“I have saved the memory of women of my generation and before”

The French writer Annie Ernaux, Nobel Prize in Literature 2022, claimed this Tuesday in Barcelona that with her writing she seeks to save the social and historical memory of women: “I think it is evident that I have saved the memory of women, what they experienced women, of my generation and also of previous generations.

In a meeting with a small group of media, including Europa Press, and asked why she believes it saves literature, the author stressed that she has tried to “not lose what was experienced by rural women, working women and also aspects” of their generation such as clandestine abortion.

Ernaux (Lillebonne, 1940) has considered it essential to save the memory of past years because it fades very quickly: “It is incredible how memory is lost. We are seeing it in countries like Spain, France or Italy,” the writer lamented. whose work is currently published in Spain by the Cabaret Voltaire labels in Spanish and Angle Editorial in Catalan.

“It seems that we forget the situation of Francoism in Spain, of the pre-world war with the extreme right in France or of fascism in Italy. All this memory seems to be blurred and is no longer a living memory,” she said, in response to which she Writing attempts to save social and historical memory.

Asked about the new generations of readers that she has conquered after the Nobel Prize, she assured that one of the reasons why it was awarded to her is that it opened doors of freedom, an argument that “fits with time and young people” with the rise of the feminist movement, and although she had already noticed an increase in readers before the award, now there has been an increase, an effect that she has said is not always the case.


Regarding the result of the European elections, Ernaux assured that “it is clear that Europe has made a shift to the right, with a relative increase in the extreme right.”

He has said that he has not been particularly surprised by the result in France, since the increase in National Regrouping was something that was seen coming, with a Marine Le Pen who “has followed in her father’s footsteps, but with a more attractive face and a almost feminist image”.

He recalled that in 2002 Jean Marie Le Pen already passed the first round in the presidential elections, although Jacques Chirac later won, and that more attractive image of Marine Le Pen means that people “no longer distrust” National Regrouping.

He has wondered if President Emmanuel Macron has seen this coming, and has stressed that the current situation provides the opportunity for “all leftists to unite to avoid the majority” of National Regrouping in the French Assembly.

The author of ‘The Empty Wardrobes’, ‘The Frozen Woman’ and ‘The Event’ has appealed to the left to become aware that “they have a great responsibility and that by doing things well they could win.”

Reluctant to talk about future projects because she assures that until they crystallize they are a nebulous mass, but she has said what it will not be: “It will not be a novel. If I had to compare it with something, it will be something similar to ‘The Years'” .


The Nobel Prize winner is in Barcelona as a guest at the commemoration of 25 years of reading by the Biblioteques de Barcelona reading clubs, with a conversation this Tuesday afternoon with the journalist Anna Guitart at the Jaume Fuster Library and which coincides with the publication in Catalan of ‘Una dona’ (Angle Editorial).

In addition, Annie Ernaux, along with her son Davir Ernaux-Briot, will present this Wednesday at the Filmoteca de Catalunya and on Thursday at the Filmoteca Española, in Madrid, the documentary ‘The Years of Super 8’.

Ernaux has highlighted that they are videos recorded in Super 8 by her ex-husband and that they show a “defining” moment for her since in the period it covers, between 1973 and 1981, she published her first book, separated and it was a special historical time .

By Editor