Hubert Aquin

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Hubert Aquin (24 October 1929 – 15 March 1977) was a Quebec novelist, political activist, essayist, filmmaker and editor.

Quebec Province of Canada

Quebec is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario and the bodies of water James Bay and Hudson Bay; to the north by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay; to the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; and to the south by the province of New Brunswick and the US states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. It also shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division; only the territory of Nunavut is larger. It is historically and politically considered to be part of Central Canada.

Activism efforts to promote, impede, or direct social, political, religious, economic, or environmental change, or stasis

Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in social, political, economic, or environmental reform with the desire to make changes in society. Forms of activism range from mandate building in the community, petitioning elected officials, running or contributing to a political campaign, preferential patronage of businesses, and demonstrative forms of activism like rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, or hunger strikes.


Aquin was born in Montreal and graduated from the Université de Montréal in 1951. From 1951 to 1954, he studied at the Institut d'études politiques in Paris. On his return to Montreal worked for Radio-Canada from 1955 until 1959. From 1959 until 1964, he also worked as a screenwriter, director and film producer with the National Film Board of Canada. [1]

Montreal City in Quebec, Canada

Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.

Université de Montréal university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The Université de Montréal is a French-language public research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university's main campus is located on the northern slope of Mount Royal in the neighbourhoods of Outremont and Côte-des-Neiges. The institution comprises thirteen faculties, more than sixty departments and two affiliated schools: the Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal. It offers more than 650 undergraduate programmes and graduate programmes, including 71 doctoral programmes.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, branded as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian federal Crown corporation that serves as the national public broadcaster for both radio and television. The English- and French-language service units of the corporation are commonly known as CBC and Radio-Canada.

From 1960 to 1968, Aquin was active in the movement for Quebec independence. He was an executive member of the first independentist political party, the Rassemblement pour l'indépendance nationale (1960–1969). In 1964, he announced that he was going "underground" to work for independence through terrorism; he was arrested shortly thereafter and detained for four months in a psychiatric hospital. It was there that he wrote his first novel, Prochain épisode (1965), the story of an imprisoned revolutionary. In December 1964, he was acquitted of illegal possession of a firearm.

Psychiatric hospital Hospitals or wards specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders

Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental hospitals, mental health units, mental asylums or simply asylums, are hospitals or wards specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders, such as major depressive disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Psychiatric hospitals vary widely in their size and grading. Some hospitals may specialize only in short term or outpatient therapy for low-risk patients. Others may specialize in the temporary or permanent care of residents who, as a result of a psychological disorder, require routine assistance, treatment, or a specialized and controlled environment. Patients are often admitted on a voluntary basis, but people whom psychiatrists believe may pose a significant danger to themselves or others may be subject to involuntary commitment. Psychiatric hospitals may also be referred to as psychiatric wards or units when they are a subunit of a regular hospital.

Regarded as a classic of Canadian literature, Aquin's novel Next Episode (the English translation of Prochain épisode by Sheila Fischman), was chosen for the 2003 edition of CBC Radio's Canada Reads competition, where it was championed by journalist Denise Bombardier. It was the winning title. An earlier English translation by Penny Williams, keeping the French title, was published in 1967.

Sheila Leah Fischman, is a Canadian translator who specializes in the translation of works of contemporary Quebec literature.

CBC Radio is the English-language radio operations of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The CBC operates a number of radio networks serving different audiences and programming niches, all of which are outlined below.

<i>Canada Reads</i> book contest

Canada Reads is an annual "battle of the books" competition organized and broadcast by Canada's public broadcaster, the CBC. The program has aired in two distinct editions, the English-language Canada Reads on CBC Radio One, and the French-language Le Combat des livres on Ici Radio-Canada Première.

The self-destructive thoughts of the novel's narrator foreshadow Aquin's own death: On 15 March 1977, Aquin shot himself in the head. He left a suicide note claiming his death was a free and positive choice, stating, "I have lived intensely, and now it is over." [2] A fuller understanding of Aquin's intense life can be gained from Jacques Godbout's biographical documentary, Deux épisodes dans la vie d'Hubert Aquin (1979) and from HA!: A Self-Murder Mystery (2003), an experiment in biography by Aquin's friend Gordon Sheppard.

Jacques Godbout Canadian film director, screenwriter, author and poet

Jacques Godbout, OC, CQ 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 Quebec intellectual life.


The Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) named its main humanities building in his honour because he was the first director of the Département d'Études littéraires in 1969, a professor, and also because of his important novels and radio dramas.

Université du Québec à Montréal university based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) is a public university based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is a French-language university and is the largest constituent element of the Université du Québec system.

Humanities academic disciplines that study human culture

Humanities are academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. In the Renaissance, the term contrasted with divinity and referred to what is now called classics, the main area of secular study in universities at the time. Today, the humanities are more frequently contrasted with natural, and sometimes social sciences, as well as professional training.

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À Saint-Henri le cinq septembre is a 1962 National Film Board of Canada (NFB) documentary film directed by Hubert Aquin about the first day of school for children and their families in the working class Montreal district of Saint-Henri. As Aquin was primarily a writer, he worked with a variety of cameramen. The NFB credits 11 on the film—Guy Borremans, Michel Brault, Georges Dufaux, Claude Fournier, Bernard Gosselin, Jean Roy, Claude Jutra, Bernard Devlin, Arthur Lipsett, Don Owen and Daniel Fournier. Caroline Zéau in her book L'Office national du film et le cinéma canadien (1939-2003): éloge de la frugalité states that as many as 28 filmmakers worked on the project, including the entire French production team, with Jacques Godbout reading narration.

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Andrée Yanacopoulo is a Quebec doctor, writer, translator, teacher and sociologist born in Tunis, Tunisia, on November 14, 1927. She was the partner of Hubert Aquin from 1963 to 1977 with whom she had a son Emmanuel Aquin.


  1. Legris, Renée (2004). Hubert Aquin et la radio : une quête d'écriture, 1954-1977. Montréal: Médiaspaul. p. 51. ISBN   2894205872.
  3. Aquin, Hubert. "À Saint-Henri le cinq septembre" (Requires Adobe Flash). Documentary film (in French). National Film Board of Canada . Retrieved 21 May 2011.