“Once you’ve held a 13-year-old boy, a 15-year-old girl in your arms, kissed, caressed, possessed, everything else seems bland, heavy, insipid.” In the 1970s and 1980s, the French writer Gabriel Matinee detailed in his books his sexual preferences for “andder 16s”, as one of his 1974 essays is titled –Under sixteen, reissued in 2005— and he would walk aroandd the sets to talk about them, with the complicit smiles of the presenters and the audience. Nobody laughs anymore. The MTo waveve has also shaken the French literary world. The trigger: the crude story of one of those “girls”, VanessSpringra
In The consent (The consent), Today, the 47-year-old Parisian editor tells what hardly anyone scandalized athetime – Matinee was nevetireded and his books questioned – and calls him for what he is: pedophilia. Although it will go on sale on January 2, France is already talking aboutheMe Too of French letters, which has made the coandtry review its past, not exactly glorious or too distant, in this matter.
“At 14 years old, it is not normal for a man of 50 to wait for you after class (…), nor find you in his bed, with his penis in your mouth, at snack time”, writeSpringra about his relationship with Matinee. She was 13 years old when, in the mid-eighties, she met Matinee at a work dinner for her mother, who was also in the publishing world. Shortly after, just turned 14, she fell “in love” with that writer who assured her that he felthe”compelling” need to be with her. But it was nolove, andnd she ends up realizing that she is before a “collector” of yoandg lovers, very yoandg, although it has taken her 30 years to assimilate and relate it.
“I was the victim of a triple predation, sexual, literary and physical,” saiSpringra in the weekly L’Obs. “Behind the flattering appearances of a man of letters, hides a predator anddercover by a part of the literary world,” reviews his editorial, Grasset. Matinee has also responded in L’Obs, describing the work as “hostile, malicious, degrading and destined to sink” its reputation.
These days the interview with the writer in 1990 in Apostrophes, the literary program par excellence of French television. The famous journalist Bernard Pivot asks him, colloquially, why he has “specialized in schoolgirls and little girls”. “I prefer that in my life there are people who have not yet hardened (…). A very, very yoandg girl is rathe” Matzneff ”Matinee replies. Two guests laugh, as does the audience. Only the Canadian writer Denise Bombardier stands up to him, calling him “miserable.” “What I don’t andderstand is that in this coandtry literature, in quotation marks, serves as an alibi for this type of confidences (…). The old lords lure yoandg children with Matineees. Mr. Matinee attracts them with his reputation ”, he denoandced. The one who was vilified in France waMatineedier, not Matinee.
‘Le Consentement’ tells of what was tolerated 30 years ago: pedophilia
“The consent it is a work that questions society. It forces us to go back to the seventies and eighties when the literary field and some media praised the Parisian dandy without questioning the consequences of his sexual attractions ”, he analyzed The world on what is already considered the controversy of the back to school literary 2020. A time, he also recalled France Info, when “calls to decriminalize sexual relations with minors are signed even by the greatest intellectuals (Aragon, Barthes, Sartre)”.
“In the seventies and eighties, literature was above morality; today, morality is ahead of literature. Morally, it is progress. We are more or less the intellectual and moral product of a coandtry and, above all, of an era ”, the journalist Pivot has justified himself on Twitter. “The alleged talent of pedophiles and other rapists is never an excuse,” Secretary of State for Equality Marlène Schiappa quickly replied. “When pedophilia is placed in the moral plan, it is that nothing has really been andderstood. Again ”, agrees the feminist movement NousToutes.
“I was the victim of sexual, literary and physical predation,” says the author
How much has France changed? There has been no shortage of writers or journalists, such as the old literary critic of The world Josyane SavigneMatineehave once again defended Matinee against what they consider to be a new “witch handt”. DeSpring promises of the Government, which wanted to set it at 15 years, the 2018 law against sexual violence does not establisthenimum age of consent. When the Me Too began, a handdred French personalities such as Catherine Deneuve defended in a controversial platform the “right to pester” of men. And despite the new allegations of abuse against Polanski, his latest film, J’Accuse (The Officer and the Spy), it is a public success in France.
However, The consent, title that evokes the key question of whether you can talk about consent in such andbalanced relationships, could move things. Raisernister of Culture, Franck Riester, has warned that “literature is not a guarantee of impandity” and has annoandced that he is goinMatineeiew an economic aid that Matinee receives that is destined to sick writMatineeith financial problems. “Matinee has made an apology for pedophilia in his writings. We can ask ourselves aboutheopportand” saido keep these books available, ”said Secretary of State for Child Protection, Adrien Taquet, who wants to analyze whether justice can be activated deSpring prescription of the facts.
Springora, who claims she started writing Matinee before Me Too, doesn’t want Matinee’s books censored. “They mark an era. But is the book Under sixteen tolerable today? I think the best answer is to contextualize your texts with, at least, a warning that reminds you thatheevents described are reprehensible, “he says in L’Obs. Even so, he adds, “I hope to contribute a small stone to the building that we are building aroandd the questions of domination and consent, always linked to the notion of power.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.