The journalist and writer Bernard Pivot died at the age of 89, we learned this Monday, May 6, 2024. He returned to death several times, notably his own, sometimes with humor.

The book of his life has closed. The journalist and writer Bernard Pivot died following an illness, his family announced this Monday, May 6, 2024. He died at the age of 89 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. The man associated with cult shows such as Apostrophes or Bouillon de culture withdrew from public life in April 2023 after a last interview given to the Journal du Dimanche and in which he indicated that he was suffering from an ailment in his head. brain. It was in the privacy of his home that he left, but did the book lover leave as he wanted?

Bernard Pivot had returned several times to death and to his own. In 2017, while he was promoting his book Memory does as it pleases on RTL, the man of letters described what he considered to be the scenario of his “ideal death” . He said he wanted to go “reading a book by a young author”, not surprising for someone who said, in the last year of his life, to have been a “literary influencer” throughout his career.

Even the sounds produced by reading and writing, either “the very discreet sound of the pages that I turn while reading a book, or the equally discreet sound of the pen on the sheet” were sweet to him. They were also his favorite noises as Bernard Pivot himself indicated in Bouillon de culture. But at the idea of ​​dying without finishing his reading, he immediately questioned in a light tone: “If your life stops in the middle of a book, if there is a world after, will it have- Shall we have a chance to finish this book?”

The literary journalist who chaired the Goncourt academy from 2014 to 2019 made humor about the big departure. Death, or at least what happened afterward, was a subject that the journalist and presenter discussed regularly and lightly with his guests on the show Bouillon de culture. It was even the conclusion of the famous Proust questionnaire that Bernard Pivot submitted to his interlocutors at the end of each program: “If God exists, what would you like, after your death, to hear him say to you?”

And after asking this question for ten years, from 1991 to 2001, Bernard Pivot himself answered it for the last of Bouillon de culture. The journalist made people laugh on the set by recounting his hypothetical exchange with God. According to Bernard Pivot’s wish, God would have, after a few sentences in English, reassured him about his ability to speak English: “You have all eternity ahead of you to learn English. And I will give you a very good teacher . Please fetch me Sir William of course!”

Alas, history does not say whether it really happened like that and Bernard Pivot is no longer here to tell us… But on this point too the journalist showed humor with intelligence, derision and a touch of mockery in a message posted on