Death of Bernard de Fallois, the editor of Pagnol, Simenon and Dicker

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Olivier Merle (left) and her publisher Bernard de Fallois awarded the prix Charles Exbrayat at the Feast in the book of Saint Etienne in 2013.

Bernard de Fallois, the editor of the publishing house that bears his name, founded in 1987, and is known to have over time published by Marcel Pagnol, Georges Simenon, Jacqueline de Romilly, Robert Merle, Rose Tremain (The kingdom overseas, Femina foreign 1994) and, more recently, Joël Dicker, died on 2 January in Paris. He was 91 years old.


It is publishing for the Gallimard texts of youth by Marcel Proust (Jean Santeuil, 1952 ; Against Sainte-Beuve, 1954), Bernard de Fallois made his name in French literature, while he is only 26 years old. Then, he will be director of the Pocket Book, it will revolutionize with Guy Schoeller — to the point that some consider it the “inventors” of these small formats, general public.


Bernard de Fallois then joined Hachette in 1962, and leading the group from 1969 to 1975, before jumping in to the Presses de la Cité, another large publishing group. At 61 years old, he founded the Editions de Fallois, whose catalogue now includes some 800 titles — including four from Quebec Yves Beauchemin (Juliette Pomerleau ; the waitress in The café Cherrier). “I keep of him the memory of a lord of the edition, was a man of great simplicity, a perfect correction to the spirit, the end and ironic and, often, seemed to make effort to hide his immense culture “, has written to the Duty Mr. Beauchemin. “Bernard de Fallois, it is […] the specialist of Georges Simenon, the editor of Marcel Pagnol, Françoise Chandernagor, unpublished works of Marcel Proust, and the list goes on. Although rare, those who may spread such a record ! A publisher that wants to last must be accompanied by a business man warned, and Bernard de Fallois was. But it was his passion for books, which appeared first and foremost — and its deep humility before the work of literary creation, ” continues the author of the mega-hit quebec Le matou (1981).


Be alive


“The first quality of a novelist is knowing how to captivate an audience. It is a rare gift, ” said Bernard de Fallois. “In the novel, the style is not an end in itself. What we need is to be alive. By the style, of course. But not what that meant in general, not by the side “well-written”. “


“An editor must not have personality,” he added in a fun in this interview with the Figaro, made around the success of the publication of The truth about the case of Harry Quebert (2012) by Joel Dicker. This last has shared on Twitter the sadness of having lost his friend, his master and his editor. “One of the men, the most extraordinary that I have known. He has laid my life in an indelible mark, it has changed the course of my destiny. I owe him everything. “