Members of the Raymond-Devos Prize jury, Delegate General for the French Language and Languages of France, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends, Dear Vincent Roca,

We have just launched French Language Week 2011 and, in
second part of the program, it is for me a great joy of
move to a different and very complementary exercise, which is the
Raymond-Devos Grand Prize: From the Ten Words, we move on to the
Vincent Roca.

In fact, dear Vincent Roca, your life is words, avalanches of
words, a cascade of words, which are called and are
answer, question and merge. And in you, words - it is
you who say it I believe - it always comes out a good.

For you, it all began with a paradox, when the chances of life
you were born in Bregenz, the beautiful capital of the
Austrian Vorarlberg, on the sometimes misty shores of the lake of
Constance, which predestined you, I quote, to become a specialist
world-renowned German rheumatism – I say, in passing,
the intention of our Austrian and German friends, which I do not endorse in any way
the responsibility of the pun. You have joined the countries
to attend both the Conservatoire d'art’s courses
Lyon drama and a career as a mathematics teacher,
profession that you have practised successively in France, then in
Africa as a cooperative – not to be confused, you have it one day
recalled, with “surgical assistant”. I see in this initial orientation
the full extent of your gifts, you prove that you are capable and
to read, and to count. But if you had persisted in this way,
certainly useful and honorable, the world would never have benefited from your talents, and
you would not have joined the very beautiful and very useful profession of useless
whose job is to make us laugh.

Although, to look more closely, mathematics and humour
are not so opposed as to make us believe. We remember
of the scientist Cosinus, who spends hours solving his equations for
triumphantly arrive at the result that x equals zero. And in
of the absurd, difficult not to evoke the masts of another teacher
mathematics, Lewis Caroll: like him you are a follower of the
nonsense, this dizzying deconstruction of the real, which we
wrong that it is a British specificity and of which you are the living
proof that it is not, you who have so well known how to acclimatize it to our
Francophone regions by offering us an awakening in the country of
mischief" - to your answering machine where you call, to
Whoever gives you a call, let the beep go.

So, nonsense, or maybe surrealism? Because it’s also in this
tradition that you can register: a game with words that has not
only its own crazy logic, but which also reveals the flaws
of reality, flushing out the pretenses of a world that wants to be serious,
organized, well ordered - and that you destroy by your words, your
Delirium very words, your screes of words and torrents of sentences, to finish
by scattering it in small pieces, like a puzzle - to quote Michel Audiard,
another great player out of class. And by that you register in the
Derisory thread of our immense Raymond Devos, with whom you
share a wonderful absurdity and the genius of juggling the language.

So you quickly became artist, actor, humorist, even humorous,
because you don’t go with the back of the spoon to dress for
winter your contemporaries, preferably when they are the powerful of this
world. But in reality, most often, it is with great tenderness
that you brushed L'Éloge of some useless (and other celebrities),
to take the title of one of your books and make you so a little
clandestine advertising, but, believe it, perfectly admiring and

Let’s talk about your books, precisely. Next to your shows we
have published your chronicles of the King’s Madman, including the Papers
and All Roca, if nothing! , and we must say the pleasure with which we
rediscover you in writing: it is just as much a pleasure to read your texts,
to savour them line by line, to lick their fingers in front of this
syntactic and verbal gastronomy that gives itself to taste for itself
all alone and happy to be.

About these chronicles, dear Vincent Roca, this is in no way diminishing
your merits than to recall that the King’s Fool, for whom you have them
offered you a great springboard: thanks to France Inter, your
fans audience has expanded across the country, your celebrity is
become universal. The Minister of Culture and
I am only happy that the public service has reserved for you a
choice place; and of course, symmetrically, thanks to you and
your accomplices, gathered under the benevolent guidance of our dear
Stéphane Bern, the public service can offer programs combining the
quality to the entertainment, all seasoned with the zest of insolence that it
gives all its spice.

I can only encourage you to continue, dear Vincent Roca, to us
enchanting by sweetening sentences and juggling with the language. Continue
to the public, as one of your last
shows, An hour of cheerfulness near you! And as for me, for
finish, because quickly, nothing hurry! I find you guilty of
of Words and use of words and consequently condemns you to receive
here, surrounded by your friends and accomplices, the Raymond-Devos Grand Prix de la
French language 2011, pain that I weighed down by offering you, thanks to the
Le Robert, the Dictionnaire historique de la langue
French, so that the punishment is only more exemplary.