Daniel Rondeau, of the French Academy: “Jean-François Fogel was necessary for us”
On Saturday March 18, a man collapsed around 9:30 a.m. in a supermarket in Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine), struck down by a massive stroke. Average height, aquamarine blue eyes, white hair, fine features, pale complexion. On him, no identity papers or mobile phone. First aid took him to the Beaujon hospital in Clichy, where he died the next day. The stranger from the Carrefour Market, identified by his family, was called Jean-François Fogel, undoubtedly the most gifted journalist of his generation, the most singular too. In twenty years, he was one of the architects of the revolution that transformed the French, Spanish and South American press, dragging it from the world of Gutenberg to the digital planet.
Journalism has always been a way of life for him. At 20, fresh out of Sciences Po and the Journalist Training Center, he studied at Agence France-Presse (AFP), at the central foreign desk. He listens to rock, reads novels that no one knows, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink alcohol, only tea, walks around with his own bags, you can never be too careful. This news dandy, who writes his dispatches in sepia ink, moves very quickly between books and cities. Despite his discretion, his talent does not go unnoticed. He writes in HimIn The chained Duck and, in the evening, when he leaves AFP, where he learns rigor, he joins the editorial staff ofCurrent, moderated by Jean-François Bizot. Change of school. “Patrick Rambaud (future Goncourt Prize) taught me to writehe told me. He explained to me: “You have just arrived, you are young, no adjectives…”
Jean-François Fogel had never been a “sixty-eighter”. “In 1968, I hid, to see nothing”, he will say to his friend the Cuban writer Zoé Valdès, but he breathes in the writings resulting from leftism the freedom and the energy of an era. He becomes friends with Serge July and shares the adventure of the first Releasefounded by Jean-Paul Sartre and former members of the Gauche prolétarienne, then gives a luminous chronicle to the Point on foreign literature. At the end of the 1970s, Jean-François Fogel launched with Jean-Louis Servan-Schreiber Paris-Hebdoa “city magazine” like the Time-out Londoner. In the “one” of the first issue, a headline, premonitory: “Should we leave Paris? ” Failure. The gifted young man of the Parisian press is touched to the depths of his pride. He leaves for Barcelona.
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