Armand Lunel first president of Pen Club of Monaco
On Friday, March 6 2015, writer Daniel Augendre received the prize of the third edition of the Armand Lunel 2014 contest from the Pen Club of Monaco, for his novel Louis Maître-Berger (Louis Shepherd Master) in the presence of Jean-Charles Curau, Director of Cultural Affairs of the Principality and members of the club.
Yves Giraudon, General Secretary of the club took the floor on behalf of their president Gerard Comman who was absent due to health issues. Giraudon made a brief presentation on the history of the club before introducing the award winner. He explained that the objective of this prize is to enable writers to highlight their talent, by writing an inedited novel in French language. A jury constituted of five P.E.N. Club members was responsible for selecting the winner among many participants. Among a total of 14 texts of excellent quality, there were police novels, science fiction, fictionalized autobiographies, and ethnographic accounts. There was no grand suspense during the deliberations, because Augendre’s novel made almost unanimity among the members of the jury, due to his outstanding writing not only in the description of places and characters, but also in the reproduction of emotions, thanks also to a well mastered command of the languagein all domains: notably lexicon and syntax plus impeccable orthography.
Apart from the high recognition Daniel Augendre received a FNAC certificate of Euro 200 from Jean-Luc Delcroix, Pen club treasurer. The club also covered his trip and accommodations, and gave him several issues of the Pen Club Revue 2014 that includes his novel, Louis Maitre-Berger. Daniel Jessula, grandson of Armand Lunel and member of the club, presented him with two published works by his grandfather; Fountains of Aix and The Beauty at the Fountain, a gesture that Augendre really appreciated.
Daniel Augendre and his novel
After a long professional career in commercial exports in the pharmaceutical industry living abroad for more than 15 years, Daniel Augendre retired in Aix-en-Provence. It was there that he began to write, starting with an exhaustive research study on the 180 fountains in the village, followed by a novel about exotic memories. He writes stories and poems, often inspired by his life spent overseas. To estimate the eventual interest in his work, he presents them to literary competitions. In 2014 he received the Grand Prix des Jeu Floraux Mediterraneens, from the Academy of Floral Games, the oldest in the Western world. He also received the First Prize of the New Society of Arts and Letters of France. He has been living in Saint Raphael for more than a decade.
According to Giraudon, Augendre’s novel Louis Maître-Berger, belongs fits perfectly into the Provencal literary tradition, in the line of Pagnol, Daudet and specially Giono. He added: “We could even think of our dear friend Armand Lunel, even if his works are rather immersed within the framework of a Provencal city”. During his acceptance speech, Augendre, originally from Saint Raphael, explained he wanted to express “his love for the Provencal soil and particularly transhumance*, the area, the actors, notably those very close to Aix-en-Provence”.
(*)Transhumance is the action or practice of moving livestock from one grazing ground to another in a seasonal cycle, typically to lowlands in winter and highlands in summer.
PEN International is a non-governmental, non-political, international association of writers created back in 1921 by Catherine Amy Dawson Scott, a British poet, playwright and peace activist, with the support of John Galsworthy, with headquarters in London. PEN’s mission is to defend freedom of expression while rejecting the abuses of the free press, like the falsification of facts for political or personal reasons. PEN International is active in over 100 countries.
The “P.E.N.” initials not only refer symbolically to the English word pen, but it is also an acronym: each of the three letters are the initial of a different type of writing: P = Poets, Playwrights; E = Essayists, Editors; N = Novelists, Non-fiction authors. Since October 2009 it is presided by Canadian essay writer John Ralson Saul.
The association today counts with the endorsement of UNESCO and the Economic and Social Council of United Nations, it collaborates closely with several international organizations: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Article 19 (en), Committee for the protections of Journalists, International Federation of Journalists, Reporters without Borders, Index on Censorship, and even the Tibetan Writers Abroad PEN Center.
The international PEN club is member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), an ONG world virtual resource center that investigates the violations to freedom of the press and organizes, federates or connects the campaigns organized by its members, for the defense of journalists, writers and other people who are prosecuted while they exercise their right to freedom of expression. The association firmly believes that literature does not have borders and must be the common devise for all the nations in spite of political and international conflicts.
Pen club of Monaco
In 1968 the P.E.N. International Club bestowed the Principality of Monaco with their local club, under the support of Armand Lunel who became the first president of the Monegasque association. In 1984, Jean-Eugene Lorenzi had the idea to create a Literary Revue, reaching today issue Nbr. 31st – including the complete version of the novel “Louis Maitre-Berger by Daniel Augendre. The Armand Lunel literary prize was initiated by the P.E.N. club in 2006 in honor of its founder and first president.
To be admitted as member of the PEN club, any writer, redactor, editor and translator shall subscribe to the club’s charter, no matter his or her nationality, language, race, color or religion.
It was very early in the morning of Friday, March 6, on the same day of the event organised by the Pen club, that Giraudon boarded his fishing boat and went to sea. It was his lucky day as he had the chance to catch an Espadon of 2 meters weighing 50 kilos, off the coast of the Principality ! And his daughter took the photo to prove it !
“Writers fish for the right words like fishermen fish for, um, whatever those aquatic creatures with fins and gills are called. ” Jarod Kintz