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The Société littéraire des Goncourt (Goncourt Literary Society), usually called the académie Goncourt (Goncourt Academy), is a French literary organization based in Paris that was founded in 1900 in accordance with the wishes of French writer and publisher Edmond de Goncourt (1822-1896), and in opposition to the then existing policies towards writers by the Académie française.

Wishing to honor his deceased brother Jules (1830-1870), Goncourt named his friend Alphonse Daudet to oversee his estate, which he bequeathed for the establishment of an organization to promote literature in France. Each December since 1903, a ten-member board of the Académie has awarded the prix Goncourt for the best work of fiction of the year.

Membership is reserved to writers who have produced works in the French language but it is not limited to citizens of France. In 1996 the Spanish novelist and scriptwriter Jorge Semprún became the first foreigner to become a member of the academy.

In addition to the prix Goncourt, which comes with a symbolic cheque of 10 Euros, the Académie Goncourt is also responsible for awarding four other awards, for first novel, short story, poetry and biography.

The ten members of the academy are usually called les Dix (the Ten), and they meet the first Tuesday of each month, except in summer. Since 1914 they have convened in an oval room, the salon Goncourt, on the second floor of the Restaurant Drouant,[1] place Gaillon, in the heart of Paris. The cutlery or tableware that they use while meeting and dining at the restaurant constitutes the main physical continuity of the academy. Each new member receives the fork and knife of the member which he (or she) is replacing, and a new name is then added on the knife and the fork.


Current members

Academicians by seat


1st Seat

2nd Seat

3rd Seat

  • 1900-1917 : Octave Mirbeau
  • 1917-1947 : Jean Ajalbert
  • 1947-1973 : Alexandre Arnoux
  • 1973-1995 : Jean Cayrol
  • since 1995 : Didier Decoin

4th Seat

5th Seat

  • 1900-1948 : Justin Rosny jeune
  • 1948-1967 : Gérard Bauër
  • 1967-1968 : Louis Aragon
  • 1969-1983 : Armand Lanoux
  • since 1983 : Daniel Boulanger

6th Seat

7th Seat

8th Seat

9th Seat

10th Seat


  1. ^ The restaurant Drouant was founded as a bar tabac by the Alsatian Charles Drouant, who expanded it to a bistrot, which made its reputation on the oysters delivered fresh by Drouant's brother, who farmed them. Alphonse Daudet was a regular, as were artists such as Renoir, Rodin and Camille Pissarro.(Restaurant Drouant: Histoire)


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