A popular contemporary French author and dramatist, his plays are translated and staged in more than 30 countries all over the world.
He studied at the Lycée du Parc in Lyon and was accepted at the famous École normale supérieure in Paris (1980–1985), where heMore A popular contemporary French author and dramatist, his plays are translated and staged in more than 30 countries all over the world.
He studied at the Lycée du Parc in Lyon and was accepted at the famous École normale supérieure in Paris (1980–1985), where he received a doctorate in philosophy. As the theme for his dissertation, he chose “Diderot and metaphysics”. He spent three years teaching in Cherbourg and at the university of Chambéry.
He is of Alsation extraction. Both of his parents were physical education teachers. Growing up under the influence of his parents’ atheist outlook, Schmitt eventually professed himself a Christian, after years of being an agnostic.
Initially he became known as a scriptwriter for the stage. His debut work, “La nuit de Valognes”, was produced a number of times in 1991/1992, both in France and abroad. His breakthrough theatre work came with his second script, “Le Visiteur”, which won Molière prizes for best author and best show in 1993.
The following years were littered with theatrical successes such as “Golden Joe” (1995), “Variations Énigmatiques” (1996), “Le Libertin” (1997), “Milarepa” (1997), “Frédérick ou Le Boulevard du Crime” (1998), “Hôtel des deux mondes” (1999) and “Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran” (1999).
Schmitt covers a variety of themes in his work. “Golden Joe” takes a look of the cynical attitudes to life of those involved in high finance.
In “Variations énigmatiques”, the author gives voice to two very different men, who discuss their own philosophies of life and love – as it turns out, both were in love with the same woman. “Le Libertin” is a historical drama about the life of philosopher Denis Diderot and a film version was released in 2000.
In 2001, Schmitt was awarded the “Grand Prix du théâtre de l’Académie Française”. His plays have been performed in 35 countries and translated into many languages. They show influences from Samuel Beckett, Jean Anouilh and Paul Claudel, among others.
In addition to his plays, Schmitt has written a number of successful novels, including “La Secte des Égoïstes” (1994), “Oscar et la dame rose” (1999), “L’Évangile selon Pilate” (2000), “La Part de l’Autre” (2001), “Lorsque j’étais une œuvre d’art” (2002), “L’enfant de Noé” (2004), “Ma vie avec Mozart” (2005).
World religions play an important role in Schmitt’s writing. In “Le Cycle de l’Invisible”, Schmitt attempts a harmonization of religions and cultures. “Milarepa” is the first issue in this series and depicts Tibetan Buddhism. The second volume, “Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran” is dedicated to Sufism, a subset of Islam, also referencing Judaism. “Oscar et la dame rose” (the third volume) concerns Christianity. “L’enfant de Noé” (a comparison of Judaism and Christianity) rounds off the series.
“Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran” (English: M. Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran) received the German prize for fiction in 2004 and a film version was produced in 2003, directed by François Dupeyron with Omar Sharif in the title role.
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Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s Books
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- Oscar et la dame rose