Books

Freer to talk about sex in books than elsewhere? Answer with Emma Becker and Erwan L’Eléouet in Brive

Freer to talk about sex in books than elsewhere? Answer with Emma Becker and Erwan L’Eléouet in Brive

Erwan L’Éléouet (at stand L9 in the Brassens hall) would never have received so much trust from the former “daughters” of Madame Claude, if he had arrived with a camera in hand. Emma Becker would never have written so well about the profession of a prostitute if she herself had not lived that experience in a Berlin brothel. What connects them: books that talk about sex, one talks about building an empire where “vice is beautiful”, the other where “femininity becomes theater”.

“There is a kind of censorship, as soon as there is a picture”

Do we talk more freely about sex in books than elsewhere? “Compared to other forms of art, there is freedom,” assures Emma Becker (at stand L2 in Halle Brassens), who refuses to write erotic novels. “There is a kind of censorship as soon as there is an image, except maybe in comics. »

In an investigation by Erwan L’Éléouet, Madame Claude, The Secret Perfume (Fayard), the most difficult thing was to collect the testimonies. “There was no taboo among the women who worked with Madame Claude,” says the author. None of the three I met expressed regret or trauma. Of course, they may have had bad experiences. But today, it is the grandmothers who feel that they have experienced incredible things and recount them with nostalgia. »

“Heels, makeup, underwear…”

When Emma Becker evokes “heels, make-up, underwear that’s not that at all [son] stuff, but I get paid for it. It was almost a game”. There is no taboo here either. “I write sex scenes because they make me laugh, make me think, and also move me. I don’t write to make it difficult for readers, even if I like the idea. »

Houellebecq “tired”, authors under police protection… Forty years of the Brive book fair in ten anecdotes

IN Bad behaviour (Albin Michel), she writes sex scenes “that look like [sa] sexual life”. She also describes in House (Flammarion) the violence of the place where she worked. Erwan L’Éléouet also recounts the background of Madame Claude’s lucrative business, whose headquarters, her brothel, was located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. Erwan L’Éléouet discovered that the Résidence de la Muette belongs to… a diocesan association. “She was in contact with a cosmetic surgeon. She advanced the money for the operations. The girls obliged. She was a woman who exploited women. »

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“A certain shame” despite everything

The journalist believed that taboos had fallen on this famous pimp who died anonymously, but he encountered “a certain discomfort” especially at the headquarters of the Paris police, who assured him that there were no more records of him. “She managed to take power from powerful people: business leaders, high-ranking police officers, politicians… She would never have been able to build her empire if she hadn’t been protected. Erwan L’Éléouet’s book would make a good series. But can the same be said for small screens…

Emilie Auffret

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