Rendre à la poésie la liberté d’apparaître sous son vrai nom partout où il lui plaît, non seulement dans les arts, en dehors de la littérature, mais dans tous les domaines de la vie, dans la rencontre, dans la trouvaille comme dans la magie du hasard ou la magie amoureuse.
Julien Gracq, preface of Journal de l’analogiste, Suzanne Lilar, Pléiade, tome 2
Julien Gracq was born on July 27th, 1910 in Saint-Florent-le-Vieil on the banks of the Loire, between Nantes and Angers. He came back there when he retired and stayed until his death – December, 22nd, 2007. His whole oeuvre is published by the Éditions José Corti and by the Éditions de la Pléiade.
Some of his works : Liberté grande, 1945 – André Breton, 1948 – La Littérature à l’estomac, 1949 – Le Rivage des Syrtes (english translation : The Opposing Shore), 1951 – Un balcon en forêt (english translation : A Balcony in the Forest), 1958 – En lisant en écrivant, 1980 – La Forme d’une ville, 1985 – Les Carnets du grand chemin, 1992 – Manuscrits de guerre, 2011.
The house where Julien Gracq spent his childhood and his old age is now a place for welcoming writers in residence, as well as artists and researchers, according to his will. His legacy includes two buildings – the house, the old salt storehouse – and gardens.
Three independent lofts have been constructed in the house. Each of them includes an office with a view on the Loire. Kitchen is common. The living room where Julien Gracq used to welcome his many visitors maintains its reception and conversation purposes.
Saint-Florent-le-Vieil’s city, legatee, call out in 2009 the Région Pays de la Loire to think and finance together the project and the building work. On July 12th, 2012, the Maison Julien Gracq association was jointly created by the two local and regional authorities. This association drives and manages the project and the property bequeathed by Julien Gracq.
The Maison Julien Gracq is part of the Lettres sur Loire et d’Ailleurs network, which aims at welcoming foreign writers for a tour in Pays de la Loire.