Goncourt Award


November 27, 2021

The Goncourt Prize (Prix Goncourt) is a French literary prize awarded for "the best and most imaginative prose work of the year." Edmond de Goncourt - a successful author, critic and publisher - bequeathed all his wealth to the foundation of the Goncourt Academy, which has been offering an award since 1903 in honor of Edmond's brother and colleague, Jules Alfred Huot de Goncourt (1830-1870). The Arbitration Committee traditionally meets at the Drouant Restaurant (Chez Drouant) on the first Tuesday of each month. The prize, for which only a check for 10 euros is issued, has a huge reputation and the demand for the author's works is skyrocketing. Romain Gary was first awarded the prize for his work Les racines du ciel (Roots of the Sky) in 1956, and was again named Best again in 1975 for his book La vie devant soi (Life Before Me), under the pseudonym Émile Ajar. . Gary tried to reject the award, but Hervé Bazin, then chairman of the jury, stated, "The Goncourt Award is like birth or death, neither to be accepted nor rejected." Some of the best known writers are Marcel Proust, Jean Fayard, Simone de Beauvoir, Georges Duhamel, Alphonse de Châteaubriant, Antonine Maillet. On a few occasions, the remuneration has been controversial. The most famous of these was the award to Marcel Proust in 1919, as readers voted for Roland Dorgelès's Les Croix de bois (Wooden Crosses) for the following reasons: the award is usually given to promising young authors, while Proust was already 48; all this happened after the First World War, where Dorgelès also fought, while Proust was medically unfit to fight because of his asthma; Dorgelès's novel swelled with patriotism, while Prousté was a social, psychological brainstorm free of politics. These arguments, of course, have been completely re-evaluated by today's critics.




Website of the Academie Goncourt

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List of literary awards

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