A Pedophile Writer Is on Trial. So Are the French Elites

PARIS — Gabriel Matzneff, the French writer under investigation for his promotion of pedophilia, was holed up this month inside a luxury hotel room on the Italian Riviera, unable to relax, unable to sleep, unable to write.

He was alone and in hiding, abandoned by the same powerful people in publishing, journalism, politics and business who had protected him weeks earlier. He went outside only for solitary walks behind dark sunglasses, and was startled when I tracked him down in a cafe mentioned in his books.


“We’re in a very egalitarian society where there is a pocket of resistance that actually behaves like an aristocracy,” said Pierre Verdrager, a sociologist who has studied pedophilia.

Mr. Matzneff appealed to the elite’s traditional appreciation of the transgressive figure. Graying leftist intellectuals saw in his books the enduring free spirit of the May ’68 countercultural revolution. A new generation of right-leaning literary figures came to regard him as a symbol of anti-political correctness.

But now Mr. Matzneff and his backers are being held to account by a new movement: the freeing of female voices long suppressed by powerful men.

Warning: The article is both compelling and repellent. Matzneff is unrepentant and defends his actions and sees nothing whatever wrong with what he’s done. The French elite (writers, government officials, billionaires) are also being held to task for shielding him for decades.

I am including a link to a different article that covers essentially the same story but wanted the primary story to be the interview, as I think it’s important to hear the first hand account of this man as it shows precisely why there are two sets of rules: one for those who are well connected and wealthy and the law that applies to everyone else. Finally, the ‘everyone else’ rules are being applied.


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