François Hertel, pseudonym of Rodolphe Dubé (b at Rivière-Ouelle, Qué 31 May 1905; d at Montréal 4 Oct 1985). At 20 he entered the Jesuits and he was ordained in 1938. Professor of literature, philosophy and history, he taught at the colleges of Jean-de-Brébeuf, Ste-Marie and André-Grasset, as well as at the Jesuit college in Sudbury. In 1946 he left the order to become a secular priest in Montréal but asked to be laicized the following year. Meanwhile, he contributed articles to several periodicals, including to the review AMÉRIQUE FRANÇAISE until 1947. In 1949 he moved to France, where he gave conferences, founded an art review (Rythmes et Couleurs, later Fer de lance) and ran a publishing firm, Diaspora française. After 37 years of self-imposed exile he returned to Montréal.
The writings of this polymath, a member of the ACADÉMIE CANADIENNE-FRANÇAISE, include almost 40 titles. They trace the intellectual development of the mystical poet (Les Voix de mon rêve, 1934) and the classical poet (Axes et Parallaxes, 1946), a man who was also a concerned educator (Leur inquiétude, 1936), a baroque storyteller (Anatole Laplante, curieux homme, 1944), a provocative essayist (Cent ans d'injustice? 1967), a memorialist sensitive to the world of the imagination (Louis Préfontaine, apostat, 1967) and, lastly, an agnostic philosopher (Vers une sagesse, Mystère cosmique et condition humaine, 1975).