DUniv. 2002

Honorary Doctorate Recipient


Award-winning writer, filmmaker and political thinker Jacques Godbout has gone a long way towards enriching the cultural heritage of Canada and Quebec.

Canada's spiritual shortcomings, said Godbout at a conference at the Institute of Canadian Studies in 1997, are found in the nature of its culture, its imagination and its institutions, and can best be resolved by artists, academics, inventors and thinkers.

Godbout has gone far to resolve this deficiency of spirit with his writing and his filmmaking, which have been recognized and admired around the world. As well, Godbout is known as a man of action and a man of commitment. Through his artful humour, his perceptive yet humane criticism, his deep and powerful insights, his mastery of forceful, vigorous debate, his moral and political causes, and his open, all-embracing intellect, Godbout has awakened our spirit, heightened our senses, and through it all, touched our times.

Godbout earned a master of arts in 1954 at the Université de Montréal, taught in Ethiopia for three years, traveled to Haiti, where he met his wife, and eventually returned to Canada to join the National Film Board (NFB). After 40 years of award-winning filmmaking and directing (30 films, including four dramatic features), he left the NFB in 1996.

Since 1956, Godbout has published collections of poetry, novels and essays, which have shaped the literary and political face of Quebec and won numerous awards.

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