1881A LAW IS VOTED
Law on the Freedom of the Press of 29 July 1881 defining ‘press offences’ (particularly libel).
1946A LAW IS VOTED
Law of September 25, 1946 permitting the revision of condemnations for offence against public decency pronounced against a book.
Beginning of the French Indochina war (1946 – 1954)
January 16, 1947
Beginning of the 4th Republic, Vincent Auriol president (1947 – 1954)
The founder of Editions Chott, Pierre Mouchot, understands the implications of the 1949 law. Creator of the hero Fantax, who features in a highly successful review, he chooses to scupper the publication
The French Interior Ministry bans J’irai cracher sur vos tombes
by Vernon Sullivan (Boris Vian) published in 1946: the author and the publisher (Jean d’Halluin) are condemned to pay a 100,000 francs fine
31 May, 1949
In application of the 1946 law, and at the request of the Société des Gens de Lettres, the Cour de cassation authorises the publication of six poems in Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal which had been withdrawn by order on August 20, 1857, only a few weeks after their publication by Poulet-Malassis.
July 16, 1949A LAW IS VOTED
Law on ‘publications intended for children’ creates the Commission de contrôle et de surveillance
(Supervisory and Control Committee) to keep a close watch on and control publications for children and teenagers.
Creation of the Club directed by Claude Tchou.
2 March, 1950
First meeting of the Commission de surveillance et de contrôle of children’s publications
French language and translated editions of Sexus
, by Henry Miller; banned
Beginning of the Algerian War (1954 – 1962)
16 January, 1954
René Coty president (1954-1959)
During the Algerian War, the French government attempted to gag the press. Intellectual reviews and a sector of the publishing world, especially Jérôme Lindon’s Éditions de Minuit, campaigned against this political censorship.
Active in the same cause, the bookseller-publisher François Maspero, like Jérôme Lindon, had more books banned than other publishers.
by Pauline Réage, published by Jean-Jacques Pauvert, was banned from being displayed, publicised or sold to minors.
The end of the French protectorate in Morocco and Tunisia.
1956 to 1960
French decolonization of Sub-Saharan Africa.
The trial of Jean-Jacques Pauvert, defended by Maître Maurice Garçon, for his edition of Sade’s Œuvres complètes. In 1957, Pauvert was condemned to pay a heavy fine and books were seized and destroyed.
Nabokov’s Lolita, and 24 other publications by Olympia Press founded by Maurice Girodias, are banned.
The Appeal Court in Paris upholds the judgement condemning Pauvert to pay heavy fines for the publication of Sade’s Œuvres complètes but defers payment. The books seized are not destroyed but deposited in the French National Library. The second judgement is annulled.
Henri Alleg’s La Question, published by Éditions de Minuit on February 12, is seized for ‘offence against national security’.
A LAW IS VOTED
The ruling of 23 December 1958 modifies Article 14 of the Law of July 16, 1949, and prescribes heavier sentences.
8 January, 1959
Beginning of the 5th Republic, Charles de Gaulle president (1959-1969).
Decree banning L’Épi monstre
by Nicolas Genka. The ban was annulled by the Conseil d’État only in 2005.
March 18, 1962End of the Algerian War: The Évian accords.
A war fought with arms and words: ‘Rarely has a political event incited so many books as the Algerian War’, Roger Stéphane, France Observateur
A ban on sale to minors of Barbarella
by Jean-Claude Forest, published by Editions Le Terrain vague, directed by Éric Losfeld.
January 4, 1967A LAW IS VOTED
Modification of the 1949 law, creating new advantages for publishers
20, June 1969
Georges Pompidou president (1969-1974)
review published by François Maspero is banned. The publisher disregards the ban, which results in several condemnations, including a 4-month prison sentence and a fine of 18,000 francs. Many publishers express their support for Maspero
Sales to minors and display of Interdit de séjour
by Tony Duvert are forbidden, Éditions de Minuit.
Proscription of Pour la libération du Brésil
by Carlos Marighela published by Editions du Seuil.
The book was republished by a joint imprint of 23 publishers in a gesture of protestation.
Foundation of the Homosexual Front for Revolutionary Action
Ban on sale to minors of Rapport contre la normalité produced by the Homosexual Front for Revolutionary Action, published by Éditions Champ Libre
1er juillet 1972
A LAW IS VOTED
Law condemning racism completes the law of 29 July, 1881 with a section on the freedom of the press.
Régine Deforges and André Hardellet are condemned for their republication of Lourdes, lentes...
Présidence de Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (1974-1981).
A LAW IS VOTED
The ‘Veil’ law legalized abortion under certain conditions. The law was finally passed in 1979.
"Prisons d'Afrique" by Jean-Paul Alata banned.
21 May, 1981
François Mitterrand president (1981-1995)
2 March 1987
Robert Laffont is condemned to suppress twenty-seven pages of Laurent Gally’s book, L'Agent noir, une taupe dans l'affaire Abdallah
. On March 6, 17,000 unexpurgated copies are seized and burned.
31 December 1987Suicide, mode d’emploi: histoire, technique, actualité
, by Claude Guillon and Yves Le Bonniec, published in 1982 by Editions Alain Moreau, is the origin of a law suppressing incitement to suicide.
In February, a fatwa is pronounced in Iran against Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses
. The book was published in France by Christian Bourgois in the month of July.
Régine Deforges is cleared of charges brought against her by Margaret Mitchell’s heirs, after several years of trials. They accused her of plagiarizing ‘Gone with the Wind’ in her novel, La Bicyclette bleue
Jacques Chirac president (1995-2007)
The book written by Doctor Claude Gubler and journalist Michel Gonod, Le Grand
(Plon), is banned. In 2004, The European Court of Human Rights annulled this decision.
Alain Delon attacks Editions Grasset after learning of their project to produce a biography of the star.
Publication of Procès de Jean-Marie le Pen
. The author Mathieu Lindon was sued for libel by Jean-Marie Le Pen.
In April, Fayard withdraws Renaud Camus’s La Campagne de France
from sale, after a polemic about anti-Semite opinions expressed by the author. The book was reprinted in July without the incriminated passages and with a preface by Claude Durand.
21 May 2001
A LAW IS VOTED
Law n°2001-434 recognizes the slave trade as a crime against humanity.
by Nicolas Jones-Gorlin is attacked by associations for the protection of children.
The Tribunal correctionnel rejects accusations against Pogrom
by E. Bénier-Bürckel (Flammarion) of incitement of racial and religious hatred and the diffusion of a pornographic message likely to be seen by minors.
16 may 2007
Election of Nicolas Sarkozy