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Home News French writer accused of under-age rape gets new publisher

French writer accused of under-age rape gets new publisher

Published on 20/10/2022
Published from AFP.com

Disgraced French writer Gabriel Matzneff, currently under investigation for raping children, has found a new editor who said Thursday it would publish a collection of his essays.

Matzneff, 86, has made no secret of his preference for sex with under-age teenagers, speaking at length about it on TV and publishing an essay in the 1970s entitled “Les Moins de Seize Ans” (“The Under-16s”).

But despite an ongoing judicial investigation against him, the Paris-based Nouvelle Librairie is publishing a new collection of his articles called “Derniers ecrits avant le massacre” (Final Writings Before the Massacre).

The publishing house’s director Francois Bousquet told AFP they considered themselves “literary cavalry”, fighting for “patriotic, right-wing identity”.

As recently as 2013, Matzneff was feted by a wider cross-section of the French literary establishment, winning the prestigious Renaudot Prize for a previous collection of essays.

His standing only changed with the publication in 2020 of a book by a leading publisher, Vanessa Springora, describing how she was groomed by Matzneff when she was 14.

Coming in the wake of MeToo, her book “Consent” was a turning point, encouraging others to come forward with allegations of abuse against him — as well as sparking wider discussion of the prevalence of paedophilia in French society.

The statute of limitations means it is unlikely Matzneff will face trial, but his books were pulled from shops and he was stripped of state aid given to writers, including a subsidised apartment on the capital’s chic Left Bank.

Last year, Matzneff self-published a response to Spingora entitled “Vanessavirus”.

“Gabriel Matzneff, as we know, no longer had a publisher,” said Bousquet.

“Through mutual friends, this book came to us. We wouldn’t have wanted it if he had used it to praise pedophilia.”