Novelist Denise Bombardier supports Vanessa Springora, Bernard Pivot evokes another “era”


Bernard Pivot received Gabriel Matzneff in the program “Apostrophes” in March 1990. – Jean-Philippe BALTEL / SIPA

The #MeToo of the world of Letters crosses French borders. Quebec novelist Denise Bombardier, who castigated in 1990 on the set of “Apostrophes”
Gabriel Matzneff’s sexual attraction for young adolescents, praised Friday’s “brave” and “remarkable” book by editor Vanessa Springora on her past relationships with the writer. More than 30 years after the facts, the one who now runs the Julliard editions describes in “Consentement” (Grasset, to be published on January 2) her 14-year-old relationship with Gabriel Matzneff.

“She tells how he sodomized her, the first time she was 13 and a half years old, she thought he loved her, then her life was hell,” said Denise Bombardier. The teenager’s own mother “knew he was a pedophile” and nevertheless received him “because he was one of the bonzes of French literature”. For several days a video has been circulating on social networks where Bernard Pivot quizzically questions the writer, in his program “Apostrophes” in March 1990, on his sexual attraction for the “under 16s”. Only invited to react, Denise Bombardier marked the spirits by judging that Gabriel Matzneff would have “accounts to justice” if he did not have such a “literary aura”.

“Literature came before morality”

Denise Bombardier said in a series of interviews with Quebec media that she received an email from Vanessa Springora thanking her for being the only one to publicly speak out against Gabriel Matzneff. An intervention which earned him numerous criticisms within the Parisian literary milieu. “A few days ago, (the former director of the literary pages of the” World “) Josyane Savigneau supported Matzneff and said that I was a purge, the writer Frédéric Beigbeder said that he would remain his friend: these people belong to a completely separate caste, ”she regrets.

In France, former television host Bernard Pivot, accused of complacency with Gabriel Matzneff, spoke on Friday of another “era”, drawing the wrath of many Internet users. “In the 1970s and 80s, literature came before morals; today, morality takes precedence over literature. Morally, this is progress. We are more or less the intellectual and moral products of a country and, above all, of an era, “wrote the former president of the Goncourt Academy, on Twitter, where he has more than a million subscribers. . Solicited via its editor, Gabriel Matzneff did not wish to respond to the AFP. In a message to the Obs, he expressed his “sadness” on Thursday about a “hostile, nasty, disparaging work, intended to harm him.”

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