Victor-Lévy Beaulieu nearly became the first Quebecer to win the Grand Prix de la langue française awarded by the French and Goncourt Academies. We refused to give him this distinction associated with a scholarship of 10,000 euros, because he was unable, due to health problems, to go to France.
Physically impaired for several years with post-polio syndrome, the author and playwright, who uses a wheelchair, was unable to attend the 40And edition of the Brive Book Fair to receive this award.
“It was a sine qua non. I had to refuse. I’m in a wheelchair and I don’t go out often,” she said in a telephone interview.
The organizers didn’t want to make an exception for the 77-year-old who suffers from a syndrome that attacks his muscular system and mobility.
“I tried to explain it to them, but they didn’t seem to understand. It’s annoying. It’s a bit of a stupid decision,” she dropped.
Victor-Lévy Beaulieu learned on October 30 that he had won this accolade for his entire career. This prize is awarded to a personality from the literary, artistic or scientific world whose work contributes significantly to illustrating the quality and beauty of the French language.
“I absolutely had to be there between November 4th and 6th. I should have also had my passport made. It was very tight,” she said.
The prize, awarded by a 10-person jury made up of writers and journalists, including Dany Laferrière, was awarded to author Nathacha Appanah, originally from Mauritius.
In the end, the author of Trois-Pistoles isn’t furious. His voice is calm.
“These are old conditions that are similar to cultural colonialism. I don’t know where it comes from. They are not very quick to change things. If you give an award, you give it,” she said.
Victor-Lévy Beaulieu would become the first Quebecer to win this award created in 1986. Bernard Pivot, Annie Ernaux, Jean-Paul Kauffmann and Emmanuel Carrère have already received this accolade.
“It’s very frustrating because it was the first time for a writer from Quebec. He has shown an openness to Quebec culture, which doesn’t happen often, despite what they say,” he said.
Beyond this disappointment, Victor-Lévy Beaulieu accepts it as a moral victory. This award was however awarded to him before he was withdrawn.
“I am happy with this recognition. This is a great victory for Quebec authors’ contribution to the French language,” she said.
Without this outing from the Quebec writer, the matter would have remained silent.
“I hope my release helps change things,” said the author who will be launching a 97 in a few weeksAnd titled work October predatory fish among the Gallic francs.
The newspaper he tried, unsuccessfully, to get a reaction from Dany Laferrière, who was on the jury and who is a member of the French Academy.