Octave Cremazie (April 16, 1827 - January 16, 1879)
Born: 16th April, 1827
Died: 16th January, 1879
Region: Quebec, Canada, France
Notable works: "Le Drapeau de Carillon"

Octave Cremazie Facts

Biography

Octave Cremazie, byname of Claude-Joseph-Olivier Cremazie, (born April 16, 1827, Quebec--died Jan. 16, 1879, Le Havre, Fr.), poet considered the father of French Canadian poetry.

An extraordinarily learned man, educated at the Seminary of Quebec, Cremazie started a bookshop in 1844 that became the centre of an influential literary circle later referred to as the Patriotic School of Quebec (or the Literary Movement of Quebec). In 1861 Cremazie and his friends began issuing a monthly magazine of literature and history, Les Soirees Canadiennes, to preserve the folklore of French Canada. Cremazie also published poems in the Journal de Quebec from about 1854.

Fleeing his creditors, Cremazie left Canada in 1862 for France, where he hoped he would become economically more secure, but he spent the rest of his life there in great poverty, under the assumed name of Jules Fontaine. In this period he wrote the pessimistic poem "Promenade des trois morts," which remained unfinished, and a journal, Siege de Paris, that gave an eyewitness account of the siege of 1870. His poems are characterized by a patriotic love of Canada and the Canadian landscape. His most famous patriotic poems are "Le Vieux Soldat canadien" (1855; "The Old Canadian Soldier"), celebrating the first French naval ship to visit Quebec in almost a century, and "Le Drapeau de Carillon" (1858; "The Flag of Carillon"), which almost became a national song of Canada.

Cremazie's Oeuvres completes ("Complete Works") were collected and published by his friends in 1882.

Octave Cremazie essays

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