2021: bicentenary of the death of Napoleon, literary portrait with Philippe Forest

Published on : 08/01/2021 – 14:24

Philippe Forest is a French writer, author of around thirty books since “The Eternal Child” in 1997. A work composed of essays and novels such as “Le Chat de Schrödinger”, “Crue” or even “L ‘ oblivion ”and more recently“ I remain king of my sorrows ”as well as a biography of Aragon. He has just published a literary essay entitled “Napoleon, the end and the beginning”, published by Gallimard.

« Napoleon compared his life to a novel. He was the hero and the author. Only this novel remains to us. For two centuries, it has continued to be written without it. And with him is perpetuated this “immense dream but quick as the disorderly night which gave birth to him” of which the Memoirs from beyond the grave speak. Chateaubriand said of Napoleon : “He did not make France, France did.” But perhaps France, basically, Napoleon made it through her defeat as much as through her victories. Because, in addition to the institutions and laws that still exist, the void he left lasted longer than the monument he had built and of which only vestiges and symbols remain. »

« The sun that had risen in Austerlitz, wrote Hugo, lies down on Waterloo. » « With the novelist of Les Misérables, the greatest writers of the past came to visit the obscure and brilliant legend in the form of which, for our present, this story still remains alive. (Presentation of Gallimard editions)

Cover of Philippe Forest's essay
Cover of Philippe Forest’s essay © Gallimard

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