Jean d’ormesson, as seen by her grand-daughter Marie-Sarah : “The grandfather that everyone wants to be” – Gala

Entertainment 8 December, 2017


Gala met Marie-Sarah, the granddaughter of Jean d’ormesson, in the summer of 2017. Student in international relations, this bubbly brunette of 23 years shared with the academician a relationship ultracomplice. Original testimony, then, that the writer has just died at the age of 92 years.

Jean d’ormesson died. The academician died in the night of 4 to 5 December 2017, at the age of 92 years. A few months before his death, Gala had met his granddaughter, Marie-Sarah, a young woman of 23 years old student in international relations. The daughter of Heloise d’ormesson had confided in about her strong bond with her grandfather, she has always been very close.

“John is the grandfather that everyone wants to have ! I have a lot of luck because what’s more, I don’t have to share, my mother is an only child and I am his only granddaughter. I have never called otherwise than by his first name. It was easy to pronounce and I believe that he did not like it very much that I call it otherwise.

Up to the age of eleven, I lived with my grandparents since my parents – the editors Heloise d’ormesson and Manuel Carcassonne – occupied the upper floor of their house. We have a very accomplice. We resemble a lot, we share this same way, a little on the light side, of dealing with life. When I was little, he accompanied me to school each morning. We had endless discussions at the break of dawn, and it is very often happened that I found myself in front of the door of the school having forgotten my bag ! It was my mother very angry. Jean made me do my homework and I have to say that these are the rare times where we played. It has a lot of qualities but he is not really teacher. It to me has obviously passed on his taste for literature and travel. There are certain rituals in our family, we go very often vacation together. My grand-father made me discover Venice, numerous museums, but also a few good restaurants ! With him it is always la dolce vita !

Each summer we spend a week in Corsica together. When I was little, in the evening we watched the sky and the stars and he told me about the constellations. Today, we have our moments, just us, when we walk in silence on the coastal paths of the island of beauty. I have very quickly been aware that John was not a great father like the others. When we walked in the bois de Boulogne, we couldn’t take three steps without stopping to sign autographs. And then, at home, there was still an academician at the table ! I took advantage of that, of course, to ask him favors, and I have to say that it has always been very accommodating and I was never refused a thing ! Thanks to him, I have experienced exceptional moments like his speech very moving for the entry of Simone Veil to the Academy francaise. From my side, I made him do things that he might not be carried out without me. I, for example, begged him to take me to New Star to meet Julien Doré, of which I was a fan, and that’s appreciated a lot. John has a character very easy. It is the joy of life incarnate. Even when he had his cancer, I’ve never heard him complain. It is said that the optimism live longer, if this is true, then it is immortal !”

Interview by Valérie Expert

Credits photos : Bestimage

Jean d’ormesson

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