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Telephone interview with Patrick Modiano...

13.10.2014 1681

Telephone interview with Patrick Modiano

Telephone interview with Patrick Modiano -

Translation into free English (not literal) of a telephone interview in French with Patrick Modiano following the announcement of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, 9 October 2014. The interviewer is Hélène Hernmarck of Nobel Media.


[Patrick Modiano] Hello.

[Hélène Hernmarck] Yes, Hello, sincere congratulations on receiving the Nobel Prize.

[PM] You're very kind and I'm very touched.

[HH] My name is Hélène and I'm calling from Thank you for giving us the time to ask you a few questions.

[PM] Ah, yes, yes, yes.

[HH] Where were you when you received the news?

[PM] I was actually in the street. Yes, I was in the street. It was my daughter who notified me.

[HH] Oh your daughter called you on your mobile?

[PM] Yes, yes, yes. I was very touched. It gave me even greater pleasure because I have a Swedish grandson.

[HH] Where were you, in the centre of Paris? In which particular street?

[PM] Oh, I was just next to the Jardin de Luxembourg.

[HH] Oh, wonderful. What does it mean to you to receive the Nobel Prize, what does it signify?                   

[PM] First of all … so unexpected, it's something I never thought I would receive … it really touched me. It's made me very emotional.

[HH] You've been a writer for a long time. Why do you write?

[PM] Well, I started very early, in my twenties. It's becoming a long time now. It's something natural, it's something that's part of my life.

[HH] You've written 20 or 30 books. Is there a certain book that you take greater pleasure in, which signifies more to you than the others?

[PM] Listen, it's difficult. I always have the impression that I write the same book. Which means it's already 45 years that I've been writing the same book in a discontinuous manner. You don't really know your reader.

[HH] Now that you will become world famous which book would you recommend everyone to read?

[PM] Yes, I always have the impression that's the last book I write.

[HH] What's the title?

[PM] It's called Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier.

[HH] Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier?

[PM] Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier.It's about losing perspective within your surroundings. The last book is always the one I recommend because it leaves you …

[HH] Wishing for more?

[PM] Yes, yes.

[HH] Are you going to celebrate tonight with the whole family?

[PM] Yes, yes, I want to be with my family. Yes. Yes, with my Swedish grandson that gives me so much pleasure and loves me a lot. It's to him I dedicate this Prize. It is, after all, from his country.

[HH] Are you coming to Sweden in December?

[PM] Yes, yes, certainly!

[HH] With the whole family?

[PM] Yes, yes. [Laughs]

[HH] Do you have a big family?

[PM] No, not really, I just have two daughters and a grandson. So not a big family.

[HH] Thank you very much and once again congratulations.

[PM] Thank you. I hope what I've told you is not too confusing?

[HH] No, no, not at all. Have a great evening and warm congratulations again from Sweden and

[PM] Oh, I'm so touched.

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