(Paris) Emmanuel Macron rejected the idea of bringing Arthur Rimbaud into the Pantheon, respecting the opposition of the poet’s family, despite a public petition to this effect, announces the Head of State in a letter whose AFP obtained a copy on Thursday.
“I don’t want to go against the wishes of the family of the deceased. Arthur Rimbaud’s remains will not be moved ”from the family vault of Charleville-Mézières, wrote the Head of State to the family’s lawyer in a letter dated Wednesday. A petition in favor of the pantheonization of the poet, signed by ex-ministers of Culture and personalities, had received the support of the current minister Roselyne Bachelot.
Recalling that entry into the Pantheon aims to “honor personalities whose public commitments are identified with the transmission of the values of the Republic”, President Macron explains that “given the particular role that the Pantheon plays in the construction of a shared republican memory ”, he“ does not wish to go against the will expressed by the family of the deceased ”.
Arthur Rimbaud “will remain buried alongside his family, in the family vault of the cemetery of Charleville-Mézières, his birthplace and last home”, adds Mr. Macron, paying tribute in passing to a “major figure of French literature, an essential poet and rebellious spirit ”whose“ name continues in our history ”.
“President Macron respected the wishes of the family. It is a gesture that she did not expect and that she appreciates. We are obviously very touched by the humanity with which Emmanuel Macron handled this file. He was able to bypass the intellectual Parisian lobbies ”, reacted Me Emmanuel Ludot, lawyer for the Rimbaud family, at AFP.
In September Arthur Rimbaud’s great-great-niece, Jacqueline Teissier-Rimbaud, had expressed her opposition to the poet’s entry into the Pantheon alongside Paul Verlaine, a position shared by the association Les Amis de Rimbaud.
If the two poets enter the Pantheon together, “everyone will think ‘homosexuals’, but that’s not true. Rimbaud did not start his life with Verlaine and did not end it with him, these are just a few years of his youth, ”said Jacqueline Teissier-Rimbaud, requested by AFP, specifying that her son and her children -children shared his point of view.
“In general, the Friends of Rimbaud are inclined to think that what is proposed does not suit the character of Arthur”, told AFP its president Alain Tourneux. “Bringing together Rimbaud and Verlaine definitively, ad vitam aeternam, is not possible, it is undoubtedly exaggerated”.
French Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot has supported a petition in favor of Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine entering the Panthéon.
“The fact of bringing these two poets who were lovers, yes, together, to the Pantheon would have a scope that is not only historical or literary, but deeply current”, enthusiastically the Minister.
At the origin of this “appeal to the President of the Republic”, the only one empowered to decide, is a group of intellectuals, academics and academics passionate about the two poets.