annie ernaux has erected his literature on the biographical and political and both aspects have been present in his discourse as Nobel Prize Winner for Literature 2022where he has reviewed the motivations that led him to write in his youth and has denounced the rise of an ideology in Europe that is based on “the exclusion of immigrants, the abandonment of the most disadvantaged and the surveillance of women’s bodies “.
“Granting me the highest literary distinction that can exist, you are showing off a work that consists of writing and personal research carried out in solitude and doubt. This light does not dazzle me: I do not consider it an individual victory; the prize Nobel is in a certain sense, like a collective victory and I share the pride of her with those who, in one way or another, expect greater freedom, equality and dignity for all human beingsregardless of their sex or gender, the color of their skin and their culture”, the novelist has read.
The Nobel Prize winner began her speech by looking for a phrase that would give her “the freedom and firmness to speak without trembling” and chose one written sixty years ago in her intimate diary: “I will write to avenge my race.” A race that she, she said, she soon identified with women in general. The promise of revenge runs through all of her production and her life: she From a girl from a humble family -her parents were shopkeepers in Normandy- until the University, which opened the doors of the bourgeoisie for her. A journey that has given him a feeling of a defector of social class.
A sign of hope for female writers
Ernaux has remembered the death of his father, about whom he deals The place (1983) and how writing about his past helped him “delve into the unspeakable of a repressed memory and bring to light the way of being of my people”. He has stressed that “when the unspeakable comes to light, it is political”. and it is seen today “with the revolt of those women who They have found the words to disrupt masculine power and have risen, as in Iran, against its most archaic form”.
Ernaux wanted the Nobel to be a sign of hope for all women writers, because “there are men in the world, even in Western intellectual circles, for whom books written by women simply do not exist.”
He also cited the war in Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin, although without naming them, when referring to the “dictator at the head of Russia” who is waging an “imperialist war.” In addition, he considered that “the burden of saving the planet, largely destroyed by the appetite of economic powers, should not fall, as is to be feared, on those who are already helpless. Silence, at certain moments in history, is not appropriate.
And he has ended by answering whether he has fulfilled “the promise made at the age of twenty to avenge” his people. “I can’t say if I’ve carried it out,” she replied. “It was from this promise, and from my ancestors, hard-working men and women accustomed to tasks that caused them to die early, from which I received enough strength and anger to have the desire and ambition to give them a place in literaturein the midst of this set of voices that accompanied me from very early on, giving me access to other worlds and other ways of being, including that of rebelling and wanting to change it, to inscribe my voice as a woman and social deserter in what is still presented as a space for emancipation: literature”, it is finished.
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Annie Ernaux: “An ideology founded on the exclusion of immigrants and the abandonment of the economically weak is increasing” – RTVE.es