Edmond de Goncourt

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Edmond before 1877 by Nadar.

Edmond Louis Antoine Huot de Goncourt (pronounced [ɛdmɔ̃ də ɡɔ̃kuʁ]; 26 May 1822 – 16 July 1896) was a French writer, literary critic, art critic, book publisher and the founder of the Académie Goncourt.[1]


Goncourt was born in Nancy. For much of his life, he collaborated with his brother Jules creating works of art criticism, a notorious journal, and subsequently several novels. He also collected rare books, including a copy of Pierre Rameau's 1725 Abbregé de la nouvelle Methode, dans L'Art D'Ecrire ou De Tracer toutes sortes de Danses de Ville (New Abridged Method for writing or tracing all sorts of country dances).[2] After the death of Jules he continued to write novels alone.

He bequeathed his entire estate for the foundation and maintenance of the Académie Goncourt. In honour of his brother and collaborator, Jules de Goncourt (17 December 1830 – 20 June 1870), each December since 1903, the Académie awards the Prix Goncourt. It is the most prestigious prize in French language literature, given to "the best imaginary prose work of the year".

Marcel Proust, Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Tournier, Marguerite Duras, Romain Gary (who exceptionally won it twice) and Nobel Prize Patrick Modiano are among the best-known authors who have won the century-old prize.

Edmond de Goncourt died in Champrosay in 1896, and was interred in the Cimetière de Montmartre in Paris.


  • "A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world."
  • "If there is a God, atheism must seem to Him as less of an insult than religion."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://arthistorians.info/goncourte
  2. ^ Friderica Derra de Moroda, "Choréographie: The Dance Notation of the Eighteenth Century: Beauchamp or Feuillet?," The Book Collector 16, no. 4 (1967): 459.

External links[edit]