Address by Frédéric Mitterrand, Minister of Culture and Communication, on the occasion of the presentation of the insignia of Officer in the National Order of Merit to Isabelle Gallimard, Commissioner in the Order of Arts and Letters to Jean-Yves Tadiéet Bertrand de Feydeau, and Officer in the Order of the Arts and Priests to Monique Raimond
Dear Isabelle Gallimard,
Vallette, he edits, he edits,
Two or a thousand copies.
He’s a real weirdo, a pure father:
You’ll see it goes bankrupt.
Oh! it’s not a sybarite
Like Mr Natanson brother.
Vallette, he edits, he edits.
It is true that he publishes Aphrodite,
But he’ll eat dirt
If he edits all his colleagues.
Did he find any nuggets?
Vallette, he edits, he edits.
We talk, we scream, we swear;
It is the fierce noise of rivers.
It is the great snorer of the sea,
And Vallette reads tests.”
This «quasi-ballad» in praise of the Mercure of France and its
founder Alfred Vallette is signed Paul Fort and André Ferdinand Hérold.
We are in 1897. Since then, there has been no bankruptcy, and rue de Condé,
we continue to read proofs. This is the house on which, dear
Isabelle Gallimard, you watch with such care and talent.
As Gallimard celebrates its centennial, your name is
is synonymous with entire chapters of the history of literature and
ideas in France.
With your parents Claude and Simone Gallimard, you live on rue de
the University, sharing the court with the publishing house. Your ambitions
However, far from the manuscripts, piles of books and
the smell of paper. Sociology exerts on you its attraction, then the
cinema and television: editor, then editor of literary works
for Antenne 2, your passion for literature remains constant, and
you joined Gallimard in 1985, to take care of the rights
For 16 years, succeeding your mother, you have been
head of this formidable adventure that bears the name of Mercure de France.
The Mercure de France was founded by a group of young people,
students, poets, journalists. We are in 1889,
coffee François 1st. What brings them together, when they take up the torch of the
the late Mercure Galant, it is above all the desire to give voice to
leading-edge literary companies. Contents of the first issue
January 1, 1890: Mallarmé, Rémy de Gourmont, Jules Renard,
Saint-Pol-Roux, Villiers de l'Isle-Adam.
Mercure de France is also the first publisher to make known
Nietzsche in France, by its translator Henri Albert who
Mercure the chronicle of German letters. Rue de Condé, the magazine
as always faithful to his poets and even made his mark
distinctive: Maeterlinck, Verhaeren, Laforgue, Francis James… Claudel and
Gide now occupies a central position in the Mercure
France, immediately placing the magazine at the heart of literary modernity
At the end of the 1950s, the Mercure de France was bought by the
Éditions Gallimard. While faithfully preserving the spirit, your mother
Simone to enrich the constellation of Mercury with new authors
as Pierre Reverdy, Henri Michaux, Pierre Jean Jouve, Yves
Bonnefoy, Georges Séféris, André du Bouchet, Adonis, Pierre Klossowski
and Eugene Ionesco. The Mercury of Simone Gallimard and its great
literary directors, it is also the exceptional adventure of the Prix Goncourt
in Emile Ajar in 1975, 19 years after its first Goncourt under the name of
Its success, the Mercure de France undoubtedly owes it to the qualities of
managers and the intuition of its directors, in the first place those
Alfred Vallette, Georges Duhamel, your mother. With such a
continuity is a considerable challenge. In 1995, you
take the direction of Mercury. By creating new collections like
“Le petit Mercure” or “le goût des villes”, you broaden the image of the
publishing house. You are also keen to exhume texts
from unpublished or untraceable classics: your elective affinities
then take you to Dolto, Aragon or Georges Bataille. The
Mercury continues with you to be at the forefront of adventures and
taking literary risks. I am thinking in particular of your mother’s choice
Andréï Makine, who will receive both the Goncourt and the Medici in
1995, a unique event in literary history; or the 2007 Goncourt
Gilles Leroy, also from Mercure de France.
In 1999, you undertook the reissue of text from a collection of
Proustian accents: «Rediscovered Time». These are above all
briefs and correspondence that, without your input, would have remained
forgotten. With you, Mercury also continues to flush out the
talents: you commit to first novels, thus contributing to the
renewal of literary creation with a remarkable flair.
The Chief Executive Officer of Éditions Mercure de France
high requirement of a house that plays a fundamental role in the
French cultural landscape. It is therefore with great pleasure and with
all the gratitude that is due to you, dear Isabelle Gallimard,
name of the President of the Republic, we make you Officer in order
Dear Jean-Yves Tadié,
Malraux wrote in his Antimemorials that the truth of a man is
first, what it hides. The authors around us are
companions of labyrinth, companions of secret. The man of
letters that you are addressed as closely as possible, and more deeply than
anyone, the secret and mysterious links that bind an author to his
Through your work as an academic, critic, biographer and publisher, you
are a confidant of the greatest and most beautiful pages of the
French literature, after having examined the secrets of Proust’s works
of course, but also of Walter Scott, Dumas, Malraux
which you will have prefaced not only the Writings on art but also two
from the 1930s, from Céline, Gracq and
A taste for embarking towards lands where the real and the novel
interpenetrate, probably dating back to your teens, when you
discover Malraux and Mallarmé. Normalian, associate and doctor of letters,
it will be later the reading of Lawrence Durrell that will make you leave
as a reader in Alexandria, thus opening a deep bond with you for
Egypt, the first stage of a remarkable international vocation
professor of the Sorbonne that you are: you have indeed directed
the French Institute in London and taught at Oxford.
