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Christine Angot. Wikipedia

Matzneff affair in France exposes opportunism of leftists

She was very critical in 1990 when some had expressed outrage over Gabriel Matzneff's ideas on his relationships with young adolescents, but the leftist author Christine Angot has since done an about-face, fearing a backlash in public opinion.

Published: January 16, 2020, 8:13 am


    When Denise Bombardier was outraged in 1990 by the words of Matzneff, Christine Angot mercilessly attacked Bombardier. The latter, present on the set of Apostrophe alongside Gabriel Matzneff, had rebelled against the novelist admitting his sexual attraction for “the less 16-years old”.

    Bombardier, a Quebec journalist pointed out to the audience at the time, that “these little girls of 14 or 15 years old were not only seduced, but suffered what is called in the relationships between adults and young people, an abuse of power”.

    At the time of her intervention, Christine Angot had denounced Bombardier, who was “guilty” according to Angot of having harmed Matzneff. “This woman actually accuses him of being a writer, that’s what bothers her,” Angot said sarcastically.

    But the moralizing discourse of the former columnist Angot on the famous French literary television show has since radically changed, possibly because she has sensed a change in public opinion.

    Last week, in the columns of French daily Le Monde, Christine Angot accused the 83-year-old writer Matzneff of having “humiliated and degraded” Vanessa Springora (then aged 14) . She went on to describe his “perversion”.

    As a reminder, an investigation was opened against Matzneff by the prosecution on January 3, for “rape of minors under the age of 15”.

    Born as Pierrette Marie-Clotilde Schwartz (Schwartz being her mother’s name) in Châteauroux, Indre, Angot is perhaps best known for her 1999 novel L’Inceste [Incest] which recounts an incestuous relationship with her father.

    It is a subject which appears in several of her previous books, but it is unclear whether these works are autofiction, and whether the events described actually took place. Angot herself describes her work as metafiction on society’s fundamental prohibition of incest.

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