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Sapori, Julien

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Libération - France | 28/08/2006

Julien Sapori on writers and their past

Following the controversy over revelations by German writer Günter Grass that he was once a member of the Waffen-SS, French author Julien Sapori asks whether writers have a duty to be totally open about their pasts. "Are we seeing some sort of moral imperative according to which a writer is obliged to divulge everything about his life, to continually spill the beans about his past, apologise for the choices he made in his youth and expose himself to the summary judgment of a public opinion that is little concerned with its own mistakes? Not even defendants on trial are asked to give evidence under oath that might be incriminating. Yet men of letters are expected to submit to a barbaric practice from which criminals are spared? I have looked in vain, the only existing law that would compel such disclosure is that of the tell-all confessional. Put simply: the most unhealthy curiosity."

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