The Academie Goncourt announced this morning that the 2015 Prix Goncourt is awarded to Mathias Enard's Boussole, published this year by Actes Sud!
Boussole follows Viennese musicologist Franz Ritter, who has been diagnosed with a mysterious but serious and possibly degenerative illness. The night of the diagnosis, sleepless and unable to rest his mind, he thinks back across the arc of his life and the two great and equally impossible loves that formed it: Sarah and the Orient.
Enard infuses the far-ranging nighttime thoughts in Compass with conversations, letters, biographies, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the people and places where East met West, the Occident and the Orient. Enard, and Ritter, focus on the transformation of Western art and music in the nineteenth century—a transformation that took place because of the passion of the Orientalists, Westerners who conjured a dream-world Orient unremarked by the Orient itself.