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News & Blogs: In Memoriam

Michel Butor and the International School of Geneva

vendredi 7 octobre 2016   (0 Comments)
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On 24 August 2016 the celebrated French writer Michel Butor, a former teacher at La Grande Boissière, died at the age of 89. 

Ecolint's archivist Alejandro Rodriguez-Giovo has remarked that, although Butor's time at the school was relatively short, amounting to just two years, it had a significant impact on his life:

"The French writer Michel Butor, author of the iconic novel La Modification and often regarded as one of the leading lights in the nouveau roman literary movement, taught philosophy – to which were later added some courses in French, history and geography – at Ecolint from 1956 till 1957.

His two years at our school were a watershed period of his life. It was at La Grande Boissière that he met Marie-Jo Mas, a teaching assistant who attended his philosophy lectures, and whom he married in 1958. Moreover, he achieved his first major breakthrough as a writer when his novel L’Emploi du Temps won the Prix Fénéon in 1956, while he was working on the manuscript of his magnum opus, La Modification, which was awarded the even more prestigious Prix Renaudot the following year.

When Butor joined Ecolint, he was known only by those who had come across some of his scattered articles; by the time he left, he had become a prominent figure in the francophone literary world. Having met his wife at LGB, Butor clearly retained a sentimental attachment with the school. He rarely failed to mention his time at Ecolint whenever he was interviewed."

Alejandro also found in our archives a contemporary series of photographs of Michel Butor at LGB, taken by the Foundation's then photographer François Martin, some of which are published below.

> Obituary in Le Monde

 

Michel Butor, 1958, International School of Geneva, photo by François Martin

Michel Butor, 1958, International School of Geneva, photo by François Martin

Michel Butor, 1958, International School of Geneva, photo by François Martin

Michel Butor, 1958, International School of Geneva, photo by François Martin

Michel Butor, 1958, International School of Geneva, photo by François Martin


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