A mythical figure in French publishing, the man even his children called Jérôme directed Les Éditions de Minuit from 1948 until his death in 2001. If Une archive gives a glimpse of the man of character that he was, the book above all allows to understand the meaning of his battles and the importance of his commitment, which prompted him, among other things, to publish a number of controversial works (especially during the Algerian war).

“It was fights that everyone now agrees to find were fair, underlines Mathieu Lindon. For example, when he started to fight for the single price of the book, there was no one for him because everyone thought that it was very good to sell books cheaper. He had to explain that in fact it was going to increase their prices, that it was going to kill part of the creation. And this fight that he had started alone – the main library union in France was against him – culminated in the first law passed unanimously in 1981, when François Mitterrand was elected. »

Rather reluctant to the principle of a biography – like his father, he notes in passing – Mathieu Lindon avoided writing about it for a long time even though he had been contacted to do so only a few weeks after his death. dead.

In a sense, his father has remained very present since his death, says Mathieu Lindon. “This book was a different way of looking back at my childhood and my youth,” he says. Different, since he had already approached this period of his life in a previous title, En enfant, without however mentioning Les Éditions de Minuit – which was not possible, in his opinion, as long as his sister was still its president (until the purchase of the house by Gallimard, in 2021).

An archive is not only a very personal story, it is the story of a family surrounded by writers – from Samuel Beckett to Jean Echenoz -, whose patriarch was a decisive figure in the Parisian literary milieu throughout the second half of the 20th century. When Jérôme Lindon died, the daily newspaper Le Monde had asked editors and writers to evoke their memories of him; Mathieu Lindon’s editor, P.O.L creator Paul Otchakovsky-Laurens, described him as “an enthusiastic pessimist”, an expression that struck his son at the time and which he recalls in the book.

In addition to dwelling on his many fights and his positions, Mathieu Lindon also evokes in Une archive his ambivalent ties with his father and his desire to see him follow in his footsteps. But the son confides that he did not imagine working with him. “I think I understood that it was better for our relationship; for us, for me. I even think I did well… but in the end, you never know,” he laughs.

Franco-Argentinian writer and director Santiago Amigorena will be at the Gallimard bookstore on Thursday at 6 p.m. to discuss his masterful work, in particular his two most recent titles published by P.O.L, Le Ghetto interior (2019) and The First Exile (2021). He will also take part, on Saturday, in a discussion with the Argentinian filmmaker Andrés di Tella (in English and in Spanish), as well as in a round table with Maxime Raymond Bock and Louis Hamelin on the future of a work (respectively at 10 a.m. and 5.30 p.m.).

This is a meeting that is likely to prove fascinating since these two writers – the first is French, the second, Italian – have the mountain as a common point of their magnificent novels; the interview will be moderated by Stéphan Bureau, Saturday, at 6:30 p.m. Note that Sylvain Tesson will receive the Blue Metropolis Planet Literature Prize at the festival, awarded to a literary work promoting greater ecological awareness, while the film inspired by the novel by Paolo Cognetti The Eight Mountains will be screened at the Museum cinema on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Writers Mélikah Abdelmoumen, Daniel Grenier and Carol Bensimon will draw on their latest book to examine the faces of racism today, the conditions that allow it to exist, and how societies welcome differences. Saturday, 7 p.m.