(Paris) Figure of the French literary scene and of All-Paris for more than half a century, the writer Philippe Sollers died Friday at the age of 86, we learned on Saturday from Gallimard editions .

Author of more than 80 novels, essays and monographs, director of magazines and long accustomed to television sets, Philippe Sollers had achieved notoriety with his novel Women in 1983.

“Gallimard Editions have the great sadness to announce the death of Philippe Sollers, born Philippe Joyaux, which occurred on May 5, 2023”, announced the publisher in a press release, confirming information from Figaro.

“The man in love with freedom and the beauties of this world, the lover of fine arts, music and letters celebrating the sacred here below, the tireless animator of intellectual and literary life who created and animated with his friends the magazines Tel quel (1960) and L’infini (1983), the author of an innovative and non-conformist novel and critical essays with universal sensitivity, the furtive and attentive friend who never renounced to say that “happiness is possible”, joined “the truth of the great wonderful silence”, continues Gallimard.

“I came, I lived, I dreamed,” adds the publisher, citing one of the late works of the deceased, Secret Agent (2021).

“He was the most Venetian of French writers, all in mazes, masks and labyrinths”, for his part reacted on Twitter Michel Field, the culture and live performance director of France Télévisions, greeting this author of a dictionary in love with Venice.

“Never school, rather solar. He left his mark and his irony on several decades of intellectual and literary life. Plus he was funny and friendly,” he added.

Born November 28, 1936 in Talence (Gironde) into a family of industrialists, left-wing Gaullists and Catholics, Philippe Sollers had abandoned his studies to devote himself to literature, swapping his surname of Joyaux for that of Sollers, from the Latin “sollus and “ars” (“all art”) and publishing his first novel, “A Curious Solitude,” at age 22.

He had been married since 1967 to psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva, with whom he had a son David.