REPORTAGE – The event has been a paradox for more than thirty years: bring prestigious authors in a popular atmosphere. Story of a very hectic first day.
            Special Envoy to Brive It is 9:31, Gare de Lyon, when the doors of the TGV close. Direction Brive and Corrèze which, since Denis Tillinac, is not so far from the Zambezi. The all-Paris of letters takes its ease in what is still called – traditions are lost when they are bad – the train of cholesterol. The beautiful languages ​​are loosed, we comment on literary awards, we are enthusiastic as we would on the road of holidays. And we expect, especially the regulars, to discover the list of wines that accompany the duck foie gras half-cooked. Nobody seems to be worried about it, but the train has been going east for an hour. He took the direction of Lyon, another gastronomic capital. When he finally realizes it, the conductor is struggling to hide his embarrassment: "Do not laugh, I beg you. We have to go back to Paris. "False start, then. A little shudder goes to the idea that another convoy could arrive in front. The controller reassures authors, publishers and press officers as best he can. Decidedly, the ways of the SNCF are still impenetrable. »READ ALSO – Follow the train for the Brive Book Fair» READ ALSO – Book fair in Brive: Literature in the stomach The game of musical chairs resumes in this literary salon rolling. Novelists go from one wagon to another. In the kitchen, servers are busy. This happens only once in the year that a TGV offers such good food. The medallion of foie gras is accompanied by a pie with sweetbreads and various charcuteries. All the Corrèze in a wicker basket. Follow a delicious Rocamadour that is still called cabécou on the Causses Lotois. Last turn before the liquors. Plum wine is the best enemy of writers who must sign the same afternoon. The name of this reckless man who asks for "a tiny glass" will be ignored. The train arrives at Brive station. With an hour late and men of letters more gallant than ever. Buses and curious people are waiting for them. Jean-Pierre, who films every promotion for fifteen years, plays to recognize the authors. He finds them a little wiser, regretting the time when many of them staggered down the steps of the train. Saint-Germain-des-Prés offers a holiday camp in Corrèze. Some slingers break free of the shuttles and down the avenue Jean Jaurès until the Halle George Brassens where is held for 37 years the Book Fair. A little walk, it sobers. »READ ALSO – Fair of the book of Brive: the happy feast of literature pays homage to Jean d'Ormesson The new curator of the exhibition, François David, decided him to follow the footsteps of his predecessors. "The Fair is a unique institution, which is part of our city's identity," says this former professor of geography history with an easy-to-use verb. Here, there are not only readers, but also visitors. "In a word, Brive probably achieved a better compromise between pleasure and literature. At the entrance to the fair, metal detectors beep regularly. The pockets are empty of some laptops but also Opinel and Laguiole. Here, as Henri Vincennot said, the knife is the safest craftsman of popular culture. Sophie Dudemaine, a culinary specialist, says right off the bat: "Here, we eat well." We believe her on her word. Under the big top, the hubbub is deafening, the queues monstrous to approach the authors. "The book still keeps all its charm visibly," recognizes Thierry, fifties.Bests Fair In front of the stands, the most famous names create riots. Jean-Louis Debré struts. Alain Mabanckou smiles behind his star glasses, a large silver cross on his chest. When he gets up to kiss an admirer, this one, surprise, interrupts brutally his telephone conversation. Playing on the fear of the forbidden, a less famous novelist puts a sign "Attention, malicious author" on his table. Charles Nemes, director of La Tour Montparnasse infernal has taped a plastic flower on his balding head. Teaser, Boualem Sansal sticks the sheet of notes of the moderator and gausse of his "Sumerian writing". Before mentioning, worried, the Islamist danger. Delphine de Vigan, the president of the 2018 edition, marks her mark on the event. She came with three young authors, Adeline Dieudonné, Sophie Divry and Sylvia Rozelier. On stage, the novelist gives them a touching "declaration of admiration", celebrating their literary daring. At night, this Friday, Delphine de Vigan reads to the public a letter she sent years ago to Arthur H. Present for the occasion, black hat screwed on the head, the musician listens, moved . A last light is struggling to die in the back of the silent theater. The author of No and I enchants with his scansion of The music of words, a collection of songs of the son of the late Jacques Higelin. The latter concludes, cryptic: "Life can not be described." Arm in arm with Raymond Poulidor, Claude Cances, the former director of the judicial police, radiates. "I have spent my life interviewing people, not the most famous," he explains. Today it's my turn to stand the test of questions and this unprecedented exercise for me, often perilous, is always interesting, "he adds. François Hollande crack the crowd, take his pen and embark on a marathon of signatures. He chases selfies and kisses. It is hoped that he was vaccinated against the flu. "But no mom, my t-shirt is ugly!", Gaspard irritates, that his mother enjoins to take off his jacket for the photo with "Mr. President". Alas for author and screenwriter Jean-Paul Delfino, he was placed next to the former head of state. Impossible for him to continue signing. His publisher is furious. READ ALSO – At the Book Fair of Brive, François Hollande "probe the heart of the French" "You know that the story is very beautiful?" Exclaimed an author, pointing at his latest book. In the alleys, the most famous proverbs of Limousin are next to a Psychology of Fear and the last book of the animator Thierry Beccaro. "He has a beautiful smile," admits a young retiree ogling at the presenter. But, motus, she will not tell him. More daring, an admirer sends kisses to Catherine Ceylac, sitting a little further. "Brive is a must," says publisher Jean-Loup Chiflet. "It may be the least sophisticated salon yet the most popular in France. It is during these events that we find the ideas, that we mount blows ", explains this tenor of the edition. He has been attending the fair for thirty years. "Here, we always find friends. Nothing has changed". He still sees Jean-Edern Hallier, bubbling, chase Edmonde de Charles-Roux in the corridors of the train. It was a coral at the time. Glancing at the huge room, Chiflet agrees that the world of literature has become more relaxed. Moreover, as to keep open the book of his memories, he wants to clarify: "You know, the train of cholesterol, it's my invention." »Follow all the information of Figaro culture on Facebook and Twitter. .


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