Home » Uncategorized » Web-users’ favorite Francophone Québécois – Part E (#312)

Web-users’ favorite Francophone Québécois – Part E (#312)

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This post will provide the next two personalities voted by web-users as being their favorite Francophone Québécois (versus the earlier list of favorite Anglophone Québécois I provided several posts ago).

21.  Émile Nelligan

  • Poet (Born & lived in Montréal – died 1941)
  • He was half Irish, half Québécois French.
  • If you spend any time in Québec, you undoubtedly will run across his name many times (streets, buildings, and institutions are named after him).
  • His career as a poet was extra short (a psychological disability made it so he had to cease writing poetry at the age of 20 years, in 1899).
  • It was only after going insane at age 20 that the poetic works he wrote as a teenager were publish.   They were met with such acclaim in the early 1900s that he was heralded as one of Canada’s greatest French-language poets.
  • Interest in his works went well beyond his death in 1941.


Here is one of his better-known poems (this might be a good learning exercise if you’re working to improve your French (translation provided below).

Le Vaisseau d’Or
Ce fut un grand Vaisseau taillé dans l’or massif:
Ses mâts touchaient l’azur, sur des mers inconnues;
La Cyprine d’amour, cheveux épars, chairs nues,
S’étalait à sa proue, au soleil excessif.
Mais il vint une nuit frapper le grand écueil
Dans l’Océan trompeur où chantait la Sirène,
Et le naufrage horrible inclina sa carène
Aux profondeurs du Gouffre, immuable cercueil.
Ce fut un Vaisseau d’Or, dont les flancs diaphanes
Révélaient des trésors que les marins profanes,
Dégoût, Haine et Névrose, entre eux ont disputés.
Que reste-t-il de lui dans sa tempête brève?
Qu’est devenu mon coeur, navire déserté?
Hélas! Il a sombré dans l’abîme du Rêve!


The Ship of Gold
It was a massive Ship carved out of solid Gold,
Its masts reaching azure, she sailed on unknown seas
With Aphrodite of love spreading out at the prow,
Hair dishevelled and naked under excessive sun.
But it came that the ship one night struck the great reef
On treacherous Ocean where the Siren was singing.
The horrible shipwreck tilted the hull aslant
Deep down the abyss depth, immutable coffin.
It was a Gold Vessel. Her diaphanous sides
Were revealing treasures that the secular crew,
Disgust and Neurosis, and Hatred, fought over.
What’s left of it after the brief abating storm?
What became of my heart, empty deserted ship?
Alas, it has sunk down in the abyss of Dream.

Translation posted pursuant to meeting copyright conditions stipulated pursuant to © copyright 2015 Hamilton-Lucas Sinclair

22.  Régine Chassagne

  • Singer / Multi-instrumentalist (Montréal, born & raised)
  • I would not have thought to have put Régine Chassagne on this list.  But as soon as I saw her name as one of the most well-liked Québécois, I thought to myself “What a great choice!”

Ré Cha

Here is a little insight I can offer you about Chassagne…

  • Famous for what I would describe as folk-jazz pop”.  Never heard of such a combination?  Wait until you see the YouTube videos below – it’s worth a listen.
  • I think most people refer to her as a “Jazz” singer, but she add a new-age beat with contemporary instrument combinations to what traditionally would be Jazz – and thus creates a whole new music genre.
  • Although she was born in 1977, her career took off in the early 2000s and continues to this day.
  • She is regularly featured as a prominent guest at music festivals around Québec.
  • She is known to often pick up one of a half dozen instruments, and flawlessly incorporate them into her songs – adding a sort of flare which few other singers are able to match.
  • Her music incorporates Haitian folk traits (her parents are Haitian immigrants to Canada)

I’ll see if I can wrap up the remaining “favourites” in the next posts.



You are going to know a lot more about Québec after this series of posts


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