Eric Emmanuel Schmitt

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Eric Emmanuel Schmitt

Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt (Sainte-Foy-les-Lyon, March 28, 1960) is a French writer and dramatist, nationalized in Belgium in 2008.

Eric Emmanuel Schmitt’s Biography

Born to parents of physical education teachers, of Alsatian origin, he passed the entrance exams for the Higher School of Paris, where he studied from 1980 to 1985. After finishing he passed a philosophy exam. His thesis was entitled Diderot and metaphysics.

He taught one year in Saint-Cyr during his military service, three years in Cherbourg and the University of Chambéry. As it is said in The Night of the Valognes, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt was a rebellious teenager with occasional attacks of violence. However, according to the author, philosophy would have led him to learn to be himself and to feel free.

One day, his mother took him to see a performance of Cyrano de Bergerac with Jean Marais. The child was moved to tears, so that the theater became from that moment on his passion.

Thus, the young Éric began to write. Later he will say: “At the age of sixteen I understood, or decided, that I would be a writer and I composed, I put on stage and I represented my first works in the Institute”. In order to improve his style, he surrenders with fury to various rewriting and shadowing exercises, in particular Molière.

On the night of February 4, 1989, during an expedition to the Sahara, he had a mystical experience: the feeling of the Absolute was revealed to him. One phrase occupies all his thoughts: “Everything is justified.” This commotion made him overcome the obstacle to move towards writing.

His plays quickly gave him success. He began his career in the 1990s. Works such as La noche de los Valognes has been represented in numerous countries and The visitor won a prize during the Nuit des Molières 1994. In 1997, he wrote enigmatic Variations specifically for actors of the stature of Alain Delon and Francis Huster. Federico or the boulevard of the crime was represented simultaneously in France and in Germany and Jean-Paul Belmondo did the original staging at the Marigny Theater.

In addition, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt has written three works in a single act, usually for humanitarian causes. For example, Francis Huster represented the devil in The Devil’s School, a work written for a special evening of the organization Amnesty International.

However, Schmitt has not only achieved success with the theater. In 2000, a novel about the story of Jesus Christ, The Gospel According to Pilate, was a critical and sales success. The following year, he published another novel about a historical character subject to debate: in The Other Side Adolf Hitler entered the School of Fine Arts in Vienna. The future of the world has changed completely. Also, his work Mr. Ibrahim and the flowers of the Koran sold in 2004 more than 250,000 copies in France and 300,000 in Germany.

Passionate about music, he has made an incursion into opera by translating two works by Mozart into French: The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni.

Also in the cinema he has done some work, as in the film Odette Toulemonde (2006), with script and direction of the French author, based on the novel of the same name. Resides in Brussels since 2002.

More Facts about Eric Emmanuel Schmitt

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