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Bold and Energetic Language: Symbol of Female Journalist

Bold and Energetic Language: Symbol of Female Journalist

Posted February. 28, 2003 22:53,   


Arthur, ou le bonheur de vivre(1997)

Author: Francoise Giroud (Translated by Shin Sun-young)

Published by Yulrimwon (7,800 won)

It is a biography of a French female journalist, who passed away in January. Just prior to publication of her biography in Korean, she fell down the stairs and got a severe injury to her head, which led to her death. At that time, she was 86 years old.

Giroud showed her talent in various fields. First, she was a journalist who co-founded L`Express in 1953. In another respect, she was a powerful politician in France, who had led a couple of ministries. At the same time, she was a bestseller writer renowned around the world, writing, for example, Marie Curie: A Life.

Born as a daughter of a Turkish exiled politician in 1916, she had to give up her education at the age of 14 to make money for her family. Then, she entered a vocational school to learn typewriting. Working as a clerk at a bookstore, she read most of the world canons. Based on her reading, she began to build up her career as a scenario writer. Later, she also worked with prominent movie directors. But, due to the influence of her father and family atmosphere, she found herself attracted to politics. Then, upon the outbreak of the World War II, she jointed the Resistant and fought hard against German invaders.

After the war, she settled in Lyon and began to write for a newspaper. Then, from 1945 to 1958, she served as the editor in chief at Elle. Beautiful, sophisticated, gracious and fashionable Parisienne, Giroud shocked others with her challenging and bold use of language.

Her life then took a new turn in 1951 as she met renowned French journalist Jean-Jacque Serbang-Shurebere and fell in love. In 1953, the lovers launched a leftist paper called `The L`express,` marking a chapter in the history of French journalism. She then continued to work passionately as a journalist before she joined the ruling party led by President Giscard d`Estaing to serve as Minister for Gender Equality and later as Minister for Culture.

`The L`express` remembered her as `the first woman in Guerlain perfume and Yves Saint Laurent dress who won global recognition in the male-dominated world.`

Giroud is also well known for her biographies. She was fully devoted through her late years, in particular, to letting out the stories of great women with obscure profiles. Her works covered Marie Curie better known as Madame Curie, wife of composer Gustav Miller Alma Miller, Niche`s lover Wagner Cozima, Karl Marx` wife Yenny and Niche Rilke Freud`s lover Lue Salome.

Lamenting her death, French daily `Le Monde` noted `Francois Giroud was a flawless journalist with great passion and energy for her work.` Original title is Arthur, ou le bonheur de vivre(1997). Arthur is the guardian angel for Giroud.

Pyoung-In Song pisong@donga.com