Louis-Honoré Fréchette

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Louis-Honoré Fréchette
Fréchette, 1900
Fréchette, 1900
Born(1839-11-16)November 16, 1839
Lévis, Lower Canada
DiedMay 31, 1908(1908-05-31) (aged 68)
Occupationpoet, playwright, short story writer
Notable awardsPrix Montyon, CMG

Louis-Honoré Fréchette, CMG (November 16, 1839 – May 31, 1908), was a Canadian poet, politician, playwright, and short story writer. For his prose, he would be the first Quebecois to receive the Prix Montyon from the Académie française, as well as the first Canadian to receive any honor of this kind from a European nation.[1]

Biography[edit]

Born in Lévis, Lower Canada, from 1854 to 1860 Fréchette did his classical studies at the Séminaire de Québec, the Collège de Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière and at the Séminaire de Nicolet. He later studied law at Université Laval.

In 1864, he opened a lawyer's office in Lévis where he founded two newspapers: Le drapeau de Lévis and La Tribune de Levis. He exiled himself in Chicago where he wrote La voix d'un exilé. A number of plays which he wrote during that period were lost in the Great Chicago Fire.

Soon after he returned home in 1874, he was elected Member of Parliament in Ottawa. He served in the House of Commons of Canada from 1874 to 1878 as the Liberal Party of Canada member from Lévis.He was not re-elected in 1878. After that, he moved to Montreal where he began writing full-time, having inherited the wealth of his aunt when she died.

He was the first Quebecer to receive the Montyon Prize of the Académie française for his collection of poems Les Fleurs boréales, les oiseaux de neige (1879).

In 1881, he was given an honorary LLD by Queen's College, Kingston.[2] In that same year Fréchette would meet Mark Twain in Montreal, whose writing he had much admired; indeed the two would remain friends, exchanging works and favorite books.[3] In the following year Twain would toast Fréchette at an American welcoming banquet in Holyoke, joking about his regard for the translation of works that in his fictitious "translation his [Fréchette's] pathetic poems have naturally become humorous, his humorous poems have become sad. Anybody who knows even the rudiments of arithmetic will know that Monsieur Fréchette's poems are now worth exactly twice as much as they were before."[4][5] In 1897 Fréchette was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Canada Post issued a postage stamp in his honour on July 7, 1989.

In 1991, Louis Honoré Fréchette Public School, a french immersion, opened in Thornhill, Ontario.

Notable works[edit]

Poetry[edit]

  • La voix d'un exilé (1866)
  • La découverte du Mississippi (1873)
  • Pêle-mêle (1877)
  • La Légende d'un peuple (1877)
  • Poésies choisies (1879)
  • Les Fleurs boréales, les oiseaux de neige (1879)

Short stories[edit]

  • L'Iroquoise du lac Saint-Pierre (1861)
  • Originaux et détraqués (1892), based on real life characters
  • Les contes de Jos Violon
  • Christmas in French Canada (1899)

Plays[edit]

  • Le retour de l'exilé (1880)
  • Papineau (1880)
  • La retour de l'exilé (1880)
  • Félix Poutré (1892)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fréchette, Louis". Dictionary of Canadian Biography. University of Toronto; Université Laval. Archived from the original on July 20, 2017.
  2. ^ "Adelphus Todd". The Week : a Canadian journal of politics, literature, science and arts. 1 (9): 137. January 31, 1884. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  3. ^ Charles Bruce Sissons; Richard De Brisay, eds. (1975). "Louis Fréchette". The Canadian Forum. Vol. LV. Survival Foundation. p. 8. Our national poet, Louis Frechette, a friend of Mark Twain's exchanged books, and commented on each other's work, as if it was of the same quality
  4. ^ Mark Twain (1976). Paul Fatout, ed. Mark Twain Speaking. University of Iowa Press. pp. 166–168.
  5. ^ Jenn, Ronald (January 2014). "Samuel Langhorne Clemens traducteur; Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1895-1896) et les travestissements de la langue" [Samuel Langhorne Clemens translator; Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1895-1896) and the disguises of language]. Revue Française d'Études Américaines (in French) (138): 40–56. doi:10.3917/rfea.138.0040. La façon dont le toast à Fréchette se relie à l’affaire Bentzon apparaît dans l’idée de réputation littéraire, puisque Fréchette est tout auréolé du prix décerné par l’Académie française et de sa rencontre avec Victor Hugo. Si, comme le déclare Clemens, la traduction est synonyme d’inversion, cette traduction imaginée procède à l’inverse de ce qu’a fait Bentzon à son égard, puisqu’elle porte l’auteur québécois au pinacle au travers d’un éloge. Le développement sur la traduction comme double grotesque ou pathétique et l’image de « double-barrelled fame » – ou « réputation à double canon », ou encore à « canon jumelé » – ne saurait étonner sous la plume d’un auteur qui a fait de la gémellité un motif inscrit jusque dans son pseudonyme. Enfin cette traduction imaginée ou imaginaire invite à prendre quelque distance par rapport à l’étiquette de « traduction fictive » qui est parfois utilisée comme synonyme du terme pseudo-traduction

Bibliography[edit]

  • W. H. New, ed. Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002: 395–97.

External links[edit]

Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
William Robinson Clark
President of the Royal Society of Canada
1900–1901
Succeeded by
James Loudon