Death of the writer Bernard Noël at the age of 90

Author of a prolific work on art and politics, he gained notoriety through the scandal of a 1969 erotic novel that earned him lawsuits for contempt of good manners.

The poet and novelist Bernard Noël, author of an abundant work on art and politics, has died at the age of 90, his publisher, POL, announced on Tuesday April 13.

“The POL editions are very sad to announce the death of Bernard Noël at the age of 90,” the publishing house, which he joined in 1988, said on Twitter. “Writer and committed poet, novelist, historian , reporter, polemicist, sociologist, art critic, publisher, he has published twenty-five books with POL editions “, she recalled.

Born in 1930 in Sainte-Geneviève-sur-Argence (Aveyron), raised by his grandparents, he embarked on journalism studies in Paris, which led him to his true vocation, literature.

A scandal in 1969

After poems with low circulation, he rose to fame thanks to the scandal of an erotic novel of 1969 which earned him prosecutions for insulting morality, The Last Supper. He explained that he freed himself with this book, under the pseudonym of Urbain d’Orlhac, from the trauma of his generation, the Algerian war. Sentenced at first instance in 1973, he will benefit from an amnesty after the arrival at the presidency of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.

The denunciation of censorship, oppression and violence, as well as the love of painting, are then part of the constants of his work. In 1988, for example, his first play, The Reconstitution, evoked a police burr, when a CRS shot a young man in Paris in 1986. The French Academy dedicated all of his poetic work in 2016 with his Grand Prix de poésie.

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