28 March 1960 |
|Education||graduated 1983; Ph.D., 1987.|
|Alma mater||Ecole Normale Supérieure|
|Notable work(s)||Oscar and the Lady in Pink|
Schmitt studied at the Lycée du Parc in Lyon, France and École normale supérieure in Paris (1980–1985), where he received a doctorate in philosophy. The title of his dissertation was "Diderot et la métaphysique" (in English: "Diderot and Metaphysics"). He spent three years teaching in Cherbourg and at the University of Chambéry.
He has lived in Brussels since 2002 and obtained Belgian Citizenship in 2008.
Initially, Schmitt was known as a scriptwriter for the stage. His debut work, "La nuit de Valognes", was produced a number of times in 1991 and 1992, both in France and abroad. His breakthrough theater work came with his second script, "Le Visiteur", which won Molière prizes for best author and best show in 1993-1994.
The following years were littered with theatrical successes such as "Golden Joe" (1995), "Variations Énigmatiques" (1996), "Le Libertin" (1997), "Milarepa" (1997), "Frédérick ou Le Boulevard du Crime" (1998), "Hôtel des deux mondes" (1999) and "Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran" (1999).
Schmitt covers a variety of themes in his work. "Golden Joe" takes a look of the cynical attitudes to life of those involved in high finance. In "Variations énigmatiques", the author gives voice to two very different men, who discuss their own philosophies of life and love - as it turns out, both were in love with the same woman. "Le Libertin" is a historical drama about the life of philosopher Denis Diderot and a film version was released in 2000.
In 2001, Schmitt was awarded the "Grand Prix du théâtre de l'Académie Française". His plays have been performed in over fifty countries and translated into forty languages. They show influences from Samuel Beckett, Jean Anouilh and Paul Claudel, among others.
In addition to his plays, Schmitt has written a number of successful novels and short fiction, including La Secte des Égoïstes (1994), Oscar and the Lady in Pink (Oscar et la dame rose) (1999), L'Évangile selon Pilate (2000), La Part de l'Autre (2001), Lorsque j'étais une œuvre d'art (2002), L'enfant de Noé (2004), Ma vie avec Mozart (2005).
World religions play an important role in Schmitt's writing. In "Le Cycle de l'Invisible", Schmitt attempts a harmonization of religions and cultures. "Milarepa" is the first issue in this series and depicts Tibetan Buddhism. The second volume, "Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran" is dedicated to Sufism, a subset of Islam, also referencing Judaism. "Oscar et la dame rose" (the third volume) concerns Christianity. "L'enfant de Noé" deals with Judaism and Christianity. "Le Sumo qui ne pouvait pas grossir" (Zen Buddhism) rounds off the series.
In 2003 "Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran" (in English: M. Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran) was adapted for film by François Dupeyron. Omar Sharif played the title role and won a César award for best actor in 2004.
In 2010 Schmitt was award the Prix Goncourt de la Nouvelle for Concerto à la mémoire d'un ange.
- The Sect of the Egoists (La secte des égoïstes, 1994)
- The Gospel According to Pilate (L'Évangile selon Pilate, 2000)
- The Alternative Hypothesis (La part de l'autre, 2001)
- When I Was a Work of Art (Lorsque j'étais une oeuvre d'art, 2002)
- Ma vie avec Mozart (2005)
- Ulysses from Bagdad (Ulysse from Bagdad, 2008)
The Cycle of the Invisible (Le cycle de l'invisible)
- Milarepa (1997)
- Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran (Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran, 2001)
- Oscar and the Lady in Pink (Oscar et la dame rose, 2002)
- Noah's Child (L'enfant de Noé, 2003)
- The Sumo Wrestler Who Could Not Gain Weight (Le Sumo qui ne pouvait pas grossir, 2009)
- The Most Beautiful Book in the World (Odette Toulemonde et autres histoires, 2006)
- The Dreamer of Ostend (La Rêveuse d'Ostende, 2007)
- My Life with Mozart (Ma vie avec Mozart, 2005)
- Diderot or the Philosophy of Seduction (Diderot ou la philosophie de la séduction, 1997)
- Don Juan on Trial (La nuit de Valognes, 1991)
- The Visitor (Le Visiteur, 1993)
- Golden Joe (Golden Joe, 1995)
- Enigma Variations (Variations Énigmatiques, 1996)
- The Libertine (Le Libertin, 1997)
- Frederick or the Crime Boulevard (Frédérick ou le Boulevard du Crime, 1998)
- The Devil's School (L'École du diable, 1999)
- Between Worlds (Hôtel des deux mondes, 1999)
- The Gag (Le Bâillon, 2000)
- One Thousand and One Days (Mille et un jours, 2001)
- Partners in crime (Petits crimes conjugaux, 2004)
- Sentimental Tectonics (La tectonique des sentiments, 2008)
- Le Bossu (from a novel by Paul Féval)
- Les Noces de Figaro
- Don Giovanni
- “Wet die naturalisaties verleent / Loi accordant des naturalisations”, 28 July 2008, http://www.ejustice.just.fgov.be/cgi/welcome.pl
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