“If an interview is missed, it’s always my fault”: Augustin Trapenard talks about his replacement for François Busnel in La Grande Librairie

Augustin Trapenard is crazy about literature, to the point of having had passages of novels tattooed on his body. In Boomerang, his show on France Inter which lasted eight years and “which was his whole life“, this former teacher of English and American literature was already conversing with writers. This absolute fan of Emily Brontë, who officiated at the Big Newspaper on Canal +, denies them two programs with facetious names, in his image: 21cm, broadcast on the encrypted channel and more recently Plumard, unusual literary encounters in places chosen by the guests, visible on the Brut X platform. July 6 last. Numa Privat’s companion, who has already tasted set shows, in particular with The circle, will try every Wednesday, at 9 p.m., from September 7, to free the words of the women and men of letters he loves so much. Meeting with the presenter, aware of the challenge ahead but impatient to be there.

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Augustin Trapenard:It was Bernard Pivot who made me want to do this job.

Tele-Leisure: Succeeding François Busnel, is it a real challenge?

Augustin Trapenard: It’s also an honor. I’m apprehensive but I’m also excited. François called me very late, two weeks before the end of my show Boomerang on France Inter. When he asked me to replace him, I gave him a gigantic “yes”. I love the tradition of the literary TV show. It was Bernard Pivot who made me want to do this job.

How are you going to work with François Busnel, who remains the show’s producer?

One of the conditions of my arrival was to have total freedom from the editorial point of view, from the questioning and from the programming. With François by my side, it’s the assurance of maintaining the spirit of this literary program broadcast in prime time. A French exception in the world media field.

How to put your paw in this appointment well installed?

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I will try to bring a new color. I’ve been doing this job for 15 years, I’m no longer a partridge of the year. I want a program focused on eclecticism, exchange between guests, passion and transmission. There may be new sequences, movements off the set. Everything is possible.

Who will be Augustin Trapenard’s first guests?

What about the guests for this first issue?

Virginie Despentes going out Dear asshole, will make his first television intervention with us. There will also be Laurent Gaudé, a sensitive novelist with flamboyant writing. He will be accompanied by Lola Lafon, whom I really like. I will try as much as possible to give a voice to a young author, it is for this reason that I invited Blandine Rinkel, for her book Towards Violence.

Is interviewing a writer a special exercise?

The writer is a creator. What he says, what he produces as discourse and in his work, is his mirror. He has a word that is not self-evident. There are many writers for whom talking about his work is a difficult time and suddenly, it will result in a bumpy, stumbling speech. It’s up to me to free her with my questions. There is no good or bad client, if the interview fails, it’s always my fault.

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How to get out of the promotional game?

The term promotional bothers me a bit. Neither I nor the writer are booksellers. I will be happy if the show is prescriptive but my goal is to make a good show, with thought, emotion. In my wildest dreams, there will be news, as has already happened in The Great Bookstore.

Augustin Trapenard:People have the right not to like my work. In any case, I give everything.

You have your own way of interviewing. Do you enjoy it when people parody you?

Yes a lot ! Proust said, speaking of the Goncourt brothers: “we only parody the people we admire“. When I say “what makes you cum Lydie Salvayre? “, it doesn’t fall from the sky, either! I’ve always thought that an existential question could give rise to fabulous answers. When we do our jobs, we talk, so we have a certain form of power. You have to accept distrust, questioning, otherwise you don’t do this job. You have the right not to like my work. In any case, I give everything.

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Your interviews are always benevolent…

It is a form of dissent. You only have to watch any interview today to see journalists who perpetually attempt conflict, clash, friction. I think it’s a way for them to show off. But my own goal is to highlight unique writings, artists who have something to say about the world. And for that, it means listening to them. I know it’s not very fashionable, but it’s my way.

Will you pay tribute to Salman Rushdie during this premiere?

After this despicable attack perpetrated against him, he will be present through an editorial or a reading. My role is to show the need for the complexity of literature today, which excludes any censorship. Creative freedom is inalienable. I hope that one day, when he recovers, we can meet somehow.

“If an interview is missed, it’s always my fault”: Augustin Trapenard talks about his replacement for François Busnel in La Grande Librairie