Mario Vargas Llosa can be appointed member of the French Academy

The 34 members of the French Academy, in charge of preserving and defending that language, will vote this Thursday the choice of the person who will take the Michel Serres seat, died in 2019, to which the Peruvian is a candidate Mario Vargas Llosa, favorite to appointment.

The decision must be approved by an absolute majority during the session of this November 25, which It will take place in private and without the presence of the applicants, among which are also writers with fewer possibilities, such as Emmanuel Cruvelier or Éric Dubois.

Vargas Llosa, who has the Dual Spanish and Peruvian nationality and is a member since 1994 of the Royal Spanish Academy, presented his candidacy on October 7 after sending a letter to the current perpetual secretary of the famous conclave, the historian Hélène Carrère d’Encausse.

It is an unusual candidacy since the writer is 85 years old, and according to the regulations older than 75 years of age cannot enter it, and because it is in addition to an author who writes in Spanish, although the influence on his work of French literature is known.

The Academy, created by the Cardinal Richelieu in 1634, call its members “The immortals” by the motto “To immortality” that appears in the emblem of the institution in reference to its mission.

Several current members, including Alain Finkielkraut, Chantal Thomas, Érik Orsenna or Jean-Christophe Rufin, have publicly stated their sympathy for the candidacy of Nobel, for which age and language do not seem like a problem, although the Academy indicates that the vote could also be left blank if an agreement is not reached.

If elected, the Academy would organize a ceremony of taking possession of your seat, open to about 300 guests and in which the writer would have to intervene.

At this reception, the new “immortal”, dressed in a recognized green embroidered uniform and welcomed by his two godparents within the institution, must read a speech and take possession of your seat, which will remain exclusively yours until your death.

He would also receive an Academy medal engraved with his name and the motto “To immortality” and a word from the dictionary would be attributed to him at that time.


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