Guy Boley, Prix des Deux Magots 2023
Guy Boley wins the 90th Prix des Deux Magots for À ma sœur et unique (Grasset)
The jury for the Prix des Deux Magots, chaired by Étienne de Montety, met yesterday, Monday September 25, at the café-restaurant Les Deux Magots, to select the winner from the four finalists in its 90thedition. By 7 votes to 5 for Gaspard Koenig’s Humus (L’Observatoire), the jury chose to reward Guy Boley for his novel
À ma soeur et unique
published by Grasset. Following the tradition established by the Mathivat family, owners of Les Deux Magots for four generations, Catherine Mathivat presented the winner with a cheque for €7,700. He succeeds Louis-Henri de La Rochefoucauld, winner in 2022 for his book Châteaux de sable (Robert Laffont).
One of France’s oldest and most prestigious literary awards, the Prix des Deux Magots is the first major prize to be awarded during the autumn literary season.
Winner 2023: Guy Boley, À ma soeur et unique (Grasset)
Elisabeth Förster was the only sister of Friedrich Nietzsche, a writer, philologist, philosopher and perpetual sufferer living in total solitude. Two years his junior, she was his first reader, companion and admirer. Early on, she promised herself she’d do everything she could to make her brother’s work shine, but she couldn’t hear a word he said. She will care for him, assist him, carry him. He even sold his writings to Adolf Hitler. In this breathtaking novel, Guy Boley retraces every episode in their lives: from their close-knit childhood to Elisabeth’s marriage to Bernhard Förster, an outspoken anti-Semite with whom she left in 1886 to found the Nueva Germania colony in Paraguay. To return three years later, at the bedside of his brother unconscious, bedridden, whom she claims to be caring for, but whom she will betray.
Guy Boley has published three books with Editions Grasset: Fils du feu (2016)Quand Dieu boxait en amateur (2018), and Funambule majuscule (2021).
“To receive the Prix des Deux Magots 90 years after Raymond Queneau is very moving. He was a writer of genius and, for me, a sort of master of writing”. Guy Boley.
“Guy Boley’s style and personality immediatelyconvinced the jury that this prize was in the tradition of Les Deux Magots”. Etienne de Montety, Chairman of the Prize.
90 years of freedom of spirit
For its 90thanniversary, the Prix des Deux Magots, which now opens the autumn awards season, celebrated 90 years of literature and freedom of spirit in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. A day punctuated by numerous events, in the presence of leading figures from the world of letters and the arts.
Brigitte Fossey, Marc Lambron, Éric Neuhoff and Étienne de Montetygathered for a round table discussion by Jean-Yves Clémentunder the watchful eye of the café’s two emblematic mandarins, debated the question: “What has become of the artistic spirit of Saint-Germain-des-Prés today? Following a lively discussion, Alain Souchon joined Étienne de Montety for a talk on “L’Esprit rive gauche”, sharing his pleasure at being welcomed into the friendly atmosphere of Les Deux Magots.
The celebrations continued into the evening with performances by leading theatrical personalities: Julie Depardieu and Francis Huster revived the illustrious figures of Saint-Germain-des-Prés with readings of letters by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus and Maria Casarès. Boris Vian was brought back to life under the baton of Nicolas Simon, at the head of La Symphonie de Poche, a unique and original instrumental ensemble, accompanied by soprano Agathe Peyrat and baritone Arnaud Marzorati.
A gourmet dinner rounded off this exceptional evening, with a promise to meet again on the last Monday of September 2024. A book
90 years of the Prix des Deux Magots
published by Le Passeur, retraces the history of the prestigious prize through the testimonies of its winners and jury.
The Prix des Deux Magots, already a nonagenarian, promises to be a fine, solid centenarian.