L’affaire Matzneff and the BAnQ

A scandal making little noise on the anglo side is l’affaire Matzneff: prolific French writer Gabriel Matzneff, who has never made any secret of his taste for under-age nookie, is under investigation after a new book by one of his long-ago victims created a stir in France. The story has resonance here because the only person to challenge him back in 1990 was Quebec’s own Denise Bombardier.

Now Matzneff’s publisher, Gallimard, has withdrawn all his books, and the Grande bibliothèque here has also pulled his works from its catalogue. Francine Pelletier asks whether the permissiveness of the 1960s was an aberration in the moral order.

Update: Radio-Canada has a thoughtful piece on the Grande bibliothèque’s withdrawal of Matzneff’s works, talking to a UdeM professor and to a couple of lawyers including Julius Grey about the pros and cons of the library having made this choice.

A good piece in the Guardian, from a France-based writer, explains the laissez-faire attitude of the French intelligentsia that at least partly explains their tolerance of a writer who made no secret of his predilections.