UN HOMME ET SON PÉCHÉ - 2007
Claude-Henri Grignon was born at 176 Morin Street in Sainte-Adèle on July 8, 1894. He was the ninth child of Dr. Wilfrid Grignon and Eugénie Ouellette-Baker, an Acadian.
First a young war reporter, then a literary critic and a pamphleteer, Claude-Henri Grignon lived the majority of his life in his childhood village. He wrote his master work, Un homme et son péché, in the house located at 195 Morin Street. The extreme poverty in which he lived in 1933 made him say that his novel was a “pamphlet against money”. Séraphin Poudrier, the terrible miser in his 1933 novel, rose to such dramatic fame that it leads to the “killing” of the use of Séraphin as a first name. Another of Grignon’s characters, “saint” Donalda, who dies at the age of twenty years after having been married only a year and a day, holds a special place in our collective imagination across the country.
The novel’s great success has led to its many adaptations for radio (1939), film (1948, 1949 and 2002), theater, comics, and the Séraphin Village in Sainte-Adèle. The Quebecois languages owes many of its expressions to this popular romantic universe. Sainte-Adèle is famous thanks to this historically relevant and iconic literary work.
Grignon produced a colossal body of literature: Le secret de Lindbergh, Ombres et clameurs, Le déserteur et autres récits de la terre, Précisions sur Un homme et son péché, Les contes du Père Bougonneux (over 400 in the Bulletin des agriculteurs) and an historical epic for Radio-Canada television: Les belles histoires des Pays-d’en-Haut.
In addition, he published thousands of newspaper articles, Ronson conferences at CKAC and founded the Journal des Pays-d’en-Haut newspaper in 1967 with his friend, Maurice Aveline. In his eyes, Les Pamphlets de Valdombre (1936 to 1943) would always be the cornerstone of his literary career. He was Valdombre above all. Ever a pamphleteer….
Mayor of Sainte-Adèle, Prefect of Terrebonne township, parish trustee, Catholic activist… he was involved in every struggle. His last work, unpublished until 2006, bore the title that he had chosen out of recognition for our greatest journalist: Olivar Asselin, le pamphlétaire maudit (Éd. Trois-Pistoles). Claude-Henri Grignon loved Sainte-Adèle wholly and completely, letting his remarkable talent for storytelling run rampant in his beloved home town.
In this work, painter Reynald Connelly illustrates an unknown dimension of the talented writer: the fisherman, the man who loved the landscapes, lakes, rivers and mountains of his cherished Pays-d'en-Haut.