Charbonneau, Robert

Robert Charbonneau, journalist, writer (b at Montréal 3 Feb 1911; d at St-Jovite, Qué 26 June 1967). Because of Charbonneau's work, French Canadian literature, particularly the novel, underwent a profound transformation. Considered the leader of the 1940s and postwar generation, he gave literature this new direction through his literary output (particularly his novels and a literary essay), his articles, and his work as an editor (La RELÈVE, which became La Nouvelle Relève, 1934-48; Éditions de l'Arbre, 1940-48). He was also a founding member of the Académie canadienne-francaise and president of the Société des écrivains canadiens 1966-67. Because of Charbonneau, Québec literature broke with literary convention and its idealized and stereotyped characters, as well as with the literature of France.

Charbonneau's creative spirit, critical acumen and originality were recognized in his lifetime. He won the Québec Literary Competition in 1942, the Prix Duvernay in 1946 and the RSC's Médaille Chauveau in 1965. His works include the essays Connaissance du personnage (1944) and La France et nous (1947); novels Ils posséderont la terre (1941), Fontile (1945), Les Désirs et les jours (1948), Aucune créature (1961), and Chronique de l'âge amer (1967); and poetry, Petits poèmes retrouvés (1945).