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- Il était le favori, et pourtant...
- He was the favorite, and yet ...
Mohamed Mbougar Sarr remporte à 31 ans le plus prestigieux des prix littéraires francophones : le prix Goncourt.
At 31, Mohamed Mbougar Sarr won the most prestigious francophone literary prize: the Goncourt prize.
Avec lui, c'est la méritocratie sénégalaise et française qui est récompensée.
With him, it is the Senegalese and French meritocracy which is rewarded.
Ce fils de médecin, à Diourbel, fait la fierté de ses parents et de tout un pays.
This son of a doctor, born in Diourbel, is the pride of his parents and of a whole country.
Il écrit, avec ce prix, pour son quatrième roman, "La plus secrète mémoire des hommes", l'une des plus belles pages de la littérature.
He wrote, with this prize, for his fourth novel, "The most secret memory of men", one of the most beautiful pages of literature.
Et on le retrouve, Mohamed Mbougar Sarr : merci d'être en direct dans ce Journal de l'Afrique.
And here we are with him, Mohamed Mbougar Sarr: thank you for being live in News of Africa.
On a envie de savoir, justement : comment réagissez-vous et comment avez-vous réagi à l'annonce de ce prix ?
We would like to know, precisely: what is your reaction and how did you react to the announcement of this award?
Et tout d'abord, félicitations, évidemment, pour ce prix.
And first of all, congratulations, of course, on this award.
- Bonsoir et merci pour votre invitation. Merci également pour ces félicitations.
- Good evening and thank you for your invitation. Thank you also for these congratulations.
À l'annonce du prix, j'étais très heureux, tout simplement.
When the prize was announced, I was just very happy.
Une joie simple, mais très profonde, et qui était tournée vers le Sénégal, vers mes amis, vers ma famille, évidemment, vers mes professeurs, et vers toutes les personnes qui m'ont accompagné dans mon parcours.
A simple joy, but very deep, and which was turned towards Senegal, towards my friends, towards my family, obviously, towards my teachers, and towards all the people who accompanied me on my journey.
Donc voilà : beaucoup de joie et beaucoup de reconnaissance aussi à l'Académie Goncourt pour avoir couronné ce livre, bien sûr.
So that's it: a lot of joy and a lot of gratitude also to the Académie Goncourt for having crowned this book, of course.
- Evidemment, vous l'avez mentionné, c'est le Sénégal, avec vous évidemment, qui était extatique à l'annonce de ce prix.
- Obviously, you mentioned it, it is Senegal, with you obviously, which was ecstatic at the announcement of this prize.
Quelle pensée, justement, avez-vous pour tous ceux qui nous regardent depuis le Sénégal, qui peut-être se disent "Ce prix Goncourt est un prix français, qui, quand même, couronne un livre écrit par un Africain" ?
What thought, precisely, do you have for all those who are watching us from Senegal, who perhaps are telling themselves "This Goncourt prize is a French prize, and it is crowning a book written by an African"?
Quelle est la particularité de ce prix ?
What makes this award so special?
Et expliquez-leur peut-être, justement, quelle saveur vous avez, vous, en ayant gagné ce prix.
And perhaps could you explain to them, precisely, what kind of taste this award has for you.
- Alors, le prix Goncourt est le prix littéraire le plus prestigieux, non seulement de la France, mais de l'espace francophone.
- So the Goncourt Prize is the most prestigious literary prize, not only in France, but in the French-speaking world.
Et dans cet espace francophone-, il y a, évidemment, le Sénégal.
And in this French-speaking world, there is, of course, Senegal.
Mon livre... Je ne suis pas français bien sûr, je suis pleinement sénégalais, mais ça n'a pas d'importance.
My book ... I am not French of course, I am fully Senegalese, but that doesn't matter.
Ce qui importe, c'est précisément que mon livre ait été récompensé.
What matters is precisely that my book has been awarded.
Et dans ce livre, il y a tout ce que je porte comme histoire, il y a tout ce que je porte dans mon enfance, il y a tout ce que je porte aussi dans ma vision et dans mon imaginaire proprement sénégalais.
And in this book, there is everything I carry as my story, there is everything I carry from my childhood, there is everything I also carry in my vision and in my own Senegalese imagination.
Tout ça transparait dans le livre.
It all shows in the book.
Et je pense, j'espère en tout cas, que c'est cela, c'est-à-dire la valeur d'un livre, que l'Académie Goncourt a récompensé.
And I think, I hope in any case, that it is this, that is to say the value of a book, that the Académie Goncourt has rewarded.
Et toutes les personnes qui pourraient être tentées de croire que c'est une sorte de faveur, c'est une sorte de cadeau qu'on fait à quelqu'un qui viendrait de l'espace francophone, non seulement se tromperaient, je pense,
And all the people who might be tempted to believe that it's a kind of favor, it's a kind of gift that was given to someone who comes from the French-speaking world, not only would be wrong, I think,
mais, conforteraient beaucoup de gens dans l'idée que la France est centrale et que ses périphéries sont toujours , je pense, voilà, à demander des faveurs, des récompenses.
but they would also comfort many people in the idea that France is central and that its peripheries are always there, I think, there to ask for favors and rewards.
Je pense qu'il faut plutôt voir tout cela comme un formidable signe d'ouverture de l'Académie Goncourt et du milieu littéraire français vers l'espace francophone, ce qui est une tradition française également.
I think we should rather see all of this as a great sign of openness of the Académie Goncourt and the French literary community towards the French-speaking world, which is also a French tradition.
Et aussi, j'aimerais que beaucoup de jeunes Sénégalais, de jeunes Africains, voient également cette récompense comme un signe qui leur est envoyé, comme quelque chose qui leur dit : "vous aussi, vous pouvez écrire".
And also, I would like many young Senegalese, young Africans, to also see this award as a sign sent to them, as something that says to them: "you too can write".
Vous pouvez circuler, vous pouvez être reconnus dans la langue française.
You can move around, you can be recognized in the French language.
Il n'y a aucun complexe à avoir devant cette langue, parce que c'est aussi notre langue.
There is no problem with this language, because it is also our language.
On la possède et on l'en use comme on veut pour écrire de très belles choses également.
We own it and we use it as we want to write beautiful things as well.
Donc c'est tout cela qui est aussi contenu dans ce prix Goncourt.
So it is all that which is also contained in this Goncourt prize.
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Mohamed Mbougar Sarr wins Goncourt Prize

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Intermediate

Source: FRANCE 24, Youtube, 3 Nov 2021

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