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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 September, 2004, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
French press bids farewell to 'legend'
French author Francoise Sagan
Sagan - the 'Bardot of literature'

Newspapers in France pay sad tributes on Saturday following the death of novelist Francoise Sagan.

Under the headline "Tristesse" [Sadness], Liberation says Sagan, whose youthful photograph fills the paper's front page, never did things by halves.

"Her life was like a whirlwind... Generous, inspired, quick, rebellious, unclassifiable, inimitable... We loved Sagan, even if we had not read her books or no longer read them," it says.

"Sagan was more than just Sagan, more than a writing phenomenon: a writer, a woman, an era.

"She rushed through her life and her books at full speed, without ever taking herself seriously."


France's biggest-selling paper, Ouest-France - which covers the Basse-Normandie region which incorporates Honfleur, where Sagan died - noted that despite her popular acclaim, she never won a major French literary prize.

"Each of her published works attracted the attention of the press and the public, even though her work is sometimes viewed as superficial," it says.

"She almost succeeded in inspiring the creation of the adjective 'saganesque', which one might translate as nostalgic and funny, deceptively frivolous and very lucid.

"Adieu Sagan, bonjour tristesse" [Farewell Sagan, hello sadness] reads the headline in Le Parisien.

The paper says Sagan's life was "a true saga, marked by glory and wealth, then by difficulties and decline".

"A legend has departed. She was the Bardot of literature."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.


French literary icon Sagan dies
25 Sep 04  |  Europe

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