- Jean D´Ormesson, director of "Le Figaro", defender of liberal press
- The resignation of D'Ormesson
The French writer Jean D'Ormesson has died at dawn this Tuesday at his home in Neuilly-sur-Seine, on outskirts of Paris, at 92 years. Renowned writer, prominent journalist and Editorialist, professor of philosophy and former senior official at UNESCO, D'Ormesson has been a public figure of first magnitude in France and one of most respected and media intellectuals in last half Of twentieth century.
Known for his aristocratic irreverence and antediluvian elegance, writer signed titles such as Glory of Empire (1976), Wind of Afternoon (1987), history of Wandering Jew (1992) or The Conversation (2012), imaginary dialogue between Napoleon Bonaparte and Cambacérès, author of French Civil Code, which is still of reference throughout world. His literature used to be from historical, but also of autobiographical, and tended to question himself on existential matters, such as place of man in universe or existence of God. Since 2015, his work was part of Pléiade, prestigious collection that brings toger canon of universal literature. D'Ormesson considered him one of his greatest prides.
Born in 1925 in Paris, writer was son of ambassador, which led him to grow between Romania, Brazil and Germany, where he attended, as a child, emergence of Nazism. He felt passion for letters from a very small. He alternated, from youth, literature and journalism. He collaborated in Paris-Match since end of years 40 and n directed Journal of Diogène Philosophy, while beginning to write his first books back in Fifties. In 1974 he was appointed director of Le Figaro. D'Ormesson only remained three years in office, but continued to collaborate, until end of his life, in that diary of right, an ideological field in which he registered. Despite this inclination, which had led him to fight on left in his political battles, he maintained a relationship of great complicity with François Mitterrand, who was linked to passion for literature and whom he interviewed on numerous occasions. After leaving first line of journalism, he concentrated on his novels, which achieved a great success in France in Seventies and eighties. Abroad, his works were translated, although he never achieved same level of notoriety.
Since 1973, D'Ormesson was a member of French Academy, which he joined as youngest of his members, at age of 48, and where he managed to renew some practices. For example, he was first to argue for breaking a masculine uniformity that had lasted more than three centuries. He for Marguerite Yourcenar to join her ranks, something she got in 1980. While academy became increasingly interested in social sciences, D'Ormesson strove to continue to privilege novelists, whom he considered best testimonies of his time. One of his last great successes will have been his ideal library, an anthology of reference texts of French literature for Le Figaro. D'Ormesson personally selected m and signed each one of ir prologues.