Over 15,000 letters exchanged between Dominique Rolin and Philippe Sollers between 1958 and 2008, and 35 volumes of Dominique Rolin’s personal diaries have been saved and are now part of our public collections. The documents reflect a lengthy romantic and literary adventure between two of the leading figures of French literature during the 20th century.
Dominique Rolin, who was born in Brussels in 1913, was the author of an extensive literary oeuvre comprising 30 novels and essays and was recognized not only by the general public during her lifetime, but also by critics and academics.
It was in 1958 that she met Philippe Sollers, a young French writer and they went on to influence each other’s literary work both stylistically and subjectively. Their meeting was decisive. It was the beginning of a great love affair that was to unite these two literary figures and also give rise to a unique literary expression through a series of letters and accounts, which have hitherto been unpublished.
The Philippe Sollers – Dominique Rolin Fund’s collection of letters and diaries is now accessible at the Belgian Royal Library to which it was entrusted by the Kind Baudouin Foundation. It is currently being catalogued and studied with a view to producing an important publication. The work will enable us to take a new look at the work of this Belgian novelist as well as European literary history of the second half of the 20th century.