Cocteau had compared Proust to Captain Nemo locked in his
Nautilus. Like him, he reigned over the world, and the waters of the ocean figure
the ones where the thinking goes”. Those are the “inner submarines”.
that your work has continued to investigate.
We remember your analysis of the “I” and “time” that structure
the aesthetics of Proust’s work, and how it opened the
eyes on this web of meaning between fiction and reality
lost time. Since your major work on Proust and the novel,
the edition in Pléiade that will earn you the prize of the French Academy, until the
biography of the author of the Research where we learn everything in a
about him, his parents, Aunt Léonie and the house of Illiers-
Combray, this is a sum you have established, in the long run, on a
monument of French literature. We also remember your courses in
as professor emeritus at the Sorbonne, especially on Céline, and
“distorting mirror” through which he ended up viewing his models,
or his secret wish to become the very embodiment of an anti-Proust.
And if you have examined works of authority, we retain
also your magnificent critical work on Pierre Jean Jouve, Jules
Supervielle, Maurice Blanchot, or Georges Limbour, let us
give to love and to discover.
But recently, Jean-Yves Tadié has revealed himself differently. Since
Look with all your eyes, look! that makes us discover curiosity and
the appetite of your child’s gaze for literature and especially for
Jules Verne, until the Musical Dream, we see sketching a portrait of
your own research.
Because the great opera lover that you are also approaches the music, this
“any other language” to use your words. As well as
Jankélévitch has shown that many times it is not always the
musicologist who best illuminates the great musical works, you
shed new light on the composition that often says much more to
musicians warned that any classical critic.
Because once again, the Secret Finder also knows how to slip into
the intimacy of the scores. The challenge is often great, and you say
in the first chapter of your musical dream that the secrets of life
of a composer are more opaque than those of a writer». Seduction
Debussy’s rediscovery was crowned with the Pelléas Prize.
This vocation to be transmitted is obviously found in your work
editor. No better guide than you to manage the Folio-
Classic, from a publishing house you’ve been loyal to
from your Proust and the novel, and whose complex relationship we know
that it will have precisely developed with the author of the Research:
Surveyor of secrecy and memory, you also published a
remarkable study on The Meaning of Memory with Marc Tadié,
professor of neurosurgery, with whom you explore the links between what
science today discovers, and that literary creation often had
anticipated. Today, it is on Freud that you focus everything
Naturally, for this last work, which is eagerly awaited,
combining the portrait of the psychoanalyst and that of Marcel Proust.
Dear Jean-Yves Tadié, from the «cathedral of time» dedicated to
Proust to the «sunken cathedral» of Debussy, your work stops
clocks and pays homage to the modernity of so many major authors
who become thanks to you our companions; while preserving the
mystery of their works, whose creative gesture remains intact under your
masterly reader’s gaze.
Dear Jean-Yves Tadié, on behalf of the French Republic,
let us make Commander in the order of Arts and Letters.
Dear Bertrand de Feydeau,
I am very pleased to pay tribute today to a
for whom commitment to the service of heritage and restoration
is much more than a continuation of the past, a step towards the future. Â
each restoration is another way of looking at what happens, a
another way of situating oneself in history and projecting oneself into a future
A graduate of the Paris Institute of Political Studies, you
real estate world will have you access to the most important
responsibilities, notably as the Union’s Chief Financial Officer
International Real Estate, then as CEO of AXA
Real Estate. These prestigious administrator functions have given you a
expert status at the crossroads of societal issues. We owe you this
the restoration of these historic monuments, which are the
Suduiraut castle, in the region of Sauternes, and the hotel of La
Vaupalière, avenue Matignon in Paris, completely restored and reconfigured
to become the headquarters of the AXA Group.
In 1998, the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, you
entrusts the delicate task of examining the purchase and restoration project
of the Collège des Bernardins by the Diocese of Paris, almost a challenge
insurmountable for both administrative and financial reasons and
techniques. For more than a year, you start thinking about
the spirit of a place and its timeliness. You will later say that
was possible because there is in this place, a science of the
presence of man in relation to the volume given to him, a science
of observation, of savoir-vivre, patiently integrated by
communities of men who had learned to live together.”
In 2000 he became Director-General for Economic Affairs of
the Archdiocese of Paris, diocesan bursar according to the canonical title, you
are naturally designated by Cardinal Lustiger as master
and main coordinator of the work of this magnificent building
Cistercian, the only remaining large building of the University of Paris in
Formerly center of gravity of knowledge in Paris fell into the field
after the French Revolution, the Collège des Bernardins
all uses: prison for galleys, salt loft, fire station
in the middle of the 19th century, boarding school for the national police school.
