Marc-Édouard Nabe

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Marc-Édouard Nabe (born Alain Marc Édouard Zannini; 27 December 1958) is a French writer and painter.

Marc-Édouard Nabe
Marc Edouard Nabe.JPG
Nabe reading Malaparte's The Skin at Casa Malaparte in Capri
Born Alain Marc Édouard Zannini
(1958-12-27) December 27, 1958 (age 59)
Marseille, France.
Occupation Writer, painter, cartoonist
Years active 1974–present
Children 1


Youth and first publications[edit]

As a baby with mother Suzanne and father, musician Marcel Zanini, 1959 probably in Marseille.

Marc-Édouard Nabe is the only son of the Greek-Turkish-Italian jazz musician Marcel Zanini and Corsican mother Suzanne Zannini.[1] He grew up in Marseille, before moving to Boulogne-Billancourt in 1969. His father, who became successful with Tu veux ou tu veux pas in 1970, introduced him to many jazz musicians and painters.

Nabe’s nickname is due to his height. In French « Nabot » is a pejorative word for a person who is short. Marc and Edouard are his second and third first-name, after ‘’Alain’’.[2]

At 15 years old, Nabe went to visit the team of magazine Hara-Kiri[3] and submitted his cartoons to cartoonists Georges Wolinski, Gébé and publishing director Professeur Choron. In January 1975, one of Nabe's cartoons appeared on the front cover of newspaper Libération.[4]

In 1976, he played the rhythm guitar on one track of his father Marcel Zanini's record Blues and Bounce!, alongside with drummer Sam Woodyard and organist Milt Buckner. The name of the track, Nabe’s Dream, was the title that Nabe intended to give to his first book. He eventually chose Au régal des Vermines and Nabe’s Dream was used for the first volume of his diary, published in 1991.

In 1980, after his one-year national service in Charleville-Mezieres, he met Hélène Hottiaux. They son Alexandre Zannini was born in 1990; his birth was related in the fourth volume of Nabe's diary, Kamikaze (2000).

Au Régal des Vermines[edit]

His first book, Au Régal des Vermines, was written while Nabe did his national service. He finished it in June 1983, and it was published in January 1985 by Bernard Barrault. The book treats jazz, writers, art, homosexuality, his parents, his wife, racism, and other topics. Some media controversy accompanied Nabe during this time: after a February 1985 taping of the TV program Apostrophes, an hour-long show devoted to books, authors and literature, Nabe was aggressively accosted by a journalist, Georges-Marc Benamou; because he references Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Leon Bloy, and Lucien Rebatet, Nabe is accused of being an antisemite and a racist.[citation needed] After the program, his book was sold out, and Nabe was sued by the Licra (Ligue internationale contre le racisme et l’antisémitisme), an anti-racist association. In 1989, the charges were dropped.[5]

His second book, Zigzags (1986) is a compilation of various texts (essays, short stories, poetry, etc.) In 1986, he published a book about the jazz-singer Billie Holiday, L’âme de Billie Holiday (Billie Holiday’s soul), in which Nabe declares his love and admiration for jazz and Holiday.

His first novel, Le Bonheur ("Happiness"), was published by Denoël and tells the story of Andrea de Bocumar (an anagram of his own name), a painter assistant specialized in feet on levitation.[6]


In 2005, his long term publisher, Editions du Rocher, was sold to a pharmaceutical business. Nabe used to be paid monthly by the former president, Jean-Paul Bertrand, according to a non-written contract. After Nabe's wages stopped he sued his former publishing house and acquired the copyright ownership of all his works. In January 2010, he created a web platform which he used to sell his own books; the first new book being L'homme qui arrêta d'écrire ("The man who ceased to write"). He claimed to have sold 6000 copies; the book was nominated for the Prix Renaudot.[7]

In October 2011, Nabe self-publishes a novel about the DSK Affair, L'Enculé ("The fucked").[citation needed]

In December 2013, he announced the creation of his own magazine, Patience, whose first volume focused on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, discussing the jihadist movement in an 80-page long article called Un État de grâce ("a state of grace"). The second volume was published in August 2015, under the title La revanche de Choron ("Choron's revenge"). The 152-page long article is about the Charlie Hebdo shooting; its title references Professeur Choron, the co-founder of the first version of Charlie Hebdo (1970 to 1981). On the cover is a picture of Adolf Hitler holding a Je Suis Charlie sign. This volume of the magazine achieved some notoriety because of a publicity stunt during the announcement of the selection for the 2015 Prix Goncourt.[8]



  • Au régal des vermines, 1985
  • Zigzags, 1986
  • Chacun mes goûts, 1986
  • L'Âme de Billie Holiday, 1986
  • La Marseillaise, 1989
  • Rideau, 1992
  • Visage de Turc en pleurs, 1992
  • Petits riens sur presque tout, 1992
  • L'Âge du Christ, 1992
  • Nuage, 1993
  • Oui, 1998
  • Non, 1998
  • Coups d'Épée dans l'eau, 1999
  • Une lueur d'espoir, 2001
  • J'enfonce le clou, 2004
  • Le Vingt-Septième Livre, 2009
  • Les Porcs, 2017


  • I, Nabe's Dream, 1992
  • II, Tohu-Bohu, 1993
  • III, Inch'Allah, 1996
  • IV, Kamikaze, 2000


  • Le Bonheur, 1988
  • Lucette, 1995
  • Je suis mort, 1998
  • Alain Zannini, 2002
  • Printemps de feu, 2003
  • L'homme qui arrêta d'écrire, 2010
  • L'Enculé, 2011


  • Loin des fleurs, 1998

Short stories[edit]

  • K.-O. et autres contes, 1999

Other works[edit]

  • L'affaire Zannini, 2003
  • Morceaux choisis, 2006


  1. ^ "Official Website Biography" (in French). 
  2. ^ "Interview de Marc-Édouard Nabe" (video). Tout le monde en parle. 17 November 2001. 
  3. ^ "Interview de Marc-Édouard Nabe". Europe 1 Social Club (in French). 16 December 2014. C’est en 1974 […], que je suis allé taper, au culot, à quinze ans et demi, à la porte de la rue des Trois-Portes, ou était le siège de Hara-Kiri. […] On tape à la porte et puis Wolinski vous ouvre, et puis il dit « Qu’est-ce que tu veux ? » et je lui dis : « Bah, j’ai des dessins » et il me dit « Eh bien, montre ». Il ouvre le carton, au bout du troisième il a éclaté de rire. 
  4. ^ Nabe, Marc-Édouard (1991). Nabe's Dream. Éditions du Rocher. ISBN 9782268011028. 
  5. ^ Cass. 2e Ch., 8 février 1989, n° 87-12.836
  6. ^ Émission Apostrophes du 8 Janvier 1988.
  7. ^ "Nabe: 'Je dois tout à Internet, mais lui aussi me doit tout'". L'Express (in French). 18 March 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "L'annonce du lauréat du Goncourt perturbée par des activistes nabiens" (in French). AgoraVox. 13 November 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 

External links[edit]