Meeting with Eric

In two decades, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt has become one of the most widely read and represented French-speaking authors in the world. Acclaimed by both the public and the critics, his plays have won several Molière awards and the Grand Prix du Théâtre from the Académie française. His books have been translated into 48 languages ​​and more than 50 countries regularly perform his plays. According to recent statistics (see section ” Statistics “), he is today the most studied author in colleges and high schools. His plays, constantly created and performed in national or private theaters around the world, now belong to the contemporary repertoire.

Born in 1960, normalien, agrégé in philosophy, doctor, he first made himself known in the theater with The Night of Valognes in 1991, then The visitor, this hypothetical meeting between Freud and perhaps God, which has become a classic of the international repertoire. Quickly, other successes followed: Enigmatic variations with Alain Delon and Francis Huster, the Libertine with Bernard Giraudeau, Frédérick or Le Boulevard du Crime with Jean-Paul Belmondo Hotel of the two worlds with Rufus, Petty marital crimes with Charlotte Rampling and Bernard Giraudeau, Monsieur Ibrahim and the flowers of the Koran with Bruno Abraham-Kremer, Thegospel according to pilate with Jacques Weber, Oscar and the pink lady with Danielle Darieux, The Tectonics of Feelings with Clémentine Célarié and Tchéky Kario, Kiki Van Beethoven with Daniele Lebrun, A man too easy with Roland Giraud, The Guitrys with Claire Keim and Martin Lamotte, Einstein’s betrayal with Francis Huster and Jean-Claude Dreyfus. He acquired on March 28, 2012 with Bruno Metzger the Théâtre Rive Gauche in Paris, he became its artistic director and opened it by representing Anne Frank’s diary with Francis Huster, a world creation which benefits from the exceptional authorization of the Anne Frank Foundation. Then follow George & George with Alexandre Brasseur and Davy Sardou, If we started again with Michel Sardou, shows directed by Steve Suissa.

He writes The Cycle of the Invisibleeight stories about childhood and spirituality that have met with immense success both on stage and in bookstores: Milarepa, Monsieur Ibrahim and the flowers of the Koran, Oscar and the pink lady, Noah’s Child, The sumo that couldn’t get bigger, The ten children Mrs. Ming never had, Madame Pylinska and Chopin’s secret and Felix and the invisible spring .

A career as a novelist, initiated by The sect of the selfish, absorbs a large part of its energy from The Gospel according to Pilate in 2000, luminous book on Jesus whose The part of the other on Hitler is meant to be the dark side. Since then, we owe him When I was a work of art, a whimsical and contemporary variation on the myth of Faust. In Ulysses from Baghdad, he delivers a picaresque epic of our time. In The woman in the mirror, he presents three destinies of women who come together over the centuries. In The Parrots of Arezzo Square, he offers us a little romantic encyclopedia of erotic relationships. In The Elixir of Love, he explores the mystery of attractions and feelings. The poison of love describes the awakening of the feelings of four teenage girls over the course of their diary. In The night of firehe reveals to us for the first time his spiritual intimacy and sentimental, showing how his whole life, of a man as much as of a writer, stems from a miraculous moment in the heart of the Saharan desert. With The Man Who Saw Through Faces, Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt continues his exploration of spiritual mysteries in a disturbing novel, between suspense and philosophy. With The passage of timethe first volume of which paradise lost is published in 2021, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt faces a prodigious challenge: to tell the story of humanity in the form of a novel. Accumulating scientific, medical, religious, philosophical knowledge, creating strong, touching, living characters, he propels us from one world to another, from prehistory to the present day, from evolution to revolution, while the past sheds light on the here. In the second volume, The Gate of Heaven (2021), Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt plunges us, with joyful erudition, into a new investigation into the heart of the ancient East… this era legended by the Bible. Thanks to his visionary style and guided by the latest works of Assyriologists, he restores the complex and brilliant Mesopotamia that we know very little about, to which we owe so much. Dark Sun (2022) takes us to ancient Egypt, a civilization that flourished for more than three thousand years. Fertile in surprises, the third volume of the cycle of The Crossing of Times restores this world in full effervescence of which our modernity has preserved traces, but which remains in the history of men a parenthesis as sublime as it is enigmatic.

Practicing the art of the short story with happiness and success, he published six collections of short stories: Odette Toulemonde and other stories, The Dreamer of Ostend, Concerto in memory of an angel who was awarded the prestigious Goncourt prize for short stories, The two gentlemen of Brussels, The Revenge of Forgiveness.

Encouraged by the international success of his first film Odette Toulemonde with Catherine Frot and Albert Dupontel, he adapts and produces Oscar and the pink lady with Michèle Laroque, Amir and Max von Sydow (2009).

A music lover, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt also signed the French translation of Marriage of Figaro and of Don Giovanni. To Mozart, always, he devotes a book, My Life with Mozartan intimate and original correspondence with the composer from Vienna, When I think Beethoven is dead while so many morons live, followed by Carnival of the Animals, unpublished version of Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt interacting with the music, in the form of a tale, it offers us a journey to the heart of musical creation. Curious, he constantly opens new doors and evokes his passion for Georges Bizet and Carmen by making his debut at the Opéra National de Paris in The Bizet Mystery in October 2012.

In 2014, two magnificent operas were created from his texts, Oscar und die Dame in rosa by Francis Bollon in Freiburg, Cosi Fanciulli on an original subject by Nicolas Bacri in St. Quentin-en-Yvelines then at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.

Fulfilling a childhood dream, he published his first comic strip in September 2013 with Dupuis, The Adventures of Poussin 1er – Who am I?, sketched by the brilliant Janry. Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt continues his foray into comics by publishing in 2015 The Adventures of Poussin 1er, Volume 2 – Appearances are deceptive.

Driven by performances of Ma vie avec Mozart with the Orchester Symphonique de Lyon, it was through a fortuitous combination of circumstances that he really became an actor. Francis Lalanne, who interpreted magnificently Monsieur Ibrahim and the flowers of the Koran on the stage of the Rive Gauche theater in Paris could not provide nine performances because he had previously agreed to do a singing tour in the provinces: his friends therefore pushed Eric-Emmanuel to go on stage to replace him. The baptism terrified the author but won standing ovations from the audience. Since then, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt has performed his work in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Italy and is now performing performances in French in various European countries. He has also performed The Elixir of Love, adapted from his epistolary novel, accompanied by the dancer and choreographer Marie-Claude Pietragalla.

In 2012 the Royal Academy of Language and Literature françaises de Belgique offers him chair no. 33, occupied before him by Colette and Cocteau.

In 2016 Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt was elected to unanimity by his peers as a member of the Goncourt jury where he received cover n°2, that of Edmonde Charles-Roux, Jules Renard and Sacha Guitry. On July 21 of the same year, he was elevated by King Philippe to the rank of Commander of the Order of the Crown.

In 2017 he published, with the journalist Catherine Lalanne, the book of interviews Later I will be a child. For the first time, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt confides and evokes his childhood with moving sincerity, his multiple vocations, his life…

In 2019, he publishes in early September The Diary of a Lost Love in which he evokes the figure of his mother who enlightened him all his life. This text, personal and intimate, manages to transform an experience of death into a splendid lesson in life.

He lives in Brussels. All his works in French are edited by Albin Michel.

Meeting with Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt: The Crossing of Times, Volume 3: Dark Sun, ed. Albin Michael