Last Updated on February 24, 2020
A celebrated French writer and public figure, who openly wrote about pedophilic themes, discussing his penchant for sex with children, avoided arrest for decades–despite always remaining open about his proclivities.
Gabriel Matzneff, in part, avoided legal ramifications–until now–for his highly controversial writing.
“To sleep with a child, it’s a holy experience, a baptismal event, a sacred adventure,“ he wrote in his 1974 book “Les Moins de seize Ans” (The Under Sixteens) according to the LA Times.
When he wrote about his visit to the Philippines–an country known to attract sex tourists whose predilections aren’t exactly legal–in his 1985 diary, he said, “Sometimes, I’ll have as many as four boys, from eight to 14 years old, in my bed at the same time.”
Vanessa Springora, 47, author of “Le Consentement” (“Consent”), claims she was groomed by Matzneff when she was still a girl, shining a light on an unsavory area of modern French intellectual history.
According to The Federalist:
Since the publication of “The Consent,” French prosecutors have begun to look into Matzneff. France’s culture minister, Franck Riester, has also announced a review will be conducted of the government’s writer’s allowance that pays Matzneff’s living expenses.
While this shows some belated attention by authorities to Mazneff’s evil actions against children for decades, it’s almost too little, too late. Twenty-five years ago, another culture minister in France awarded him the Order of Arts and Letters, which “recognize[s] eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.”
Although Springora’s historic claims now exceed the statute of limitations for a prosecution, an investigation has been opened into Matzneff’s sexual activity.
Now 83, the disgraced author fondly remembers his d’alliance with the young Springora, saying, “We were happy together. I have marvelous memories. We lived a lasting and marvelous love story.”
“When you publish something it is a public confession,” Matzneff went onto say.
He continued, “That’s what writers do, that’s why writers are the first to be shot because they leave written traces. They write, they confess their sins. At that time nobody thought of the law. We did things that weren’t allowed … nobody spoke of a crime at that time.”
The LA Times reported:
“The French justice system has prostrated itself before a writer,” said Mehana Mouhou, a lawyer involved in the suit against the author. “Matzneff never hid what he did. He recounted the relations he had with young children whose lives have been shattered and scarred. Ministers, people in the world of culture, politics, the media, let it go and and now we have to ask why they let it go and seek accomplices. Matzneff is just the tip of an iceberg.”
France has always been a country keen on attacking bourgeois moralities, dating back as far since 1789. Public intellectuals in the second half of the 20th century in France flirted with the limits of acceptable sexual behavior.
Intellectuals such as Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone De Beauvoir, George Bataille have all been known to have actively pushed the boundary of socially acceptable sexual behavior.
In 1977, several leading French leftist intellectuals, including Foucault, Sartre, De Beauvoir, Bataille as well as Jacques Derrida, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, and Roland Barthes all petitioned the French government, calling for the abrogation of several articles of the laws for the age of consent.
However, France until recently, didn’t have a legally delineated age of consent until a high-profile case involving an 11-year-old girl and 28-year-old male. Now, the legal age of consent is 15.