Bought from the city of Paris by the diocese in 2001, he found today,
thanks to a fruitful collaboration between Hervé Baptiste, architect of
Historical monuments, Jean-Michel Wilmotte and yourself, his vocation
a place of reflection and encounter, of culture and research,
faithful to the spirit of its founder, Abbé de Clairvaux Etienne de Lexington.
This remarkable restoration, respectful of a secular place
now endowed with spaces that allow its resurrection in the heart of
Latin Quarter, we are indebted to you. Exceptional writing for the
dissemination of knowledge, open to contemporary art, new point of
dialogue between the Church and society, the project you have led for the
Collège des Bernardins is indeed an undeniable success.
After crossing heritage rehabilitation and architecture
In your capacity as President of the Foundation
of the Bernardines, an attractive sponsorship program
live and promote the College’s artistic and intellectual production.
Through your personal support of remarkable
restoration in Poitou-Charentes such as the Vervolière castle and the
the Tower of Ry, and as vice-president of the
Old French Houses, your longstanding commitment,
also, at the Heritage Foundation, of which you are vice-president
and where you represent from its origins one of the members
founders, in this case AXA, you are a key player in the
heritage policy, to which you have instilled a global vision and
by helping to expand its fields. If the protection of
landscapes or the industrial and maritime heritage
now part of the Heritage Foundation’s concerns is
also because you have contributed to this evolution. It is in this
that the President of the Bernardins Foundation also created the
Palladio Foundation which, by supporting higher education in the trades
of the real estate industry and research on urban issues,
mobilizing real estate professionals, elected officials and
contribute to defining a vision for the future of our heritage.
Dear Bertrand de Feydeau, on behalf of the French Republic,
let us make Commander in the order of Arts and Letters.
Dear Monique Raimond,
We are in London in 1991. During a couture retrospective,
Pierre Cardin is seized by your natural class and offers you a tip
by his side. Since then, you have managed to embody the prestige
and the demands of this great House, even to the point of becoming, according to his words,
“the best ambassador”. Twenty years during which the
Pierre Cardin Group has done so much,
in particular for its cultural outreach and sponsorship activities in
Ambassador of French fashion over the past two decades,
you had also been “Ambassador” alongside your
Jean-Bernard Raimond, Ambassador to Rabat, Warsaw, Warsaw, Quebec
Moscow and near the Holy See, standing by its side to represent the
France to the princes, diplomats and artists of all continents,
always welcoming, always anxious to support people
French politicians, entrepreneurs and intellectuals. A function of
representation at the service of the economic and cultural influence of the
France for which you were particularly well armed, by your
Institute of European Studies in Brussels, your
State doctorate in law, and your duties in the General Secretariat of the Committee
inter ministerial on European economic cooperation
and parliamentary attaché to the European Parliament.
Fan of fine feathers, you are at the origin of the creation of the circle
literary Maxim’s Ladies Club since 2004 which quickly gave the
day at a literary prize, a place where listening and beautiful spirit reign, a place where
the glamorous atmosphere of the whole of Paris of the Belle Epoque still diffuses its
By founding the prestigious Circle of Friends of Aix in 1993, you have
promoted and revitalized cultural life throughout the country thanks to the
support from artists, men and women of letters who offered to all
art lovers of readings and recitals in the most
prestigious private heritage of Aix.
Pierre Cardin’s Director of Communications, as you are, is also
known for an associative and humanitarian commitment that honors you.
In Lyon, your hometown for which you have always cultivated a
deep attachment and you were a city councillor for seven
In February 2003, you founded the association Rayonnement des savoirfaire
», which aims to support and promote exceptional know-how in
Rhône-Alpes. Attentive to craft practices that, in fields
as diverse as textiles, jewellery, furniture art or crafts
mouth, flourish too often in anonymity, you promote the
conservation of our cultural heritage and the transmission of trades
that often contribute to the image of excellence of
brands. This commitment, you know how much my
ministry shares it.
At the service of dialogue and mutual aid, you work for solidarity
through your work in the Care-France association, as well as
that the Children’s Foundation, a non-profit institution that fights
for the recognition of the fundamental rights of the child. In September
2009, your sensitivity to the challenges of sustainable development and
the solidarity economy is reflected in the creation of the
promotion of organic textiles (AFPTB), quickly followed by the label
“AOC” (African Original Cotton) with a remarkable ambition,
with the help of Kady Issabré, President of the Chamber of Commerce
France-Mali in Lyon: enabling Malian cotton producers,
Burkina Faso and Benin to guarantee stable harvests and develop
independent organic production structures. More than
assistance, you have chosen to promote autonomy and sustainability
as prime criteria for the development of economies still
On all these points, we can see what makes you a woman
exceptional: under the elegance and refinement of a woman familiar with
demands of representation, we also find a solidarity citizen
with remarkable commitments.
It is for all these reasons, dear Monique Raimond, that in the name of the
French Republic, we make you an Officer in the Order of Arts and