking neighbourhood of
The most profound and lasting
effects of Tremblay's early plays, including Hosanna and La Duchesse
de Langeais, were the barriers they toppled in
His most famous plays are usually
centered on homosexual characters. The women are usually strong but possessed
with demons they must vanquish. It is said he sees
He has been openly gay throughout his public life, and he has written many novels (The Duchess and the Commoner, La nuit des princes charmants, Le Coeur découvert, Le Coeur éclaté) and plays (Hosanna, La duchesse de Langeais, Fragments de mensonges inutiles) centred on gay characters.
Vallières was born in the east
end of Montreal, Quebec, but grew up in Ville Jacques-Cartier (now part of Longueuil, on the south-shore
of Montreal, an area considered one of the most disadvantaged of the
He became a left-wing
political activist at a young age and conducted a hunger strike at the United Nations
headquarters in New York
City to protest what he considered to be