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Hubert Aquin, a ‘writer against his will’

The Story

Hubert Aquin's career as a novelist is the unlikely result of his own tumultuous days as a Quebec sovereigntist, radical activist and even self-avowed terrorist. In his own words, Aquin became "a writer against his own will." In this 1974 CBC-TV interview, Aquin discusses his own development within the changing culture of French Canada, his unusual career and his landmark book Prochain episode.

Medium: Television
Program: Impressions
Broadcast Date: July 14, 1974
Guest(s): Hubert Aquin
Host: Ramsay Cook
Duration: 25:45

Did You know?

• As discussed in this clip, Hubert Aquin was a militant activist and was in psychotherapy when he began writing Prochain episode in 1964. Aquin was a member of the Rassemblement pour l'indépendance nationale, a radical Quebec separatist party. In 1964, he announced he was "going underground" to work for sovereignty through terrorism. He was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm soon after and was placed in a psychiatric hospital for four months.

• Hubert Aquin died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head on March 15, 1977. He left a suicide note which read, in part, "I have lived intensely, and now it is over."




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