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Bernard Pivot, an essential figure in the French cultural landscape, has left us, leaving behind an invaluable legacy. As a journalist, presenter, and lover of words, he made an indelible mark on the worlds of literature and television. His passing is a tremendous loss for everyone who, like me, had the chance to cross paths with him.

Bernard Pivot was a giant. A giant of television who revolutionized our relationship with literature through his legendary show Apostrophes. Every Friday night, France gathered around him to dive into the flavorful Bouillon de culture, so nourishing for the mind and soul. He was our guide, our bridge into the infinite universe of letters. Thanks to him, literature entered our homes and hearts.

But Bernard Pivot was more than just a presenter. He was a lover of the French language, a staunch defender of its richness and beauty. His legendary dictations resonated with entire generations, constantly reminding us of the magic of words and the importance of choosing them carefully. He was a craftsman of language, a master who sculpted each sentence with love and respect.

His commitment to literature extended beyond the small screen. As the president of the Goncourt Academy, he rigorously and passionately oversaw this prestigious literary prize. His innovative spirit, coupled with unwavering standards, contributed to maintaining the excellence of this institution, which is over a century old.

Bernard Pivot was also a man of the land, deeply attached to his Beaujolais roots. His love for this wine region led him to create the Beaujolais Defense Committee, demonstrating his dedication to preserving a heritage so dear to his heart.

Beyond his multiple facets, Bernard Pivot was above all a humanist. His insatiable curiosity, empathetic listening, and respect for others made him a valuable interlocutor for all who had the privilege of meeting him. He had the rare gift of making culture accessible to everyone, without ever watering it down or oversimplifying it.

I had the immense privilege of meeting Bernard Pivot at the Beirut Francophone Book Fair in 2012. This moment will forever be etched in my memory. Having lunch with him at L’Oca Matta was an indescribable honor and joy. His conversation was a fireworks display of erudition, wit and humanity. Every word he spoke was a pearl that I eagerly collected, a treasure that I will always cherish.

Today, as Bernard Pivot leaves us, a part of our history goes with him. His passing leaves a huge void in the world of literature and culture. Farewell, Mr. Pivot. You were a giant among men, a beacon in the night. Your work is a treasure that we will continue to cherish, your spirit a light that we will strive to keep alive. Thank you for everything you have given us, with such generosity, passion and love. You will forever remain one of the greatest craftsmen of French culture.

Rest in peace, Bernard Pivot. Your memory is a blessing, your example an inspiration. You made the world more beautiful, richer, and brighter. And for that, we say thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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