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LAUT François


Nicolas Bouvier, l’œil qui écrit (Payot, 2007)

François Laut, a Parisian, was born in 1953 of a Genevan mother. He is a history teacher and taught in France and abroad such as in Mexico from 1979 to 1981 and also in Japan from 1989 to 1998. It was in Japan that François Laut started writing with Aï, meaning love, in 1994.
Japan and Switzerland are two rather special worlds as one is an island, the other, almost. An island that would have lost its sea. It was in Japan that François Laut met and became friends with Nicolas Bouvier. There are very many similarities between the two Swiss wanderers.
After publishing several novels, François Laut has returned with a biography of Nicolas Bouvier hailed by the critics, based on their own communications, access to Bouvier’s records and particularly to his correspondence with Thierry Vernet.

En Français


  • Nicolas Bouvier, l’œil qui écrit (Payot, 2007)
  • Tohu-Bahut (Editions du Rocher, 2006)
  • Tête Plongeante (Le Serpent à Plumes, 2003)
  • Pari Capital (Editions du Laquet, 2000)
  • Révolutions (Serpent à Plumes, 1998)
  • Temps variables (Serpent à Plumes, 1995)
  • (love) (Serpent à Plumes, 1994)


Synopsis of Nicolas Bouvier, l’œil qui écrit

Was Nicolas Bouvier (1929-1998) a traveler or a writer ? He was probably both but above all a writer and also a Genevan, a poet, and a photographer. At sixteen, the one who will apply himself to telling about traveling in order to learn how to write knew he wanted to travel the world and to invent a way of life. He went to the Middle East, first by car with a friend until Ceylon, then alone until Japan. When he returned to Geneva to get married and to start a family, he had in his bags enough material for the three books that led to his fame, namely L’Usage du monde, Chronique japonaise, Le Poisson-Scorpion.
He needed time to write these books, he needed to travel throughout the world again and also to explore his own memory. This portrait is based on unpublished documents namely the writer’s correspondence, particularly with the painter Thierry Vernet who was his best friend, and also based on travel documents and his notebooks. François Laut, who knew him, also talked to his relatives and friends. He depicts Nicolas Bouvier from the perspective of a friend, as an introspective, often depressed, always ironic, but complete artist. The readers follow the Genevan in the trips that he didn’t write about and in the parts that he did not divulge in those trips that he did write about. The book shows how he has fought as a poet with writing and his private demons – he is depicted as he lived, loved, and suffered in his life.

Il faudra repartir

Il faudra repartir

Payot - 2015

Des textes de Nicolas Bouvier (1929-1998) rédigés en des pays sur lesquels il n’a rien publié de son vivant : telles sont, sur près d’un demi-siècle, les pépites réunies dans ce volume. En 1948, le jeune homme de dix-huit ans écrit son premier récit de voyage entre Genève et Copenhague, rempli d’illusions qu’il veut rendre réelles ; en 1992, l’écrivain reconnu sillonne les routes néo-zélandaises, émerveillé mais fourbu. On découvrira aussi avec lui la France et l’Afrique du Nord en 1957-1958, l’Indonésie en 1970, la Chine en 1986 et le Canada en 1991. Autant de voyages initiatiques aux divers âges de la vie, entrepris par un Bouvier portraitiste et observateur hors pair, mais aussi reporter, historien, ethnographe, conférencier, photographe et poète.

Nicolas Bouvier, l’œil qui écrit

Payot - 2008

Le Serpent à Plumes - 1994

Le double "je" du biographe

Les cafés littéraires en vidéo
Avec François BON, Yves BUIN, François LAUT, Marie-Hélène FRAÏSSE - Saint-Malo 2008


Revivre le festival : Cafés littéraires
Avec : Driss CHRAIBI, François LAUT, Yoko OGAWA, Yuko TSUSHIMA - Saint-Malo 1995

Avec : Driss CHRAIBI, François LAUT, Yoko OGAWA, Yuko TSUSHIMA
Animé par Maëtte CHANTREL et Christian ROLLAND