a night of fun with the author with the sharp pen and the sharp tongue

a night of fun with the author with the sharp pen and the sharp tongue


One hundred and fifty years ago, on January 28, 1873, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette was born in a Burgundian village, who died in 1954. France Culture pays tribute to her in ten episodes through a series of archives concocted by Albane Penaranda. “Seven hours is too short to pay tribute to Colette”explains the producer.

To open the party, we will first retrace the life of the writer thanks to the program “Relecture”, by Hubert Juin, broadcast in 1978. We will then focus on what has been a constant in her life and in her work, the movement, through the visit of the Palais-Royal district, in Paris, where she lived from 1926 to 1930, and the reading of Three… Six… Nine… (1944), a collection of his many moves.

Pioneer of autofiction

There followed three of the six precious river interviews carried out in the evening of his life and broadcast in 1950, with the essential art critic André Parinaud. We will not shy away from our pleasure in listening to one of the pioneers of autofiction, with her pretty rolled “r’s”, fend off, by paraphrasing her work, the ever more insistent assaults of the interviewer to make her admit that everything in the series of Claudine is ” TRUE “, “autobiographical” or ” important “. “Where the goat is tied, it must graze”, she says of her relationship with the first of her three husbands, the unfaithful Henry Gauthier-Villars (1859-1931), alias Willy, married at the age of 20. She accesses literary and musical salons through him and writes first for him, as a penman.

The music ” was [s]has a true calling”says the one who was a music-hall artist, whose bare pantomimes – and the lesbian kiss given to her lover Mathilde de Morny (1863-1944), Marquise de Belbeuf – caused a scandal at the beginning of the 20th century.e century. “Fortunately, I gave up. » On the other hand, she will not renounce her modernity: she loves women as well as men, the living world, wears pants and short hair and runs the pen to sign luminous works of sensuality, such as Dear (1920), The birth of the day (1928) or The cat (1933) – whose 1959 radio adaptation with the (then) young Annie Girardot and Jean-Louis Trintignant will be broadcast at 04:45.

“I was still surprised that people called me a writer, that a publisher and the public treated me as a writer, and I attributed these renewed coincidences to a complacent chance”, writes the one who will become the second woman – after Judith Gautier in 1910, the daughter of Théophile Gautier – to enter the Goncourt Academy (1945) and the first to receive a national funeral. The invitation to read and re-read this invigoratingly voluptuous work will end with a multi-voice reading of his novel. Wheat in grass (1923).

Read also: “Colette journalist”: the tactile eye of Colette

The pleasure of spending a moment in the company of Colette will be extended in the next “Nuits de France Culture”: from January 29 to February 12, they will open with a series of readings of the correspondence of the novelist with her very dear friend l actress Marguerite Moreno (1871-1948). A nugget rediscovered by Albane Penaranda and restored, then digitized by the teams of the National Audiovisual Institute. We can hear the daily life of the author, especially during the Occupation, in Paris, with the notable testimonies of her last husband, Maurice Goudeket (1889-1977), and her daughter, Colette (1913-1981).

Colette, a free woman, in “Les Nuits de France Culture”, by Albane Penaranda (Fr., 2023, 7 h). On demand on France Culture and the Radio France application.


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