Flora Prize 2013

Café de Flore


The festive epicentre of the literary fortnight, the Prix de Flore has not failed in its reputation as a great literary bacchanal. So, for once, the whole good Germanopratin society gathered last night around the lucky winner of the Prize, Monica Sabolo, its self-proclaimed president Frédéric Beigbeder, and buffets overflowing with local products. Not to mention the champagne.

At 8 pm, a compact crowd in front of the beloved café of Breton and Aragon, which this year has installed a Barnum to welcome its guests, a sort of airlock between the two worlds: that of the profane and that of the thinking. A good idea since a driving rain falls on Paris at the very moment when the members of the jury get out of their taxi. Cats and dogs would say one across the Channel, if only the grumpy critics of the French-speaking world would allow us to do so.

The Prix de Flore having been co-founded in 1994 by Frédéric Beigbeder and Carole Chétiennot, the 2013 edition is the 19th. A non anniversary, however, celebrated as such, in the name of literature and intellectual worldliness. Monica Sabolo, who at 9pm is presented with a cheque for 6100 euros and her door to alcoholism with a glass of Pouilly engraved in her name allowing her to drink 365 (one a day in a non-leap year), nevertheless defends herself from being so, worldly. The beautiful and delicate writer succeeds Oscar Coop-Phane, winner 2012 for his first novel Zénith-Hôtel (ed. Finitude), thanks to a poetic dissection of the torments of a sorrow of love, entitled “All this has nothing to do with me” and published by Editions Lattès.

Protocol accomplished, giant cheque in pocket and official speech, Lou Lesage, La Chatte de Françoise and Cut Killer go on stage and sound to launch the festivities of an evening already well underway. Mazarine Pingeot, Yann Moix (Prix Renaudot, editor’s note), Jean-Marie Périer and Nicolas Duvauchelle are busy as for them on the dance floor in company of the hosts of these places, all smiles, Colette & Miroslav Siljegovic. A joyful salmigondis of art and letters, which will push the experience to undue hours. It is good to learn on the long sidewalks of Saint-Germain Boulevard, but it is one of those mornings that are written with evils. Montana or not. B.B.

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