Richard Millet

Richard Millet

Richard Millet is a French author. He was born in Viam, Corrèze in 1953. He spent part of his childhood in Lebanon and now lives in Paris. In 1994 he won the Essay Prize from the Académie Française for his book "Le Sentiment de la langue" (“The Feeling of Language”).

His work revolves around themes of time, death and language and is not without a certain proustian quality. His style is rich and complex and belongs to the tradition of great French prose "from Bossuet to Claude Simon". It also has something of the elegance of Marguerite Yourcenar’s writing, perhaps owing to the rhythmic quality of his sentences.

Several of his novels are set in the village of Siom (Viam’s literary counterpart), notably "La Gloire des Pythre" (“The Glory of the Pythres”), "L'Amour des trois sœurs Piale" (“The Love of the Three Piale Sisters”), "Lauve le pur" (“Lauve the Pure”), and "Ma vie parmi les ombres" (“My Life Among the Shadows”). More generally, the Plateau de Millevaches, its landscape, its climate, its geographic location and the evolution of the lives of its inhabitants over the course of the centry make up an essential element of his texts, as Haute-Provence does for Giono, the county of Yoknapatawpha for Faulkner or Wessex for Thomas Hardy.

Millet mixes religious elements with coarse language, evoking French catholic tradition in a way that acknowledges the modern sexual revolution. Desire, suffering and evil are themes that permeate all of his work.

He is also an editor at Gallimard, where he played a decisive role in the publication of Jonathan Littell's novel "Les Bienveillantes", which won the 2006 Prix Goncourt.

The September 2007 publication of "Désenchantement de la littérature", in which he denounces the inanity of contemporary French literature and the loss of religious feeling in the West, generated a good deal of controversy [see for example [,1-0,36-968236,0.html an article by Patrick Kéchichian] , published in le Monde (in French).] .


* "L'Invention du corps de saint Marc", POL (1983)
* "L'Innocence", POL (1984)
* "Sept passions singulières", POL (1985)
* "Le plus haut miroir", Fata Morgana (1986)
* "Le Sentiment de la langue I", Champ Vallon (1986)
* "Beyrouth", Champ Vallon (1987), repris dans "Un Balcon à Beyrouth", followed by "Beyrouth ou la séparation", La Table Ronde (2005)
* "L'Angélus", POL (1988) and "Folio" (2001)
* "La Chambre d'ivoire", POL (1989) and "Folio" (2001)
* "Le Sentiment de la langue II", Champ Vallon (1990)
* "Laura Mendoza", POL (1991)
* "Accompagnement", POL (1991)
* "L'Ecrivain Sirieix", POL (1992), "Folio" (2001)
* "Le Chant des adolescentes", POL (1993)
* "Le Sentiment de la langue, I, II, III", La Table Ronde (1993 and 2003)
* "Un Balcon à Beyrouth", La Table Ronde (1994 et 2005)
* "Cœur blanc", POL (1994)
* "La Gloire des Pythre", POL (1995), "Folio" (1997)
* "L'Amour mendiant", POL (1996), "Folio" (2007)
* "L'Amour des trois sœurs Piale", POL (1997), "Folio" (1999)
* "Cité perdue", Fata Morgana (1998)
* "Le Cavalier siomois", Editions François Janaud (1998), La Table Ronde (2004)
* "Autres jeunes filles" (with illustrations by Ernest Pignon-Ernest), Editions François Janaud (2000)
* "Lauve le pur", POL (2000), "Folio" (2001)
* "La Voix d'alto", Gallimard (2001), "Folio" (2003)
* "Le Renard dans le nom", Gallimard (2003), "Folio" (2004)
* "Ma vie parmi les ombres", Gallimard (2003), "Folio" (2005)
* "Fenêtre au crépuscule. Conversation avec Chantal Lapeyre-Desmaison", La Table Ronde (2004)
* "Musique secrète", Gallimard (2004)
* "Pour la musique contemporaine", Fayard (2004)
* "Le Dernier écrivain", Fata Morgana (2005)
* "Harcèlement littéraire. Entretiens avec Delphine Descaves et Thierry Cecille", Gallimard (2005)
* "Le Goût des femmes laides", Gallimard (2005), "Folio" (2007)
* "Sacrifice", on the photographs of Silvia Seova, L'Archange Minotaure (2006)
* "Dévorations", Gallimard (2006)
* "L'Art du bref", Gallimard, (2006)
* "Place des Pensées. Sur Maurice Blanchot", Gallimard (2007)
* "Petit éloge d'un solitaire", Gallimard, "Folio" (2007)
* "L'Orient désert", Mercure de France (2007)
* "Désenchantement de la littérature", Gallimard (2007)

Critical Studies

* Sylviane COYAULT-DUBLANCHET, "La Province en héritage. Pierre Michon, Pierre Bergounioux, Richard Millet", Genève, Droz, 2002, 289 p.
* Jean-Yves LAURICHESSE, "Richard Millet. L'invention du pays", Amsterdam - New York, Rodopi, 2007, 276 p.

External links

* [ Critical bibliography (]


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