The Goncourt academy announced on Tuesday, October 5, that it had adopted a new rule making it ineligible for its prize “The works of the spouses, companions or close relatives of the members of the jury”. Adopted unanimously, this requirement thus obliges jurors to reveal their potential close ties on pain of exclusion.
This announcement is a response to the revelation, in September, of the links between François Noudelmann, selected in the first selection, and his companion Camille Laurens, member of the Academy and juror of Goncourt. The academy had then argued that they lived one in Paris, the other in New York, without being married, and that all the jurors had been informed before voting on the book in question. The Children of Cadillac was however excluded from the second selection of the Prix Goncourt, the rule taking effect immediately.
Another rule was also adopted unanimously on Tuesday: “The members of the jury who maintain a literary column in a medium refrain from reviewing the works which appear in the selection as long as these works appear therein. “ Here again, Camille Laurens was at the heart of the controversy after signing a severe criticism in September, in The world, on another book from the first selection, Postcard by Anne Berest. For the academy, the goal is to “Respect the secrecy of the vote”.
As suggested by its president Didier Decoin and its secretary Philippe Claudel, the jury of the most prestigious French literary prize acted quickly to appease the criticisms on the opacity of its procedures and the conflicts of interest.
The Goncourt awarded on November 3
The second selection, unveiled Tuesday with nine titles, shows two eliminations that contrast with the enthusiasm of literary criticism and readers, that of Fire by Maria Pourchet andIn the spring of the monsters by Philippe Jaenada. Unusually at this stage, it already no longer includes a book from the Gallimard editions, which won it in 2020 with The Anomalies by Hervé Le Tellier.
Compete, in the second selection, The Journey to the East (Flammarion) by Christine Angot, Postcard (Grasset) d’Anne Berest, Bastard child (Grasset) by Sorj Chalandon, Milwaukee Blues (Sabine Wespieser) by Louis-Philippe Dalembert, The Eternal Bridegroom (L’Olivier) by Agnès Desarthe, S’adapter (Stock) de Clara Dupont-Monod, The Seer of Etampes (The Observatory) of Abel Quentin, The Most Secret Memory of Men (Philippe Rey) by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr and The Girl We Call (Midnight) by Tanguy Viel.
This second selection must be tightened one last time, on October 26, before the prize is awarded on November 3. The Goncourt only allows you to win a check for ten euros, but provides its winner with exceptional publicity and a certain place in posterity.