Roy, Camille

Camille Roy, priest, professor, literary critic (b at Berthier-en-Bas, Qué 22 Oct 1870; d at Québec City 24 June 1943). Though largely outmoded today, Roy's work was representative of his generation. After studies at Laval and the Sorbonne, Roy taught philosophy and then rhetoric at the Petit Séminaire de Québec 1894-1918 and French literature at Laval 1896-1927. Preoccupied with the survival of the French language in Canada, he helped found the Société du parler français (1902), pioneered the teaching of French Canadian literature at Laval (1902) and published the first Manuel d'histoire de la littérature canadienne-française (21 editions, 1907-62). His critical articles, which appeared in magazines 1902-33 and have been collected in 10 volumes, encouraged pastoral novels and reflected a classical ideal, though one open to romanticism. Tutor in the Petit Séminaire de Québec 1918-23, founder of the École normale supérieure (1920), rector of Laval (1924-27, 1929, 1932-38), dean of the Faculté des lettres (1939-43), both in print and at conferences he argued for development of a national educational system oriented towards social action. Received into the RSC 1904, he won the Prix David 1924 (À l'ombre des érables) and the gold medal of the Académie française 1925.