The Gallimard publisher removes the diaries of Matzneff, the writer accused of child abuse | Society

The French literary world begins to close all doors to Gabriel Matzneff, the writer pointed out by pedophilia since the publication, last week, of the book The Consentement (The consent), where Vanessa Springora recounts the sexual relationship she had in the mid-1980s with the author when he was 50 years old and she was only 14. The prestigious Gallimard publishing house, reference of the literary publications Galas, announced on Tuesday its decision to interrupt the commercialization from the writer's diaries, today 83 years. It's not just about stop printing them: Gallimard, in a decision that the publishing house itself describes as “exceptional,” will also remove the copies that are still in the bookstores. The announcement has coincided with the confirmation of the Ministry of Culture that Matzneff will, in all likelihood, cease to receive public economic assistance granted to French authors with economic problems from which he had benefited for almost two decades. The awards received throughout his career will also be reviewed.

“The suffering expressed by Vanessa Springora in The consent (...) justifies this exceptional measure, ”he said in a statement Gallimard, which published Matzneff's diaries since 1990. In addition, the prestigious publisher will remove from the bookstores the copies still exposed, including those of the last volume, Arsenal's lover, published in November. According to a source from Gallimard to the France Presse Agency, it is the first time that the publisher takes a similar measure.

The decision is known a few days after the publication of the book of Springora, which in addition to a shake to society in full wave #Me Too, The world of French letters has convulsed strongly. For the first time, he has been confronted with this book at his laxity for decades before this author who never hid his sexual preferences with minors, which in fact details in detail a large part of his works, including the 1974 essay - and reissued in 2005— Les Moins by Seize ans (Children under 16). He also told it openly in televised interviews during the 80s and up to 90. Matzneff even received in 2013 a prestigious award, the Renaudot Prize, a decision that now one of the jurors who granted it, also the writer Frédéric Beigbeder, qualifies of "clumsy".

"If sexual relations between an adult and a teenager under 15 are illegal, why is this tolerance when this act is committed by the representative of an elite - photographer, writer, filmmaker, painter?" Springora is questioned in his book . "Beyond the artists, only with priests have we attended such impunity," he adds. Gallimard published, among others, La prunelle de mes yeux (The girl of my eyes), the book in which Matzneff gave, in 1993, his own vision of his relationship with Springora. He dedicated it to Christophe Girard, current deputy mayor for Culture of Paris, under the mandate of the socialist Anne Hidalgo, and it was according to the press who recommended that a state economic aid be given to the writer from 2002.

Although the facts, at least in the case of the author, have already prescribed, last Friday, 24 hours after the sale of The Consentement, the prosecution announced the opening of a preliminary investigation for “violation of a child under 15 years” on the basis of the revelations of Springora and promised to try to "identify all other possible victims who may have suffered violations of the same nature on the national territory or abroad." The Journal du Dimanche (JDD) revealed on Sunday that the blog that an "admirer" and friend of Matzneff kept on the Internet and in which for years he published details of his "conquests", with photos showing the extreme youth of several of his "lovers", was suppressed the December 30 The elimination took place a few days before the appearance of the book by Springora, who complains about it precisely because he could not judicially prevent Matzneff from publishing photos of him on the Internet because he was hiding in that it was not he who maintained the website.

The decision of Gallimard was known moments before the Minister of Culture, Franck Riester, announced that a commission will be in charge of reviewing the state economic aid that Matzneff receives since 2002 and that the National Book Center (CNL) grants to authors who have made a major contribution to French literature and they pass economic troubles despite it. That help, which in the case of Matzneff adds in the last 18 years, according to the JDD, 160,000 euros, "is not justified," said the minister. “Does Mr. Matzneff contribute, due to the autobiographical nature of his stories, with his writings to the popularity of French literature becoming the singer of pederasty? I think not. Is it that the lavish train of life described in his books justifies being attributed such help? I also think not, ”said Riester, who also announced that he will propose that the decorations received by Matzneff be reexamined, which since 1995 has been an official of the Arts and Letters and a gentleman of the National Order of Merit since 1998.


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