The French Academy will elect on September 28 its new perpetual secretary, called to succeed Hélène Carrère d'Encausse, we learned Thursday from a member of its administrative commission. She was elected to the position in October 1999 and held the position for nearly 24 years before passing away in August at the age of 94.
'The Administrative Commission met and decided on the modalities. The election will take place on September 28, during the Academy's re-entry session," one of its members told AFP on condition of anonymity. The meeting is not open to the public or the press.
Three rules have been adopted for the vote, which is not precisely framed by the statutes of the Académie française. Applications will close "Monday evening, September 25 at midnight". The election will take place "by an absolute majority of votes". Finally, "the votes that would go to academicians who have not filed a candidacy will be considered null and void", in order to reach this absolute majority more easily, explained the academician joined by AFP. He added that as of Thursday, only one candidacy had been submitted, that of the Franco-Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf.
The modalities are different from those, opaque and contested, which had allowed the election of Hélène Carrère d'Encausse. Some academicians had judged at the time that they had been cut to achieve this result. The perpetual secretary of the Académie française is the member who heads this institution responsible for defending and promoting the French language. There have only been 32 people to hold this position since 1634.
The session of 28 September should also make it possible to establish the first selection of the Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française, awarded this year on 26 October.